Thank you to King Councilwoman Kathy Lambert and King County Parks Director Kevin Brown for attending the Fall City Park District meeting, held Tuesday, Oct. 20.
When I moved to Fall City in 1989, there was already an active trail system used by the local residents that included the Historic Raging River Trail, the Preston-Snoqualmie Trail and the Snoqualmie Valley Trail. I live on the Raging River and have enjoyed sharing the wonders of the river’s riparian zone with neighbors, visitors and friends. This is definitely an area of “rural character,” with horses and bikes. I was even visited by a man on a llama cart a few years ago.
All that was severely compromised when a few mean-spirited individuals fenced off the Historic Raging River Trail in 1998. After a few trips to the King County Hearing Examiner, one end of the Historic Raging River Trail received clear access and our rural character was affirmed.
To my shock and horror at attending the meeting Tuesday I found that King County Parks Division was up to the same old shenanigans on the Snoqualmie Valley Trail — rather than pursue easements that have been in existence since the founding of the railroad, they were seeking to move the trail to another location.
Both the Raging River Trail and the Snoqualmie Valley access trail at one time in their histories were used for motor vehicular traffic. The Snoqualmie Valley connector once served as a road to the county dump. The old-timers, in their wisdom, used the natural grade of the land to form the basis for their roads, as they had to use livestock to haul goods uphill to the railroads.
Moving the trail access from its current location will greatly degrade the Valley, with the steepness inherent of those other routes our wise old-timers avoided.
Both of these trails are on road easements that have never been vacated — once a road, always a road
Both trails cross private property. Private property owners have rights, as does the general public served by these trail easements — but the public interest is the dominant interest.
The public has not abandoned its common interest, though it did seem that the parks department was once again ready to do just that!
Please encourage the parks department to find a way to facilitate a sharing attitude among the private land owners in both trail systems.