Dear Lake Cavanaugh Community Members,

The Lake Cavanaugh Trust is raising money to fight steep-slope logging logging activity on Frailey Mountain. The Trust will use donations to fight for the preservation of Lake Cavanaugh for future generations to enjoy.

Thank you, Lake Cavanaugh Trust Board Members

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Latest Update

Lake Cavanaugh Trust Update  6.15.2024

Hello Lake Cavanaugh Community,

The Lake Cavanaugh Trust would like to update everyone on the status of the Failey Mountain logging – Forest Practice Application (FPA) #2819391 and the associate SEPA Checklist that Timberline Logging Inc., with ties to Neilson Brother’s, filed this spring.

In May of 2024, Timberline submitted an FPA to log approximately 2 acres on very steep slopes and to also build a new road on Frailey Mountain that would connect the existing county road (A) off South Shore Drive, to the logging road (B) to the east, that was constructed through the residential parcel which is no longer able to be used for logging purposes. This existing logging road parallels South Shore Drive as it runs along the lake to the east. If Timberline is allowed to build this road, they will be creating access to the timber holdings across Frailey Mountain, though on their SEPA application they stated they had no other plans. So why do they need this road? Right now, there is no legally constructed access to any of the other timber holdings on Frailey Mountain.

The Trust feels strongly that Timberline’s FPA and SEPA documents do not acknowledge the potential and real threats that further road construction, road usage, and increased logging activity would pose to the environment as well as to public safety in and around the lake.

That is why as of June 12, 2024, The Lake Cavanaugh Trust has submitted comments on both the FPA as well as the SEPA Checklist documents to DNR by our attorneys. You can find both documents on our website HERE. Our hope is that DNR requires Timberline to resubmit their documents with the required, previously omitted information, and that this information, once in the light, would force DNR to deny Timberline’s FPA on the grounds we assert on our response materials.

We have a long fight ahead of us if DNR does not agree with us, our lawyers, and our expert consultants on these matters. We also anticipate additional FPA’s to be submitted by Neilsen Brothers Inc, even if this application is denied.  We need to maintain enough funds to quickly engage with expert consultants and lawyers, so we can respond within the short 15-day comment window.  Our goal is to raise at least $50,000.00.

As a 501-(c) 4 non-profit organization, the Trust relies on donations to pay our legal and consulting fees. We have no payroll/overhead expenses, and the board is not paid for their time. Our directive is to advocate for the greater community’s right to safely live and recreate in and around Lake Cavanaugh. In doing so, we also consider ourselves stewards of the natural environment. If you can, please consider donating via our website.


Thank you so much to everyone who recently donated to the cause so far, and to the many folks that have generously donated in past years. We truly appreciate your continued support:

Paul Hunsinger

Robert Thompson

Matthew Douglas

Teresa Bigelow

Deb Hudacek

Jeffery Thornburg

Michelle Newman

Jodi and Tom Kelly

Bob and Marta McCullough

Peter and Robin Jones 

Maxine and Dennis Hanger



SEPA DNS for FPA No. 2819391, File No. 24-053001

Lake Cavanaugh Trust Update  6.6.2024

SEPA Environmental Checklist 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: The DNR has handed down a Determination of Non-Significance (DNS) to the SEPA application submitted by Nielsen Brothers via Timberline Logging Inc. This means that they did not identify any "probable significant adverse environmental impacts" in the environmental checklist application!

The Lake Cavanaugh Trust does not agree with this determination by DNR. Unfortunately, we only have a few days to submit public comment. The official deadline for comment is June 13, 2024. The Lake Cavanaugh Trust will be submitting a letter through our attorney's office and we would welcome the communities help identifying "probable significant adverse environmental impacts" that Timberline's checklist omitted. 

 Please review the SEPA checklist below and send your comments to rpm32927@gmail.com.

Lastly, our donation portal is up and running. Any and all donations are greatly appreciated! 


SEPA Environmental Checklist 

Lake Cavanaugh Trust Update  6.5.2024

FPA 2819391


The Lake Cavanaugh Trust submitted an official reply to the DNR regarding  FPA 2819391 filed by Timberline Logging Inc. We are awaiting  the DNRs response to our letter which you can find and download below.

Forest Practices Application 2819391


Lake Cavanaugh Trust Update  6.29.2021

Future Logging on West Shore Drive Approved

A lake resident with property on West Shore Drive, submitted FPA 2817966 to cut timber on three parcels totaling 17.7 acres.  His application was approved by DNR on May 19, 2021.  His property borders the north side of West Shore Drive from 33158 (west end) to 33254 (east end) and parcels 67000 and 67001 (almost at end of West Shore Drive) on the south side of West Shore Drive.  There are no extenuating circumstances restricting this timber cut.  No appeal was made by the Trust.  The resident has three years to complete the timber harvest.  

Forest Practices Application 2817966

Lake Cavanaugh Trust Update  2.09.2021

The Trust monitors DNR Forest Practice Applications (FPAs) relating to the Lake Cavanaugh area.  In December a Lake Cavanaugh private land owner submitted an FPA 2817798, to log his two lots and create a road from South Shore Drive to his property line, which abuts Nielsen Brother’s parcel currently in the process of being logged.  This application was denied by DNR for the following reasons:  the proposed road was on an active alluvial fan, within a channel migration zone, missing an assessment form, and missing a required geotechnical analysis if the landowner felt DNR was not correct.

As a result of the denial, a new FPA 2817826 was filed in January.  Upon perusal of the FPA, inconsistencies appeared between the previous and new FPA:  appearance of a stream not shown on any previous maps, a road that appeared to go to nowhere (critical in DNR law and allowances), construction of a road on an active alluvial fan, proposed road crosses a parcel subject to plat restrictions, and it is part of a larger West Side Logging FPA.

Thanks to our lawyer and his knowledge of Washington law, he was able to point out the reasons why DNR should deny this FPA. 

We’re happy to report that the FPA was denied by DNR (Department of Natural Resources).  It remains to be seen if the property owner will reapply.     

If you would like to read the FPAs and see the visuals included click on FPA 2817798 and FPA 2817826.  

Forest Practices Application 2817798

Forest Practices Application 2817826

Bamboo Lane Cedar Salvage

Lake Cavanaugh Trust Update  9.23.2020

FPA 2817617

Weyerhaeuser owns four land parcels on North Shore Drive (P18443, P18440, P18415, and P18419), which were logged in the past couple of years. FPA 2817617 submitted by Weyerhaeuser was approved for cedar salvage on September 11, 2020.   The FPA covers 588 acres and is named Bamboo Lane Cedar Salvage.  Time frame to get salvage completed is from now to September 02, 2023.

Here are details from DNR about what is involved in this cedar salvage.  Old growth cedar stumps are usually left 5-10 feet high when the timber is originally cut.  Crews will go into the area and gather individual dead, dying, downed trees and/or wind thrown trees.   NO live trees will be felled or harvested and NO stumps will be pulled.  Crews work for one to two weeks cutting and wrapping piles of cedar.  When finished wrapping all the piles within the entire area, helicopter removal of the piles begins.  It is estimated helicopter removal will take 2-3 days to complete .  They will be using existing roads that were constructed for the original timber cut. 

Cedar prices are extremely good now; thus the salvage operation.

See the map below: blue lines outline FPA area 

DNR Lawsuit Update

Lake Cavanaugh Trust Update  6-22-2020

It is with a sad heart that I have to tell you that the Trust has officially withdrawn its appeal of the case against Nielsen Brothers Inc.  Nielsen Brothers have logged much of Unit 1 including the critical trees on the alluvial fan.  May 15th was the day logging could begin.  Our Motion for Stay was denied by the Pollution Control Hearing Board on May 14th.  They started logging Unit 1 on June 5th and per their lawyer cut the trees on the alluvial fan and all of Unit 1.  Road construction is still going on as I write this.

The Trust’s basis of the Motion for Stay was the illegal proposed harvest of the trees on an active alluvial fan.  Nielsen Brothers and DNR stated it was “inactive”, our expert stated it was “active”.  In addition, it was pointed out that our hearing had been scheduled for April 22, 2020 but due to Covid 19 was postponed by PCHB until June 22, 2020.  The Trust had purposefully scheduled the hearing in April to be before the May 15 deadline.

In denying our Motion for Stay, PCHB stated,”…..On the technical question of the status of IAF-1(alluvial fan), it is also appropriate to give deference to DNR as the agency with specialized knowledge and expertise in this area of forest practices regulation.”  The PCHB did not take into account the main reason for the Motion for Stay----the fact that the hearing was delayed due to Covid 19 and thus past the cut date of May 15.  

The trees on the alluvial fan are cut as are most of the trees in Unit 1, the damage has been done.  Therefore, there is no reason to pursue it further with PCHB and incur more legal costs.

Our lawyers filed a Withdrawal of Appeal on June 10 with PCHB and PCHB sent an official dismissal acknowledgement on June 11th.  Case is closed on this Forest Practices Application (FPA).

It is hard to accept that we lost the battle but the Trust did make a difference.  Nielsen Brothers Inc. submitted 4 different FPAs with 6 changes in total to these FPAs all covering the same area.  Why did they do this?  Because we kept challenging what they were doing.  As a result the area that was logged, and may be logged, in Units 2 & 3 (Bob McCullough’s civil case) has been reduced.  The Trust doggedly challenged issues like setbacks for streams and surrounding marble murrelet area, and steep slopes.  

The Trust attempted to discuss purchase of the land and also tried to mediate issues with Nielsen Brothers.  They did not want to talk about a purchase nor negotiate the various proposals we presented.  They clearly wanted to log the area.

The Road A issue with Skagit County Public Works goes down as another loss.  In 1994 it was decided that the right of way could not be opened for access to the same area that Nielsen Brothers Inc. now owns.  All of our calls, emails (over 90) objecting to the opening of that right of way to Public Works did no good.  39 of you showed up on July 3, 2019 for a Commissioners meeting.  The Trust prepared a 100 page booklet for all three commissioners with your objections to the opening of the right of way and concerns about safety for you and your homes with accompanying photos.  It was pointed out what the proposed cutting on such steep slopes could do given the history of slides in this area.  Evidence of past slides and flooding in the area covering the proposed logging was presented. The commissioners listened, talked to Public Works and gave their OK.  Times are different now it seems than in 1994.  

It has been nearly two years that the Trust has been involved in this fight.  We are proud that we have been able to make a difference in what will happen within this current FPA, but frustrated by the way PCHB handled this hearing.  We know that Nielsen Brothers Inc. intends to log the entire parcel of land they purchased in 2018.  This current FPA is a small portion of that land purchase.  The Trust will continue to monitor their actions and fight any additional Forest Practice Applications they submit.

Thank you to those who contributed monetarily and all the others who gave us encouragement.  We may have lost these battles but we are not going away and will continue to fight for the preservation of the lake and the land surrounding Lake Cavanaugh.

Continue to check the Trust website for information:   www.lakecavanaughtrust.com


Cathy Katte, President


And the rest of the Lake Cavanaugh Trust team: Tracie Douglas, Kimberle Brown, Bob McCullough, and Alex McCullough

Lake Cavanaugh Trust Update 5-18-2020 

The Motion for Stay decision by the Pollution Control Hearing Board (PCHB) has been made and it was not in our favor. The Trust had compelling arguments but unfortunately the PCHB addressed the issue of the alluvial fan, stating they feel the fan is inactive with the burden of proof on the Trust. The Trust’s expert feels it is an active  alluvial fan. PCHB stated “On the technical question of status of an inactive alluvial fan, it is also appropriate to give deference to DNR as the agency with specialized knowledge and expertise in this area of forest practices regulation.” This statement coupled with the fact that they did not address the delay of the trial from April 21 to June 22 (due to covid 19) is upsetting. Had the hearing been in April, there would have been no need for a motion for stay. This motion for stay dealt with Unit 1 only, the far western parcel of land accessed by Road A. What does this all mean? It means timber harvest can begin any time after May 15. 

Of course, the road to access the timber needs to be built first. Skagit County Public Works approved the use of the unopened County right-of-way on South Shore Drive and will review the paperwork presented by Nielsen Brothers addressing four conditions that must be met before granting the final OK to build Road A. This has been in the works for a week and should be done and approved by early this week. Then, building of the road can commence. Unfortunately, results generated by a legal approach don’t always match expectations which can frequently result in frustration of the “system”.

The Trust will proceed with the PCHB hearing on June 22. We feel our expert witness has persuasive arguments in both his presentation and the question/answer time on the
stand, to show the alluvial fan is active and timber harvest will do potential harm to property downslope of it. Our intention is to continue the fight to preserve and manage the natural environment in the area surrounding our beautiful lake.

Lake Cavanaugh Trust Update 3.6.2020

The Lake Cavanaugh Trust hearing scheduled for April 21, 2020 has been changed to June 22, 2020 due to the covid 19 pandemic. This is not good news for our case. Part of legal negotiations stated that no logging would be done from September 30 through May 15. Unfortunately, this means Nielsen Brothers could ask DNR to start timber cutting after May 15, which is now before our hearing date.

The previous negotiations set the hearing for April 21, 2020 knowing that a decision would come 2 weeks later, which would be before the May 15 possible timber cutting start date.

Now that the trial is June 22 nd , we anticipate that Nielsen Brothers could ask for the right to begin and finish cutting before our hearing date of June 22. If this is the case, then the hearing would be a moot point. Our law firm asked Nielsen Brothers if they would agree to not cut until after the decision of the hearing board. Their answer was “No”.

We are now preparing a “motion to stay” to prohibit them from logging any of the parcels involved in the current FPA until after a decision has been reached at our June 22 nd
hearing. The Pollution Control Hearing Board (PCHB) will decide if we have a strong enough case to justify this stay, and, if so, they set the dollar amount of the stay with input from both parties. The Trust will then be required to post a bond, which will be held in escrow until after the June 22 nd hearing decision has been made. This cost is an
expense we were not anticipating.

What does all this mean? Simply, that the Trust is asking you for a donation. We realize this could not come at a worse time for many of you during these uncertain times. The Trust has worked tirelessly since September 2018; your help is now needed to get us to the finish line.

Please send your donation to:

    Lake Cavanaugh Trust
    16004 73 rd Place W
    Edmonds, WA 98026

Lake Cavanaugh Trust Update 3.17.2020

Trial date in Bellingham is set for April 21, 2020. The number of days is reduced to one day due to our lawyer’s recommendation. Our case covered units 1, 2 and 3 in FPA
2817112 for a total proposed harvest of 24.7 acres. Once our experts were allowed upon the proposed property, geological, wetlands, and biological surveys were
conducted. Upon receipt of their analysis of the areas, it was clear we did not have a strong case with regards to geology/steep slopes, wetland issues and stream classifications. Please note that all of these definitions are governed by Washington State Forest Practice Application’s definitions and regulations 

Our case is now focused on unit 1, which has a proposed harvest of 3.6 acres. This is the far west unit shown on the ‘Proposed Harvest Areas Map’ in the Map section of the website. Access to Unit 1 is via the approved permitted abandoned road, which is located just east of 33024 South Shore Drive.

This land belongs to Skagit County and was the access to the original logging around the lake which ended in 1944. Skagit County Public Works approved the application submitted by Nielsen Brothers to use this property for access to Unit 1.

The Lake Cavanaugh Trust has appealed the building of this road on DNR’s property. The appeal is based on a wrongful use of Forest Practice Application’s rules on DNR land. The approved Public Works request concerns only the area on Skagit County property and does not apply to the proposed road on DNR property. Without the DNR land the road will not access the timber parcel.


In 1994 the Lake Cavanaugh Trust was formed by concerned lake property owners to fight the Weyerhaeuser Company plan to log its Frailey Mountain property.

The Trust was set up as a Washington nonprofit corporation.  Its purpose is the preservation and management of the natural environment in the Lake Cavanaugh water shed and surrounding lands. 

Weyerhaeuser’s intent was to clear cut the entire area, 5 parcels.  Residents banned together and with the Trust’s direction launched campaigns against logging, hired an environmental law firm and went to court to stop the logging.  It was felt that Frailey Mountain was too steep and the possibility of slides existed.  Many hours of volunteer work and costly legal fees succeeded in stopping Weyerhaeuser.  Ironically, it was stopped due to the access road being denied.  No access, no timber cutting. 

The Trust had no other issues after the Weyerhaeuser court case but continued its non-profit status until 2018 when it became inactive.  The Trust was reinstated on November 9, 2018 to lead the fight against Nielsen Brothers Logging’s applications to log Frailey Mountain. 

The land that Weyerhaeuser owned was bought by Nielsen Brothers Logging on June 6, 2018 for $655,000.  The parcels total approximately 296 acres.  The Large Block:  P67021, P66776, P18456, P18450 and the Small Block:  P18488  (view map on sales brochure).


LCT Response to Forest Practice Application 2819391 

Forest Practice Application 2819391 History


Forest Practice Application 2817112 History

Forest Practices Application/Notification

Skagit County approval of unopend road


Sales brochure of Weyerhaeuser Property: Frailey Mountain timber parcels.

Cavanaugh proposed harvest units (West, Middle, and East) on Frailey Mountain

Slope stability map of Frailey Mountain with structures shown on back and lakeside lots

Streams and proposed roads in timber units on Frailey Mountain




Alexander McCullough, President

    Kimberle Brown, Treasurer

    Bob McCullough, Director

    Mailing Address:                          Kimberle Brown, Treasurer

                                                                 16004 73rd Place W

                                                                 Edmonds, WA  98026