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600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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April 05, 2018
Contact: Mike Livingston, WDFW, 509-457-9325
Eryn Couch, DNR, 360-688-6940

State seeks input on recreation options
in the Teanaway Community Forest

OLYMPIA – A community meeting is scheduled Thursday, April 12 in Cle Elum for the public to review and comment on recreation options being considered for the Teanaway Community Forest.

The Washington departments of Natural Resources (DNR) and Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) have been working with a 20-member advisory committee for the past 15 months to develop a recreation plan for the forest, which the state acquired in 2013.

The meeting will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Putnam Centennial Center in Cle Elum. It will begin with a 45-minute presentation on planning efforts to date, followed by opportunities to provide feedback to staff at listening stations.

"In collaboration with the Teanaway Community Forest Advisory Committee, the agencies have been hard at work developing a vision for recreation in this landscape that reflects our land stewardship goals and creates opportunities for visitors to enjoy this outdoor destination for years to come," said Doug McClelland, DNR planner. "With this upcoming meeting, we want to confirm with the community that we're headed in the right direction."

"The community forest was established primarily to protect the Yakima Basin water supply," said Mike Livingston, WDFW's south-central Washington regional director. "The recreation planning process is designed to complement that value while enhancing opportunities for public recreation."

The advisory committee represents the interests of a wide range of recreation groups, local communities, conservation partners, and Teanaway-area residents. Members have met regularly with agency staff to evaluate possible recreation concepts, priorities, strategies and tactics.

Located in the Yakima River Basin headwaters, the Teanaway Community Forest is managed through a partnership between DNR and WDFW. The 50,241-acre community forest is an important source of water and wildlife habitat, as well as a statewide recreation destination in the heart of the Cascade Mountains.

The Teanaway Community Forest's 2013 acquisition was the largest single Washington state land transaction in the last 45 years and reflected more than a decade of collaboration.

The property is Washington's first state-managed community forest under the terms of legislation enacted in 2011. That law empowers communities to partner with DNR to preserve working forestland in danger of conversion, and to support local economies and opportunities for outdoor recreation.

Acquisition of the Teanaway was a key step in implementing the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan, a coalition of public and private organizations developed to safeguard the basin's water supply, restore fisheries, conserve habitat, preserve working lands and enhance recreational opportunities.