StoryAs residents throughout King County celebrated the acquisition of 226 acres of high-quality forestland, Metropolitan King County Councilmembers Reagan Dunn and Larry Phillips sent this statement today on the preservation of the Squak Mountain forest in the Issaquah Alps.
“Today we celebrate the acquisition of 226 of forest land on Squak Mt. that will be used for recreation and habitat in the Issaquah Alps. I am proud to have been part of this partnership between King County and the Trust for Public Lands,” said Reagan Dunn, whose Council district includes the Squak Mountain parcel. “I am also grateful for the advocacy of organizations such as ‘Save Squak’ and the Issaquah Alps Trail Club for their long-term involvement in protecting and preserving important habitat.”
“Preserving Squak Mountain answers the public call to save the forest from clear cutting and protects this cherished habitat and recreational area adjacent to prized County and State parks,” said King County Council Chair Larry Phillips. “I thank The Trust for Public Land for partnering with us to preserve this property.”
The Trust for Public Land purchased the 226–acre property in six parcels from the previous landowner. King County recently purchased about half of the total acreage from The Trust for Public Land using King County Parks Levy regional open space funds, Conservation Futures funds, and Real Estate Excise Taxes.
King County has been interested in maintaining the land’s recreational opportunities and preserving its rich forest habitat which supports a variety of wildlife and birds, including black bear, cougar and possibly endangered marbled murrelets. The headwaters of May Creek, a seven-mile-long salmon stream that flows into Lake Washington, rise here.
Today’s celebration was an opportunity for the public to see the property before King County Parks begins preparation of the parcels for full access of the property. King County Parks will clean-up the land, removing infrastructure, establishing trail routes, and ensuring property is safe and ready for public use when it opens in 2015.