September 7, 2019

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the information table at Newcastle Days in Lake Boren Park. It was good to talk to so many interested supporters.

The  Pollution Control Hearing Board has delayed the 8/13/2019 appeal review review until 1/x/2020. PCHB Case P18-035 www.eluho.wa.gov/Decision/Search_Cases

July 7, 2019

DeLeo Wall campaign has been invited to participate in two trail events on 7/13/2019.

6/18/2019 City of Newcastle Town Hall Meeting at the Golf Club at Newcastle. A great turnout at the Newcastle Town Hall meeting!

June 6, 2019

Two weeks ago, 140-150 citizens attended the Newcastle City Council meeting to support preserving the DeLeo Wall property as permanent green space. The Campaign is overwhelmed by your enthusiastic participation and support, and many people stood up and spoke passionately about the importance of nature, trails, and preservation of land. We thank you all for coming!

The Council was impressed, as was King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn, who stayed for about 45 minutes and took home a T-shirt. We hope Councilmember Dunn will wear it to the next King County Council meeting! photo.

Just to clarify the process, as there may be some confusion about the various stakeholders involved:

1. The City of Newcastle, including the City Manager, the City Attorney and the City Council are trying everything they can to prevent clear cut logging on the DeLeo Wall property. An appeal has been filed to challenge DNR's decision to grant a clear-cut logging permit to the owner of the property. The case will be heard in Appeals Court in August.

2. The City is trying to negotiate an acquisition with the property owner, with the help of Forterra and the Save DeLeo Wall Campaign. The City and Forterra are actively communicating with the owner’s attorneys to encourage a sale.

3. King County is also in support of an acquisition and will likely grant the City of Newcastle money from the Conservation Futures Trust later this month.

4. The City of Renton also supports Newcastle's efforts to acquire the property and preserve it as green space. Senior Renton City Council member Randy Corman published this article a few days ago: https://www.randycorman.com/?p=8555

The Save DeLeo Wall Campaign continues to support the City in their efforts to acquire the property. The City Council and the City Manager have taken a strong stand against logging from day one, and they deserve a lot of credit for their efforts. Next steps for the Campaign include speaking to the King County Council later in June and to continue our outreach to the community. We will monitor the court appeal closely and let you all know of any developments. Please monitor this website and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/1605309569518327/.

We need volunteers to help staff a Save DeLeo Wall table at the Newcastle Town Hall meeting on June 18th from 6:30 -9 p.m at the Newcastle Golf Club; see https://www.facebook.com/events/1944659968972048/. This will be another good opportunity to reach out to the community and explain the urgency of the issue, answer questions, and hand out flyers. We will order more T-shirts for sale as well. Please send us an email at savedeleowall@gmail.com if you can help. Thank you!

If anyone would like to be part of the campaign's steering committee, please send us an e-mail at savedeleowall@gmail.com. We are happy to include people with fresh ideas and energy!

Thank you again for your continued support!

The Save DeLeo Wall Steering Committee

May 23, 2018

 

Many thanks to everyone who attended and spoke at the Newcastle City Council Meeting on 5/21/2019.

The massive turnout had a definite impact on City and County Councilmembers.

We are in contact with the City of Newcastle to determine how we can best assist them.

More information will be relayed when available. Thanks again!

May 4, 2019

King County Councilmember Reagun Dunn will be attending the Newcastle City Council Meeting at 7pm May 21, 2019 in the Newcastle City Hall. We would like to have as many DeLeo Wall supporters as possible attend to show support for the Newcastle City's efforts to King County Councilmembers.

Please share the linked flyer to help spread the word about the meeting.

April 22, 2019

Statement given by Maria Wolcott to the Renton City Council Meeting on 4/22/2019

On a sunny day it is hard to find a more beautiful view of Renton, Mt. Rainier and Lake Washington than a top the DeLeo Wall.

This magnificent rock outcropping jutting out of 35 wooded acres is scheduled to be clearcut.  The property is located in the city of Newcastle and borders Renton on the south side.  

The DeLeo Wall property is surrounded on the other two sides by Cougar Mountain Wildland Park.  Several well-traveled trails run through it.  This area drains into May Creek.  The same salmon bearing May Creek that empties into Lake Washington.

On rainy days such as today I think about what would happen to the sediment on steep slopes around the wall without the trees to hold it in place.

The DeLeo Wall is not in Renton city limits.  However, it is important to all people, birds, animals, and fish who live within miles of its steep slopes.

The owners were granted a logging permit from DNR in May 2018 despite letters of protest from the city of Renton, the city of Newcastle, and more than 225 citizens.  Since then the city of Newcastle has filed an appeal in court and is actively pursuing an acquisition with the help of Forterra.  At this time, however the owner is unwilling to negotiate.

Statement given by Eva Lundahl to the Renton City Council Meeting on 4/22/2019

Members of the Council:

My name is Eva Lundahl and I live in Stonegate. I am one of the co-founders of the Save DeLeo Wall Campaign.

This is the view from my back yard. I share this view with thousands of other residents in Renton who live and work in the City. The south facing hillside of Cougar Mt is visible from as far away as the Southcenter Hill. If you’ve ever played golf at the Fairwood golf club this is what you’re looking at. If you drive north from Renton to Newcastle and Bellevue, this is what you’re looking at.

 

This is what Cougar Mountain will look like after a clearcut. Logging could happen as soon as August if the City of Newcastle loses its appeal in court, which we hear is quite likely.

 

Removing all the trees from the hillside will not only put a huge scar on the mountain, it will also very likely cause an environmental disaster, right here in our backyard. Runoffs from the steep hill will negatively impact the May Creek Basin, the majority of which is located within the City of Renton. A clearcut will destroy salmon bearing streams on the hillside and remove other fragile habitats, including an active eagle’s nest. A clearcut will also pose a significant fire hazard during the dry season, threatening many homes in the area.

 

We urge Renton City Council members to support the City of Newcastle’s legal efforts to prevent this disaster.

 

We urge you to contact the property owners and pressure them to sell the property to City of Newcastle, so it can be preserved as green space. Forterra is committed to buying the property immediately and the City of Newcastle is committed to buying it back over a period of years with grant funding and funds from the community.

 

Finally, we urge you to contact state representatives and influencers in Olympia to do whatever they can to prevent the destruction of the south facing hill on Cougar Mountain. Time is of essence here so please do not wait.

 

Thank you and happy Earth Day.

April 7, 2019

The King County Grant Committee visited with representatives from the City of Newcastle, Forterra, and the Save DeLeo Wall Campaign on 4/6/2019 on the property adjacent to the DeLeo Wall. Presentations were made by the City of Newcastle and Forterra. Q&A was supported by the Save DeLeo Wall Campaign. King County will announce Grant Awards in July 2019. [photos]

The Save DeLeo Wall Campaign will be meeting with King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn on 4/9/2019.

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February 23, 2019

The Save DeLeo Wall Campaign has been invited to have a table and speak at the 3/27/2019 Newcastle Trails Annual Meeting 6:30 pm at the Newcastle Library.

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January 15, 2019

Statement given by Steve Cobert to the Newcastle City Council Meeting on 1/15/19

I am here to represent SaveDeLeoWall.

As most folks in this room know, there is a 35 acre parcel of undeveloped private land on the east edge of the city of Newcastle that is under imminent threat of being clearcut.  This property which is owned by Dalpay LLC is bordered on 2 sides by Cougar Mountain Wildland Park.  The property is covered in attractive mature forest and it is traversed by 3 scenic and popular trails.  The main feature is the Deleo Wall viewpoint that looks out over Newcastle and Renton with distant views of Mount Rainier and south Lake Washington.

The property owners have submitted a logging permit to DNR that was approved for a clearcut of 28 acres.  This clearcut would literally extend from May Valley road to the summit of Marshall’s Hill.  The scar left by a clearcut here would be highly visible and would permanently mare the currently unblemished hillside forest.

SaveDeleoWall has been working with the City of Newcastle and Forterra to try to purchase the property from Dalpay LLC.
There have been some meetings between Dalpay’s attorneys and Forterra.  As of now Dalpay has not shown a willingness to sell the property but we are hopeful that will change in the future.

The core group at SaveDeleoWall is putting up 18 thousand dollars of our personal money to fund Forterra’s efforts to negotiate with Dalpay.

The past 2 months have been very productive for other acquisitions to Cougar Mountain Wildland Park.  Recently the City of Issaquah entered a purchase agreement for the 45 acre Bergsma property on the northeast side of Cougar Mountain. This 11 million dollar agreement was a spectacular accomplishment that involved 2 years of tireless volunteer work and was made possible by a partnership between Issaquah, King County and DNR.  

Last month King County purchased a beautiful 109 acre property just east of the Deleo Wall call the Deleo Farm property.  

King County has been a great proponent for acquiring wildlands adjacent to Cougar and Squak mountain.  King County has long recognized the Dalpay property as a high priority for acquisition. We are confident that King County and DNR will lend financial support for acquiring the Dalpay property if an agreement can be made.

Finally we would like to thank the City of Newcastle for the staffing and legal support that you have made available for this cause.  We hope that you will continue to support this very worthy project that is strongly backed by the citizens of Newcastle as well as the wider community.

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December 9, 2018

Dear Save DeLeo Wall Supporter,

We want to give you a status on the potential logging of the "DeLeo Wall property", located at the southeast corner of the City of Newcastle; on the south side of Cougar Mountain.

Dalpay Properties LLC, the property owner, was granted a logging permit by the Department of Natural Resources in May 2018; despite written protests from more than 250 individuals, the City of Newcastle, and the City of Renton. After the permit was granted, the City of Newcastle filed an appeal with the Pollution and Control Hearing Board (PCHB), which is the appeals court for these types of cases (see www.eluho.wa.gov/Board/PCHB for more information). The PCHB had originally set a hearing date of March 2019.

Since summer, the City of Newcastle has been working closely with Forterra - a Seattle-based land conservation organization (see forterra.org), to negotiate with Dalpay Properties LLC, with the goal of acquiring the property and preserving it as green space. The Save DeLeo Wall Campaign has supported these efforts and will continue to do so. Short-term, we will be providing funds to cover Forterra's administrative costs but we are not engaging in a large-scale community fundraising campaign until we have a well-defined outcome and a specific monetary goal. Forterra is setting up an account so donated funds will be targeted to the Save DeLeo Wall cause.

On 11/14/2018 a Timber Cruise Report (value assessment) was completed on behalf of City of Newcastle, Forterra, and the Save DeLeo Wall Campaign. The Report provides estimates for both raw timber values and logging costs to harvest. The Report will not be made publicly available while discussions are in progress.

Last week, the PCHB decided to delay the hearing of the City's appeal based on the ongoing negotiations, until August 2019. It is still our hope that we can work together with the City of Newcastle, King County, Forterra, and the community to eventually raise the necessary funds and avoid losing the property, trails, and trees to clear-cut logging. We will continue to post updates on our website - www.savedeleowall.org - and on our Facebook page.

We need the community's on-going support and engagement to convince the City and its Council that saving DeLeo Wall is a cause worth fighting. So far, council members have been supportive and have agreed to cover the City's legal costs but their support hinges on pressure from the community.  We anticipate having to speak in front of the City Council in January and will be asking for your support beforehand - the more people who show up and speak, the better.

Please contact us if you would like to be involved in upcoming meetings, community awareness campaigns, and outreach of local decision-makers. Our email is savedeleowall@gmail.com.

Happy Holidays!

The Save DeLeo Wall Steering Committee

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