Archive for the ‘Recreation’ Category

Eight reasons DNR is thankful for volunteers

November 28, 2013

Samish Overlook

Year-round, volunteers help keep DNR-managed rec sites clean, safe, and healthy. Photo by: DNR/Rick Foster

Each year, volunteers of all ages put in hundreds of thousands of hours helping DNR.

Their dedicated efforts and skills help us maintain and improve recreational sites, trails, natural areas, and other outdoor volunteer opportunities on the state trust lands we manage.

Some volunteers devote time every month; others pitch in a few hours here and there.

At DNR, we’re thankful to all of those who:

  1. Spent countless hours battling blackberries and scotch broom from overtaking trails and natural areas.
  2. Volunteered for the Forest Watch Program.
  3. Provided information and nature interpretation to school children and other forest visitors.
  4. Trekked out in the field to collect data or monitor plant species — providing valuable information to staff scientists.
  5. Helped us maintain and build recreational trails.
  6. Organized volunteer work parties.
  7. Provided clerical assistance.
  8. Helped DNR keep campgrounds open to the public by becoming a volunteer camp host.


Rain or shine, DNR’s volunteers are always happy to show up and lend a hand. Photo by: DNR

…and the many other activities that relied on volunteer efforts in the past year.

To all of you, our sincere thanks! And a Happy Thanksgiving.

The gift that gives back
Did you know that volunteers can earn vouchers toward a complimentary Discover Pass for their service?

By putting in 24 hours of time working on eligible projects on recreation lands managed by DNR, Washington State Parks, or Washington Department of Fish and WildlifeGet details.

Check out our Volunteer Calendar to learn about opportunities for you to get involved.

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Celebrate Thanksgiving with a trip to Reiter!

November 27, 2013
Reiter 4x4

Challenge your skills this Thanksgiving holiday on new trails at Reiter Foothills Forest.
Photo by: DNR/David Way

A special “Thank you!” to volunteers from the off-road vehicle (ORV) community who have been staffing the gate to motorized trails at Reiter Foothills Forest this season.

Thanks to them, DNR has been able to keep the trails open much later in the season than we expected.

These same volunteers have gone above and beyond to make motorized recreation opportunities possible this holiday.

Thanksgiving Holiday Rides
Volunteers will keep gates open at Reiter Foothills Forest from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. over the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Head up to Reiter and celebrate with friends or family this Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday (November 28 through December 1).

Remember – your Discover Pass is required to access the trails by vehicle. Find out if you need one for your ORV here.

Reiter Foothills Forest
If it’s been a while since you’ve visited Reiter, there are a lot of new trails to ride. Whether you’re a dirt biker, an ATV rider, or a 4×4 rock crawler, you can find something to enjoy.


Rec Alert: Seasonal Tiger Mountain trails close for winter season

November 8, 2013
Mountain Bike Rider on East Tiger Mountain

Mountain Bikers enjoyed the natural and rugged terrain at East Tiger Mountain this summer. Photo: Sam Jarrett, DNR

Did you have a chance to ride Tiger Mountain’s new stretch of trail, which opened to mountain bikers last summer? This weekend will be your last chance to ride them this season.

The Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will close the East Tiger Summit trails for the winter season Tuesday, November 12.

Washington’s rainy fall and winter months leave trails vulnerable to environmental and structural damage. Seasonal closures are a way for DNR to help protect the landscape and make sure the trail will be around to play on for many years.

Help your favorite trails
Several volunteer work parties will be scheduled to work on Tiger Mountain’s Preston Railroad Grade Trail. Stay tuned to DNR’s volunteer calendar to find out when you can come out and lend a hand.

Looking forward…
Seasonal closures are bittersweet for recreation enthusiasts. Why? They mark the end of summer sports, but also the approaching fun of winter recreation! (more…)

Check out two draft maps for the Naneum Ridge to Columbia River Plan

October 17, 2013
Join the discussion on the recreation future of the Naneum Ridge to Columbia River Planning Area. Photo: DNR.

Join the discussion on the recreation future of the Naneum Ridge to Columbia River Planning Area. Photo: DNR.

Join the Washington state departments of Natural Resources (DNR) and Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) in a discussion about future recreation opportunities in the Naneum Ridge to Columbia River area.

The two agencies, with the help of the Naneum Ridge to Columbia recreation planning committee, will host two community meetings next week in Ellensburg and Wenatchee.

October 23. Ellensburg, 5 – 8 p.m.
Hal Holmes Community Center
209 N. Ruby St. Ellensburg, WA 98926 (Directions)
Invite your friends

October 24. Wenatchee, 5 – 8 p.m.
Wenatchee Convention Center
121 N. Wenatchee Ave.
Wenatchee, WA 98801 (Directions)
Invite your friends

A recreation planning committee representing various recreational users and landowners has been working for more than a year with a DNR and WDFW project team to identify recreational options in the planning area. Attendees at the October meetings will learn about the progress that has been made on these efforts and will have the opportunity to review and comment on two options for recreational development.

The 230,000-acre recreation area covers portions of Kittitas and Chelan counties and includes the Naneum Ridge State Forest managed by DNR. It also includes the Colockum Wildlife Area and the Quilomene and Whiskey Dick units of the L.T. Murray Wildlife Area, managed by WDFW. The area is within 30 minutes of both Wenatchee and Ellensburg and extends from the eastern boundary of the Wenatchee National Forest to the Columbia River.

>> Learn more about Naneum Ridge to Columbia River recreation planning

>> Join the Naneum Ridge to Columbia River e-newsletter

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Teanaway Community Forest introduces new way of managing public forestlands

October 3, 2013
Fall view of the Teanaway Community Forest, the first Washington State-managed community forest. Photo: The Wilderness Society.

Fall view of the Teanaway Community Forest, the first Washington State-managed community forest. Photo: The Wilderness Society.

This week, Washington State celebrated the formation of the first state-managed community forest, the Teanaway Community Forest.

The Teanaway Community Forest is a 50,272-acre property situated at the headwaters of the Yakima Basin watershed (map).

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is collaboratively managing the Teanaway Community Forest with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and with significant public input from a community-based advisory committee.

The Teanaway acquisition is the largest single land transaction by Washington State in 45 years and reflects more than a decade of collaboration involving many organizations and individuals. The property will become Washington’s first Community Forest under the terms of legislation enacted in 2011, a model designed to empower communities to partner with DNR to purchase forests that support local economies and public recreation.

“The Teanaway Community Forest is one of the most beloved landscapes in Washington, and it will be cared for and managed for years to come to reflect the values and priorities of the community that has worked so hard to protect it,” said Peter Goldmark, Commissioner of Public Lands. “That’s the beauty of the Community Forest Trust model: it allows local communities to help protect the forests they love.”

Still have questions? Check out the Teanaway Community Forest Q & A or email them to

>>Sign up to receive the Teanaway Community Forest e-newsletter
>>View a media release about the purchase
>>Check out photos

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Our top posts during September: Lighting, wildfire, and ‘angular unconformity’ were popular topics

October 2, 2013
Lightning strike

Lighting has been striking more often this summer in Washington and Oregon — about 238,109 times, which four times higher than normal. Photo: DNR.

Here’s a roundup of the most popular blog posts on Ear to the Ground during September:

Snap, crackle, pop! More lightning than past years. Does it seem like Washington and Oregon have had more lightning this year than past years? That’s because it’s true — four times the normal rate, according to reports.

DNR’s Fire Dispatch Center takes the heat. Ever wonder how DNR mobilizes personnel, trucks, aircraft, and supplies to respond to wildland fires?

Former firefighter seeks — and finds — names of rescuers 32 years later. A former firefighter gets DNR’s help in tracking down crew members who rendered first aid and carried him to safety after he collapsed while working on a wildfire in 1981.

End summer the ‘Reiter-way. DNR announces that two new sections for off-road fun at Reiter Foothills Forest are now open to the public: The ATV Purple Line and the intimidating 4×4 Connector Challenge trails.   

Our Geology Image of the Month: ‘Angular unconformity’. The Washington State Geology News (a free e-newsletter from DNR) shows off a well-exposed angular unconformity in the rocks at Beach 4, located along coastal Highway 101 between Ruby Beach and Kalaloch.

Working forests, working double-time. Most people know about the monetary benefits of harvesting trees from forest lands, but what people may not know are the other services forests provide, such as clean water, flood control and carbon sequestration.

Small earthquake shakes Lake Wenatchee area. A small, 3.0 magnitude, earthquake shook the east end of Lake Wenatchee at 8:15 a.m. on September 24.

Can animals survive wildfires? You’ll be glad to know that most wild animals do survive wildfires. They are much smarter than we give them credit for.

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Severe weather forces State DNR to cancel Saturday’s volunteer event in Yacolt Burn State Forest

September 27, 2013

DNR volunteersDue to a severe weather advisory and forecasted high winds for the Yacolt Burn State Forest, Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has cancelled the annual Pick Up the Burn volunteer event and related activities scheduled for Saturday, September 28.

DNR’s number one priority is the safety  of our staff, volunteers, and the public.

We will work to reschedule the event for a future date. For any further questions regarding the event and information on efforts to reschedule, please contact Nick Cronquist at or 360-480-2700.

Get the latest weather conditions and advisory for southwestern Washington.

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Say goodbye to summer this weekend

September 20, 2013
Morning Star Natural Resources Conservation Area

Morning Star Natural Resources Conservation Area includes more than 35,000 acres of mountainous terrain for hiking and other types of low-impact, outdoor recreation

This fall equinox this Sunday (September 22, 2013) signals the official end of summer. Many DNR recreation sites and trails are open this weekend. Check out a DNR recreation opportunity near you. For example, the Morning Star Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA) is a 33,592-acre mountainous conservation area in Snohomish County. It offers access to a number of wilderness trails from various trailheads (Note: The trails are not ADA accessible; however, accessible toilets are available at the Ashland Lakes trailhead and at the Boulder/Greider trailhead).

A Washington State Discover Pass is required for parking at all trailheads in Morning Star NRCA.

DNR provides trails and campgrounds in primitive, natural settings on the 2.2 million acres of forests that the department manages as state trust lands for revenue to support school construction, state universities and services in many counties.

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Anderson Mountain gate open for fall recreation

September 13, 2013

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Northwest Region is temporarily opening a gate on Anderson Mountain.

The opening is scheduled to run today, Friday, September 13, 2013 through Thursday, January 2, 2014 to allow for seasonal access. Anderson Mountain is located adjacent from Blanchard Mountain on the east side of Interstate 5.

Recret8The gate is located off Skarrup Road, which becomes Alger Mountain Road, near the town of Alger, Washington and provides drive-in access to Anderson Mountain.

Please enjoy this fall recreation opportunity!
DNR requests that users heed the following rules:

  • Fires are not allowed in the area accessible beyond the gate.
  • Users are instructed to leave no trace: pack out what you pack in!
  • Recreationists are not allowed to travel off designated roads.
  • DNR requests that you do not go around closed gates.
  • Please respect private property boundaries.
Anderson Mountain

Enjoy a fall hike or hunting adventure on Anderson Mountain. Photo by: DNR

DNR reserves the right to close this gate at any time if it becomes necessary.

As always, we request that users respect the area so DNR can continue to provide access in the future.

Also – remember that it is hunting season! Please put high visibility clothing on yourself, your kids, and your dogs. DNR wants everyone to stay safe and have fun while exploring the woods.

Learn more about sustainable recreation on DNR’s website.

Don’t forget your Discover Pass
The Discover Pass is your ticket to recreation access on nearly 7 million acres of state lands. Even Sasquatch needs one to park at DNR sites! Learn where to get yours at

Report any illegal activity to DNR’s Forest Watch program at 1-855-883-8368 or

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End summer the ‘Reiter-way’

September 12, 2013

As many of you may know, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) opened new trails at Reiter to off-roaders for weekend use this past June. Now, there’s even more to celebrate!


Take the family on a beautiful adventure through Reiter’s new ATV Purple Line trail. Photo by: DNR/Jessica Payne

Today, DNR announced that two new sections are now open to the public. Load up the quad, the 4×4 truck, or dirt bike and enjoy the last days of summer adrenaline.

What weekend adventures should I expect at Reiter?
The ATV Purple Line and the 4×4 Connector Challenge trails are ready to be put to the test.

The new ATV Purple Line Trail is a breathtaking excursion through the sun-speckled understory of the forest.

The intimidating 4×4 Connector Challenge Trail is sure to give even the toughest Jeep a grappling test.

When can I go?
Reiter will be open on weekends until the end of September on the following schedule:

Friday 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Starting in October, Reiter will be open Saturdays and Sundays only through the rest of the winter.

Keep posted on trail status by subscribing to our Northwest Region e-newsletter. Check out new trail maps, motorized trail rules, and 4×4 technical trail guidelines on our website. (more…)


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