Just in time for hiking season, sustainability nonprofit Forterra NW announced this week that the Mount Si National Resources Conservation Area (NRCA) has grown by 240 acres. The vast expanse of land, first established in 1987, is designed to protect old-growth forests, wildflowers, and wildlife in the area. The area is managed by the Washington State Department of National Resources (DNR).
Forterra announced the $764,000 purchase, which included funds from the recently reauthorized federal Land and Water Conservation Fund and the DNR.
The new acreage is situated around Hancock Creek, northeast of Snoqualmie and North Bend and not far from I-90. While Forterra declined to confirm the previous owner of the land, the vast majority of the privately owned land around the creek is owned by a timber company, county records show.
The land, according to Forterra, includes old-growth forest and spotted owl habitats.
The NRCA started at 4,670 acres, but has expanded to more than 20,000 acres over the past 30 years. The last big addition came in 2017, when another Forterra-DNR land deal added 376 acres near Lake Blethen. The area includes four popular mountain peaks—Mount Si, Mount Teneriffe, Green Mountain, and Little Si—and several beloved hiking trails.