I'm sure that by now everyone has heard the news about Galbraith. The following is an email that is going around written by a member of the WMBC. Please take a moment to read this and do what you can to help in the effort! Bellingham would be greatly affected if Galbraith were to be fully shut down to public access.
Our access to recreate on Galbraith Mountain is slowly being pulled away
from us. The current landowners inherited the land in 2010 during the
financial crisis and have no interest in owning the land. Just today, we
were notified that the WMBC's stewardship agreement is about to be revoked.
This is serious.
What can you do?
* First, please go to www.preservegalbraith.org
* Second, fill out the basic form we've assembled on the site.
* Third, email and call our local politicians. Please see the below
example that you can use as a template to send. PLEASE be civil in your
comments, but feel free to add personal touches to this email.
* Fourth, we'll need people to rally their neighbors and friends.
Please indicate if you're up for the task.
Additional talking points to consider:
* If you've moved here or continue to live here due to the access to
recreation/mountain biking, please note that in your letter.
* If you own a home or own a business / employ people, then that's
worth noting too.
* Out of towners, if you ride Galbraith frequently and also swing
into Boundary, Banditos's, DeVinci's, Casa Que Pasa, or any other
* Conservationists, green space advocates and folks who are
concerned about the quality of the water we drink, please add your own notes
on those topics.
Thanks, and let's Preserve Galbraith!
Cut and paste this and e-mail
Your public officials names and email addresses can be found below
RE: Galbraith Mountain Preservation
Dear Councilmember/Mayor XXXXX,
I am writing to ask you to help protect the quality of life in Bellingham
and preserve one of our region's great recreation and tourism spots.
Last year, Galbraith Mountain's landowner changed when the property fell
into receivership. The new owner, Polygon, has continually stated that they
don't want the property as they feel it is not financially viable. That
said, they are still trying to recoup as much money from the property as
possible, and as such, they have commenced full-scale logging operations in
numerous locations on Galbraith. As of April 11th, the Whimps Mountain Bike
Coalition (WMBC) was notified that Polygon would be revoking the
Recreational Use Agreement with the WMBC in the very near future. At a
minimum, that means we won't be able to maintain the trail network and,
worst case, recreational access to the public could be halted altogether.
Galbraith is important to our community for a number of reasons. First off,
it ties together a number of neighborhoods with a focus on an active
lifestyle that is very important to people who live in Bellingham.
Galbraith's 3,000 acres border four neighborhoods in Bellingham and Whatcom
County: Birch Street/Whatcom Falls, Lake Padden/Galbraith Lane, Yew Street
and Lake Louise/Sudden Valley. Easy access to outdoor recreation is
indispensable to the health and welfare of our families and essential in
combating childhood obesity and reducing health care costs. Along with
providing this access to outdoor recreation for families, it also helps
prevent suburban sprawl.
Secondly, Galbraith is a major source of recreation and outdoor activity not
just for residents in Bellingham, but for tourists from all over the Pacific
Northwest. In a survey the WMBC conducted in 2010, 94.4% of non-Bellingham
residents that visit Galbraith also visit a local business and 50.5% spend
between $20-60 per visit! Restaurants, gas stations, hotels and grocery
stores all benefit from the riders that frequent the mountain.
Finally, Galbraith also represents an important conservation opportunity for
the city. Approximately 1,000 acres of the land is in the Lake Whatcom
watershed and Galbraith is the beginning of Chuckanut Creek. Setting this
area aside for responsible, maintained recreation would ensure that these
environmentally sensitive areas properly cared for in the decades ahead. A
structure for maintaining responsible recreation is already in place as
well--there are over 44 miles of trail on Galbraith Mountain that have been
built and maintained by a local volunteer-powered organization (WMBC) over
the past 21 years.
Given how motivated the current landowner is to sell the property, this
might be the only time we can purchase this land in our lifetime. As a
resident of Bellingham, I'd like to encourage Whatcom County Council,
Bellingham City Council and the Mayor's office to come together for a
solution to preserve Galbraith Mountain for recreation, tourism, and
CITY, STATE, ZIP
Whatcom County Council: email@example.com
Bill Knutzen firstname.lastname@example.org
Tony Larson email@example.com
Kathy Kershner firstname.lastname@example.org
Ken Mann email@example.com
Sam Crawford firstname.lastname@example.org
Carl Weimer email@example.com
Barbara Brenner firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan Pike email@example.com
Pete Kreman firstname.lastname@example.org
City Of Bellingham Council
http://www.cob.org/cob/ccmailform.nsf/frmCCMail?OpenForm&Member=Bellingham City Council&memberemail=ccmail