Volunteer park stewards spent more than 18 months preparing a stewardship plan for natural resource protection and recreational use of the county's North Kitsap Heritage Park. The draft plan is now open for a 60-day public review and comment period.
To access the document and online form click here or visit https://www.kitsapgov.com/parks/Pages/NorthKitsapHeritagePark.aspx.
Parks staff will work with the NKHP stewards to review comments received and make revisions, if necessary. Kitsap County Commissioners are anticipated to adopt the stewardship plan this fall.
"We applaud the dedicated planning work of these volunteer stewards," said County Commissioner Rob Gelder. "Because this park attracts use from all parts of the county and beyond, we want to ensure the larger public can see the planning goals and weigh-in with comments, concerns and ideas."
North Kitsap Heritage Park (NKHP) is a regional treasure, located off Miller Bay Road, consisting of 799 acres of forest, wetlands and hiking trails. A dedicated volunteer stewardship group, formed in 2009, largely maintains the park, in partnership with the Kitsap County Parks Department.
The NKHP Stewardship Plan is a management tool and template intended to provide direction for resource protection and conservation actions. It guides recreational use and future development away from areas of environmental sensitivity.
The draft plan follows a county-adopted landscape classification planning process, identifying zones within the park for varying levels of resource protection, conservation actions, and development for recreational use, primarily trail corridors. The plan also outlines the history of the landscape, including its ancient glacial formation, use by Native Americans, historic logging operations, and finally, the County Commissioners assertive land acquisition program.
The park setting is a mix of forest types. Some are derived from the previous monoculture, which was important to commercial timber production. More recently, the forest is becoming diversified through ecological-based forest thinning and replanting with mixed tree species. The stewardship plan also identifies streams, wetlands, culverts and other waterbodies, assessing the quality and describing management objectives.
For more information, contact Steven Starlund, Parks Planner, at (360) 337-5312, firstname.lastname@example.org or go to https://www.kitsapgov.com/parks/Pages/NorthKitsapHeritagePark.aspx.
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