These places are both gorgeous wilderness in their own right, and prime recreational lands for hikers and backpackers. In order to transfer them into protected status, the value of the land and the timber on it must be paid to DNR, and this year DNR has requested almost $30 million for the Trust Land Transfer (TLT) program to do just that. Included among the projects is an addition of 1,090 acres to the Morningstar NRCA. Unfortunately,the Governor’s budget request for TLT is only about $15 million, half of what the DNR requested.
While Gov. Inslee’s request is disappointing, the Morningstar addition is one of the 4 projects he included in this budget request. So we have an excellent opportunity to add more than 1000 acres of glorious upland forest near Mt. Pilchuck that deserves protection to the Morningstar NRCA.
But time is of the essence. Appropriations decisions are currently being made in this legislative session! Unprotected state-owned forest lands are subject to periodic logging. This scene is just outside the NRCA:
State Legislators: https://app.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder/
DNR’s Commissioner of Public Lands, Hilary Franz: firstname.lastname@example.org