News & Press

WENATCHEE — Washington Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz stood at the foot of the burn scar left by the Red Apple Fire on Tuesday, and announced the emergency closure of wild areas she supervises in eastern Washington.

Effective Friday, lands managed by the Department of Natural Resources are closed to recreation and public access, to help prevent similar human-caused wildfires from taking hold. The order includes DNR-managed state lands, conservation areas, community forests and associated roads, trails, campgrounds, recreational sites and recreational facilities.

Six community forest projects to be funded in the capital budget

For a variety of reasons, the Wenatchee Foothills are attracting bigger-than-usual crowds this spring and that has led to illegal parking and other problems.

Spring typically brings a throng of people to the trails, looking for a chance to witness the annual rush of brightly colored lupin, arrowleaf balsamroot and other wildflowers.

But this year, the crowds have been especially heavy, quickly filling parking lots that serve the trail system.

A new StoryWalk® book has been installed this spring at Jacobsen Preserve in Wenatchee!

Walk the beginning of the trail to read  My Colors, My World/Mis Colores, Mi Mundo by Maya Christina Gonzales, a colorful bilingual board book that follows Maya as she discovers all the colors in her world.

WENATCHEE — There has been a common theme among trails across the Wenatchee Valley since last year: Growing popularity.

The surge in trail use could mean even larger crowds at popular spots, such as Saddlerock or Colchuck Lake trailheads, according to local outdoor organizations.

“I think everyone’s looking for something to do,” said Wenatchee resident Stacey Hill, who was taking her first hike of the season on Sage Hills this week.

Hill was one of a few hikers out Thursday morning, soaking in the sun while catching first glimpses of wildflowers.

WENATCHEE — Chelan County PUD is reminding hikers to stay off of Sage Hills and Horse Lake trails in order to let mule deer migrate. The trails are scheduled to reopen April 1.

Deer need to feed in the foothills after losing fat over the winter, the utility said in a news release.

“We are really hoping folks can hold off for just two more weeks,” PUD senior wildlife biologist Von Pope said in the release.

NCW — People are being asked to take down their bird feeders to help protect wild birds from salmonellosis.

Salmonellosis is a common and usually fatal bird disease that can be caused when birds flock in large numbers at feeders, transmitting the disease through dropping and saliva, according to a state Department of Fish and Wildlife news release.

WENATCHEE, WA – Sage Hills trails system will close for four months starting Dec. 1 to provide winter sustenance and quiet rangeland for mule deer and other wildlife. The area will re-open for outdoor recreation around April 1.

At last count, mule deer are already moving into their winter refuge in the Wenatchee Foothills, said Von Pope, senior wildlife biologist with Chelan PUD. The numbers of deer in the area typically increase in December and peak in March, he said.

BADGER MOUNTAIN — On a cold Saturday morning, a group of volunteers gathered around a garage on Badger Mountain with bags strapped to their sides and gardening shears in hand.

This group, all wearing face masks and standing 6 feet apart, was brought together by the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust to help save sagebrush on the Spiva Butte Nature Preserve near Mansfield. The volunteers were cutting ripe seed heads from sage and placing them into the bags to spread later.

Horse Lake Road may be closed intermittently this month as utility poles are replaced.

Users may encounter trail closed signs at some trail junctions on Horse Lake Reserve. Chelan County PUD is removing wooden utility poles in the Sage Hill and Horse Lake trails area and replacing them with steel poles, according to the news release. This is to reduce the potential of an outage during wildfires. 

The road will be closed for the winter start on Dec. 1 and reopened on April 1. The area is off-limits in the winter to protect wintering herds of mule deer.

The Wenatchee City Council voted unanimously Thursday night to enter into a partnership with the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust to co-sponsor an application for a grant to improve about 14 miles of trail in the Wenatchee Foothills area.

Read more here on KPQ online