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Lake Cavanaugh Trust

16004 73rd Place West

Edmonds, WA  98026

DNR Lawsuit Update

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.

Breach of Covenant Lawsuit

March 17, 2020

Breach of Covenant Lawsuit

Bob McCullough, a Lake Cavanaugh resident at 32927 South Shore Drive, has filed a lawsuit against two
companies that propose to use a lot – 33242 South Shore Drive – in the Lake Cavanaugh subdivision #3
for ingress and egress to log portions of approximately 300 acres on Frailey Mountain.
When the original subdivisions for Lake Cavanaugh were platted back in 1948, there were restrictions
placed on the lots that prohibits commercial use of the lots. Restriction #3 of Lake Cavanaugh
Subdivision #3, where 33242 South Shore Drive is located, states: No Lots shall be used for commercial
business or manufacturing purposes.

It is believed the reason that the companies want to use the property - 33242 South Shore Drive – is that
it is more expensive to use other dedicated rights-of-ways to access the harvest areas. Environmental
restrictions make accessing their proposed harvest areas more difficult and costly which may be why
Weyerhaeuser sold the property before logging it in the first place.

A Breach of Covenant suit was filed in October 2019 to enforce the covenants that prohibit lots in Lake
Cavanaugh Subdivision No. 3 from being used for commercial business. The suit is presently pursuing
discovery to better assess how they intend to use the Property. Unfortunately, the defendants have not
provided the legally required response to the requested discovery and so now a Motion to Compel has
been filed with the court asking the court to make them follow the law. Once the discovery materials are
received, the assessment and preparation of arguments can be completed, and the suit can proceed to
the hearing. There is no date for the hearing yet as the companies have not complied and have not
provided the required materials. Once the date has been set, an update will be posted.
While it is impossible to predict how a court might rule, this is a very strong case and the courts should
uphold the covenants and prevent the use of 33242 South Shore Drive for this commercial business

To date, Bob has covered all the costs of this suit personally but has been pledged financial support from
many residents at the lake that are dedicated to protecting and preserving our property rights.

To donate to the war chest, you can send checks payable to:

       Amicus Law Group PC IOLTA Account
       Attn: Lake Cavanaugh
       1325 Fourth Avenue, Suite 940
       Seattle, WA 98101

Add Lake Cavanaugh on the Memo line on your check.

All donations will be tracked, and all unused portions will be returned pro rata to the contributor once
the case is resolved. You can email Bob at if you have questions and/or
want to offer or pledge your support.

This lawsuit is not affiliated with The Lake Cavanaugh Trust or The Lake Cavanaugh Improvement



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).


Lake Cavanaugh Trust from 2018 to December 2019

September 26, 2018 Nielsen Brothers Logging filed an FPA 281660 with DNR to log 18.4 acres in the following parcel: P67021, P66954, P18456, and P66766.  Citizens have 30 days to send comments to DNR questioning/objecting to the application.  The Trust and property owners wrote letters and emails to both Skagit County and DNR objecting on the grounds that the area to be logged was too steep, prone to slides already and fearing more and greater slides as a result of the timber cutting.  Another concern was water degradation as slide debris would contaminate the lake water ruining habit and harming those that draw their drinking water from the lake. 

At this same time Nielsen Brothers applied to Skagit County to open an unopened County right-of-way.  This right of way would be access to Parcel 67021, the far west parcel in the proposed cut.

Skagit County approved the access to the right-of-way with four conditions that must be met before construction can begin on the right-of-way on January 7, 2019.  This right-of-way is owned by Skagit County and is between 33016 South Shore Drive and P66971 east of the right-of-way.  Both are back lots with P66971 with no address on the roadway.  See the letter from Skagit County Public Works for more details.

On October 19, 2018 Nielsen Brothers Logging filed FPA 2816688 to log an additional 6.5 acres on P66776 and P18456.  Different areas but within the same Parcels that were slated on FP 281660. 

Total timber cut within the two FPAs equal 24.9 acres.

FPA 2816688 was withdrawn on November 16, 2018 to resubmit with changes.

The Trust filed an appeal with DNR pointing out non adherence with DNR regulations and concern again with steep slopes, slides, water degradation, and stream crossings.

FPA 2816660 was approved on October 11, 2018 and then withdrawn on November 21, 2018.

On June 12, 2019 Nielsen Brothers Logging filed FPA 2817007, another more detailed application with DNR with a harvest of 24.7 acres.  The Trust challenged the application and it was withdrawn on July 11, 2019.

And now to the current FPA 2817112,which was filed by Nielsen Brothers Logging on July 30, 2019, same harvest area of 24.7 acres.  This is the most detailed of the preceding FPAs.  Icicle Creek Engineers redid their geological report, an updated ford crossing over streams M and L was presented along with and larger culverts for most streams.  The FPA was approved by  DNR and is now in the appeals process with the Pollution Control Hearing Board.  Court date is April 21-23, 2020.

To view any of these FPA’s go to :

And insert the number of the FPA


WHY: We all bought property at Lake Cavanaugh because we loved the pristine surrounding area, the clean lake and the refuge away from bustling, noisy cities. The proposed logging threatens both our safety and water quality. We fear that this timber cut will trigger damaging, potentially deadly, landslides. The potential for water degradation from mudslide debris is alarming, particularly for those who depend on getting their water from the lake.

WHO: The Lake Cavanaugh Trust was originally formed in 1994 to fight proposed Weyerhaeuser logging on Frailey Mountain. We won that case. Nielsen Brothers, a logging company, bought this same property from Weyerhaeuser in 2018. They have twice tried to get permission to log, but the Lake Cavanaugh Trust has succeeded in stopping them. Our Trust attorney, geologist and environmental experts are currently fighting against Nielsen’s latest appeal to log. We have a scheduled court date in April 2020, to require a State Environmental Impact Act (SEPA), see attached.

Bob McCullough, a longtime lake resident, has recently filed lawsuits seeking to reverse the Skagit County permit granted Nielsen Brothers to use residential zoned property to be used for commercial purposes, see attached for more details. The Trust and Bob McCullough have joined forces, creating a two-prong effort to stop or severely limit Nielsen Brothers attempt to log Frailey Mountain. 

WHERE:  The proposed area to be logged is above South Shore, approximately a quarter of a mile from the west end of the lake all the way to the fire station, see attached map.

WHAT do we need from you? Your generous contributions to win these legal battles.  Lawyers, geologists, wetland biologists, and other experts cost a significant amount of money. We need your support to continue the fight to save our lake!

                     THANK YOU:               Cathy Katte, President

                                                              Tracie Douglas, Secretary

                                                              Kimberle Brown, Treasurer

                                                              Bob McCullough, Director


                     MAIL TO:                     Kimberle Brown, Treasurer

                                                             16004 73rd Place W

                                                             Edmonds, WA  98026      



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