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WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE     Print Version
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091


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September 19, 2017
Contact: Cindi Confer Morris (WDFW), 509-697-4503
Eryn Couch (DNR), 360-902-1066

State seeks public feedback Sept. 26 on
preliminary Manastash Ridge trail designs

ELLENSBURG -- Mountain bikers, hikers, and other recreation enthusiasts will have the opportunity to review preliminary designs for improving the Manastash Ridge trail system near Ellensburg at a public meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 26.

The meeting, sponsored by the Washington state departments of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and Natural Resources (DNR), is scheduled from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Hal Holmes Center, 209 Ruby St. The meeting will begin with a brief progress report on the planning process, followed by opportunities for attendees to ask questions and discuss the trail designs.

A stakeholder advisory group representing hiking, biking, wildlife viewing, and other interests began meeting with the two agencies in December 2016 to identify future priorities for the Manastash Ridge trails. The group's work will help to guide long-term maintenance, design improvements, trail expansion, conservation, habitat restoration, and volunteer projects. Planning is scheduled to be complete by June 2018. 

"Manastash Ridge is located less than a three-hour drive from both Seattle and Spokane, so it's critical that trail users and managers resolve how existing trails are used and maintained, and where new trails should be located," said Cindi Confer Morris, manager of the WDFW Wenas Wildlife area, which includes many of the trails.

"Over the years, we've seen more and more people use and care for these trails," said Stephanie Margheim, DNR volunteer specialist. "With the community's input and support, this process will create expectations for stewardship and ongoing management of these trails so they'll serve generations of visitors well into the future."

The Manastash Ridge stakeholder committee meets from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month at DNR's Southeast Regional office, 713 Bowers Road, Ellensburg. Each meeting includes a brief opportunity for public comment. For more information, and to see a schedule of upcoming meetings, visit the project webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/manastash-ridge-trails/. Questions on the project and committee can be emailed to Manastashtrails@dfw.wa.gov

The planning work is funded by a $60,000 Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) grant to WDFW. The funds are intended to help the agencies to abandon unauthorized trails, relocate trails, or improve trails in accordance with habitat and wildlife needs. Additionally, WDFW, DNR and local volunteers are providing $15,500 in match funding to support the work.