Meeting to focus on future of Teanaway Community Forest

DNR NEWS RELEASE -- The Washington State departments of Natural Resources and Fish and Wildlife will host a kick-off meeting January 15 at the Teanaway Grange in Cle Elum to lay out a timeline and public involvement process as they develop a management plan for the Teanaway Community Forest in Kittitas County.

The two agencies are seeking significant public input to help them develop an inclusive and robust management plan.

At the meeting, the agencies will present information on the management plan process, how the public can contribute, and how people can apply for membership on the citizen-based Teanaway Community Forest Advisory Committee.

The meeting is from 7 to 9 p.m. at Teanaway Grange on 1361 W. Ballard Hill Road in Cle Elum.

Washington's first state-managed community forest The Teanaway acquisition in 2013 was the largest single land transaction in Washington State in 45 years and reflects more than a decade of collaboration involving many organizations and individuals.

The property is Washington's first state-managed community forest under the terms of legislation enacted in 2011. That law established a model for managing state trust lands that empowers communities to partner with DNR to purchase forests that support local economies and public recreation.

Acquisition of the property was a key step in implementing the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan, an initiative developed by a coalition of public and private organizations to safeguard the basin's water supply, restore fisheries, conserve habitat, preserve working lands, and enhance recreational opportunities.

The forest will be managed through a partnership between DNR and WDFW, with input from the local community and interested stakeholders.