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Logging Could Close Lake Serene Trail for 8 Months

Posted by Andrea Imler at Aug 08, 2017 05:42 PM |
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A portion of the popular trail to Lake Serene travels through private timber land, and a scheduled logging project may close the trail from September through July 2018. Learn about the proposal and submit a comment about how to reduce hiker impacts on this beloved trail.

The Lake Serene trail is one of Washington’s most popular day hikes. Many hikers head to Lake Serene and Bridal Veil Falls to enjoy the vibrant green forest and aqua colors of the lake—perfect for a swim on a hot summer day.

Lake Serene by hikershanThe classic summer view from the shore of Lake Serene. Photo by hikershan

What most hikers don’t know is that the trail—which is on an old logging road bed—traverses through private property owned by Weyerhaeuser, a Washington-based timber company. Weyerhaeuser is planning to log their property, which surrounds a section of the Lake Serene trail this fall through spring 2018. Weyerhaeuser will be using a small section of the beginning of the old logging road bed as a road for the project. After they finish, they will convert the road back to a trail. (Alternatively, our friends at Forterra could acquire the land from Weyerhaeuser.)

Due to the logging activity, the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is proposing to issue an official temporary closure order for the Lake Serene and Bridal Veil Falls trails from Sept. 25, 2017 to Jul. 1, 2018. The Forest Service is currently taking public comment on their plans to close the trail for almost 8 months. During the closure, the Forest Service will also be improving the trailhead parking lot and facilities, which is great news for hikers.

Let the Forest Service hear from you 

The Forest Service needs to hear from you regarding the temporary closure order. Specifically, WTA is recommending that the Forest Service do the following:

  • Reduce the closure period to Oct. 2, 2017 through Mar. 31, 2018 to fall outside of the prime hiking season.
  • Allow public access on the trail to Lake Serene and Bridal Veil Falls during the weekends (Saturday and Sunday) and holidays.
  • Ensure that once the logging activity is complete, the old road bed, which will be used for a log hauling access route, will be returned to a trail—leaving it better than Weyerhaeuser found it.
  • Avoid visual and physical impacts to the trail as much as possible.

Make your voice heard regarding the pending closure order and submit a comment today. The comment deadline is Aug. 28, 2017.

An Alternative to closure: ensuring permanent access

Our partners at Forterra have an agreement with Weyerhaeuser that will avoid the logging project and limit disturbance along the first segment of the trail that spans Weyerhaeuser's property.

Forterra has launched a fundraising campaign to acquire the property—to ensure permanent public access and protect the integrity of the trail corridor.

To support acquisition efforts and learn more about the effort, visit Forterra.org/Serene.

Resources:

To learn more about the proposed temporary Closure Order visit the Forest Service Project Page.