January 2016 update: the trail is safe for now, and it appears this whole debacle will actually result in much-need improvements and promotion of the trail. See articles from BikingBis, Seattle Bike Blog and the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.
Update: turns out it was much shadier. Write your representatives to prevent this from happening again.
The Spokane Spokesman Review and Biking Bis are reporting that a large section of the John Wayne trail near Malden may be given over to private landowners, preventing public usage. While this admittedly an underused and underdeveloped portion of the trail, this action will remove any chance of ever developing this section of the cross-state route.