Five new members join Teanaway board
The state departments of Natural Resources and Fish and Wildlife have appointed five new members to the Teanaway Community Forest Advisory Committee, according to a news release.
The advisory committee finished the forest’s management plan earlier this summer, which was approved by the state Board of Natural Resources in June. The committee will now work on implementing the plan.
New members include Lara Gricar from the Nature Conservancy; Scott Gray, representing the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance; Kathy Young, from the Back Country Horsemen of Washington; John Littel, a Kittitas County resident; and Andrew Cromarty, a local landowner.
The advisory committee maintained 15 of its original members:
Dale Bambrick, Ellensburg, a professional fish biologist; Gary Berndt, Cle Elum, Kittitas County commissioner with commissioner Paul Jewell as an alternate; J.J. Collins, Roslyn, chair of the Kittitas Chamber of Commerce economic development committee and Forterra board member; Kitty Craig, Seattle, representing The Wilderness Society; Jeri Downs, Cle Elum, a second-generation farmer in the Teanaway Valley; Urban Eberhart of Ellensburg, representing the Yakima Basin Joint (irrigation entities) Board; Deborah Essman, Ellensburg, president and representative of the Kittitas County Field and Stream Club; James Halstrom, Ellensburg, a founding board member of Friends of the Teanaway; Andrea Imler, Seattle, representing the Washington Trails Association; Wayne Mohler, Cle Elum, an engineering and project management consultant, representing the Washington State Snowmobile Association; Mike Reimer, representing off-road vehicle interests; Phil Rigdon, Toppenish, deputy director of the Yakama Nation Department of Natural Resources with Tom Ring as alternate; Doug Schindler, Preston, representing the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust; Tom Tebb, representing the Washington Department of Ecology with James Rivard as alternate; Martha Wyckoff, Cle Elum, a neighbor of the forest and a family farm landowner for 25 years.
The state departments of Natural Resources and Fish and Wildlife did not receive the funding they requested due to a reduced budget appropriation provided by the Legislature for the 2015-17 biennium.
The agencies asked for approximately $2 million to fund staff time to meet the priorities laid out in the forest management plan, but the state provided less than 15 percent of the request and put restrictions on how the agencies could use the funds, according to the release.
Some of the high priority actions like recreation planning will not be completed this fiscal year, and outreach, project planning and review, environmental monitoring and coordination between partners will also be limited.
Day-to-day efforts will be focused on managing health and safety issues. Advisory committee meetings will continue on a limited basis. The 20-member volunteer committee will meet next at 4 p.m. Sept. 17 at the Swauk-Teanaway Grange at 1361 W. Ballard Road, Cle Elum.