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Tiger Mountain trail development is recommended for state grant

By Warren Kagarise
Issaquah Press
Grant funds would allow two trails to be built in east Tiger Mtn State Forest

The state Recreation Conservation Office recommended Tiger Mountain trail development — and more than 100 projects statewide — as priority projects for grants.

Funding for the Tiger Mountain trails and other projects hinges on dollars for the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, a program established to conserve land and waterways.

If the $320,000 grant for Tiger Mountain is funded, the state Department of Natural Resources can develop two trails or about five miles overall in east Tiger Mountain State Forest. The project requires a $137,200 match from the Department of Natural Resources.

Leaders at the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition, a nonprofit group set up to support the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, praised the project list.

“The independent ranking system used by the RCO is unique in its ability to determine which projects best meet the conservation, recreation and community needs in our state,” Executive Director Joanna Grist said in a statement. “This year the projects that made the cut are, once again, ones that will have a positive effect on Washington for years to come. We must continue to invest in preserving our land and water in order to protect and grow the jobs and businesses that depend on our recreation economy.”

Former Govs. Dan Evans and Mike Lowry formed the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition in 1989. Republican Evans led the Evergreen State from 1965-77; Democrat Lowry served as governor from 1993-97.

Cynthia Welti, Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust executive director, said projects could improve the 100-mile greenbelt.

“The Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust strongly supports the efforts of Washington Wildlife & Recreation Coalition,” she said in a statement. “These grants will provide critical wildlife habitat improvements, increase access to trails and scenic views in the Mountains to Sound Greenway.”

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