Plum Creek Checkerboard

PROTECTED: A Continuous Trail Corridor Through the 12th-Most Populated County in the Nation

Completed Projects Plum Creek Checkerboard

A series of land acquisitions over years that provide permanent protection in the North Cascades—in close proximity to Seattle.

Since 2001, over 11,000 acres have been acquired within this public/private land checkerboard to protect the PCT trail corridor. The ongoing effort to consolidate public ownership has helped to connect fragmented forest, provides safe migration corridors for wildlife, increases public access to the national forest lands and permanently protects the experience and scenery for hikers along the PCT.

The Pacific Crest Trail traverses the length of these properties. The area is facing increased development pressure due to its close proximity to Seattle. These lands were owned by Plum Creek Timber Company, a willing seller. The acquisitions were all within the boundaries of the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie and Wenatchee National Forests, which share a common border that runs north and south along the crest of the Cascade Range.

The project area is located in eastern King County and western Kittitas County. King County, with a population of 1.8 million people, is the twelfth-most populous county in the United States. The area is heavily visited by the recreating public. It contains the headwaters of the Green River and a series of high mountain lakes, numerous streams and rivers, large stands of old growth, huckleberries and mountain meadows. The scenic views are among the most striking in the Cascade Range.

The area also provides habitat for a variety of endangered species including grizzly bear, wolf, spotted owls, marbled murrelets, steelhead, salmon and bull trout. An abundance of other wildlife inhabit the area, including elk, deer, cougar, coyote, bobcat, and an occasional moose.


Central WA
King and Kittitas
PCT Section
Project Partners
Trust for Public Land
The Nature Conservancy
U.S. Forest Service