Friends of the Teanaway was formed in late 2009 in response to a move by American Forest Resources (AFR), then the owner of about 46,000 acres in the valley, to have large portions of their land holdings removed from commercial forest status. At a well-attended public meeting at the local grange hall, AFR presented their plan for a “Fully Contained Community” on about 900 acres in the very heart of the valley. They also outlined plans for more dispersed residential development on hundreds more acres. Soon after announcing their development plans, a scandal erupted related to the unlawful removal of county public records by AFR personnel. This scandal, along with the crash of the real estate market, put a damper on development schemes in the valley.
On June 30, 2013, the Washington State legislature approved a budget which included the allocation of $100 million dollars for the purchase of all private commercial timberlands owned by American Forest Land Company in the Teanaway Valley. The purchase was an initial step in implementation of the ambitious Yakima River Water Resource Plan. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources was given primary responsibility for the management of this timberland and was directed to collaborate with the Department of Fish and Wildlife in the establishment of the Teanaway Community Forest Advisory Committee. This committee includes representatives from the Department of Ecology, the local community, land conservation organizations, the Yakama Nation, the Kittitas county commission and local agricultural interests.
Friends of the Teanaway remains committed to monitoring development pressures and to promoting and supporting efforts at the local, state and federal levels to protect the natural beauty and ecological integrity of the valley.