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Local Businesses, Conservation and Recreation Organizations Support Buck Mountain Trail Improvements

Today Washington Wild coordinated a joint comment letter to the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest concerning proposed improvements to the Buck Mountain Trail. In all 20 conservation & recreation groups and local businesses signed on and expressed their enthusiastic support for the proposed improvements to the Buck Mountain Trail. The letter highlighted a diverse group of signatories including, Washington Wild, the Mazama Country Inn (Winthrop), Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, Access Fund, Methow Trails and Methow Valley Citizens Council.

Photo Courtesy of The Seattle Times

The trail improvements include reconstructing 3.57 miles of the western portion of an old horse trail and improving sustainability throughout the Buck Mountain Loop. The project would designate this 13-mile long loop as a Forest Service system trail, include improvements to manage growing recreational use and offset potential impacts to the trail and the surrounding resources.

Buck Mountain is the Methow Valley’s signature mountain bike ride and one of a handful of iconic mountain bike loop trails in the area. Close to Winthrop, this ride showcases everything from wildflowers to open space to mountain tops. This moderate loop can be pedaled the traditional route from Cub Creek Road or the alternate route from Buck Lake. Both options involve a Forest Service road climb, long, flowy descents and great views. This trail also serves a variety of non-motorized users. In addition to mountain bikers, the trail will be open to hikers, trail runners, equestrians, snowshoers and pets.

Each year in Washington, outdoor recreation generates $26.2 billion in consumer spending and 200,000 direct jobs. The steady flow of visitors is critical to the economies of local communities like Mazama, Winthrop and Twisp in the Methow Valley. Improvements to recreational opportunities like this are a key part of supporting these local economies and the overall recreation economy in Washington State.