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King County and The Trust for Public Land partner to preserve unique Raging River habitat, vital to Chinook salmon

Summary

Valuable habitat along the Raging River favored by endangered Chinook salmon and many other fish and wildlife species is now permanently preserved, thanks to a public-private partnership announced today by King County Executive Dow Constantine.

Story

King County and The Trust2020_raging_river_quarry_web for Public Land have partnered to permanently preserve almost 26 acres of forested open space, including irreplaceable fish and wildlife habitat used by Chinook salmon and other species along the Raging River near Fall City.

The property lies along the western shore of the Raging River, adjacent King County’s Preston-Fall City Trail, and features a mature second-growth forest of coniferous and deciduous trees. Downed trees and snags that dot the forest are beneficial to a wide range of birds and other wildlife. The land also features a natural shoreline along the Raging River, as well as a small tributary and upland wetland fed by underground seeps.

The property is part of the 51-acre Raging River Quarry, off Preston-Fall City Road. At 25.83 acres, the parcel was identified as an expansion area for future mining activities and includes more than a quarter mile of river frontage. Not included in this acquisition are the active mine area of slightly more than 20 acres, along with a 5-acre parcel of forested land with river frontage that is zoned for residential use. 

King County is acquiring the open space through a partnership with The Trust for Public Land, which purchased the parcel for $4.7 million, and will hold the acreage until the County can raise the funds to reimburse the organization. The Trust for Public Land has a long history of conserving land and creating parks across King County and Washington state.

“Opportunities to save such high-quality fish and wildlife habitat are rare, and it is absolutely essential to move swiftly when the door opens,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “I want to thank the Trust for Public Land for once again partnering with us to preserve a unique part of our county for people to enjoy now, and for generations to come.”

“I am pleased that an agreement has been reached to preserve nearly 26 acres of fish and wildlife habitat along the Raging River," said King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert. "This is a wonderful step towards continuing our efforts to maintain our important natural resources.” 

“This project builds on The Trust for Public Land’s legacy of protecting some of King County’s most special places,” said David Patton, Northwest Director for The Trust for Public Land. “We are able to do this work because of an exceptional partnership with the County and we look forward to working together in the future.” 

This addition to the Raging River Natural Area provides multiple benefits for numerous fish and wildlife species – most notably federally protected Chinook salmon, as well as five other salmon species.

Despite its relatively small size compared to the Snoqualmie River’s other major tributaries, the Raging River plays an outsized role in its importance to wild Chinook salmon numbers, as about one fifth of all the Chinook salmon in the Snoqualmie River watershed spawn there.

This public-private partnership to protect habitat and open space is the latest example of Executive Constantine’s Land Conservation Initiative, which launched in 2018 with the goal of preserving the last, most important natural lands and urban green spaces in 30 years – before development pressure makes them unattainable.

King County has partnered before with The Trust for Public Land to acquire properties with high value for habitat, recreational opportunities, and open space, including 226 acres of forestland wedged between the county’s Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park and Squak Mountain State Park. Purchased in 2014, the land once at risk of logging protects the headwaters of salmon-spawning streams and is now a popular open space hiking destination – Cougar-Squak Corridor Park.

RELEVANT LINKS

King County Land Conservation Initiative
The Trust for Public Land


QUOTES

 

Opportunities to save such high-quality fish and wildlife habitat are rare, and it is absolutely essential to move swiftly when the door opens. I want to thank the Trust for Public Land for once again partnering with us to preserve a unique part of our county for people to enjoy now, and for generations to come.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

 


 

 

I am pleased that an agreement has been reached to preserve nearly 26 acres of fish and wildlife habitat along the Raging River. This is a wonderful step towards continuing our efforts to maintain our important natural resources.

Kathy Lambert, King County Councilmember

 


 

 

This project builds on The Trust for Public Land’s legacy of protecting some of King County’s most special places. We are able to do this work because of an exceptional partnership with the County and we look forward to working together in the future.

David Patton, Northwest Director for The Trust for Public Land

 


FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Doug Williams, Department of Natural Resources and Parks, 206-477-4543


About DNRP
The King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks works in support of sustainable and livable communities and a clean and healthy natural environment. Our mission is to foster environmental stewardship and strengthen communities by providing regional parks, protecting the region's water, air, land and natural habitats, and reducing, safely disposing of and creating resources from wastewater and solid waste.