The U.S. Forest Service has purchased 335 acres of forest and meadow along a popular Cascades hiking trail that was slated for logging two years ago.
The Forest Service paid $730,000 for three parcels in the Phelps Creek drainage owned by The Trust for Public Land. The trust is a conservancy group that bought the property from a Graham-based logging company that had intended to log it in 1995.
The 5-mile trail to Spider Meadow is one of the most popular hiking routes in the region and is a primary access to the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area.
Hundreds of outdoor enthusiasts from across the state called for protecting the area after the logging plans were made public.
“I think people were galvanized by the fact that the area was going to be logged and roaded,” said Wenatchee resident Eliot Scull, who headed up fund-raising efforts for The Trust For Public Land in Eastern Washington.
The trust received gifts and loans from more than 500 private donors and outdoor organizations.
The three parcels are near the end of Chiwawa Loop Road, about 25 miles north of Lake Wenatchee. Two of the parcels are within the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area.
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