Reiter Foothills is 10,000 acres of Snohomish County land, tree plantations and sprayed clearcuts that are managed by DNR (WA State Department of Natural Resources). Reiter is adjacent to the rural community of Gold Bar as well as to the Wallace Falls State Park, one of the busiest parks in WA State with over annual 225,000 visitors.
Over the last several years, DNR has created an ATV park in the zone designated for motorized recreation. It is time for DNR to focus also on the development of trails in the non-motorized area and safe parking lots along Reiter Road.
If designed thoughtfully and comprehensively, Reiter Foothills has the potential to become a large-scale national and international attraction and destination for recreation of several different user groups, such as hikers, bikers, equestrians and ATV riders. It can also have high-quality of landscape, infrastructure and user experience that are important for the tourism and recreation industry. This all in turn can have a big economic potential for rural communities of Gold Bar, Sultan, as well as for the Skykomish River Valley and the whole Snohomish County.
Tourism and recreation industry is the biggest sustainable economic opportunity in the Skykomish River Valley. It heavily depends on high quality of landscape, infrastructure and user experience in order to be able to compete for top dollars locally, nationally and internationally.
2020 map of approximate locations for three large timber sales at the Reiter Foothills next to Wallace Falls State Park.
As of today, DNR NW Region destined most of Reiter Foothills for multiple clearcuts andtoxic herbicide spraying. For timber sales please see a map of the Sky River Timber Sale, the DNR 2018 map and Map of Planned Non-motorized DNR Trails. Revenue from timber sales goes to the Snohomish County, state school system and local tax districts: Sultan School District, fire districts, hospital and library. Note: state public school system currently has one of the highest many-billion-dollar bi-annual budget.
Skykomish River Valley is a part of the famous Cascade Loop with Hwy 2 as the National Scenic Byway. The Skykomish River is legally protected as a National Wild and Scenic River. With annually over 225,000 visitors to Wallace Falls State Park, 350,000 visitors to Stevens Pass Ski Resort, a future Snohomish County Shooting Center in progress, nearly 5 million cars passing through the valley, and the newly opened Paine Field Airport, local tourism and recreation industry is rapidly growing and need special attention and care. This industry relies heavily on high quality of landscape, infrastructure and user experience in order to be able to compete for top dollars locally and nationally.
Sustainable tourism and healthy ecosystem can be special magnets to hundreds of thousands of guests which come to the Skykomish River Valley from all over the world to enjoy hiking, camping, skiing, sledding, snowshoeing, mountain biking, horseback riding, kayaking, fishing, rafting, swimming, river snorkeling, tubing, ATV riding and local attractions.
Skykomish Valley’s most outstanding asset is the nature. It is the perfect base to discover the flora and fauna of the Pacific Northwest, including rare and endangered species. The Skykomish River is the site of spawning salmon each spring and fall. It flows west through the Valley and converges with the Snoqualmie River to make the Snohomish River which discharges its waters into the Puget Sound.