Reiter Foothills

Skykomish River Valley has a high tourism and recreation value with its stunning landscape and close proximity to the metro areas. There is no reason why local rural communities can not benefit economically from bustling tourism and recreation unless there is strong will not to benefit.
“Economic and Health Benefits of Walking, Hiking and Bicycling on Recreational Trails in Washington State”, 2019 Research Executive Summary, Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office

Reiter Large Map 2019

Map of Reiter Foothills

Wallace Falls State Park has over 225,000 annual visitors. Creating more non-motorized trails to the east of the park, adequate parking and other facilities for visitors will relieve strain from overused infrastructure of Wallace Falls State Park, improve recreational experience for visitors, and bring more balance and harmony to the ecosystem and local community of Gold Bar. 

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Skykomish River Valley with Reiter Foothills on the left.

“New study: State’s trails are more than worth the investment”, HeraldNet 2-23-2020

“County Council backs contested timber harvest near Gold Bar”, HeraldNet 1-23-2020

City of Gold Bar, WA Resolution 19-15, October 2019

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.img_0854

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.

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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 and toxic 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.

Timber sales by DNR at the Reiter Foothills:

Brushcrasher-FPA #2817286 , Sky River-FPA #2817265 , Middle May-FPA#2817340 and a Map of Approximate Locations

FACTS FOR THE LATEST TIMBER SALES AT THE REITER FOOTHILLS AND LINKS FOR FPAs (FOREST PRACTICE APPLICATIONS)

FPA #        Name              Size, acres  Road const., ft

2817340  Middle May       193            30,981

2817286  Brushcrasher    210              9,958

2817265  Sky River           221             12,883

WFSP timber sales

2018 DNR map of timber sales at the Reiter Foothills next to Wallace Falls State Park.

Please send a message of support for the future non-motorized trail system on the county land to:

Randy Kline, Director NW Region for State Parks randy.kline@parks.wa.gov,

Dave Somers, Snohomish County Executive dave.somers@snoco.org,

Sam Low, County Council Representative, District 5 sam.low@snoco.org,

Snohomish County Council contact.council@snoco.org,

Hilary Franz, WA State Commissioner or Public Lands hilary.franz@dnr.wa.gov.

Full list of email addresses:

randy.kline@parks.wa.gov, dave.somers@snoco.org, sam.low@snoco.org, contact.council@snoco.org, hilary.franz@dnr.wa.gov.


Clearcut Logging

“Groups Support Improvements and Expansion of Wallace Falls State Park”, WA Wild Blog 4-21-2018

Long-term planning of Wallace Falls State Park (CAMP process)

Wallace Falls State Park

DNR NON-MOTORIZED TRAILS PLANNING AT REITER FOOTHILLS

Map of Planned Non-motorized DNR Trails

Reiter Foothills Forest Recreation Plan by DNR, 4-2010

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.