The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in seeking feedback from Whatcom County residents regarding “select areas spanning across 86,000 acres of state-managed land between Mount Baker and Bellingham.”
You can contribute in two separate community meetings the East Whatcom Regional Resource Center in Maple Falls and Feb. 21 at the Dome Room in Bellingham Cruise Terminal in Bellingham. Both meetings will be from 6:30pm to 8:00pm, and begin with half hour presentations containing the draft recreation concept maps created by the citizen-based ‘Baker to Bellingham Recreation Planning Committee.’ After that, the floor opens up for feedback, questions and commentary from Whatcom residents.
The feedback provided by you will be evaluated by DNR staff and the Planning Committee. In mid-to-late 2018, DNR will submit a draft recreation plan through a state environmental review process, which will provide another opportunity for public input. All this is with an eye towards completing and adopting a comprehensive plan by the end of 2018.
“Our recreation planning process, which we’ve used successfully in other DNR working forests, considers the environmental, social and management implications of developing recreation in these landscapes,” said Tim Stapleton, DNR’s statewide recreation manager. “With these upcoming meetings, we are inviting the public to make sure our scientific understanding and the work of our volunteer-based planning committee aligns with what the community envisions for recreation across these lands.”
“Once completed, the Baker to Bellingham Recreation Plan will be a blueprint for the next 10 to 15 years to clarify what types of recreation will occur and broadly define where those activities will happen in suitable areas across the 86,000-acre area. The planning area being reviewed includes Sumas Mountain, borders the three forks of the Nooksack River, connects with Whatcom County park lands and provides views of the north Cascade Range.”
Image and information courtesy of DNR press release, dated 2/15/2017