In the Cascade Mountains…
Maloney Creek flows as a wild mountain stream from the Maloney Lakes near the Alpine Lakes Wilderness in the Cascade Mountains to its downstream outlet into the South Fork Skykomish River. From the Skykomish River, the waters flow into the Snohomish River and then into Puget Sound Pacific Ocean.
The lower portion of Maloney Creek, located on National Forest Land adjacent to the Town of Skykomish, Washington, was recently restored for flood abatement and salmon habitat. Maloney Creek is inhabited by chinook, coho, rainbow/steelhead and bull trout.
Skykomish, WA (pop.198, estimated area pop.1000) is located on U.S. Highway 2, 60 miles East of Seattle and 16 miles West of Stevens Pass Ski Area, Pacific Crest Trail and Alpine Lakes Wilderness. The Henry Jackson Wilderness and the new Wild Sky Wilderness are also accessible along the Sky Valley and Highway 2.
As part of the Lower Maloney Creek Restoration Project, the Maloney Creek Trail is permitted by USFS for disability access improvements with a creek observation platform at the trail terminus. Funding is being sought for the trail improvement project. Town leaders envision the lower trail as the nexus of a much larger trail system, maintained by the Town and community volunteers, enabling hikers to reach nearby wilderness areas. Future phases may include building a loop trail, a footbridge and a connector trail that intersects with a USFS road to Maloney Ridge. There also are permitted plans for a children’s Naturescape and learning center.
Town residents and elected officials have voiced strong support for trails and other public amenities that would increase recreational and environmental opportunities in the surrounding mountains and waterways. Outdoor participants have an educational opportunity to understand the restoration project objectives of flood abatement and habitat restoration, to learn the broader perspectives of watershed inter-relationships, and to instill the concept of stewardship to enhance forest ecosystems.
Since first being envisioned in the 2005 Vision for Skykomish, the concept of the Skykomish Environmental Institute (SEI) has been maintained throughout the Town of Skykomish’s massive five year remediation project.
Now that the Town is in the latter stages of this environmental cleanup effort, SEI is able to establish itself as a viable organization.
SEI was incorporated as a non-profit corporation with the State of Washington on February 15, 2012. The 501c3 IRS nonprofit designation is in process.
The initial Board of Directors are:
- Jason Luker Skykomish, WA
- JoAnne Menard Skykomish, WA
- Clint Stanovsky Centennial, CO
- Gary West Seattle, WA
- Rich Yarges Skykomish, WA
The first meeting of the Board of Directors was held in Skykomish, WA. on March 3, 2012.