File photo/ Angela Nickerson: A photo at Wallace Falls State Park in 2015.
File photo/ Angela Nickerson: A photo at Wallace Falls State Park in 2015.

A swath of the Singletary timber sale north of Gold Bar may be safe for at least four years.

The Snohomish County executive and county council passed a joint resolution Wednesday that supports the Washington State Department of Natural Resources setting aside 25 acres of timberland.

“The best thing about this is helping our junior taxing districts finally being made whole, or begin the process of being made whole,” said District 5 Councilmember Sam Low. “And also most importantly, it bring jobs into Snohomish County, and jobs into the first district with the lumber mill. That is what this resolution is about.”

The 4,735-acre management area is located roughly 5 miles north of Gold Bar. Scenic features include the Wallace Falls State Park’s namesake — a 265-foot waterfall — camping, biking trails and backcountry lakes.

Low worked closely with DNR Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz to draft the resolution. The decision is not final until the DNR puts it to a vote Tuesday, Feb. 7, in Olympia.

Through the resolution, the county acknowledged the need for timber harvests, the finances of which go toward special service districts, such as the Sno-Isle Libraries, the Sultan School District, Valley General Hospital and Fire District 26.

The minimum bid for the sale is less than $1.8 million, according to a DNR Timber Notice of Sale agreement.

The original acreage was 187, according to the resolution. Sections of both planned and existing hiking trails — a major draw for tourists and locals alike — would be wiped out during logging if the 25 acres are not saved.

Gold Bar Mayor Lee Hodo said previously he is very concerned the impact to the popular 12-mile trail system will negatively affect the restaurants and businesses in town, which are patronized by many of the state park’s visitors.

The original sale auction was set for 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, but the county is also asking DNR to postpone it for up to one month. The DNR and county will then work together to draft a proposal that includes 25 acres of forest adjacent to existing or planned trails that will be deferred from harvest.

The 25 acres will still be open to future harvests after four years, but during that time the county plans to come up with other revenue sources to support the special service districts. If DNR does not approve of a reduced sale before March 31, the resolution requests the state proceed with the full 187-acre sale on Feb. 22.