Caskey Lake / Darrington Power Lines area is CLOSED

Important Update: The Darrington Power Lines area is CLOSED.

The Department of Natural Resources has announced that they are closing off access to the Darrington Power Lines area.

Signs have been posted.

A DNR crew who was onsite there spoke with some users and told them anyone caught on the property will face criminal trespass prosecution.

Gates will be installed soon.

The official response from Mark Arneson, District Manager for the Department of Natural Resources in the area in question is:

I would like to thank you for your, and your fellow rider’s efforts in policing the trash and dumping in the Caskey area.”

While I know that ORV riding is an underserved recreational activity in our area (and across the state), the activities going on in the Caskey area cannot continue. As I am coming to understand, the area has been used, loved, and cared for, for years by responsible users. However, this area was never properly permitted and developed to meet multiple environmental and development permits required for ORV areas at the local county, state,and federal levels on DNR-managed lands. And also unfortunately, there is plenty of evidence at this area that there has been increasing, significant environmental degradation caused because of irresponsible users riding and creating trails where none should be. That impact effects multiple landowners in the area, including private lands, and tribal lands. We are talking about damage to salmon habitat, damage to multiple fish bearing steams, damage to other sensitive habitats, damage to archaeological and cultural resources, unchecked erosion, and untold amounts of sediment delivered into these streams and rivers. This area has become a liability to the Department by this unsanctioned use violating multiple federal, state, and county regulations.

“As for public input on Caskey, there unfortunately was no way around it, the activities occurring are violating multiple federal, state and county regulations,and the department is required to stop those activities. As for outreach, I could have absolutely done better. If this was a sanctioned and permitted area like Walker Valley or Reiter, and we were forced to close or modify some portion, then absolutely there would have been more user engagement, input, and outreach.”

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