On June 15th, 2007 some folks traveling along the Mt. Loop Highway east of Granite Falls, Washington took notice of a new “Notice of Proposed Land Use” sign posted near milepost 6. Upon further examination it was realized that promoters of a new motocross park had applied for rezoning and a Conditional Use Permit for 435 acres of land to be used for racing events, practices and concessions.
A few hours of on-line research into the human, wildlife, and environmental impacts of such a facility lead a small group of neighbors to immediately organize in opposition. One of those present was Bruce Barnbaum, the person who had lead a group known as The Stillaguamish Citizens Alliance (SCA) in the early 90’s to oppose rock quarry construction along the Mt. Loop Highway. Bruce suggested the new group take on the dormant SCA name and elect new officers. The group agreed, and formal opposition to the motocross complex had begun.
On September 13th, 2007 the group voted to adopt a new name The Mountain Loop Conservancy to better reflect the long-term mission of preserving the scenic, natural beauty along the Mountain Loop Highway.
For those who use the Mt. Loop Highway east of Granite Falls, please be aware
of a major proposed project that if allowed to develop will completely change
the quiet and natural beauty enjoyed by so many. Whether you live, hike,
bike, fish or just enjoy an occasional scenic drive along this beautiful
2-lane highway east of Granite Falls, you will be impacted.
The proposal is for a 75 acre motocross complex on 435 acres of forest land to be rezoned from Forestry to Forestry and Recreation. The three racetracks are to be developed along the north side of the highway approximately 6 miles east of Granite Falls. The same promoter, Paul Thomas Motorcycle Parks, recently tried to develop a similar project in the Maltby area but was defeated after nearly 1200 people sent letters of protest- the largest number of opposition letters in the history of Snohomish County. It is assumed Mr. Thomas has chosen this quiet rural area in hopes that fewer voices of opposition will be heard.
Motocross tracks are, by nature, environmentally unfriendly. The noise and pollution they produce make it difficult for these facilities to find a suitable location, and existing tracks are being closed or relocated throughout the country as communities become less tolerant of the noise and environmental costs. Noise levels in areas surrounding the proposed complex will increase by 100-600% depending on location, impacting the residential and recreational users and a large variety of wildlife, including two threatened and endangered species living on and near the site. The track is expected to draw roughly 150 riders on weekdays, up to 400 riders on weekends and hundreds or even thousands, including spectators, during national circuit events. This extra burden on the Mt. Loop Highway will make travel more difficult and dangerous for residents, recreation enthusiasts and the many aggregate trucks using the road. There are approximately 165 parking spaces proposed, yet some events will draw hundreds of participants and spectators resulting in long lines of parked cars along the shoulders. Motocross enthusiasts have every right to enjoy their activity, but only in non-residential areas where such use will not impact wildlife and the environment.
What can you do? Those opposing the project can email officials involved. Your voice will help keep the Mt. Loop Highway scenic, quiet and safe for future generations. You can download a petition to print and gather signatures for us. Please contact us if you'd like to help, or make a donation.