The last undeveloped property on Tiger Mountain will be protected forever, thanks to The Trust for Public Land, King County, and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
The Trust for Public Land purchased the 1.18-acre parcel known as the Hill Property just west of the High Point trailhead in the DNR-managed West Tiger Mountain Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA) for $130,000. The property’s conservation easement is conveyed to King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks for $103,000 (though the Parks Levy and Conservation Futures Programs), and the title for the land is donated to DNR for management as part of the NRCA.
The Hill Property will be is key to providing a unique opportunity to improve the High Point and explore opportunities for environmental education at West Tiger Mountain NRCA, which is visited by nearly 200,000 runners and hikers each year. The new property will also allow for future trail connections to popular hiking trails in the West Tiger Mountain trail system.
“Protecting this property means that more people will be able to visit and enjoy the trails of Tiger Mountain for generations to come,” said David Patton, the Trust for Public Land state director for Washington and Oregon. “As our community begins to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, spending time in the outdoors will be integral to emotional and physical healing, and I’m proud to help people find that solace on Tiger Mountain.”
Tiger Mountain has become an important site for environmental education in the region, with DNR, King County, and the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust using the area as a hub for classes and other educational experiences. The Greenway Trust, King County Parks, and DNR are working together to find a long-term to vision on how to use improve the site for educational opportunities.
“Tiger Mountain provides some of Washington’s most spectacular recreation opportunities, and we are excited to expand these offerings while protecting this area from development,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, the elected official who oversees DNR. “The Hill Property acquisition allows us to renovate the High Point access area to accommodate and improve the high visitation area.”
“Working with forward-thinking partners like The Trust for Public Land and state Department of Natural Resources to protect this Tiger Mountain gateway to trails and natural lands is what our Land Conservation Initiative is about,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “Saving these remaining important green spaces was urgent well before COVID-19 came into our lives. Now more than ever, we appreciate the incredible physical and mental health benefits these critical open spaces provide.”
The Trust for Public Land has a long history of working at Tiger Mountain, including protecting some of the first conserved lands in the area.