Dry Gulch LLC, the landowner of Dry Gulch Preserve, has decided to close the Preserve this winter from December 1 - April 1 to all recreational access (including horses). The person to contact for more detailed information or to voice concerns is Stan Sawyer. You can call him at (509) 886-2012 or (360) 791-6306, or email him at email@example.com.
The decision to close the Preserve during the winter season was made by Dry Gulch LLC and not the Land Trust. Dry Gulch LLC owns this property and are within their rights to implement this closure. The Land Trust holds a conservation easement on the property which requires public access, but the easement does not stipulate year round access as a requirement. We have met with Dry Gulch LLC and reviewed the terms of the conservation easement. While public access is required under the terms of the easement, the owners also have the right to limit access to protect and restore wildlife habitat and other conservation values.
They have let us know that they are closing it primarily out of concern for wildlife and increased erosion that occurs in the winter, especially associated with the many unauthorized trails that are now on the property. Dry Gulch LLC has also noticed other violations of the posted allowed uses of their property as well. These concerns have lead them to close the trail.
We are working with Dry Gulch LLC to address these problems. We hope that the property can be opened for public use in the winter in the future, but for this winter the property will be closed from December 1 to April 1.
Recreation access close to home is important to us as an organization, and we will continue to work towards making sure people have places to get outside no matter the season.