Letter to Open Middle Fork Snoqualmie Access (WA)

Posted: 12/19/2001
by Jason Robertson

American Whitewater mailed the attached letter in December 2001 requesting that King County reopen the traditional access point on the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River. This site was used by recreational river users for many years until road reconstruction blocked access with a berm and ditch. Restoring access to the river requires only that the ditch be filled in and that an old roadbed is converted into a short trail to the river.

If this issue is of personal interest to you, please take the time to write the King County Council.

Larry Phillips
King County Council
400 4th Avenue
Seattle WA 98104
Dear Mr. Phillips,

American Whitewater is glad to hear of King County's Waterways 2000 Program. Our 8,000 members support programs that ensure protection of open space along rivers for ecological diversity, protection of endangered species, and opportunities for recreation.

We are aware of the piece of property the Waterway Access Program recently purchased along the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River near a concrete bridge located at river mile 56.7 (Lake Dorothy Bridge). We understand there are funds available to develop sites like this for river recreation. We urge you to support priority funding for this site to provide river recreation users access at this location.

This site requires minimal work, yet it will benefit many self-propelled watercraft users (rafters, canoers, kayakers, fishermen) and casual visitors to the area. Importantly, during these days of limited funds, we feel this will be an inexpensive investment with high returns. This is due to a desire of the community to keep development minimal and informal. Additionally, we favor the desire to maintain the open space atmosphere.

Traditionally, this site was used by recreational river users for many years until road reconstruction blocked access with a berm and ditch. Restoring access to the river requires only that the ditch be filled in and that an old roadbed is converted into a short trail to the river. Such a formal trail will prevent erosion and protect fish habitat. The Lake Dorothy Bridge area serves both as a popular put-in and take-out for many different watercraft users. The minimal development we favor will complement the King County investment in land acquisition downstream about eight miles (next to the railroad grade). This serves as a much needed take-out with plenty of parking. These two properties together will do much to improve relationships between river visitors and private landowners in the area.

We strongly believe that maintaining river access serves not only the purpose of river users, it also provides passive supervision of the region by responsible citizens who can help discourage the vandalism and property damage that is a major concern for the area.

Again, we thank you for your support of the program and we urge you to make this access site a priority.

American Whitewater's mission is to conserve and restore America's whitewater resources and to enhance opportunities to enjoy them safely. American Whitewater represents over 8,000 paddlers throughout the United States. We work with government agencies and local conservation and recreational groups to maintain waterway access, preserve rivers and educate the public.

Sincerely,

{SIGNED} Jennie Goldberg
Board Member, American Whitewater

Jennie Goldberg
3048 62ND AVE SW
SEATTLE, WA 98116-2706


Associated Projects

Middle Fork Snoqualmie (WA)
AW has been working on resource stewardship along the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie in Washington and protecting this drainage for the incredible recreational opportunities it provides.