CONSERVATION FUTURES (CFT) 2019 ANNUAL COLLECTIONS
APPLICATION FOR FUNDS PROJECT NAME Raging River Natural Area
Applicant Jurisdiction(s): King County
Open Space System: Raging River Natural Area (Name of larger connected system, if any, such as Cedar River Greenway, Mountains to Sound, a Regional Trail, etc.)
Acquisition Project Size: 56 acres CFT Application Amount: $1,000,000 (Identify the acreage targeted under this years funding request) (Dollar amount of CFT award requested)
Total Project Size: 200 acres KC PL Application Amount: $1,000,000 (If known, identify total acreage at project completion for multi-year projects) (King County Projects Only: Dollar amount of KCPL requested)
Type of Acquisition(s): Fee Title Conservation Easement Other:
CONTACT INFORMATION Contact Name: Mary Maier/Dave Kimmett Phone: 206 477 4762 Title: Snoqualmie Steward Email:email@example.com Address: 201 S. Jackson St. Seattle, WA 98104 Date: March 8, 2018 PROJECT SUMMARY: King County proposes acquiring 56 acres on the Raging River at river mile two. The fifty six acre site target acquisitions is spread across four parcels; two of which are zoned mining and two are zoned RA 10. The 20-acre parcel is currently being mined for hard rock. The owner currently has an application to expand the quarry operation to the 28-acre parcel which is also zoned for mining. The Raging River supports Chinook, coho, and chum salmon and steelhead and cutthroat trout. The Raging River plays a significant role in the recovery of Chinook salmon; roughly 20% of the Snoqualmie Chinook population spawns in the Raging River. The Snohomish River Basin Salmon Conservation Plan (2005) lists the Raging River as a primary restoration sub-basin strategy group. This project will address the following high priority actions in this sub group: preservation and preservation to support hydrologic and sediment processes. The conservation of this land will prevents it from shifting to the other high priority actions in the Salmon Plan; the restoration of processes, terrestrial and aquatic habitat. The conservation of the Raging River Quarry has been the topic of discussion at several meetings of Fall City NGOs. There is very strong community support for the purchase of this site which will preclude impacts to the community and resources including: loss of forest cover, increased sedimentation to a critical Tier 1 river for salmon production, impacts to the viewshed and Snoqualmie Valley trail, especially those from logging and mining the 28-acre forested parcel. This acquisition provides an opportunity to protect valuable forest cover and provide opportunities for trail connections between Fall City, Preston and the Mitchell Hill area.
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1. OPEN SPACE RESOURCES Please review the attached evaluation criteria. For the proposed acquisition parcel(s), please mark those criteria that apply and thoroughly, yet succinctly, describe in the space below how the proposed acquisition satisfies each marked criteria. Please clearly describe how these criteria might be met at a landscape level, and how they apply to individual parcels. If restoration is part of the plan, please briefly describe the current condition and the hoped for restored condition that is the goal of the acquisition. A. Wildlife habitat or rare plant reserve E. Historic/cultural resources B. Salmon habitat and aquatic resources F. Urban passive-use natural area/greenbelt C. Scenic resources G. Park/open space or natural corridor addition D. Community separator H. Passive recreation opportunity/unmet needs Wildlife habitat This project will benefit a number of wildlife species, including pileated woodpecker, amphibians, beaver, and other species that utilize floodplain habitat in the Puget Sound area. A number of large mammals are likely to utilize the site. The forested hillsides on either side of the Raging River provide habitat for elk, bobcat, black bear, and cougar. Salmonid habitat The property captures approximately 2,200 feet of Raging River shoreline. By protecting natural processes of the Raging River watershed, particularly the preservation of riparian and floodplain vegetation and the ability of the river to interact with its floodplain, this project protects the habitat features and characteristics critical to salmonids. The Snohomish River Basin Salmon Conservation Plan specifically prioritizes the protection and restoration of the aforementioned habitats for Chinook recovery. The Raging River is a basin with a history of very high productivity. Much of the basin is in public ownership (9,200 of 21,300 total acres). The primary constraints to productivity are loss of channel area and complexity due to levee building and lack of in-channel woody debris. This project helps to address those issues by protecting riparian and floodplain habitat. Scenic resources This project will preserve the scenic features along a major county road (the connector between I-90 and SR 202 and 203). The Preston Fall City Road parallels the Raging River from Preston to Fall City. It is one of the more scenic segments of road in the county. This project will preserve 56 acres of mostly forested property along that corridor. Community separator If this property is acquired, it will serve as an excellent separator between the communities of Fall City and Preston and the rural residential area surrounding these communities. Public ownership of the property will create a natural boundary and discourage expansion. Park/open space or natural corridor addition This acquisition provides an excellent addition to an existing network of public ownership along the Raging River. The target property is adjacent to the Snoqualmie Preston Trail and State DNR land and provides an opportunity to expand a trail network in this corridor. Passive recreation opportunity/unmet need The Quarry properties provide an opportunity to create appropriate trail connections that link the countys Regional Trail System to Fall City. In addition, the Quarry properties are adjacent to State DNR land to the south. King County has been collaborating with Washington State DNR (WADNR) on connecting county and state lands in the Mitchell Hill area through acquisitions and easements. King County Parks staff and WADNR staff will be engaging the public on a trail plan for the Mitchell Hill. The Quarry property provides a valuable link from the Preston Snoqualmie regional trail to a future Mitchell Hill trail system.
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2. ADDITIONAL FACTORS For the proposed acquisition parcel(s), please mark all criteria that apply and thoroughly, yet succinctly, describe in the space below how the proposed acquisition satisfies each marked criteria. A. Educational/interpretive opportunity B. Threat of loss of open space resources C. Ownership complexity/willing seller(s)/ownership interest proposed D. Describe any public or private partnerships that will enhance this project E. Is the property identified in an adopted park, open space, comprehensive, or community plan? F. Transferable Development Rights (TDR) participation Educational/interpretive opportunity The Quarry propertys proximity to the Raging River and the Preston - Snoqualmie Trail would provide many opportunities for various interpretive facilities including signage, kiosks and self- guided interpretive trail loops that could teach visitors about the Raging River watershed. Educational opportunities could be provided by hosting volunteer events for restoration, trail construction and maintenance. In addition, members of the Raging River Conservation Group could become park ambassadors and lead tours of the site talking about the natural and cultural history of the area.
Threat of loss of open space resources Two of the four parcels are zoned mining, with one being actively mined. If operations continue and expand, the resource will be substantially degraded. The RA-10 parcels are at risk of development; one as riverfront property once the mining operations cease.
Ownership complexity/willing seller(s)/ownership interest proposed The owner of the Raging River Quarry is a willing seller. He is also committed to acquiring the permit necessary to expand operations onto the adjacent forested parcel if we are unable to buy the property. He currently has a pending application for expansion and is anticipating our offer for a purchase. The Trust for Public Land is helping with owner engagement and land appraisal.
Partnerships This is a multi-objective project that will benefit salmon recovery and provide a footprint connecting local trails with the Snoqualmie Valley Trail. We are currently working with the Trust for Public Lands to acquire the land until the county can raise the funds for the purchase. Once the land is acquired, we will also work with several local non-profit organizations including the Raging River Conservation Group and Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust to conduct restoration as needed.
Is the property identified in an adopted park, open space, comprehensive, or community plan? - The project addresses high priority salmon habitat restoration needs for the threatened Snoqualmie Chinook stock identified in the federal Puget Sound Chinook Recovery Plan (2007). This project is within a core Chinook spawning reach and is on a mainstem primary restoration reach according to the Snohomish River Basin Salmon Conservation Plan. The Plan calls for Preservation (along focus reaches) as one of the highest priorities for this subgroup. King Countys Strategic Climate