Deal saved Valley area from sprawl

Your Jan. 24 issue contained several stories and an editorial on the sale of Weyerhaeuser's Snoqualmie Tree Farm and they all carried the message that this was the end of forestry in the area and the jobs that go with it. In reality, exactly the opposite is the case.

Without the purchase made by the Evergreen Forest Trust or some other conservation or forestry organization, housing and suburbs would have spread fairly quickly to the many flat plateaus of the tree farm. That urbanizing future - 20 years out - has even been predicted by people in the forestry industry. While a forest can grow back after logging, it will never come back through a suburb. Instead of a forest disappearing, this one will stay forever and not just as a conservation forest or a park, but as a working forest, supplying both jobs and timber products in the historic tradition of the Snoqualmie Valley.

Through the efforts of the Cascade Land Conservancy, the Trust for Public Land, the Greenway Trust and active local citizens and town councils, many of the forests around the Upper Valley will remain as working forests. Since those trees provide so many valuable things including cleaner air and water, wildlife habitat, outdoor recreation and natural beauty, one of our greatest challenges will be to learn to live with the occasional chain saws, logging trucks and forestry management practices that make it economically viable to keep the trees growing.

Nancy Keith

Executive director Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust

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