King County Council Budget 2006
Land and Water Steward
32841 SE 47th Pl
Fall City Wa 98024
Re: Funding For the Historic Raging River/Shaswabs Trail in the 2006 budget
I commend you for your foresight and wisdom in your continuing and ongoing effort to connect trail to trails.<> I came here today to speak to you today about funding for one of these trails, >
the Historic Raging River/Shaswabs Trail.
My Family and I moved to Fall City in 1989 and bought a beautiful home on the banks of the Raging River.
An important part of that beauty is a community trail we share with the local horse riders, bicyclists and pedestrians, as well as in season ; kayakers, fisherman and the occasional person panning for gold.
We also share the river with blue heron, Bald and Golden eagles, salmon, kingfishers, coyote and recently a black bear cub and her mother.
The land between our home and the river includes land that has been deeded to the public as both a pedestrian easement to the rivers edge and as a pedestrian right of way in the 10 feet landward of the levee break and is duly recorded on the Koba Gardens Plat where our home is located.
In 1998 a few of our neighbors, spurred by developments elsewhere in the County trail system, believed that they need not share this trail and fenced off portions of the trail, blocking both the human interaction with this deeded right of way and the native wildlife that used this riparian zone and wildlife corridor.
I got anger, that didn’t help
I Stayed Anger, that didn’t help
I recall David Irons explaining to me about government that
“You can stand out side and yell, scream and rant or you can go inside and do something about it”
I consulted with Leonna Eddy, elder for the Snoqualmie Tribe
She told me the wonderful adventures of a family canoe she had traded away for a bicycle way back in 1920 something, the canoe ended up hidden away forgot in a barn in Issaquah, before it was rediscovered and moved to the Burke Museum in Seattle where it stayed for many years, before finally being recognized for what it was and returned to the Snoqualmie Tribe to hang proudly in the tribal offices.
The Tale of this Trail is like that canoe.
Her words buoyed my spirit and thus began for me a long serpentine adventure in trying to restore this trail, the best part of which has been the warmth and support of all the great people and community groups that have become both my friends and better neighbors.
I thought at that time that this would be a straight forward and easy task as this was in direct violation of the law, the public's access to the Levee, is protected by the State Shoreline Management - Act. RCW 90.58.020 - and King County Codes - 25.16.030.H
"Development proposed in shorelines of the state shall
setbacks, provide easements or otherwise develop the site to permit a
be constructed or public access to continue where:
1- There is a proposed trail in the King County Trail System
2- Part of the site is presently being used and historically been used for public access"
The Raging River /Shaswabs Trail was first proposed in 1971 and is included in the same parks plan that resulted in the East Lake Sammamish Trail.
With one important distinction; the East Lake Sammamish trail was once a railroad line and has been converted to a trail, (I by the way look forward to its Dec 17th opening in its entirety), the Raging River Trail, in contrast has been there as a trail since time immemorial.
If I went down to Greenlake in Seattle and put a fence across the trail I don’t think I’d last 2 minutes before I was overwhelmed by outraged citizens and I’ve been teaching Kung Fu for over twelve years and studied at the Greenlake Martial Art School since 1981.
I studied Political Science at the University of Washington and a learned long ago that the right to redress grievances with the government is guaranteed in the constitution. If you are willing to do the work, one can prove to be successful if you recognize that it will be a long and onerous task and that you will need the help and support of many people. I strongly believe in a government of the people, by the people, for the people. We, as citizens, are the government and must therefore take the responsibility and stewardship required for its operation
I set about proving to the government that restoring this historic trail was indeed their, indeed our responsibility.
We collected over three hundred signatures and sixty swore affidavits.
I was taught, joined and became a King County Land and Water Steward to better understand how to help the government better help itself with this issue and to be a Steward of this Historic Trail.
The Stewards told me stories that buoyed my spirit with the success of individual citizens, like the trail along the Sequim River on the Olympic Peninsula, or Bente Pasko and the East Lake Sammamish Trail
We gathered the support of the King County Executive Horse Council, the Raging River Riders, the Bicycle Alliance of Washington, the State Department of Ecology and The Snoqualmie Tribe. The Snoqualmie confirmed to me in a letter that my recollections of the trail are indeed correct and that they have been using the trail since time immemorial, perhaps as long as 10,000 years
I went to King County Records, where an extremely helpful and professional staff assisted me in uncovering more of the recorded history of the trail.
This time immemorial use of the trail would explain the public easement first recorded on my property in 1901, when Northern Pacific Railroad sold their property along the river to Mr. Pulver, the local postmaster at the time.
Railroads were not in the habit of giving anything away, if I recall correctly that point in history, unless it was a government requirement. There was already at that time, 1901, an active and commonly used trail along the Raging River. Even if you discount the previous 9,900 years for lack of a written record, 105 years of public record makes this an historic trail.
In 2000 We petitioned King County when they did the Fall City Sub Area plan and had what is now referred to as CP-941 in the 2005 Comp plan, written into county policy.
I personally walked the trail with Tom Eksten, with DNR&P, I provided his office with the GPS markings for the entire trail from its junction where the Preston Lake Alice trail crosses the Preston Fall City Road to Fall City. The County holds easements to almost all of this trail already
I walked the trail with Grace Reamer from David Irons office and with Joan Fleming from the King County Executive Horse Council
We all agreed that it was a beautiful and exquisite gem that needs to be restored to the King County Trail system and indeed is a vital link between Preston and Fall City connecting the Preston Lake Alice Trial and the Snoqualmie Valley Trail and to Grandridge and Issaquah beyond, as well as the Mountain to Sound Greenway and the Tiger Mountain Trail systems.
We helped Sue Gorton and her efforts to provide a equestrian crossing on Hwy 203, that provides access from the Raging River/Shaswabs Trail to the Snoqualmie Valley Trail. I was flattered when Kathy Lambert used my picture of her feeding a horse taken at the dedication ceremony.
I was further flattered when my article about the ongoing stewarding efforts for the trail were included in the King County Land and Stewards newsletter, Runoff - Here's the link http://www.metrokc.gov/wsu-ce/Land&Water/volunteer.htm
I stand before you now to ask you politely, but firmly, that it is time take the final necessary step in restoring this priceless piece of Snoqualmie Valley History.
New Trails and new trail connections are great, restoring an old historic trail is priceless.
You can all take great pride in restoring this community gem to the People of Fall City and all the citizens of King County and our fair State of Washington.
Please include in the 2006 King County Budget, the required monies for the implementation of CP-941 and restoration of the Historic Raging River/ Shaswabs Trail.
Trails should connect to trails.
Best Wishes Sifu Johann Sasynuik
Land and Water Steward
2a. Signage must be placed at
pedestrain easement from SE47th Pl, in letters no less than 2 inches
PUBLIC SHORELINE ACCESS EASEMENT, WATCH FOR MOVING VEHICLES.
2b.Crushed gravel must be placed at the end of the driveway curve to the end of the easement, where it connect to the river and adjoining easement.
2e.Existing posts must be removed or replaced with removeable bollards per KCRS design standard
The Raging River Action Committee (RRAC), based in Fall City Wa., has won a tremendous victory for the citizens of the Snoqualmie Valley and King County having regained their lawful access to the Raging River and the
Historic Raging River Trail.
In a decision handed down by the King County Hearing Commissioner R.S.
Titus , August 12th 2002, has Remanded King County and its D.D.E.S.-Depart of Code Enforcement because, in regards to access to the Raging River and
the Historic Raging River Trail, " The preponderance of evidence also
must lead to the conclusion that
DDES's action is clearly erroneous, that it does little or nothing to rectifying the violation. The preponderance of evidence supports RRAC's position regarding DDES action and inaction"
The hearing Examiner has
DDES for issuance of a notice and
order which requires Kia and Lyle Geels to achieve code compliance
consistent with the following:
Historic Raging River trail -
it back where it was. In a manner that
clearly demarcates and accommodates use of the easement by the dominant
estate (the public and residents of Koba Gardens tracts)
Place signage in Koba Gardens
their driveway indicating access to the
Historic trail, on the easement that had been obscured by their
landscaping and driveway.
Install a path five feet wide
consistent with king county road
standards - where they had obscured the easement with their landscaping,
as well as "clear zone" for access by County vehicles.
Install removable bollards per
design where fencing had blocked the
easement with unmovable posts.
They are further prohibited
cutting and altering the mitigated area
along the river, except, by written permission, to remove invasive and
noxious weeds. The County has another 30 feet of mitigated area to
install in the fall at the Geels property because the County "Didn't get
around to it" when they did the mitigation work 4 years ago
The Hearing Examiner
on to write"
"Within the shoreline environment pedestrian and non-motorized access
should be encouraged"
"We see no problem with bicycles or horses" using the easements
"King County Policy I1.2 at page 6; Shorelines of the State that include
but are not limited to any of the following conditions should be
considered for pedestrian easements:
A: Where a proposed trail in the King County Trail System utilizes a
route along a shoreline.
B: Areas of significant, historical, geological and/or biological
C: Areas presently being legally used or historically used by the public
along the shoreline for access.
D: Where public funds have been expended on or related to the water
The Historic Raging River
meets not the minimum of one
requirement, but meets all four requirements,. as do the Tolt and
Snoqualmie rivers and all other rivers in King County that have had
public works along the body of water.
The other half of this
case has been on hold pending the
County decision of indecision on this now resolved trail access issue-
this other half it involves fences that block the rest of the historic
trail. It seems very, very self-evident from this ruling given by
Commissioner Titus, that the County is Erroneous on their position here
Fall City is extremely fortunate to have vigilant citizens that are
willing to make the Government follow the intent and the letter of the
law, that our States waterways and access to them is to be
SHARED by ALL CITIZENS. See you on the Trail.
DEFINITION : Pedestrian
Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the
definitions in this section apply to RCW 79A.05.600 through
(1) "Local government" means a county, city, or town.
(2) "Ocean beaches" include the three ocean beaches
described in RCW 79A.05.605.
(3) "Pedestrian use" means any use that does not involve a
[2000 c 11 52; 1988 c 75 2. Formerly RCW 43.51.700.]
Effective date -- 1988 c 75: See note
source - http://search.mrsc.org/nxt/gateway.dll?f=templates&fn=legpage.htm$vid=rcwwac:leg
Update: March 12th, 2001
- King County
CP-933- Passed by an Eight to Zero vote by the King County Council in August of 2000, Signed into Law March 12th 2001
Sponsor David Irons – 2000- 0186
In Chapter 8 – Community Plan, Section IX Snoqualmie Valley
"King County should expand the soft surface pedestrian, equestrian and bicycle trail opportunities serving the Fall City Area. Trail route options serving the community shall be reviewed to include a route along the left bank levee easement directly adjacent to the Raging River, historically used by the public as a pedestrian, equestrian and bicycle trail.
This historically used trail generally follows the “wildlife corridor” along the banks of the Raging River from 328th Way SE approximately NE to the Preston Fall City Road. The selected trail system for the Fall City area shall be identified in the King County Parks and Recreational trail system plan.
Effect: The amendment will connect an existing public access trail within the Raging River left bank levee easement between 328 Way SE to the Preston Fall City Road. This would provide a necessary link to the Snoqualmie Valley Trail and the Preston Snoqualmie Trail."
Update:August 2000 - King County Council Unamimously passes CP-933 by a vote of 8-0 recogninzing the Historic Raging River Trail.
Picture taken from 14,000 '- over Fall City, Washington. At the confluence of the Raging River and the Snoqualmie River. The large white line to the left of the Raging River is the Raging River Levee Trail.
Raging River Levee Trail - bottom center -Gravel Pit to Smith Barker Brige 328th Way. Note the Preston -Lake Alice Trail headed East - the sinuous line through the trees.
Smith Barker Bridge to Fall City - the large white line to the left of the Raging River is the trail. Note that it is more clearly visible that Highway 203- Preston Fall City Road from a height equivalent to standing on top of Mount Rainier.
Access to the Snoqualmie Valley trail is across from the riding ring at the Fall City Riverside Park, directly behind the Fall City Grill.
Raging River Levee Trail
Regional Linchpin For State Trail System.
By Sifu Johann Sasynuik
The Snoqualmie Tribe calls it the Shaswab’s. They lived by its banks, in the Valley of the Moon, long before the Europeans paddled up the Snoqualmie, looking for a way East.
The local map shows it as the Raging River. It has the second steepest drop of any river west of the Cascades (only the Tolt River is steeper).
During the summer you can walk ankle deep in its cool waters.
Home to wild salmon, eagles, herons and beaver, its waters come from Rattlesnake Ridge and Tiger Mountain.
During the rainy season, not even a fool would dare cross its turbulent rock-clacking waters.
For this reason, in 1934, the King County government built a levee to contain the river; the levee road become a place where locals rode their horses, llama, and bicycles, kayaked, fished , as well as walked the banks of the Raging River (Shaswab’s). In time the land along the river was divided and sold. With development came a promise of an easement for the community, which was granted when the Koba Garden plat was deeded, in 1985. In the intervening years the community continued to use the levee road as a community trail where horse riders and bicyclist shared the levee road with those who chose to walk.
All went well until one dark day when a horse and rider accidentally
stumbled into the yard of a property owner. Fearing the possibility of
lawsuits, individuals chose to try to stop anyone from using the levee
road for anything except walking, citing the Pedestrian Easement
of their Property Title and choosing to interpret that easement as
walking only, in spite of the ongoing, common use of the Trail.
King County Code Enforecment and the local King County Sheriff
have recognized the Public Right of Way on the Koba Garden's plat.
It is definitely not against the Law to ride a bicycle or a horse! Especially on a Public Right of Way.
In 1998 property owners between Koba Gardens and Town, first roped, then fenced off, the public's access to the Levee, in direct violation of the State Shoreline Management Act. and King County Codes - 25.16.030.H
"Developement proposed in shorelines of the state shall maintain
provide easements or otherwise develop the site to permit a trail to be
constructed or puiblic access to continue where:
1- There is a proposed trail in the King County Trail System
2- Part of the site is presently being used and historically been used for public access"
King County has trail easements through Koba Gardens, it also has
extending south from the 328 way Bridge to the Gravel pit on the left
of the Raging River.
The County also owns the trail between the Fall City Bridge and the land currently fenced.
King County originally proposed a trail along the Raging River as early as 1971.
The Raging River Action Committeee (RRAC) has presented King County with 45 sworn affidavits of residents declaring over 45 years of continued and on going use of the trail.
It would seem rather straight forward and simple, TAKE DOWN THE FENCES, but Noooooooooooooooooooo.
The outraged citizens of Fall City demanded and recieved wording in the King County Fall City Sub Area plan, passed, finally, in June 2000, to "Resolve" the issue.
The Raging River Action Committee (RRAC) has spent the last two
getting King County to do a trail feasability study to determine if the
Trail should exist where the trail exists, hmmmmmmmmmmm Government by
People for the People.
RRAC have also worked with Code Enforcement to remove the impediments to the Trail and the River through the Koba Gardens.
They might as well try to stop the Raging River from flowing into the Snoqualmie.
The Levee Road has become a Regional Trail issue. Fall City is geographically located at the conjunction of the two major state wide trail systems: The Raging River Levee trail links Seattle/Issaquah/ Preston /Lake Alice and Snoqualmie Falls and the Snoqualmie Centennial Trail that links up with the Snohomish County Trail system and also the Iron Horse State Park Trail(North Bend to Snoqualmie Pass and Kittitas County). Recognition of the Raging River Levee Trail as a Regional and County Asset is Imperative. County Councilman David Irons has sponsored a bill to the King County Council to recognize the Left Banks Trail.
Imagine leaving your horse trailer or automobile at the Fall City Riverside Park and beginning a loop trail route climbing up from Fall City, through the verdant forest, emerging at the Snoqualmie Falls, looping back behind the Falls, back down across the opposite side of the Valley, down along the banks of the Raging River, and back to your starting point in Fall City. Or perhaps starting at the Falls and looping the other direction. Total Trail Loop Distance, approximately fifteen (15+)miles.
As of this writing, we are trying to schedule a meeting with the King County Council to have them recognize the Raging River Levee trail as a Regional and County asset and permitting the continued mixed use of non-motorized travelers. At this meeting, we will also present the petitions and provide a short slide presentation demonstrating the Raging River Levee Trail’s importance as a linchpin in the regional trail system. Your support is appreciated. Please contact your local government representative: King County Councilman David Irons c/o King County Court House 516 3 Ave #1200 Seattle Wa 98104 206-296-1012, King County Executive Ron Sims c/o King County Court House 516 3 Ave #400 Seattle Wa 98014, King County Parks and Recreation Director Craig Larson c/o 2040 84 Ave SE Mercer Island Wa 98040 206-296-8631 or make plans to join us for the Council meeting.
Smile! There are still citizens of this country who are willing to fight for our great American heritage-- A tradition of community and friendship, uniting us with a common purpose: to be Free. To travel our country side as our fathers and our father’s fathers before us and to hold that Right for our children and our children’s children.
Please Note: There is still a 300+ yard stretch from the Raging River Gravel Pit to the Preston/Lake Alice Trail that has yet to be acquired. It is possible to use a short section of the highway until that section is secured. Proper Jersey barriers would be required to make this interim detour safe for Bicyclist and Equestrian use. Please Contact the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition and the King County Department of Transportation- Road Safety; Attn: Phil Miller 821 2 Ave #MS65 Seattle Wa 98104 206-689-4741.
Please Note: The section connecting to Snoqualmie Falls on the
Lake Alice Trail is still in need of completion. Covering the old
ties with a bridge trail crossing, from its current end opposite
Falls to the Falls themselves.
Please contact the Mountain To Sound Green Way Project c/o 506 2 Ave #1502 Seattle Wa 98104 - 206-382-5365.
Backcounty Bicycle Trails Club
International Mountain Bicycling Association
Washington Trail Association
Great Bicycle Trails