I look forward to continuing to work with King County Conservation Futures to preserve these properties for both the local Fairwood community and for the larger Cedar River Watershed
StoryThe Metropolitan King County Council today gave its unanimous approval to legislation permanently preserving open space along Molasses Creek in the community of Fairwood. The motion, sponsored by Council Vice Chair Reagan Dunn, directs the King County Conservation Futures Oversight Committee to prioritize the nine properties for conservation.
“I look forward to continuing to work with King County Conservation Futures to preserve these properties for both the local Fairwood community and for the larger Cedar River Watershed,” said Dunn.
The nine properties, located near the intersection of 140th Avenue SE and SE 180th Street, border Molasses Creek in unincorporated King County. When the King County Road Services Division determined the parcels as surplus, Dunn wrote a letter to the division presenting the opportunity to preserve open space, protect a valuable riparian corridor, provide protection for migrating fish, and provide opportunities for passive recreation.
“We are all very pleased with the executive leadership King County Councilman Reagan Dunn demonstrated in starting the process to acquire properties in the Lower Cedar River Basin around Molasses Creek. Both Coho and Sockeye are known to spawn in Molasses Creek; cutthroat use the tributary as well,” said Tom Stafford, District nine representative to the King County Parks Levy Citizens Oversight Board. “This anticipated acquisition of open space will benefit residents and the environment alike by balancing both development and conservation.”
Portions of Molasses Creek are already managed as open space and valuable habitat as part of the Soos Creek Regional Park and Trail.
Another portion, near 134th Avenue Southeast and Southeast 163rd Street, will be improved this year with funding from the Fairwood West Homeowners’ Association and the King County Flood Control District Flood Control Grant to replace a rusted stormwater pipe and install fish passage features to open up over 7,000 feet of stream channel for migrating fish. The project builds on past grants from the Flood Control District to preserve and maintain water quality in Molasses Creek and prevent flooding.
The CFT Citizens’ Oversight Committee will receive the legislation as part of its review process during spring 2018. The CFT Citizens’ Oversight Committee will then transmit recommendations for funding to the Council and Executive during the summer to be funded as part of the 2019-2020 biennial budget.
The Conservation Futures Fund is supported by a countywide property tax, which by state law can only be used to purchase open space or resource lands. Counties and cities are usually the primary applicants for these funds, but citizen groups and individual citizens also receive CFT funding through partnerships with local jurisdictions.