May 21, 2013
Before and after removal. Looking south down West Bay toward the Washington State Capitol.
Top photo: Jordanna Black/DNR
Lower photo: Toni Droscher/DNR
In February 2013, DNR and partners from the Squaxin Island Tribe, the Port of Olympia, the South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group and private landowners joined together to remove toxic derelict pilings and structures from much of the southern end of Budd Inlet in Olympia.
With funding from the Washington Legislature’s 2012 Jobs Now Act, DNR hired Blackwater Marine, a diving and salvage firm from Kirkland, to do the removal project.
What was removed:
- 400 tons of pilings
- 394 pilings
- 23 piling stumps cut below the mud line (too impractical to remove them completely)
- 7,600 square feet of overwater structure
- 12 tons of steel recycled
- 32 tons of concrete recycled
- The project provided 1,350 hours of work for the local contractor and its employees
- Total cost of project: $360,700
Learn more about DNR’s Creosote Debris Removal Program.
View photos of the West Bay creosote removal project.
May 20, 2013
Deep Sea is raised June 3, 2012, from where it sank in Penn Cove on Whidbey Island. Photo: DNR
Flanked by representatives of the marine trades, business, legislature, environmental community, DNR, the Washington Department of Ecology, and others, Gov. Jay Inslee today signed into law a bill that will strengthen the state’s ability to address derelict and abandoned vessels.
In the past year alone, several high-profile incidents caught the attention of the public and legislators—raising awareness about the problems these vessels cause to the environment, public safety, and the state’s economy.
Just a little more than a year ago, the 140-foot former crab-fishing vessel, the Deep Sea, caught fire and sank in Penn Cove. This unfortunate incident cause a world-renown shellfish farm to shut down for nearly a month.
The new law (ESHB 1245) holds vessel owners more accountable, helps prevent vessels from becoming derelict in the first place, improves enforcement, and shores up funding to help the state deal with these vessels.
Read more in our news release.
DNR manages the Derelict Vessel Removal Program, which provides funding and expertise to assist public agencies remove and dispose of vessels all over the state.
May 20, 2013
Shades of red indicate estimated numbers of buildings (yellow dots are schoos) that might be severely damaged in this section of Mount Vernon, WA, following a 7.1 magnitude earthquake on the Devil’s Mountain earthquake fault. Source: Washington State Geologic Information Portal/DNR. CLICK TO ENLARGE
Sorry about that! Some visitors to DNR’s website yesterday and this morning experienced delays accessing newly updated interactive earthquake scenarios on the Washington State Geologic Information Portal. The volume of traffic to the portal jumped following yesterday’s Seattle Times article about the State Seismic Hazards Catalog. The scenarios describe the potential impacts on communities and their infrastructure — from homes to utilities — from large earthquakes on 20 major earthquake faults across the state. The State Seismic Hazards Catalog is intended to help citizens, businesses, and safety officials plan for better resiliance to and recovery from a major earthquake.
Visit the State Seismic Hazards Catalog to see interactive graphic representations of how a major earthquake might affect your neighborhood.
Note about the graphic with this post: The Devils Mountain Fault runs about 75 miles from Darrington due west to the northern tip of Whidbey Island and continues on towards Victoria, B.C. where the fault is believed to join the Leech River fault system at the southern end of Vancouver Island. The software on which the earthquake scenarios are built was produced by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s HAZUS program. The software provides estimates for the potential damage based on currently available data.
Have you looked up your neighborhood in the State Seismic Hazards Catalog yet? See what readers are discussing on DNR’s Facebook page
May 19, 2013
Twenty-five years after the 1980 eruption, the Pumice Plain north of the Mount St. Helens crater is covered in wildflowers. Photo: P. Frenzen/USDA Forest Service (2004).
Here are links to articles about natural resources, climate, energy and other topics published recently by universities, scientific journals, organizations, and other sources:
University of Pennsylvania: Penn Research Helps Paint Finer Picture of Massive 1700 Earthquake
Researchers from the United States and Canada used a fossil-based technique of investigation to provide a finer-grained portrait of a massive earthquake and tsunami that hit the Pacific Northwest coast of the United States in the year 1700. Understanding the changes in coastal land level produced by the estimated 9 magnitude earthquake will help citizens and government to better prepare for future large earthquakes.
Mother Nature Network: Which U.S. volcanoes are likely to erupt next?
There are three main sections of the U.S. that tend to experience volcanic activity, and scientists believe many of the volcanoes there may be about due for a major eruption. Seven U.S. volcanoes (including four in Washington State) pose some of the highest risks.
University of Alberta: Helping forests gain ground on climate change
Timber industry and government foresters are using tree-planting guidelines developed by University of Alberta researchers to get a jump on climate change. Researchers also have developed maps of likely climatically suitable habitats for tree species based on climate predictions for the 2020s through 2080s.
Deep Carbon Observatory: Presence of Life in Oceanic Crust Confirmed
Researchers have discovered evidence of life 500 meters below the seafloor of the Juan de Fuca Ridge. “They found genetic evidence of Methanosarcinales, anaerobic archaea known to metabolize methane. Further experiments showed that microbes have affected the chemical signature of sulfur in the host basalt, suggesting they could harness energy from the breakdown of sulfates.
May 18, 2013
On the morning May 18, 1980, Keith Stoffel, then a DNR employee, took this photo while on a sightseeing flight over Mount St. Helens. It is the only known image of the initial eruption. Photo: Keith Stoffel (c) 2010.
The explosion of Mount St. Helens on May 18, 1980, produced a powerful blast that destroyed 230 square miles of national, state and private forest, and took 57 lives. Some of those who died from powerful shock waves and clouds of hot ash and superheated gases were several miles away. Others drowned when lahars — mud flows – spilled down local valleys and river beds.
Today, a 110,000-acre area around the mountain is a National Volcanic Monument. The mountain has been a lot quieter since the events of May 18, 1980; several steam eruptions occurred in 2004, but caused no injuries or deaths.
DNR’s Geology and Earth Resources Division works with the U.S. Geological Survey and other agencies to monitor Mount St. Helens and the other active volcanoes in Washington State.
Read more about Keith Stoffel’s narrow escape from the mountain’s blast after snapping today’s photo, and learn more about the eruption on our Mount St. Helens information page.
More photos of Mount St. Helens are on the DNR Flickr page.
May 17, 2013
DNR Law Enforcement Officer Jason Bodine patroling Capitol State Forest. Photo By: DNR
Timber harvests operations in Capitol State Forest will cause some temporary trail re-routes and closures near Straddleline until further notice. The North Rim motorized trail (near the North Rim #2, #3 split) has been re-routed onto a forest road. The Loki motorized trail has been closed at the KC line and the ORV park tie trail is closed.
The trail closures are in place for the safety of the public. It’s important to honor these closures for your own safety as well as that of those working in the area. Timber harvest activities will result in increased heavy truck and equipment traffic, so be sure to keep an eye out on the forest roads. Always yield to these vehicles. They are big, and they don’t stop quickly.
Capitol State Forest has many other accessible trails, but if you’d like to avoid the situation altogether, Tahuya State Forest offers excellent trails and is within roughly 50 miles of Capitol State Forest.
DNR updates its web site with information about seasonal and temporary closures as well as other information you need to plan your outdoor adventure. Visit www.dnr.wa.gov/recreation.
May 17, 2013
A picnic area and meadow on a sunny summer day at Dragoon Creek. Photo By: DNR/ Diana Lofflin
Have you ever spent a weekend camping and thought to yourself; “Man, I wish this didn’t have to end”? Well it might not have to. DNR is looking for a volunteer campground host for Dragoon Creek Campground and you may be just the person for the job.
Volunteer campground hosts play a crucial role in protecting our most popular recreation areas. They maintain the areas, answer questions for the public, and work directly with DNR staff. Volunteers serve as a direct contact with law enforcement, and their presence is a reminder to the public that we all work together to preserve state lands. Without volunteer campground hosts, we wouldn’t be able to keep some of these areas open.
See photos of Dragoon Creek Campground near Spokane here.
Dragoon Creek Campground is a local favorite for its remote feel regardless of being conveniently located so close to town. The campground is just 14 miles north of Spokane, and boasts 22 developed campsites, RV access, drinking water, restrooms, and campfire pits throughout the grounds. Host site amenities include water, power, sewer, and phone to make things a little more comfortable.
All hosts must complete Basic First Aid training and pass a Washington State Patrol criminal background check.
If you’ve made it this far and you’re still interested, you can contact Kyle Pomeranky for more information at 509-685-2719, or email@example.com
May 17, 2013
The community of Orting, Washington, is built on top of 500-year-old lahar debris from Mount Rainier (rear). Photo: USGS.
May is Volcano Awareness Month in Washington State. On the eve of tomorrow’s anniversary of the May 18, 1980, eruption of Mount St. Helens, DNR Ear to the Ground has featured one of the state’s five active volcanoes each day this week. Today, the spotlight is on Mount Rainier.
Because of its elevation (14,410 feet), massive icecap, glacier-fed valleys, and proximity to Seattle and Tacoma suburbs, Mount Rainier is the most potentially dangerous volcano in the nation — it’s also ranked among the top ten most-most dangerous in the world. According to the US Geological Survey’s Volcano Hazards Program, there hasn’t been a major eruption on Mount Rainier in 1,000 years, but an explosive eruption (a la Mount St. Helens) isn’t the primary concern. Mount Ranier can generate huge lahars — rapidly flowing slurries of mud and boulders — even without an eruption. Avalanches caused by heated rock or volcanic gases can swiftly melt snow and ice and produce torrents of meltwater that pick up loose rock and become a lahar.
In its role as the state’s geological survey, DNR mapped the routes of past Mount Rainier lahars. The most destructive — and most likely — lahar routes are on the mountain’s north and west sides. A lahar here could feed into the Puyallup River valley where cities, towns and housing developments have been built on top of lahar deposits from as recently as 500 years ago.
DNR estimates that a moderately large lahar in the Puyallup River valley would cause $6 billion or more in damages to structures and other property. Large lahars of the past have reached Puget Sound via the Nisqually River Basin, Commencement Bay and Elliott Bay, including the ports of Seattle and Tacoma.
Have you given much thought to the potential of a large lahar from Mount Rainier? Has it influenced your decisions on where to live or work? Join the discussion on DNR’s Facebook page.
May 16, 2013
As the second-most glaciated mountain in the Cascades, an volcanic eruption on Mount Baker could produce deadly lahars in several populated river drainages. Photo: USGS.
Volcano Awareness Month and our countdown to the 33rd anniversary of the Mount St. Helens, May 18, 1980, eruption continue with a look at Mount Baker. The main hazards posed by this active volcano in central Whatcom County are debris flows and debris avalanches from its considerable glaciers and snowpack–events that can occur even without a volcanic eruption.
Mount Baker has been mostly quiet since the mid-19th century when several explosions were seen from Bellingham – a mere 30 miles due west. It perked up in 1975 with several large emissions of volcanic gases. As the second-most glaciated mountain in the lower 48 states, Mount Baker presents similar mudslide dangers as Mount Rainier (the mountain with the largest glacier cover in the lower-48 states).
It’s quiet… for now. Read the rest of this entry »
May 15, 2013
Click on the map for a larger view.
Reports of misuse and dangerous behavior have prompted DNR to temporarily close the Tahuya River Horse Camp, beginning Friday, May 17. We are working with the Tahuya Focus Group and law enforcement to find a solution that will enable us to reopen the campground as soon as possible.
As manager and steward of Washington’s state trust lands, DNR is committed to providing safe and sustainable experiences for recreation users. We also know that most of the people who like to recreate on these lands are law-abiding citizens who want to enjoy the outdoors. Unfortunately, the actions of a few often affect the majority.
Working together to practice safe and sustainable recreation will help ensure that we—and future generations—have access to these lands.
DNR will continue to do everything it can to provide a safe recreational experience for its many users. We hope to reopen the Tahuya River Horse Camp as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.
Stay tuned for updates on the reopening of the Tahuya River Horse Camp. For more information, contact Doug McClelland, 206-920-5907.
Find out about other recreation opportunities on state trust lands at www.dnr.wa.gov/recreation.
About state trust lands
Washington state trust lands provide a continuous flow of revenue for specific beneficiaries—such as K-12 education—and benefits for the public. Recreation access to these lands is permitted, provided the activities are compatible with DNR’s management obligations.