State seeks local voices for Baker to Bellingham Recreation Plan

State seeks local voices for Baker to Bellingham Recreation Plan

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DNR is seeking volunteers to help guide recreation planning for 86,000 acres of state land between Bellingham and Mt. Baker.
DNR is seeking volunteers to help guide recreation planning for 86,000 acres of state land between Bellingham and Mt. Baker. DNR Photo.

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is developing a plan to guide outdoor recreation on DNR-managed working forests across the Whatcom County area for the next 10 to 15 years.

DNR is seeking local voices from a variety of backgrounds to join a 12–15 person committee of volunteers. The committee will recommend guidelines for the DNR to use as they develop the plan. Committee members will meet on the second Tuesday evening of the month starting in March. Meetings will be held in the Whatcom County area, and will continue for two years.

“What we ultimately want is a plan that has the support of communities and individuals throughout the Whatcom County area,” said Brock Milliern, statewide recreation manager. “To do this we’re involving those who have these lands as, essentially, part of their own backyards. We’re going to identify the opportunities that work best with DNR’s goals to preserve the environment and provide sustainable timber revenue for public school construction.”

The proposed planning area covers 86,000 acres and includes Sumas Mountain, lands bordering the three forks of the Nooksack River, lands east of Lake Whatcom and west of Mt. Baker.

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The Baker to Bellingham Recreation Plan will act as a blueprint, clarifying where and what types of activities will occur so DNR can pursue funding for maintenance and construction of facilities such as campgrounds, picnic areas and trails.

The public is invited to learn more about the planning process at two open houses. The Bellingham open house is on Jan. 19 at the Port of Bellingham Cruise Terminal in the Dome Room, 355 Harris Ave. The Lynden open house is on Jan. 20 at the Lynden Community Center, 401 Grover St. DNR is hosting the open houses from 7-9 p.m. with presentations at the start.

For more info, and to apply, go to: dnr.wa.gov/BakertoBellingham

To add input or ask questions, email bakertobellingham@dnr.wa.gov or call 360-902-1600.