Washington DNR

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  • Preserving Washington’s biggest and best tidal surge plain
    Tucked between Montesano and Cosmopolis near the mouth of the Chehalis River rests Washington’s largest and highest-quality coastal surge plain wetland. The Chehalis River Surge Plain Natural Area Preserve is a 4,493-acre site that protects rare plant communities and species that thrive in the estuary environment where fresh and salt water systems meet. It is one of the 94 Natural Areas conserved by the Washington Department of Natural Resources for their high-quality native ecosystems and rare species or communities of species. Visitors to this minimally impacted, rural surge plain can learn about wetland function, use of the area by a variety of species, and the cultural significance of the site. DNR wants to continue to enhance these opportunities for visitors. That’s why the agency has submitted a $1.5 million Environmental Resilience budget request for the 2019-2021 Biennium to the State Legislature. A portion of that request for management of DNR Natural Areas will cover invasive weed control and facilities maintenance at the Chehalis River Surge Plain. DNR is also requesting a $55,000 investment from the state capital budget for future trail improvements and bridge and sign installation in the area. surge glain “The Chehalis River Surge Plain gives families and children an incredible opportunity to get outside and enjoy our state’s Natural Areas together,” Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz said. “In a time when we are so often looking at screens, it’s critical for our kids to have opportunities to ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2019-04-08
    2 weeks ago
  • New maps help you walk away from tsunami
    [embedded content] Knowing where to walk and how long it might take to get there can be one of the most important pieces of information for anyone in Washington’s coastal communities when a tsunami strikes. People that live work and play near the coast in Washington State are at risk for tsunamis. Our main causes of tsunamis in Washington are from earthquakes and landslides. If you feel an earthquake, that’s your warning and you should evacuate and get to high ground immediately. ger_tsunami_walkmap_aberdeen_hoquiam_cosmopolis_for_screen_150dpi[1]That’s why the geologists at the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have just published evacuation walk time maps for Port Angeles, Bellingham, Anacortes, Aberdeen, Hoquiam and Cosmopolis. These maps, produced by the Washington Geological Survey within DNR, show the time it would take to evacuate on foot from the tsunami inundations zones of a Cascadia subduction zone earthquake. The walking pace is modeled at a slow walk pace, using the timing of crosswalks, adjusted for different terrain. ger_tsunami_walkmap_anacortes_for_screen_150dpi[1]Using models of a Cascadia earthquake, the maps use colors to indicate how many minutes it would take to walk to safety at a moderate pace within these communities. Waves from a Cascadia earthquake-induced tsunami could reach Aberdeen in as soon as 15 to 20 minutes. 319 years since Cascadia last quaked The geologic record shows ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2019-04-05
    2 weeks ago
  • Wildfires Already? We’re Working Hard, and Need Your Help, Too
    Winter hadn’t even ended, but helicopters dumped buckets of water over wildfires. Engines with 10-person hand crews rushed to the front lines, and our dispatch centers quickly allocated resources to the threatened Western Washington communities. You read that right: Western Washington. Since Monday, firefighters responded to 50 wildfires in Washington state, with 49 of those were on the west side.  During a few of those fires, law enforcement ordered evacuations and road closures for Kelso and Longview residents in Cowlitz County on Wednesday. (Find the latest info on that fire here.) Washington State Department of Natural Resources Meteorologist Josh Clark, who forecasts fire weather and danger, calls this dry spell on the western side of the state an anomaly. Screen Shot 2019-03-21 at 1.31.53 PMA firefighter at work during late winter/early spring wildfires. “Offshore, easterly winds are a known, somewhat common, critical fire weather pattern for Western Washington where high pressure sets up east of the Cascades and low pressure on the west side. These winds usually come with warm and very dry conditions that promote considerable west side fire activity,” Clark said. This event stands out not because of the phenomenon but the timing. Generally, this pattern occurs during our peak fire season in late August through early October. To have east winds in excess of 35-50 mph, relative humidities between 11 and25 percent, and temperatures reaching near ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2019-03-21
    4 weeks ago
  • It’s International Day of Forests – Do You Know What A Healthy Forest Looks Like?
    As Washington state and much of the West struggles with more damaging wildfire seasons, you might hear policy experts and elected officials use terms like “forest health” or “forest resiliency” when talking about ways to reduce wildfire risk – but what exactly does that mean? And what does a healthy forest look like here in The Evergreen State? The answer might surprise you. This International Day of Forests, we break it down: What is a healthy forest? Simply put, a forest is healthy if the trees can access the nutrients, water and sunlight they needs to thrive and reproduce, and the forest is resilient to disturbances such as insects, disease, and fire. A healthy forest will also have a better chance of withstanding the effects of climate change. It’s a common misconception, however, that for a forest to be healthy, it must be lush – filled with a dense under story and an abundance of trees – and that a landscape is healthier if it has more trees in it. Depending on the region, a healthy forest can look much different. read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2019-03-21
    4 weeks ago
  • ‘Be A Part Of Something Bigger’: Women in Wildfire
    She started fighting fires right out of high school. Digging line, packing a 40-pound bag of water over rough terrain, sometimes working all day and night for Jennifer Bammert, it was about giving the fight all you got. Jennifer Bammert out in the field, talking to reporters. Image: Ellensburg Daily News “All the women here can do the job,” Bammert told the Ellensburg Daily Record in 1994. “I think if you do your best and try hard … you’ll be recognized.” DNR promoted Bammert to crew supervisor, where she acted as incident commander, instructing firefighters and making decisions on suppression. In her 14th season, during a large fire response, she directed 30 firefighters and was the only woman. All while keeping a baby-sitter on call for her son. For her then fellow part-time firefighters at DNR like Laurie Cox and Vicki Christiansen it’s a similar story. They quickly gained respect for their grit on the fireline and love of protecting our forests. “After my first year of firefighting and being with 19 other guys, I was hooked,” Cox said. “There wasn’t a lot of women in the agency at the time. I paved the way myself. Firefighter Laurie Cox getting ready to work on the fire line. Cox went on to be a forester, who now oversees the Family Forest Fish Passage Program, and she’s an organizer of the largest wildland fire training program in the state. This is now Bammert’s 39th fire season. She is still ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2019-03-08
    1 month ago
  • ‘A win-win-win’: DNR enters first lease for solar power generation on state lands
    For the first time, large-scale solar power generation is coming to Washington’s public lands. Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz announced Wednesday that the Washington State Department of Natural Resources is entering into an agreement with a utility company to lease 480 acres of state trust lands in Klickitat County as part of a 150-megawatt solar power project. Portland-based Avangrid Renewables agreed to a 40-year lease for the property, near the town of Bickleton, and expects to start transmitting power late next year. But the site will be generating more than electricity – it will also bring in $120,000 each year for schools across the state. “Solar power is a win-win-win for the people of Washington,” said Commissioner Franz, the elected official who oversees DNR. “It generates significant revenue for our schools while creating jobs and providing clean, affordable energy to our homes and businesses.” [embedded content] Solar power may be new to DNR, but the department already has an expansive clean energy program anchored by wind energy. Each year, turbines on state trust land generate 200 megawatts of power and raise $1.2 million for school construction and other public services. The Bickleton lease is not a one-off project – DNR has two other parcels in Eastern Washington that are currently up for lease for solar power generation, and more than a dozen companies have expressed interest in using upwards of 30 tracts of state land to create solar power. “Our goal is to produce 500 megawatts of solar power ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2019-03-07
    1 month ago
  • Check your burn pile! Is it completely out?
    Follow the outdoor burning rules before lighting any fire. Keep in mind that the major human cause of wildfires in Washington is outdoor burning. These escaped wildfires are investigated and, if you are found guilty, you can be fined. If burning is allowed in your area, the only material that can be burned is natural vegetation grown on the property where the burning occurs. Also, remember to be careful that smoke is not a nuisance to your neighbors.Please know the rules before starting any outdoor burning. It also is illegal to use burn barrels in Washington. DNR wants to encourage a variety of ways to rid your yard of waste instead of burning it. Since you run the risk of an escaped fire when burning (not to mention smoke pollution), why not consider different ways to do away with that yard waste. Compost it – It’s a practical and convenient approach for disposing of yard waste. Any vegetable matter can be composted. Organic material, such as fallen leaves, grass clippings, weeds, and the remains of garden plants, make excellent compost. Chip it – Turn large branches and debris into mulch. If you don’t already own a chipper, check with your local equipment rental agency. Invite your neighbors to join in to make it more cost efficient for everyone. Use curbside pickup. Take it to the landfill. We talk about fire prevention every day at DNR, so when it’s time for you to clean up your property from yard waste, please consider an ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2019-03-04
    2 months ago
  • Wildfire Contractors Needed
    Want to help fight fires and protect communities across Washington? In advance of fire season, DNR is reaching out to local communities to help people understand how to provide fire suppression resources to wildland firefighting efforts. If you are interested in joining the qualified, trained, and available equipment operators who help DNR during wildfire season, check out our webpage for information on how to become a “Call When Needed” vendor. Are you new to providing wildfire suppression equipment? DNR is offering two Operator Safety Trainings for non-VIPR resources. All non-VIPR resources can sign up to be in a source list for Emergency Equipment Rental Agreements (EERA). This provides a statewide database of preseason vendor information to be used in combination with VIPR resources on DNR incidents. EllensburgMarch 19 and 22 at 9 a.m.Southeast Region Office713 Bowers RoadEllensburg, WAContact: Spencer Slyfield at [email protected] WenatcheeMarch 22 and 27 at 9 a.m.Wenatchee Work Center5552 Industry LaneEast Wenatchee, WAContact: Bobby LaPoint at [email protected] Fire Suppression Resource Availability Agreements, commonly referred to as ”Call When Needed” Agreements, are preseason agreements used to support or engage in wildland firefighting. These agreements serve as an organized way to show DNR what private resources are available for hire within a specific geographic area or for their service specialty.  DNR uses these preseason agreements to establish a pool of qualified, trained, and available vendors who can provide equipment and services in a timely fashion, upon request. For people who want to learn how to provide resources for wildland fire suppression and what ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2019-03-01
    2 months ago
  • Homeowners take proactive steps to reduce wildfire risk on their forestland
    Brent Steinhart understands fire danger – he’s a volunteer with Spokane County Fire District 4. So when he looked at the dense forest surrounding his home, he knew he had to act quickly to reduce his vulnerability to a wildfire. Steinhart and his wife, Corey, worked with a Washington State Department of Natural Resources forester in the spring of 2017 to identify 1.5 acres of high-risk forest on their land. The Steinharts own 20 acres in the wildland urban interface – areas in our state where human development, such as homes and businesses, meet natural areas, including forests and grasslands. Private residents own a significant amount of forestland in Washington, and problems like bark beetles, drought, and overly dense forests all contribute to a forest health crisis that’s making it easier for severe wildfires to spread. That’s why DNR works with small forest landowners to reduce wildfire risk on their property, including through forest health treatments like thinning and wood chipping. Before and after photos of the Steinharts’ property. The Steinharts, both in their 50s, decided on a do-it-yourself forest thinning project. The area they tackled had tall ponderosa and lodgepole pine, crowded with smaller pine and Douglas fir. To dispose of the excess vegetation and smaller trees, they used some for firewood and chipped the rest. Through this work, they significantly reduced their ladder fuels – the vegetation tall enough to spread flames into the upper crowns of large trees. In all, the project cost DNR $1,260 in incentives. ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2019-02-28
    2 months ago
  • Volunteer Fire Assistance Phase 1 grant opens March 8, 2019
    Fire districts can order personal protective equipment (PPE) at 50% cost. Several factors affect the impact of wildfire in Washington, including the capacity of rural fire districts to respond to wildfires.That’s where DNR’s Fire District Assistance Program can help. We administer grants to help local fire districts and departments obtain more resources. Eligible fire districts and departments can order personal protective equipment (PPE) and other fire equipment at 50 percent cost through the DNR Fire Cache beginning March 8, 2019. USDA Forest Service Volunteer Fire Assistance grant funding pays the other 50 percent. Districts and departments can place orders for reduced cost PPE through an online shopping cart until April 30, 2019 or until grant funding is expended, whichever occurs first. Interested? Learn more at the DNR Fire District Assistance webpage for eligibility requirements and ordering process. Share this: ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2019-02-22
    2 months ago
  • How’s our snowpack doing with these winter storms?
    Winter is coming, again. ❄️ While Seattle is seeing the snowiest Feburary on record, obviously higher elevation areas like our mountains are getting a snow dump, too. Seattle’s first round of snow, Feb. 4, 2019. So what does this mean for our snowpack this year? Washington State Department of Natural Resources Meteorologist Josh Clark provides fire weather forecast and fire precaution levels for firefighters, forest landowners, and the forest industry. During the colder months, his work includes monitoring snowpack. Clark says that it’s too early to answer that question in full, but here’s what we do know: right now, snowpack for our mountains is below normal, as of Feb. 6. The baseline for “normal” snowpack is pulled from the most recent climatology, a study of weather conditions over a period of time. The most recent climatology for snowpack in Washington is taken from 1981 to 2010. We compare current snowpack to that time period through a measurement called snow water equivalent (SWE). This useful snowpack measurement assesses the water content should a snow layer melt instantaneously. At the end of January, statewide snowpack was at 83 percent of normal. The Natural Resources Conservation Service graphic below shows SWE values this week after our most recent snow event with areas still below normal for snowpack. Graphic shows SWE values for our mountains as of Feb. 6, 2019 Washington had one of the slowest starts for snowpack in 30 years this season, with a stormy December bringing back the snow to ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2019-02-08
    2 months ago
  • Forest restoration work helped firefighters stop Boyds Fire
    Tom Merritt’s Eastern Washington home is about 15 miles away from where Boyds Fire broke out on the evening of Aug. 11. Perched high up on a hill, he saw smoke and watched as the fire rapidly grew. “I was watching it from the deck of my house in Colville and I was like, ‘Oh, that thing is getting after it,’” Merritt recalled. And it did spread fast. The fire began in the Sherman Creek Wildlife Area, west of the Columbia River in Northeast Washington. It was windy that evening, and embers blew ahead of the fire, igniting more forest and growing the fire further. The fire threatened a cedar mill vital to the local economy, businesses, private homes, and Bonneville Power Administration lines that serve Ferry County. When those power lines go down, the whole county loses power. “It was very eye-opening,” said Daro Palmer, assistant manager of the wildlife area. “Fire is a very impressive thing. With that fire, the way it was with high winds and the rate it was moving at, I was awestruck.” With so much at stake and the fire quickly growing in intensity, firefighters needed to act fast to contain the blaze. However, steep terrain meant firefighters would have to dig firelines mostly by hand, and in a forest thick with vegetation, this was easier said than done. The fire grew to more than 3,000 acres within a few days, prompting evacuation notices for nearby residents. Then firefighters learned of a respite: the ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2019-01-29
    3 months ago
  • New grants help forest collaboratives restore health, wildfire resiliency to Washington’s forests
    The Washington State Department of Natural Resources is empowering communities to tackle important forest health issues with two new grant programs. These programs, which support DNR’s 20-Year Forest Health Strategic Plan, aim to create forests that are resilient to wildfires, insects and disease by supporting large-scale forest restoration efforts led by groups called forest collaboratives. Forest collaboratives bring together those who know the forests best – conservationists, tribes, timber workers, scientists, recreationists, local government, and other community members. Despite this diversity, they all have one thing in common – an inclusive, science-based approach to forest management. And by designing restoration projects in an integrated way, forest collaboratives work toward healthy forests that provide meaningful ecological, economic, and cultural value for Washingtonians. Of the two new grant programs, DNR’s All Lands Forest Restoration Grant Program supports forest treatments, such as the thinning of small-diameter trees and controlled burning to reduce underbrush and fire risk. The second grant program, the Building Forest Partnerships Grant Program, funds facilitator time, meeting spaces, forest field trips and other opportunities to forge relationships and reach consensus on forest management. Nine forest collaboratives from around the state received a combined $1.8 million through these two grant programs, and they are leveraging the funds in innovative ways to increase the pace and scale of forest health treatments in Washington. This map shows the forest collaboratives in Washington state that received grant money from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. (The Nature Conservancy image) Darrington Collaborative The Darrington ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2019-01-23
    3 months ago
  • The inclusion gap: Building barriers to break them with the Women in the Woods
    After hiking in the rain on a cold Saturday morning, 12 women came to what looked like a fork in the Douglas Fir Trail of DNR’s Mount Si Natural Resources Conservation Area. So they dropped their packs, but they weren’t there to rest —  they were there to work. [embedded content] “We’re going to be really defining the trail,” said Mountains To Sound Greenway Trust Volunteer Program Coordinator Caroline Villanova. “To make sure people know where they’re going, they’re not getting lost, not going down a decommissioned road, and they know clearly the trail they are on.” Villanova explains hugelkultur mounds. It’s an agricultural technique where mounds are constructed from woody debris, organic materials like leaves, and rich soil. The sight of yellow hardhats and swinging pickaxes isn’t unusual along the trail. Thousands of volunteers graciously dedicate their time to maintaining and fixing up trails like ones in the Mount Si NRCA. What’s different about this one? It’s a step in the right direction to bridging the inclusion gap in outdoor recreation. Nearly 10 years ago, a Mountains To Sound Greenway Trust staff member saw the need for spaces for women who wanted to do trail work. So they created Women in the Woods,  supportive, year-round events for anyone who identifies as a woman and wants to use a power tool out in the woods. Maria Sheldon, Greenway Trust Education Associate, uses a pickax to dig a trench. Zan McPherson, Greenway Trust Volunteer Program Associate, and Maria Sheldon, Greenway Trust ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2018-12-24
    4 months ago
  • New App Enlists Smart Phone Users in Keeping Puget Sound Clean
    Your smart phone can now help clean up Puget Sound. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced the launch of MyCoast Washington – a mobile app that allows the public to help identify and remove marine debris. The app allows people to photograph large marine debris, creosote-treated wood, derelict vessels, storm surge damage, king tides and changes to shorelines while walking Washington’s beaches. DNR and its partners will then use that information to prioritize clean-ups and inform management of aquatic lands in a changing climate. DNR is a state leader in restoring marine environments. Since 2002, DNR has removed more than 50 million pounds of marine debris – the equivalent of 72 Boeing 747’s – from Washington’s waterways. Creosote-treated materials leach chemicals into beach and marine sediments causing toxic conditions for organisms that live in and use these areas. But with only three full-time employees spearheading the work, the agency needs assistance in identifying debris that is polluting our waters around the state. “Now more than ever, it is our duty to safeguard Washington’s waters and beaches from toxins and pollutants,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. “The MyCoast app allows all Washingtonians to participate in protecting our waters, ensuring our people, salmon, and orcas have clean, healthy habitat. We’re working to speed up our efforts to restore Puget Sound, and this app lets anyone who cares about Puget Sound’s health join in.” HOW IT WORKS                                                            [embedded content] Anyone who spots creosote, old docks, floats, or ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2018-12-20
    4 months ago
  • Worried about storm power outages?
    Wind with drenching rains can create hazardous trees. Photo: DNR Recent blasts of wind in Washington helps us appreciate the work of local utilities. They help our homes stay warm and toasty and keep the lights on during these darkening days of December.Yet, as our annual storm season once again rolls in, it becomes more challenging to ensure the reliability of the power grid. Storms bring high winds, high winds can bring down trees, and trees can bring down powerlines (like dominoes gone wrong). Utility companies play a lead role in the prevention of power outages, but they can’t do it alone. We have three ideas on how you can help. As responsible citizens, we need to monitor our trees for potential conflicts with powerlines and report any issues to the local utility…preferably before the next storm strikes. Also, the best way to prevent future tree-related outages is by planting the right tree in the right place. Avoid planting a tree that will grow high enough to get into nearby powerlines as it matures. By planting smaller trees, or by planting larger trees a safe distance away from powerlines, we can prevent problems before they happen. This practice can also reduce or eliminate the need to prune trees, and reduces you chance of a power outage. DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry Program recognizes utilities in Washington who have committed to healthy tree care and maintenance, tree worker training programs, and community tree planting – including ways to reduce issues between trees ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2018-12-17
    4 months ago
  • DNR, veterans organization help homeowner improve wildfire safety
    When Chris Mastel was in the Marines, he had a sense of purpose every day, a clear mission to accomplish. It was something he missed when his time in the military ended. “As soon as I got out – not having a purpose, no mission every day – it was a struggle for me,” said Mastel, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps for eight years. Mastel’s councilor at the local veteran’s center recommended he check out Veterans Community Response, a nonprofit organization based in the Spokane area that helps veterans adjust to life after returning home from combat. Comprised entirely of volunteers, the organization fosters teamwork and camaraderie and helps veterans develop skills in a variety of areas – even in helping rural homeowners reduce wildfire risk on their property. Investing in forest health, wildfire safety Some members of Veterans Community Response are firefighters in the area so they were aware of the severity of the wildfire threat and saw an opportunity to help reduce that threat. About a year ago, Veterans Community Response contacted the Washington State Department of Natural Resources to find out how they could help. The veterans took wildfire chainsaw training and forest health classes covering tree identification, tree health, and forest thinning practices. They also learned of small forest landowners who needed help with forest restoration work. One of those landowners was Dave Taskila who owns about 6 acres of heavily vegetated forest in the Spokane area, dense with lodge pole pine and ponderosa ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2018-12-12
    4 months ago
  • State Timber Harvests Are Each as Unique as the Names They Go By
    Brokedown Place. Jumping Jack. Goldfish. Silver Charm. Camp Draper. Evocative? Yes. Unique? Definitely. And just like their unique names, the state-land timber harvests managed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources get individualized pre-auction assessments. DNR’s primary reason for growing forests on state trust lands is to provide a quality timber harvest opportunity capable of generating funds for public beneficiaries, primarily schools. Timber harvests have generated nearly $900 million for beneficiaries over the past five years. “Timber sales are a vital part of how we’re able to support schools and local governments throughout Washington,” says Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, the elected official who leads the Department of Natural Resources. “Just like each school and community has unique needs, these harvests receive individualized approaches to make them sustainable and environmentally sound — and they come with creative names that reflect that approach.” Before a timber harvest is offered for sale, state foresters make a series of assessments. They review data and make site visits asking things like… Where are the streams and wetlands located? What are the potential effects of this harvest on water quality? How will the harvest affect fish and wildlife habitat? Are there nearby slopes that require a geologic assessment? Are there other areas that will require special attention? As DNR foresters make these assessments, they commonly find areas that do need special consideration. They use this information to create a set prescriptions, or rules, that a timber harvest company will have to abide by ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2018-12-07
    4 months ago
  • Winter Warriors: Adventures Awaits Along This Hut-To-Hut Trail System
    Imagine standing at 4,700-feet overlooking a hilly, snow-dusted treeline with a view of Mount Rainier and getting some of the best powder you’ve ever seen. But the thing is, you don’t have to daydream about it – because you can go there to ski or snowshoe. Tucked away in our Tahoma State Forest awaits three huts and a yurt dotting a trail system. And it’s only a two hour drive from the Greater Seattle Area. Here’s the hut-to-hut breakdown. HIGH HUT High hut. Image: DNR SNOW BOWL Elevation: 4, 250 feet Gain: 2,000 feet Miles to hut: 4 Sleeping capacity: 14 people Find a trail map here Bruni’s Snow Bowl. Image: MTTA COPPER CREEK Elevation: 4,200 feet Gain: 2,400 feet Miles: 4 Sleeping capacity: 14 people Only accessible in winter in respectto conservation efforts Find a trail map here Copper Creek Hut. Image: MTTA THE YURT The Yurt. Image: MTTA So you want to go? Here’s what to know HUT AMENITIES: Each hut provides a stovetop, pots to melt snow for water, bunk beds, kitchen essentials, a fireplace, and an outside bathroom. WHAT TO BRING: Bring the Ten Essentials! Don’t forget your Discover Pass and sno-park permit. Find a trail map here. ETIQUETTE: Snowshoers should stay to the side to preserve the groomed trailsfor skiers. You may be sharing the huts with other groups, so be respectful and practice Leave No Trace principles. RESERVATIONS: The huts are free to use from 7 a.m. – p.m.. An annual gala is held ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2018-12-06
    4 months ago
  • Conservation connects public lands for trail connections and wildlife corridors along I-90
    The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently acquired 24 acres of land in the Rattlesnake Mountain Scenic Area. Rattlesnake Mountain provides an important connection between the Cascade Mountains and the Puget Sound lowlands by protecting critical wildlife corridors and recreation in the lower Snoqualmie Valley. Co-managed by DNR and King County, this Scenic Area is a 1,771-acre Natural Resource Conservation Area that protects wildlife habitat and numerous riparian systems.The acquisition completes a cluster of protected lands between the Raging River State Forest, Cedar River Watershed, Rattlesnake Mountain Scenic Area, Meadowbrook Farm, and Three Forks Natural Area. “This makes the Rattlesnake Mountain Scenic Area a true example of partnership in the Snoqualmie Corridor for conservation and recreation opportunities,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, who leads DNR. “The completion of this conservation will benefit our local communities and economy by providing connecting trails on public lands and wildlife corridors.” Jon Hoekstra, Executive Director of the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, said this conservation acquisition represents the final piece of a 25-year effort to connect public lands, enable trail connections, and protect wildlife habitat on beautiful Rattlesnake Mountain, a popular recreation destination just outside North Bend. “These incremental conservation success stories are ones we need to celebrate and diligently pursue in order to stitch together a landscape that will ensure ecological integrity and livability of our region,” said Jon. Bald Mountain from Cutthroat Lakes The 24-acre acquisition was funded by a grant from the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2018-11-01
    6 months ago
  • A win-win: School gets energy-efficient wood heating, DNR pilots bioenergy in a public building
    Northport School District Superintendent Don Baribault had an expensive problem on his hands: An old diesel boiler in the preschool-through-eighth-grade building on the Northport Elementary/Middle/High School campus was failing. It needed constant maintenance, but the district didn’t have the budget to upgrade its heating system. Then the district received a call from the Washington State University Energy Program, inquiring if the district had an interest in some grant money to install wood energy at the school through a state-funded bioenergy pilot program. It would be the first time the state installed a wood pellet boiler for a public building. “It was not only greener, but it was a long-term cost savings,” Baribault said. The school district agreed to the project, and after a couple years of planning, crews installed the boiler this week. The 340 MBH biomass boiler in Northport is expected to use about 70 tons of wood pellets, displacing about 8,500 gallons of fuel oil per year. (Wisewood Energy photo) The campus serves about 200 students, and Baribault said they have all enjoyed watching the project unfold. The boiler system was installed in a shipping container and placed alongside a 24-foot-tall silo that can hold 30 tons of wood pellets. As crews used a crane to install the system, some of the younger kids at recess asked if they were getting a spaceship, Baribault said. Older students and the staff appreciate that they are getting a heating system that is more energy efficient and better for the environment. ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2018-10-24
    6 months ago
  • Discover Teanaway: Developing a Recreation Plan for the State’s First Community Forest
    Fall has settled in across Washington and nowhere is that more evident than beneath the trees in Teanaway Community Forest. The sun cast a warm glow across the landscape through a kaleidoscope of yellow, red, and fiery orange leaves on Friday afternoon for gathering members of the Teanaway Community Forest Advisory Committee. Over the past 18 months, the departments of Natural Resources (DNR) and Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and the committee developed a supplemental recreation plan for Teanaway to be included in the community forest’s management plan developed in 2015. [embedded content] The recreation plan puts opportunity on the page for hiking, camping, mountain biking, horseback riding, scenic driving, and motorcycling, as well as fishing, hunting, and nature activities. It will serve as a guide for the management of recreation and public access in the Teanaway over the next 15 years. On Oct. 24, the plan will enter a two-week State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) comment period—one of the final steps in the development process. The agencies and committee anticipate adopting the recreation plan in early December. “The Teanaway is a special place that means a lot to people – that was evident throughout the planning process,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. “They’ve helped develop an environmentally responsible recreation plan that will shape family and outdoor adventures in the Teanaway for generations to come.” Commissioner Franz leads DNR in managing 1,100 miles of trails and 160-plus recreation sites in 3 million acres of working forest state trust lands and ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2018-10-19
    6 months ago
  • When a vineyard gives you more than good wine
    In the high desert, Red Mountain stands above vineyards growing hundreds of acres, harvesting some of the best grapes in the state — leading some to call it The Napa Valley of Washington. “It’s the slopes, it’s the elevation, and then it’s the soils,” said Quintessence and Shaw’s Vineyard Manager Marshall Edwards, who is a decades-long expert deep appreciation for the mountain’s terrain. Marshall Edwards has worked as vineyard operations manager for nearly 20 years for Shaw and Quintessence Vineyards. “These ancient soils brought in from the Missoula Flood that swirled around Red Mountain and deposited in here that are so rich … It’s the combination of those three things that make it so special,” he said. Red Mountain isn’t just an American Viticultural Area (AVA) — a federal designation that recognizes a region for wine growing — but part of it is public trust land, which is owned by Washington State Department of Natural Resources. DNR gives agriculture leases out to private businesses, and in turn, generates $24 million annually that goes to funding public services. “Most of the revenue generated goes to the public trust, so the Common School Construction Fund, and another small portion is leasehold tax, and that tax goes back to the county in lieu of property taxes,” said DNR Land Manager Tim Kopf. “So the [revenue generated] for the Common School Construction Fund helps to offset taxes in local communities for helping to pay for the construction of schools for local communities.” Quintessence grows ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2018-10-19
    6 months ago
  • ‘Fire Storm’ 27 years ago today in eastern Washington raised prevention awareness
    Twenty-seven years ago today, gale-force winds combined with dry and unseasonably warm weather combined to ignite the Fire Storm in Spokane County. It was called ‘Fire Storm’ because that’s exactly what took place. On October 16, 1991, wind gusts of up to 62 miles per hour were recorded in eastern Washington. Within hours, 92 wildfires had started — approximately 90 percent of them due to the gale-force winds that snapped power lines or pushed trees into power lines. Most of the homes lost to wildfire in the following days were in what we call the wildland urban interface, where homes and forest intermix. There was one fatality during the fire and 114 homes and numerous other structures were destroyed. Population growth in wildland urban interfaces is a major reason that wildfires have become more disastrous. Lessons learnedMany homeowners affected by the Fire Storm of 1991 were caught with a lack of knowledge about the wildfire risks where they lived. As a result, the National Fire Protection Association developed a program, Firewise, to help homeowners protect themselves and their property from wildfire. Since then, dozens of communities in eastern and western Washington state have qualified as Firewise communities because they took steps to reduce wildfire risks. The two largest risks for homes during wildfires are: A flammable roof, vulnerable to the wind-carried embers during a wildfire Vegetation close to a house that can ignite and generate heat or flames that burn siding or other parts of the structure The legacies of Fire ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2018-10-16
    6 months ago
  • Commissioner Franz proposes historic $55 million wildfire, forest health budget
    Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz unveiled Wednesday the largest budget request of its kind in state history: a $55 million Department of Natural Resources proposal for fighting wildfires and maintaining healthier forests in Washington. The 2019-20 budget package, which already has bipartisan support from members of the Legislature’s Wildfire Caucus, would transform DNR’s firefighting strategy and reduce that hazards that unhealthy forests pose to Washington communities. In Central and Eastern Washington alone, 2.7 million acres of forest are dead or dying, increasing the potential for catastrophic wildfires seen in recent years. This year, DNR responded to about 1,700 wildfires – second only to the number of wildfire responses in 2009. Smoke from this year’s fires at times gave Washington the worst air quality in the world, and numerous fires forced families to evacuate their homes. Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz speaks about her budget request Wednesday at the Department of Natural Resources helicopter maintenance hangar in Olympia.  “We need bold, forward-thinking investments to reduce wildfires. Inaction is not an option,” Franz said. “It’s time to come together to invest in strategies that keep wildfires small and our skies clear of smoke, and I look forward to working with the governor and the Legislature to ensure we have the resources we need to keep our communities healthy and safe.” Wildfire fighting, prevention The biennium budget request includes nearly $12 million to transform 30 engine-leader jobs, which are seasonal positions, into year-round permanent positions. This would help retain seasoned ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2018-10-10
    6 months ago
  • Palu tsunami reminder of why we work to prepare Washington for geologic hazards
    A magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck north of Palu, Indonesia late last week, re-shaping the ground beneath the city and destroying dozens of structures. The tsunami that resulted from the earthquake proved much more devastating, killing, as of Monday, at least 844 people. This devastation is a strong reminder that Washington is also vulnerable to this type of event. Closer to home, other reminders are tsunami deposits, submarine landslides, and buried trees from the 1700 A.D. Magnitude 9 megathrust earthquake along the Cascadia subduction zone. These clues have been located in numerous places along the Washington, Oregon, California, and Vancouver Island coasts. This is why The Washington Geological Survey helps Washington communities identify how they may be vulnerable to similar tsunami events and how they can craft innovative strategies for preparing for those threats. We have produced tsunami inundation maps to show how tsunamis would likely impact communities. We work with scientists and emergency managers to map results from modeled tsunami scenarios to show where waves would likely strike after a Cascadia quake, identify evacuation routes, and help communities with vertical evacuation strategies. Earlier this year, we released new tsunami inundation hazard maps for Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Bellingham, Anacortes, and the southwest Washington coast. Earthquakes In addition, Washington faces the second highest risk from earthquakes in the U.S., and one of the highest for tsunamis, yet remains the only west coast state that does not have an inventory of the seismic hazard for critical infrastructure. We’re working every day to identify and map faults, so you can know where ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2018-10-01
    7 months ago
  • Firefighters learn how to conduct prescribed burns, one of several tools to protect our forests and communities
    CLE ELUM – A group of firefighters and foresters stood outside a home earlier this week and sketched out a hypothetical plan for setting controlled fires to the homeowner’s 20-acre property. They gathered around trainer Ray Guse to learn about the level of detail necessary to draft and execute such a burn plan. The group was in Central Washington for a two-week program called the Training Exchange (TREX), which combines classroom work with hands-on experience in lighting and managing controlled fires. These prescribed burns help control overgrown vegetation, serving as a crucial tool for protecting communities from uncharacteristically large wildfires, and for restoring healthy forests. Guse called prescribed burning “an art and a science” – and he would know. He’s overseen controlled burns in forests across the country and helped create the TREX program. “We have scientific ways of modeling the fire behavior and we have a tremendous amount of experience,” he said. And when it comes time to burn, “we’ve got a lot of options to manage the fire – both in how we ignite it and the day that we choose to ignite it.” Burn bosses, the professionals leading a burn, also “know before we light the match how much smoke we might put up,” Guse added. Before the trainees started walking the property, Guse instructed them to gather an abundance of information, including: the slope of the land, the types of vegetation and how they would burn, the water sources, the wind patterns, and the presence of ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2018-09-28
    7 months ago
  • New trails, new crag access—We’re celebrating National Public Lands Day right
    We’re celebrating National Public Lands Day with even more opportunities to get out and discover recreation opportunities with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR). On Sept. 22, the Dirty Harry’s Peak Trail and Far Side Climbing Area open, offering increased recreation access in the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA) east of North Bend and just 45 minutes from Seattle. The new trail received the majority of its funding from the Natural Areas and Sustainable Recreation capital budgets and are part of an ongoing project to enhance access in the Middle Fork Snoqualmie NRCA. DNR got started on the project in 2015. Specialists designed and permitted the trail and began looking for stakeholders interested in collaborating to make it happen. A mix of non-profit groups, volunteers, government-led trail crews, and community members rallied behind the project. Then, they got to work. “Through the collaboration process and working with multiple groups to help complete this project, it was great to see everyone step up and bring their organization’s skillset to the table with enthusiasm,” Sam Jarrett, DNR statewide trails specialist, said.  “The vital role these groups played in seeing this project come to fruition is really a testament to how strong and effective our state’s outdoor recreation organizations, volunteers, and agency trail crews can be when working together.” Three years of collaboration The first phase of the project was to decommission a significant segment of the old informal Dirty Harry’s Peak hiking route. The route was located ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2018-09-20
    7 months ago
  • Blanchard State Forest reaches final phase of collaborative conservation project
    After more than a decade of hard work and collaboration between a diverse group of stakeholders, Blanchard Forest has reached a significant milestone. About 100 people gathered on top of Blanchard Mountain on Sunday despite the chilly rains of early fall along the Salish Sea to celebrate turning the final corner in the Blanchard Forest Strategy, a plan that includes the concept of conserving a 1,600-acre portion of Blanchard Forest. Washington State Commissioner of Public lands Hilary Franz, never one to have her spirits dampened by the weather, bounded up to Samish Overlook offering hugs and congratulations to the shivering groups of stakeholders gathered atop the mountain to celebrate. After more than a decade of careful planning and collaboration, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), its partners and supportive members of the Legislature secured a total of $16.5 million, enough to fully implement the Blanchard Forest Strategy. The money is being used to acquire replacement lands for the core zone so DNR can continue to meet its fiduciary requirements. [embedded content] “We now have something, through your hard, tireless work, to pass on to our children—and I don’t just mean this unbelievable mountain,” Commissioner Franz said. “I mean the vision that you can maintain this mountain and tell this story.” The original Blanchard Committee began in 2006 and have spent the past 12 years working on this project. The committee came to the table on behalf of Blanchard and its beneficiaries for years, putting in the work to achieve a ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2018-09-19
    7 months ago
  • Commissioner Franz, Secretary Laird Unite To Take Forest Health And Climate Change Work Beyond State Borders
    Wednesday, Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz and California Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird announced plans to collaborate on forest resilience and carbon sequestration opportunities across the western seaboard. The announcement came during the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit where Franz and Laird are representing, respectively, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and California Natural Resources Agency. “Forest health, wildfire, and climate are intrinsically linked. As leaders on these issues, we see a role for our states to learn from each other and develop innovative solutions to our shared challenges,” said Commissioner Franz. “We can and will make our communities, lands and waters more resilient, strengthening our economies and environment in the face of climate change.” “Our states face many of the same challenges – a changing climate, tree mortality, and forests that lack resiliency,” said Secretary Laird. “Exploring how we work better and faster on these issues benefits not only Californians and Washingtonians, but other states and provinces as well.” The collaboration between Washington and California involves seven principles: Share and explore innovations in fuel management methods, including prescribed and managed fire, pre-fire management, post-fire restoration, post-treatment monitoring and evaluation, tools and equipment, best practices, and technology to mitigate and lessen the negative effects of increased wildfires and tree mortality. Share and explore innovations in climate-informed reforestation, including strategies for climate-adapted species, genotypes, planting techniques, and ongoing management needs. Share and explore approaches to evaluate and account for changes in forest ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2018-09-14
    7 months ago
  • It’s not the end for McLane Creek’s old maple tree
    The McLane Creek Trail was bustling with activity on Friday morning – though it wasn’t the typical slew of hikers, dog-walkers and bikers heading out for a morning jaunt among the trees. Instead, crews from the Washington Department of Natural Resources and Roger’s Tree Service solemnly gathered to see the safe removal of a beloved maple tree. The tree is recognized by recreationists as a meeting spot near the beginning of the trail by the visitor’s kiosk. The towering 80-year-old bigleaf maple has long been a landmark for visitors to the 100,000-acre Capitol Forest and a welcoming steward to the miles of trails beyond its roots. However, the old tree fell victim to tree rot and needed to be removed for safety. “This was everyone’s meeting place,” Phil Wolff, recreation manager for Capitol Forest said. “It sets the stage when you’re walking up here.” “We already had about half a dozen people trying to come here (to recreate) before 8 a.m.,” Craig Mitchell, DNR recreation forester, added. The trail is scheduled to reopen on Saturday morning. McLane Creek was temporarily closed while the crews worked, using funds from purchased Discover Passes to take the tree down piece by piece and stack the lumber into neat piles. Wolff said he had been keeping an eye on the massive tree for fear that it might have to come down after a weighty branch broke away and crashed to the ground a month ago. The bigleaf maple near the visitor’s kiosk at McLane ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2018-09-07
    7 months ago
  • Farewell to one of Washington’s most prominent geologists
    An era is ending at the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. After a very productive 38-year career Tim Walsh is retiring Friday from the Washington Geological Survey. It seems like a long time to us, but to geologists, 38 years is a standard rounding error. Tim Walsh began his career at DNR in 1980 as a project geologist for the Survey mapping and assessing coal resources in Washington. Shortly after his hire, Tim flew a reconnaissance flight to observe smoke coming from Mount St. Helens. The small plane carrying the California native could barely top the mountain’s then 9,677-foot elevation. Had he waited a couple months, he could have easily circled the peak, as the May 18, 1980 eruption took 1,314 feet off Mount St. Helens’ top. In the mid-1980s, he transitioned into mapping geologic quadrangles, including seven 1:100,000-scale quadrangles and the 1:250,000-scale quadrant map of southwest Washington. Tsunami hazard map of the Elliott Bay area, Seattle, Washington Modeled tsunami inundation from a Seattle fault earthquake Walsh, T. J.; Titov, V. V.; Venturato, A. J.; Mofjeld, H. O.; Gonzalez, F. I., 2003, Open File Report 2003-14, scale:1:50,000 In 1988, Tim became the Chief Hazards Geologist, performing fault trench studies, geologic mapping, liquefaction analysis, and tsunami hazard mapping. During his tenure as Chief Hazards Geologist, Tim produced 14 tsunami hazard maps along with several earthquake-induced liquefaction studies in areas vulnerable to tsunamis. He also provided technical assistance for large geological events in Washington, including the eruptions of Mount St. Helens ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2018-08-29
    8 months ago
  • DNR and Tribes: A Year in Review
    The Department of Natural Resources (DNR), under Washington State Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz, works alongside tribal sovereigns to improve conditions for salmon, mitigate the impacts of climate change, address and improve protections for cultural and natural resources, support sustainable resource economies, and address the cumulative impacts of activities on state owned landscapes. The Agency is also committed to strengthening the health and resilience of our lands and waters, restoring Puget Sound, and supporting salmon recovery. The Department recognizes the Tribes’ separate rights and authorities and maintains government-to-government relations with the 29 recognized Indian Tribes residing in the state of Washington as well as other interested Indian Tribes outside of the state of Washington. Here are a few examples of how we’re engaging with tribes within the highest levels of our agency. In November of 2017, the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians and Chairman Shawn Yanity generously co-hosted a Natural Resource Summit with DNR. Topics included aquatic issues, recreation on DNR lands, forest health, and protection of cultural resources. DNR is also privileged to have tribal representatives serve and advise on the Board of Geographic Names, Forest Practices Board, Teanaway Community Forest Advisory Committee and Wildland Fire Advisory Board. At the national level, last year DNR partnered with the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and others for a Learning Lab on carbon sequestration in Washington DC. Below are a few highlights from last year, recently provided for the 2018 Centennial Accord, regarding our work to ensure management of state-owned and ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2018-08-26
    8 months ago
  • Connecting the (Green) Dots for a Tour of Ahtanum State Forest
    In the Ahtanum State Forest, you can find beautiful mountain vistas, canyons, and some of the best camping in eastern Washington. The forest, in Yakima County, is a 75,000-plus acre section of land managed by the Department of Natural Resources. The forest is crisscrossed by a network of roads known as the “Green Dot” road network: over 562 miles of inter-connected roads, denoted by green “dot” signs (hence the name). Those familiar with off-highway-vehicle adventures have long considered this area a little-known haven.  But even for those of us without special equipment, there are ways to explore this beautiful part of the state. The Ahtanum vista loop (outlined in purple) is a portion of the Green Dot Road System that accommodates most standard four-wheel drive during good weather conditions – generally May to early November. Start in historic Tampico, Washington. The Ahtanum Rd North Fork takes you along Ahtanum Creek on a paved county road. After a approximately nine miles (fifteen minutes of driving) you will arrive at the Ahtanum Meadows Campground, (bring a Discover Pass!) where you can access restrooms, scout it’s ten campsites (four are walk-in only), or enjoy a picnic before you continue on. We recommend you drive west along the A2000, where your first destination will be the Tree Phones Campground, (a third of the way along your route) which provides access to the 23-mile Grey Rock hiking trail. This trail is accessible to hikers, horseback riders, mountain bikes, motorcycles, and ATVs. As such, please be aware ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2018-08-25
    8 months ago
  • Front lines of the flame: The work of wildland firefighters
    When a spark quickly turns into a fast-moving wildfire, our firefighters are there for us — many times in minutes. They fly over fiery landscapes that heat up our helicopters, anywhere from 100 to 120 degrees. They dig lines around roaring fires in shifts that can last up to 16 hours. They sacrifice time with their families to work on the fireline for weeks on end. All to safeguard our communities and protect our lands. Firefighter at work during Cougar Creek Fire west of Entiat. Describing the heroic efforts of our firefighters could be an infinite list, and our appreciation is so great — words sometimes don’t do it justice. Especially when we’re in the thick of our wildfire fighting efforts, like right now. More than 3,500 firefighters are out on the landscape this August, as 12 large fires burn in Washington state. As of Aug. 23, the Department of Natural Resources responded to 1,163 fires on 300,139 acres. (For context, on a 10-year average, we respond to 1,534 fires for 170,936 acres.) Firefighters and guardsmen take a moment to reflect on their hard work on the Sheep Creek Fire. (Image: National Guard). While we are on a trajectory to have the most fires we’ve ever seen, we’re also on track to keep over 90 percent of fires under 10 acres — it’s a goal our firefighters have worked hard to meet through effective wildfire fighting tactics and interagency coordination.So what exactly are those tactics? Outlining everything our firefighters do ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2018-08-24
    8 months ago
  • DNR Partners With Navy To Protect Hood Canal
    Hood Canal – Today, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and U.S. Navy entered into an agreement that creates a “restrictive easement” along 32 miles of Hood Canal’s eastern shore. The easement, which covers 2,481 acres of aquatic bedlands, prohibits new construction such as wharfs, piers, platforms, and structures for industrial use. The Navy will pay DNR $342,000 for the easement, which is fair market value. “This partnership strengthens our military preparedness and strengthens our waterways by protecting critical habitat in Hood Canal,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. “This is truly an example of mutual benefit for our navy, communities, and public waters.” Supporting Our Navy Hood Canal is a “Military Operating Area” for Naval Base Kitsap. Limiting disruption in this area is critical for Navy operations, including research, testing, and training. “The Navy’s ability to use Hood Canal for military operations depends on reducing incompatible development and noise,” said Alan Schrader, Commanding Officer, Naval Base Kitsap. “Through this agreement, the Navy will be able to continue training and testing at Naval Base Kitsap for decades to come.” In 2014, DNR and the Navy entered into a similar agreement to create an easement on 4,800 acres of Hood Canal’s western shore (along Jefferson County and portions of Mason County). With both easements now in place, Hood Canal is protected from further development and noise pollution that may have interfered with Navy uses. Protecting Marine Ecosystems The easement also benefits Washingtonians by providing new protections for sensitive ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2018-08-24
    8 months ago
  • East Tiger Mountain Bike Trail System now over 25 miles
    Today Washington State Department of Natural Resources is opening 1.5-miles of new mountain bike trails on East Tiger Mountain, just a short drive from Seattle. Predominantly built by volunteers with support from Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance in partnership with DNR, two new trails bring the East Tiger Mountain Bike Trail System’s total trail mileage to over 25 miles! New mountain bike trails are popping up quick on DNR lands in the Snoqualmie Corridor, only one year after opening Inside Passage and less than three months after opening the nearby Raging River State Forest trail system, these two new trails provide additional very difficult riding opportunities on the mountain. See video of Raging River below. One of these two new trails, N.O.T.G (Not Off-the-Grid), offers a faster descent alternative to Off-the-Grid Trail, while East Bound & Down trail provides a more easily accessible, more challenging descent option from Tiger Summit Trailhead, located off of Inside Passage Trail. See the new trail locations in our updated trail map of the East Tiger Mountain Bike Trail System. A look at our new trail map. Part of a recreation vision for the Snoqualmie Corridor DNR’s Snoqualmie Corridor Recreation Plan, released in March 2015, included new opportunities in East Tiger Mountain as a top priority. New trails are a result of the local input and community support that went into that planning effort. Visitors will continue to see improvements identified in the plan on the ground for the next decade. Partial funding for these new ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2018-08-10
    8 months ago
  • How can timber harvests and recreation coexist?
    Department of Natural Resources foresters, recreation managers, and recreation interest groups recently worked together to design a timber sale that contained sections of off-road vehicle trails that are part of the Walker Valley Off-Road Vehicle Area near Mount Vernon, Wa. The goals were to design a timber sale and logging plan that both protected the trails and did not impact logging operations or timber sale revenue. To ensure success, the logging contractor was included in the pre-harvest meeting to review harvesting operations and confirm the location of designated trail crossings for logging purposes prior to starting. After the harvest, DNR staff and recreation users walked through the area together to talk about how it went. According to Bob Langley with the Skagit Motorcycle Club, the loggers did a very good job of taking care of the trail. Thank you to all our folks – internal and external – for working together to find the solutions that allow us to meet multiple goals. Share this: ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2018-07-11
    9 months ago
  • Care for the Land, Care for the People
    A Fresh Look at Sustainability in Forest Management Harvest this much. Save this type of habitat. Achieve these markers of biodiversity. Traditional approaches to forest management tend to focus on specific ecological and revenue objectives, how much land to dedicate to these objectives, and how to achieve them. But there is something largely missing from these approaches. Us. Humans. Under traditional approaches, humans exist somewhat outside of the forested ecosystems we are managing, even as we look to the forest to meet our needs. Yet there is a growing recognition that humans are an integral part of these systems. Consider the interactions and interdependencies of a community and the forest and streams that surround it (Figure 1). The forest needs human intervention to stay safe and healthy due to past timber harvest, fire suppression, and major environmental shifts such as climate change. And communities need the forest’s ecosystem services, which can range from timber for harvest to carbon storage, filtered water, and streams with healthy fish populations for food and recreation. Such services keep communities healthy and more likely and able to care for the forest. Figure 1. Holistic View of Sustainability This recognition is the basis for a sustainable forest management concept that the ONRC and its partners refer to as “rural ecosystem sustainability.” Under this concept, the forest and its communities are defined as a “rural ecosystem” and managed with strategies that benefit both. “To care for the place, you have to care for the people. And to ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2018-05-19
    11 months ago
  • Combining mountains and music: Performance duo take their passion to DNR’s Manastash Ridge
    Two musicians based in the greater Seattle area are celebrating their love of the outdoors in a rather surprising way – by playing their instruments in the mountains. As one of the state’s largest public land stewards, we’ve heard of visitors connecting with our state’s working forests and conservation areas in a lot of ways. With over 1,200 miles of trail and 70 campgrounds statewide, it’s no surprise that DNR-managed lands offer some of the most diverse ways to experience the outdoors. You can cross-country ski in the shadow of Mount Rainier, enjoy one of over 25 beachfront campsites in the San Juan Islands, test out your skills on one of our expert-only downhill-only mountain bike trails or rock climb at some of the state’s most brag-worthy destinations. While some take a trail map or summit snack with them into the outdoors, Anastasia Allison and Rose Freeman, of the Musical Mountaineers, carry a violin and a carefully packed keyboard along with them for sunrise performances in the outdoors, intended to celebrate both their love of music and their love of the outdoors. The early morning performances are aimed at respecting leave no trace principles and finding time so their enjoyment of the outdoors doesn’t impact other visitors. “Our intent is to share this beautiful combination of music and the wilderness with the world, but we would never do that at the expense of somebody who didn’t want to hear our music live,” Anastasia said. The duo has performed in the ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2018-04-26
    12 months ago
  • Hardwoods and Renewable Energy Drive Community Anticipation for Rural Communities Partnership Initiative
    In Raymond, Wash., a lumber mill owned by the Port of Willapa Harbor sits abandoned. Piles of alder seem stuck in time after being cut and dried, but never quite making it to shipment to become the products they were intended for. Last month, Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz made good on her promise to use the resources of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to support development solutions for rural Washingtonians when she announced this mill’s reopening as one of four initial Rural Communities Partnership Initiative efforts. DNR is partnering with the state legislature to make a $1.4 million investment to get the mill, which closed in 2017, back up and running – maybe with the use of renewable energy. “For too many in our rural economies, the status quo isn’t working,” said Commissioner Franz. “People are hurting, but they are resilient. And we are investing in our people.” Phase 1: A New, Old Mill for Pacific County DNR, in partnership with the state legislature, is granting $1.4 million for the Port of Willapa Harbor to retrofit and lease an existing mill beginning in 2019. Alder wood is versatile and a wide variety of regional businesses will be able to use the mill’s wood products. Mill retrofits will allow the mill to make use of small diameter alder wood logs, which grows well throughout the region. “This project will have a positive impact on our community and our state,” said State Senator Dean Takko (D-Longview). “By reopening a ... read more
    Source: Washington DNRPublished on 2018-04-18
    1 year ago