Monday, September 15, 2008

Receding Access to the Glacier Peak WildernessWhile it is a well known and documented fact that the glaciers of the North Cascades have been receding for the past several decades, I wish to bring to your attention another aspect of these mountains that has been in decline--Access! While we can argue whether human-induced processes are responsible for the melting ice caps-nature has clearly been responsible for the reduction of access into the spectacular Glacier Peak Wilderness coupled with the inability of our federal government to restore it. But, we have the power to restore access if we can only get Congress to properly fund our National Forests. We bail out reckless financial institutions leaving us with huge debt but we can't bail out the Forest Service-which manages lands that we ALL own-so that we may have access to OUR land?
It is so darn frustrating! Currently not one trail access exists on the west side of Glacier Peak. North Fork Sauk River- road closed. Suiattle River Road- washed out. White Chuck River Road-obliterated! If you want to get into the heart of the Glacier Peak Wilderness you have to head east. I recently trekked above the Suiattle River from Buck Creek Pass hiking in from Trinity at the end of the Chiwawa River Road. The road and trails on that side of the wilderness are in decent shape. But here in the west? Its dreadful. Hikers- start making some noise are you may be relegated to sticking to less and less trails-and none that dwell deep into the spectacular Glacier Peak Wilderness

(photo- Glacier Peak from Buck Creek Pass)

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