SEATTLE, WA — Forterra has launched a campaign to raise $275,000 by October 30 to save the beloved Lake Serene Trail off U.S. Highway 2 near Index. A section of the lower part of the trail is privately owned and is scheduled to be logged this fall. The landowner, Weyerhaeuser, is willing to sell the land for conservation instead.
The total cost of the project is just over $800,000. Roughly half this amount has been pledged by the Snohomish County Conservation Futures program, and other planned funding proposals should take the raised amount to approximately $525,000. This leaves a gap of $275,000 to generate during late summer and early fall.
The Lake Serene Trail is one of Washington’s most popular day hikes. Lake Serene is described in Ira Spring and Harvey Manning’s “100 Classic Hikes in Washington” as a “jewel of the first order.” More than 45,000 people of all ages and abilities enjoy its stunning beauty each year.
“Forterra exists to secure and care for the keystone places — urban, rural and wild — that define this region and make it sustainable,” says Michelle Connor, Forterra’s Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives. “It’s hard to think of a place that’s a stronger signature of this special part of the planet than Lake Serene Trail. Keeping it healthy and intact is critical for this generation and all that follow.”
THE GREAT NORTHERN CORRIDOR — SKYKOMISH VALLEY TO THE SALISH SEA
Saving Lake Serene Trail is part of a larger, newly-launched campaign to preserve, create, and enhance recreational opportunities along what Forterra calls the Great Northern Corridor — Skykomish Valley to the Salish Sea. The explosively-growing population around Puget Sound will clearly need new places to escape, relax, and play. And — done right — these opportunities can also revitalize struggling rural towns like Skykomish and Index.
HOW TO HELP
People interested in helping to save Lake Serene Trail can learn more and donate at: forterra.org/serene. People who visit Serene, or have in the past, are encouraged to help spread word via social media:
- Use #SaveLakeSerene on posts and photos — tagging friends and family
- Use the geotag “Lake Serene – Bridal Veil Falls” when sharing photos
WORKING FOREST NEAR THE TRAIL
Forterra is determined to protect the beautiful and tranquil experience of hiking an unspoiled Lake Serene Trail. Acquiring this parcel of forest land from Weyerhaeuser will make that possible.
This parcel is just part of a large expanse of working forest that Weyerhaeuser owns in the area. Some of that land will be logged over the next year, and as part of that operation Lake Serene Trail and Bridle Falls Trail will be closed in the interest of safety. The Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest has proposed a closure from Sept. 5, 2017, to Jul. 1, 2018.
Working alongside the Washington Trails Association, Forterra is a advocating a modified plan:
- Shortening the closure so that the trail reopens by Mar. 31, 2018, reducing the impact on prime hiking season.
- Allowing public access to the Lake Serene and Bridal Veil Falls Trails on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays during the closure period.
One upside to the closure: while it’s occurring the Forest Service will be improving the trailhead parking lot and facilities—much needed upgrades.
For the latest information on the trails, visit wta.org.
Forterra is an unconventional land trust that works across Washington’s communities and landscapes, from the ranches and shrub-steppe of the Yakima basin, to the estuaries, farms and forests of Washington’s coast, reaching more than 100 counties, cities, towns and rural communities. Working cooperatively with people and nature, Forterra drives land stewardship, management and planning; innovative programs and policies; farming and forestry approaches; community ownership opportunities; and development solutions. Visit www.forterra.org.