Archive for the ‘Conservation & Natural Areas’ Category

Q & A: What’s that smoke near Capitol State Forest?

September 11, 2013
DNR and Nature Conservancy fire crews supervise a controlled burn to help restore prairie habitat at Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve near Olympia. Photo: DNR

DNR fire crews supervise a controlled burn to help restore prairie habitat at Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve near Olympia. Photo: DNR

On September 12 & 13, if wind and weather conditions are favorable, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) may conduct a controlled burn at Rocky Prairie Natural Area Preserve.

Why burn?

(more…)

Proposed Boundary Expansion for Kennedy Creek Preserve…What do you think?

August 19, 2013
Kennedy Creek NRCA a short interpretive trail that captures the unique ecology of the ___. Photo: Diana Lofflin, DNR.

Kennedy Creek NRCA hosts a short interpretive trail that captures the unique ecology of the marsh. Photo: Diana Lofflin, DNR.

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will hold a public hearing on the proposed boundary expansion for the Kennedy Creek Natural Area Preserve (NAP) on August 28. Find the answers to your questions below.

Where is Kennedy Creek NAP?
Kennedy Creek NAP is located in Oyster Bay, at the terminus of Totten Inlet, off of Highway 101 between Olympia and Shelton. The preserve currently protects 320 acres of aquatic and up-lands that include high-quality salt marsh ecosystems and habitat for shorebirds and salmon. The proposed expansion would protect an additional 33 acres of habitat along Schneider Creek (see map).

Will a new boundary affect my property?
A proposed natural area boundary imposes no change in land-use zoning, development code requirements, or any other restrictions on current or future landowners. A proposed natural area boundary is an administrative tool to indicate where DNR will work with willing property owners to expand the state-owned natural area.

A misty day at Schneider Estuary in Kennedy Creek NRCA. Photo: DNR.

A misty day at Schneider Estuary in Kennedy Creek NRCA. Photo: DNR.

If my land is in the new boundary, do I have to sell?
Privately owned lands within the boundary only become part of the natural area if DNR purchases them from a willing private seller at market value, which is determined by an independent, third-party appraisal.

How do I submit my comment?
Join us on August 28, 2013 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  DNR will make a record of the public testimony given at the hearing. Comments and testimony will assist the Commissioner of Public Lands, Peter Goldmark, with the decision either to approve or disapprove an expansion of the NAP boundary.

McLane Fire Station
125 Delphi Road NW
Olympia, WA 98502

Written comments may also be submitted through September 4 to:

Washington Department of Natural Resources
Conservation, Recreation, and Transactions Division
ATTN: Proposed NAP Boundary Expansion
PO Box 47014
Olympia, WA 98504

Comments also may be submitted by email to: AMPD@dnr.wa.gov with the subject line, “Proposed NAP Boundary Expansion-Kennedy Creek.”

For more information on the proposed boundary expansion, please contact Michele Zukerberg at 360-902-1417 or michele.zukerberg@dnr.wa.gov .

DNR’s Natural Areas Program
DNR manages 55 Natural Area Preserves (NAPs) and 36 Natural Resources Conservation Areas (NRCAs) on more than 150,000 acres statewide. NAPs protect high-quality examples of native ecosystems and rare plant and animal species. NAPs serve as genetic reserves for Washington’s native species and as reference sites for comparing natural and altered environments. NRCAs protect lands having high conservation values for ecological systems, scenic qualities, wildlife habitat, and low-impact recreational opportunities. Environmental education and approved research projects occur on both NAPs and NRCAs.

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Fidalgo Bay needs your help; Volunteers wanted this Sunday for Puget SoundCorps beach cleanup

August 14, 2013
Fidalgo Bay

Fidalgo Bay Aquatic Reserve in Skagit County. Photo: Ecology.

Looking for an opportunity to get some light exercise outdoors this weekend while doing a good deed for the health of Puget Sound? Join in a beach cleanup this Sunday, August 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Fidalgo Bay Aquatic Reserve, near Anacortes.

We need volunteers to help remove old plastic bottles, food wrappers, and other trash from the beach and tidelands in Fidalgo Bay. Bring work gloves, water, snacks, sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, and sturdy work shoes — we’ll provide the garbage bags. Parking is available at the Fidalgo Bay Resort, 4701 Fidalgo Bay Road (here are the driving directions).

The event is organized by DNR, Puget SoundCorps, Friends of Skagit Beaches, Skagit Land Trust, and the Skagit County Marine Resources Committee.

The Puget SoundCorps is part of the broader Washington Conservation Corps administered by the Washington Department of Ecology to create jobs for youth and military veterans. Fidalgo Bay Aquatic Reserve is one of the seven DNR-managed aquatic reserves in Washington State.

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Q & A: What’s that smoke near Capitol State Forest? (UPDATE)

July 24, 2013
DNR and Nature Conservancy fire crews supervise a controlled burn to help restore prairie habitat at Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve near Olympia. Photo: DNR

DNR and Nature Conservancy fire crews supervise a controlled burn to help restore prairie habitat at Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve near Olympia. Photo: DNR

UPDATE (July 24, 2013): Tomorrow’s planned controlled burn has been cancelled due to changing fire conditions.

On Thursday July 25, if wind and weather conditions are favorable, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will conduct a controlled burn on 5 acres in Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve (NAP).

During the controlled burn, Mima Mounds will remain open but some trails will be closed to ensure public safety.

Why burn? (more…)

National Trails Day® is June 1; Find an event near you

May 29, 2013
National Trails Day event

Popular trails get worn and become more susceptible to erosion. Volunteers like these at a National Trails Day event help DNR stretch its scarce maintenance dollars. Photo: DNR

There is no shortage of interesting and beautiful places that need your help on National Trails Day® this Saturday, June 1. Shake off that cabin fever and get out on some of Washington’s most beautiful trails this weekend by volunteering to help clean up and improve one of our many popular recreation trails. A few hours of effort can make a big difference.

There are many National Trails Day projects on DNR-managed state trust lands statewide this weekend. Find a project near you.

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Native Plant Appreciation Week continues through May 4

April 29, 2013
Red columbine

Red columbine (Aquilegia formosa). Photo: DNR

Red columbine (Aquilegia formosa) is one of the many plants we celebrate during Native Plant Appreciation Week in Washington state, April 28 – May 4, 2013. Find out about Native Plant Appreciation Week events on the Washington Native Plant Society website or visit DNR DNR on Facebook.

DNR conservation and restoration efforts, include the Natural Heritage Program and the Natural Areas Program.

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Take a hike…a nature hike that is! Celebrate Native Plant Appreciation Week with DNR

April 26, 2013
Photo of wildflowers at Lacamas Prairie. Photo: Carlo Abbruzzese, DNR.

Photo of wildflowers at Lacamas Prairie. Photo: Carlo Abbruzzese, DNR.

Today kicks off Native Plant Appreciation Week in Washington, and as spring brings the landscape to life around us, it’s a great time to celebrate Washington’s diverse ecosystem. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will be hosting events across the state.

 April 27 — A native plant walk at the Lacamas Prairie Natural Area Preserve (near Camas) is scheduled for anyone interested in an informative tour of some of Washington’s native flora.

April 27 — Celebrate native plants with a nature hike at West Tiger Mountain (near Issaquah)

May 4 — Wildflower Hike at Columbia Hills State Park. Join DNR staff and State Park staff for a hike around Columbia Hills State Park.

Find out more about Native Plant Appreciation Week (more…)

2013 Salmon Recovery Conference

April 19, 2013
2013 Salmon Recovery Conference

Today is the final day to get early-bird rates for the 2013 Salmon Recovery Conference in Vancouver, WA.

State hosts salmon recovery conference
About 600 people who live and breathe salmon recovery are expected to descend on Vancouver May 14 and 15 for a two-day salmon recovery conference. Hosted by the Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board, the conference includes 12 different educational tracks on all things salmon recovery. Lean more about the 2013 Salmon Recovery Conference and register today. (Student volunteers are needed.)

Conference focus

  • Building better salmon recovery projects and sharing lessons learned.
  • Celebrate what is working in salmon recovery
  • Examine what could work better
  • Share experiences and lessons from the field
  • Assess and reflect on over ten years of salmon recovery work
  • Learn ways to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of projects

Who should attend: You, and others like you who are engaged in salmon recovery—project managers, land trust staff, conservation district personnel, tribal members, city and county staff, planners, landowners, fishery enhancement groups, hatchery workers, fishing professionals, sport fishers, state and federal agency staff, fish scientists, restoration ecologists, wetland biologists, and others involved with salmon recovery in Washington, Oregon, and along the Pacific Coast.

  (more…)

Trout Lake Natural Area Preserve gets a little larger, and a lot better

April 3, 2013
Trout Lake Natural Area Preserve

Mount Adams towers over the Trout Lake Natural Area Preserve, which is managed by DNR. Photo: DNR

Action yesterday by the state Board of Natural Resources cleared the way for a 153-acre addition to Trout Lake Natural Area Preserve (NAP) in Klickitat County. The parcel of state trust land transferred into the 1,733-acre preserve in the  northwest corner of the county includes uplands forested with trees between 90 and 100 years old. The addition of that watershed and surround oak woodlands will help protect one of the prime features of Trout Lake: its wetlands. The site is home to one of only four remaining populations of the Oregon spotted frog in Washington, plus lots of other wildlife.

The Seattle Audubon Society website has a detailed description of the breathtaking scenery and abundant wildlife that can be viewed at Trout Lake NAP. To get there from the town of White Salmon, travel north on WA-141  for about 20 miles. It’s that easy.

When you go, don’t forget your Discover Pass – your ticket to Washington’s great outdoors.

Let us know if Trout Lake is a favorite spot of yours, or if you have another scenic outdoor destination to share on DNR’s Facebook page.

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Washington’s Salmon Recovery Funding Board recognizes DNR’s Craig Partridge for his service

March 18, 2013
Partridge RCO

Craig Partridge was honored for his service by the Salmon Recovery Funding Board last week. Photo by: DNR/Jessica Payne

What were you doing in September of 1981?

That was the month the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) hired Craig Partridge under the administration of Brian Boyle. Since then, he has worked for four Commissioners of Public Lands. After thirty-one years – and a variety of job titles, assignments, major projects, and teams – Craig happily announced his retirement from state service early last month:

“I want to express my appreciation to Commissioner Goldmark for giving me an opportunity to serve in his administration at DNR.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the work I’ve been involved in.  When I started at DNR so long ago, I had no idea I’d eventually be an agency historian, but at this point I’m pleased at having had that among a number of rewarding roles.”

DNR will be sad to say goodbye to Partridge, the agency’s Policy and Governmental Relations Director, when he retires from state service on April 30, 2013.

“For more than three decades Craig Partridge has helped guide DNR policy to the benefit of the citizens of Washington and the long term sustainability of our state trust lands,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude to Craig for his years of dedicated service to the DNR and the people of Washington State.” (more…)


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