Tuesday October 25th and Wednesday November 2nd, 2005
King County Budget Hearings

My deepest thanks to everyone at
The Snoqualmie Tribe
the King County Executive Horse Council
The Raging River Riders and everyone else from Fall City that gave testimony or attended.

Ray Mullen, elder of the Snoqualmie Tribe read this statement
"There are numerous historic and prehistoric sites in the region that mark the history of the Snoqualmie Tribe, among the most important of these sites is a young warrior's camp at the confluence of the Raging and Snoqualmie Rivers. These rivers were used as natural highways through the densely forested areas. These highways connected people with surrounding Villages
and brought the bounty of the sea that nourished my people. I can tell you being a Snoqualmie Tribal member and a descendant of the Snoqualmie People that this trail has been used for over 10,000 years. The Tribe would be honored to share the spirit of the Raging River as a corridor connecting people and stands behind the effort to allow public access to once again occur."

With the help of Lucille Seaton and her extra two minutes
I was able to read a four minute version of the following statement.

King County Council Budget 2006


Johann Sasynuik

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 maintain setbacks, provide easements or otherwise develop the site to permit a trail to 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

April 21st, 2005

Runoff Newsletter - King County Land & Water Stewards
If you are interest in the King County Land & Water Stewardship process
or want to find out more about the Historic Raging River Trail visit this link
(hey that's my article and photo hehhehehehehe - Joh)

Here's the link http://www.metrokc.gov/wsu-ce/Land&Water/volunteer.htm

Progress on the Historic

Raging River (Shaswab’s) Trail
By Steward Johann Sasynuik
(Editor’s note: Johann lives on the banks of the Raging River and
has been working on public access to the historical river trail)
The last year, 2004, brought slow and steady progress.
DNR & Parks provided much needed trail crossing
signage for Equestrians on Hwy 203, just north of Fall
City and the Riding Center, accessing the Snoqualmie
Valley Trail.

They also removed signage limiting public
access on the Historic Trail. King County DDES enforced
removal of fences on the Historic Raging River
Trail, not because the fences blocked the historic trail,
but because they blocked the wildlife corridor. DNR &
Parks is working with DDES and the State Department
of Ecology to remove the remaining illegal chain barriers
and signage. The King County Council Passed CPR
934 recognizing the Historic Raging River Trail, in 2001;
portions of this trail have been deeded to the public
since 1901.
The Snoqualmie tribe helped clarify their position on
the Historic Raging River Trail, (Shaswab’s - Snoqualm
name for Raging River)) writing that the Snoqualmie
Tribe has used the Historic Trail “Since Time Immemorial”
and have always shared the river and access to it
with all newcomers.

In October (2004) I was privileged to lead a group composed
of Grace Reamer, Staff for David Irons, King County
Councilman, Joan Fleming, King County Executive
Horse Council and Patty Burnard, Raging River Riders
on a hike up the King County Trail easement to the
top of the Raging River Quarry (Cadman Gravel)

and beyond that using old logging roads (in this steward
opinion, easily converted to trails),

 to the Preston Lake -Alice Trail, where it connects to that trail where the old
railroad trestle used to be, near the Preston Fall City
Road. This route would provide connection to Tiger
Mountain trails and the Mountain to Sound Greenway,
as well as Mitchell Hill trails and parks and through to
Fall City on the Historic Raging River Trail and across to
the Riding center and the Snoqualmie Valley Trail.

Raging-Shaswab’s River photo by J. Sasynuik

Raging River Levee Trail

Updated January 13th 2004

October 14th 2003 -     Irony, with a capital I.
The only part of the Raging River Historic trail that is currently up to the King County Trail standard
is the hundred and fifty feet in front of the Geels residence, in compliance with the Hearing Examiners orders( see below).


November 26th 2003  A Small Satisfaction;
 King County River's division employee John Koon of DNR&P takes down the no public access signs on the Raging River.

SignDown112403e      SignDown112403i

Updated:September 22nd, 2003

April 28th 2003
,King County D.D.E.S., represented by Pete Ramels
issued a letter of code enforcement to the Geels requiring they establish a five foot easement on the Raging River Historic Trail or face civil fines, if not completed by July 28th 2003,
but allows them to appeal this decision, once again, back to the Hearing Examiner.

July 14th 2003, The Raging River Action Committee, on behalf of the citizens of Fall City and King County, is once again called on to bear the cost to defend us from King County's costly ineptitude's.
The Hearing Examiner agrees and dismisses the case "Res Judicata", as this matter had all ready been decided and the Geels had proper opportunity to appeal, but did not.

The question goes unanswered as to why King County's Prosecuting Attorneys Office pursued this course of action in the first place.

The Geels now have until October 15th 2003 to comply with the original order issued Nov 18, 2002
or face daily civil fines.

The Geels did take the opportunity at the July 14th meeting to complain to the Hearing Examiner
about this very Webpage.

July 16th, 2003 Mr. Titus responded with this letter.

July 16th, 2003
Mr & Mrs Geels:
In my November 18th 2002, order om motions concerning the Raging River Avction Commiteess appeal affecting your property, I stated that you were unwilling to join and enjoy the Koba garden community. I also concluded that you were being disagreeable for the sake of being disagreeable. I bases that staement on the idea that RCW 4.23.210(1) releases you from liability resulting from recreational equstrains crossing your property within the plat easments.

I regret saying those things in my report. They were unnessecary to support, or even explain, my decision and order. It never occured to me that someone would post them on an internet website, thereby causing yu continuing discomfort. Ihave learned a lesson from this experience.

I wish you a pleasant, peaceful and very long future.

Sincerly T.T. Titus
Deputy Hearing Examiner

It is this writer's belief that Political Free speech is the most sacred of our Constitutional rights.
That the written word of the Judicial branch of government is essential to our basic freedoms and that
the dissemination of these words is fundamental to our society, whether it in the form of pamphlets, flyers, books or webpages
The true irony however is the RCW that Mr Titus quotes is the same RCW then Fall City resident
Barb Smith gave Kia Geels ten years ago when she was riding the Historic Raging River Trail on her horse , I know I was there because I was asked by Barb to physically protect her from unreasonable people.

Methinks Mr Titus was right all along.

Yet perhaps change , if not inevitiable, is possible,
a written apology from the Geels to the Koba Garden resisidents and all the citizens of Fall City would be a recommended first step.

Updated: December 14th, 2002
Motion to reconsider - November 18th 2002
R.S.Titius  King County Hearing Examiner
Decision on Motions
3."Horses enhance the rural character of the area.
Bicycles are harmless on a pathway well prepared consistent with County standard. We can only conclude that Geels is being disagreeable for the sake of being disagreeable."
1.Geels must reestablish a five foot wide crushed rock pathway within the riverside pedestrain easement, consistent with KCRS design standards.

2a. Signage must be placed at the pedestrain easement from SE47th Pl, in letters no less than 2 inches tall,
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

Update:August 12th 2002
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 remanded 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 - Put 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 at 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 KCRS design where fencing had blocked the
easement with unmovable posts.

They are further prohibited from 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 went  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 Trail 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 bifurcated 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
as well.
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

RCW 79A.05.640

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
motorized vehicle.

[2000 c 11 52; 1988 c 75 2. Formerly RCW 43.51.700.]


     Effective date -- 1988 c 75: See note following RCW

source - http://search.mrsc.org/nxt/gateway.dll?f=templates&fn=legpage.htm$vid=rcwwac:leg

Update: March 12th, 2001 - King County Signs into law CP-933
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 wording of their Property Title and choosing to interpret that easement as permitting 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 setbacks, 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 easements extending south from the 328 way Bridge to the Gravel pit on the left bank 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 years getting King County to do a trail feasability study to determine if the Trail should exist where the trail exists, hmmmmmmmmmmm Government by the 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 Preston Lake Alice Trail is still in need of completion. Covering the old railroad ties with a bridge trail crossing, from its current end opposite Snoqualmie 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

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