Tiger Mountain Update
By: Jon Kennedy
Tiger Mountain is now officially closed for the 2009 season. Riding can resume next April. Please obey this closure to ensure that we remain in good standing with the DNR. Thank you!
Due to ongoing safety concerns, DNR is closing the entire Northwest Timber Trail detour weekdays through the end of the season while timber harvest activities continue. The detour route is still open on weekends.
For safety reasons, DNR is closing the entire Northwest Timber Trail detour weekdays through the end of September while timber harvest activities continue in that particular area of the forest. The detour route is still open on weekends. Starting October 1, the entire detour section will be open seven days a week, but because of heavy truck traffic in the area, DNR recommends avoiding the area during weekdays through the remainder of the season.
The ‘Cougit’ timber sale will begin major harvesting operations on September 2nd, and will require the DNR to close the Northwest Timber Trail on Tiger Mountain State Forest through the remainder of the season. We expect the trail to be reopened on its seasonal opening date of April 15th next spring. Please follow closure and detour signage utilizing the Power Line Road to bypass the closed section of trail. Be cautious and aware of heavy equipment and logging truck traffic.
For more information about the trail closure, click here.
August 28th, 2009 Update:
NW Timber Trail will likely be closed in the coming weeks. In late spring, the scheduled timber harvest by Cougit on Tiger Mountain was put on temporary hold. This was the reason for the unexpected re-opening of the trail in June. DNR was informed by Cougit in recent days that the timber harvest is about to proceed. In turn, they relayed the information to Evergreen. We will know more early next week as plans are finalized and speak with DNR again. Stay tuned for another update.
June 5th Update:
NW Timber Trail is re-opened, but be aware that road construction is still underway for the ‘Cougit’ timber sale with heavy equipment traffic. Look both ways before crossing the new road that has been constructed across the NW Timber Trail.
The Cougit timber harvest has officially begun and road construction will be under way shortly. The DNR anticipates that the road construction will only affect the NW Timber Trail through mid June but should then be re-opened for the rest of the season. Reroutes will divert traffic shortly after entering NW Timber to the power line road. The timber harvest, at this point, is being forecast for next summer. Preston and Iverson will not be affected. Please be sure to follow all trail closure signs, obey reroutes, and be especially careful when riding fire roads as construction vehicles will be utilizing these during the road construction process. Thank you.
April 13th Update:
The trails at Tiger are currently (as of 4/13) exceptioanlly wet. upper Preston is under a bit of snow, though is mostly ridable. The DNR trail crews have cleared the the majority of trails in the past weeks to allow for an early opening. Please use your best judgement when riding is such wet conditions.
Evergreen is also planning an opening day meet and greet in the Tiger parking lot to greet riders as they return to their cars and to leverage potentially new volunteers for trail maintenance. We will post more details when we learn what that date might actually be so stay tuned.
As you may remember, last year the NW Timber trail was temporarily closed as the DNR replaced 5 bridges on the NW Timber Trail. This year unfortunately, the 'Cougit' timber sale will again cause some temporary closures to the NW Timber Trail. At this point the purchaser has two windows to conduct their work (May 1st-October 31st of 2009 and 2010). Evergreen and the DNR are discussing possible scenarios for road construction that would affect the trail late in 2009 and timing the harvesting for early or late in the season of 2010. there are different plans for retaining as much single track as possible before re-routing riders onto the Power Line Road then up the East Side Road to Preston - depending on the timing of the work, etc.. There will be a Pre-Work Meeting in mid-April and we'll learn more about the timing of road building and harvesting at that time. The DNR may allow us to open the trails as early as April 1st depending on weather and trail conditions.
It’s important to note that the DNR has a fiduciary responsibility to its stakeholders to help pay for construction of public schools, universities, and other state institutions, and funds services in many counties. It does this through the funding generated from timber harvest and private leasing. This is the DNR's main priority and it is up to recreational users to respect this. Evergreen is working hard to ensure that impact on access is kept to a minimum and we'll do everything that we can to leverage that with the DNR and purchaser. We will be sure to keep you informed of any new developments.
We are also working collaboratively on a new Cooperative Agreement to formally solidify the DNR/Evergreen partnership for adopting Iverson, Preston, and NW Timber Trails on Tiger. As you may recall we did an Adopt-A-Trail agreement back in 2001 for Preston but only had a verbal agreement to adopt the other two. Concurrently, Evergreen will be writing letters of support for the DNR’s upcoming grant applications: An E&E Grant and a bridge replacement grant. The bridge replacement grant will include upgrading all of the rotten stringers on Iverson to the same type of bridges installed on NW Timber this last summer. This is also an opportunity to rethink the location of the bridges as it relates to the Iverson Trail design and we intend to take part in potentially re-routing portions of the trail to match with potential new trail bridge locations.
Through this work at Tiger, Our work on the Reiter Forest Recreation Planning Committee and with the Sustainable Recreation Work Group, Evergreen is pleased to be forging new relationships with the DNR. We have a new power structure at the helm as the DNR has a new Public Lands Commissioner, a new Assistant Division Manager of Recreation & Public Access, and a new Recreation Manager for the Tiger area. There's been a substantial interest in working collaboratively with Evergreen to find creative solutions to meet all of our needs. I have seen more progress from the DNR in the past year that in all the years I've been involved. I commend the DNR on their willingness to rewrite policy and to take a critical look at the needs of recreational groups around the state. We have demonstrated with over a decade of stewardship and cooperation that we are a viable and valuable group to work with.
Upcoming Tiger Mountain Work Parties: March 21st, April 18th, and May 17th.