Parks & Conservation
Throughout his time in public service, and for many years before, Dow has been a dedicated advocate for parks and open space preservation throughout King County. As County Executive, Dow has dramatically extended King County’s green wall against urban sprawl, and has helped the County to achieve its ambitious goal, set a decade ago, of protecting 200,000 acres of working forests county-wide.
Maury Island – After more than a dozen years fighting the massive expansion of a gravel mine on Maury Island, Dow was able to complete the County’s purchase of 250 acres of upland forest and a mile of undeveloped Puget Sound shoreline and habitat for the endangered orca. Combined with the adjacent Maury Island Marine Park, this land represents the largest public holding of protected marine shoreline in all of Puget Sound.
Agreement to preserve 43,000 acres of White River Forest – Just this year, Dow announced the County's agreement to permanently protect 43,000 acres of the White River Forest owned by the Hancock Timber Resource Group. This is one of the largest conservation efforts ever by King County. Rather than being converted to housing sprawl, the White River Forest will provide habitat, recreation, and a sustainable source of timber for generations to come. Now permanently protected, the forest will make up nearly one-fifth of King County’s private commercial forest land, ensuring hundreds of ongoing forestry jobs.
Proposed renewal of the Parks Levy – In order to continue operating, maintaining, and building the County’s remarkable system of parks, trails and open space, Dow proposed a renewal of the six-year parks levy for the August primary ballot. If passed, this measure will replace the two parks levies set to expire at the end of 2013. The King County Parks Levy would support King County’s 200 parks, 175 miles of regional trails, and 26,000 acres of open space. This year, King County Parks is celebrating 75 years as the “Big Backyard” for an ever-growing population.