Press Releases

The National Forest Foundation Launches Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest as a Treasured Landscape

NFF will work with local communities and organizations to create a sustainable approach in improving recreation opportunities and conserving wildlife habitat


 

Seattle, WA. (May, 4 2021) –  The National Forest Foundation (NFF), the congressionally-chartered nonprofit working to improve and restore the health of our 193 million acre National Forest System, has designated Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie (MBS) as one of its Treasured Landscapes, Unforgettable Experiences.

As part of this four-year conservation program, the NFF and U.S. Forest Services will collectively invest $14 million to on-the-ground work, improving recreation areas and visitor experiences along the Mountain Loop Highway on the MBS National Forest. The NFF will be engaging local stewards, community partners and businesses to improve the forest.

“The Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is often considered as one of the most visited National Forests in the country, and with visitation at an all-time high, working to ensure access and sustain the health and diversity of our forest is imperative.” said Jody Weil, MTB Forest Supervisor. “Our partnership will be instrumental in helping protect our watersheds, meet our tribal treaty obligations, help accommodate more members of the public, and to sustain quality outdoor experiences along the Mountain Loop Highway,” she added. 

The project will consist of rebuilding and restoring popular hiking trails and campgrounds as well as improving trail inclusivity and accessibility to recreation areas along the Mountain Loop Highway, a National Scenic Byway that follows the Stillaguamish and Sauk Rivers through the National Forests. The highway is an integral part of the National Forest as it provides 147 access points for hiking, biking, fishing, camping, kayaking, rock climbing, and sight-seeing activities, including the popular Big Four Mountain ice caves. The initiative will also be working to rehabilitate wildlife habitats surrounding the highway, including the threatened runs of salmon, which are culturally important to the local Native American tribes.

“The Mountain Loop Highway on this national forest is valued as a treasured landscape by many people, especially the Native American tribal people who have lived here for countless generations.” said Patrick Shannon, Pacific Northwest and Alaska Director at the NFF. “We are looking forward to connecting the local communities and tribes in improving degraded recreation areas while improving the environment for sustainable use in years to come.“

Join NFF for a special Instagram Live event with Washington Trails Association on May 13th at 4 PM (PST). Follow @nationalforests on Instagram to tune in and visit nationalforests.org/MBS for more information about the Treasured Landscapes site.

Press Contact: Erin Wyer | Erin@outsidepr.com | 612.747.1314

About the Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest

Located near Seattle and the greater Puget Sound area, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is one of the most visited National Forests in the country with over 2.5 million people recreating in the National Forest each year. It covers 1.7 million acres on the western slopes of the Cascade Range in Washington and includes glacier-covered peaks, spectacular mountain meadows and old-growth temperate rainforests. Before becoming a National Forest, it was home to numerous Native American tribes who hunted, fished, harvested plants and other resources to meet their subsistence, spiritual, and medicinal needs. Many federally recognized tribes still have hunting, fishing and gathering rights on the MTB Forest. Learn more at www.fs.usda.gov/mbs 

About the National Forest Foundation

The congressionally chartered National Forest Foundation promotes the enhancement and public enjoyment of the 193-million-acre National Forest System. By directly engaging Americans and leveraging private and public funding, the NFF improves forest health and American’s outdoor experiences. The NFF’s programs inform millions of Americans about the importance of these treasured landscapes. Each year, the NFF restores fish and wildlife habitat, plants trees in areas affected by fires, insects, and disease, improve recreational opportunities, and enables communities to steward their National Forests and Grasslands. Learn more at www.nationalforests.org