Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Yard Talk – Puget Sound is our front yard

June 5, 2014
Maury Island homes across Quartermaster Harbor

Maury Island homes across Quartermaster Harbor

Puget Sound—such an important asset for Washington— looks pristine as we gaze out at our watery ‘front yard.’ And we love to see the wildlife and eat fish, shellfish, and other tasty delights from the bay.

For decades we have progressed significantly on restoring habitat and cleaning up messes. And yet, beneath the surface are junk and chemicals ‘flushed’ into the Sound through storm drains.

Stormwater outfall

Stormwater outfall

Take a look at YouTube: Puget Sound is Our Front Yard, King County TV’s Yard Talk program that sheds some light on why and how we can be great stewards of the Sound AND create solutions that benefit our home and personal lives, too.

Many of the underwater and beach shots were taken at Maury Island Aquatic Reserve, managed by DNR to protect this aquatic ecosystem and provide research and educational opportunities for scientists, students and the public.

Rain garden along a Seattle street

Rain garden along a Seattle street

Most of the reserve is healthy, but even here, cleanup and restoration are necessary to undo damage of the past 150 years—and sustain the long-term health of the ecosystem.

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DNR offices closed for Memorial Day; Many recreation sites are open today

May 26, 2014

Memorial DayDNR’s regional and headquarters offices are closed for Memorial Day in honor of the men and women who died while serving in the nation’s armed forces.

Most of the recreation sites that the department manages are open today. See the latest list of open and closed DNR-managed recreation sites before you go. Offices will reopen on Tuesday morning at regular business hours.

 

Planned Ocosta tsunami refuge would provide safe area for students, staff and residents

May 20, 2014

First vertical-evacuation tsunami refuge in nation

Ocosta school project

Ocosta school project

The Ocosta School District hosted an open house last week (Thursday, May 15) to show off its plans for what will become the first vertical-evacuation tsunami refuge in the United States – the Ocosta Elementary School & Tsunami Safe Haven. This voter-approved, locally funded school construction project will include a large platform atop a new gymnasium, part of a planned replacement for the community’s aging elementary school. Students, faculty, and staff, as well as nearby residents, could flee to the building’s upper-level in the event a tsunami hit the Washington coast. By placing the earthquake-resilient building atop a small hill, the rooftop haven will sit about 55 feet above sea level, well above the tallest surges predicted for the school site.

Washington State’s outer coast is susceptible to tsunamis, particularly those caused by local earthquakes. The Cascadia Subduction Zone, which lies off the coastline of Washington, Oregon, Northern California, and British Columbia, is capable of producing very large earthquakes, similar to the one that struck Japan and generated devastating tsunami waves in March 2011.

This new structure is a product of Project Safe Haven, a collaboration between DNR, Washington State Emergency Management Division, University of Washington’s Hazard Mitigation Institute, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), United States Geological Survey, coastal communities, and Tribal Nations. Also instrumental in the project was NOAA’s National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program which encourages safety planning in communities at risk of tsunamis.

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Water safety first as warm temperatures return

May 1, 2014
Blow-hole along the Strait of Juan De Fuca west of Neah Bay

Kayaker is sprayed by a blow-hole along the Strait of Juan De Fuca west of Neah Bay. Photo: DNR

This week’s warm temperatures are drawing large crowds to Washington State’s lakes, rivers, ocean beaches, and Puget Sound.

Safety first
Rafting, boating, and swimming can be great fun, but we want to make sure you make safety your first priority.

Washington’s cold waters can turn a sunny adventure into a scary situation in a matter of seconds.

Water excursions on DNR-managed land
Look on our Recreation web page to find out which waterside recreation sites on DNR-managed lands are open. Locate resources for safe and sustainable paddling here.

Boater Education Card required
Remember, if you operate a boat, you’ll need to get your Boater Education Card from State Parks and have one U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket available for each person aboard.

Additional water safety reminders come from the Washington State Department of Health.

National Boating Safety Week is May 17 through May 23. Teach your loved ones the essentials of water safety with tips from the Safe Boating Campaign.

Cypress Head camping

Sunrise at Cypress Head on Cypress Island — a DNR-managed Natural Resources Conservation Area. Photo: Jason Goldstein/DNR

Something to look forward to…
Cypress Island: rich in DNR’s most popular boat-in campgrounds and day-use recreation sites will open Memorial Day weekend.

Make sure you get your Discover Pass before you go! One $35* Annual Discover Pass grants you vehicle access to DNR recreation sites, campgrounds, trails, and 2.2 million acres of state trust lands.

Most importantly, be safe and have fun!

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*Annual Discover Pass is $35 including transaction and dealer fees if purchased at a license dealer, by phone or online. 

DNR weekend reading: Frequency and size of wildfires in western US growing

April 19, 2014
Trees in this patch of old-growth forest in southwest Washington State survived the Yacolt Burn of 1902.

Trees in this patch of old-growth forest in southwest Washington State survived the Yacolt Burn of 1902. Timber harvests are restricted in this area because it is habitat for the northern spotted owl, a federally listed species. Photo: DNR

Here are links to articles about recent research, discoveries and other news about forests, climate, energy and other science topics gathered by DNR for your weekend reading:

American Geophysical Union: More, bigger wildfires burning western U.S., study shows
Wildfires across the western United States have been getting bigger and more frequent over the last 30 years – a trend that could continue as climate change causes temperatures to rise and drought to become more severe in the coming decades, according to new research.

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA): Nutrient-rich forests absorb more carbon
The ability of forests to sequester carbon from the atmosphere depends on nutrients available in the forest soils, shows new research from an international team of researchers. “This paper produces the first evidence that to really understand the carbon cycle, you have to look into issues of nutrient cycling within the soil,” said one of the researchers.

University of Utah: Warm U.S. West, Cold East: A 4,000-Year Pattern: Global Warming May Bring More Curvy Jet Streams during Winter
Last winter’s curvy jet stream pattern that brought mild temperatures to western North America and harsh cold to the East became more pronounced 4,000 years ago, and may become more extreme as Earth’s climate warms. By examining oxygen isotope ratios in lake and cave sediments, University of Utah researchers were able to determine several thousand years of past jet stream patterns.

Environment360: UN Panel Looks to Renewables as the Key to Stabilizing Climate
In its latest report, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change makes a strong case for a sharp increase in low-carbon energy production, especially solar and wind, and provides hope that this transformation can occur in time to hold off the worst impacts of global warming.

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DNR weekend reading: ‘High-tech’ trees, ecosystem cost-analysis methods, and more

April 12, 2014
One of the several UH-1H ('Huey') helicopters that DNR operates to suppress wildfires.

One of the several UH-1H (‘Huey’) helicopters that DNR operates to suppress wildfires. Although the official fire season in Washington State begins April 15, more than 20 wildfires have already occurred on lands protected by DNR. Photo: DNR.

Here are links to articles about recent research, discoveries and other news about forests, climate, energy and other science topics gathered by DNR for your weekend reading:

Oregon State University: Trees go high-tech: Process turns cellulose into energy storage devices
A fundamental chemical discovery should allow tress to soon play a major role in making high-tech energy storage devices. A method has been discovered to turn cellulose — the most abundant organic polymer on Earth and a key component of trees –- into the building blocks for cheaper and more environmentally friendly supercapacitors.

Bournemouth University: Putting a price on ecological restoration
Researchers at BU have shown that placing a monetary value on ecosystem services, such as timber, food and water, provides a useful mechanism to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of reforestation and other ecological restoration activities.

North Carolina State University: Where credit is due: How acknowledging expertise can help conservation efforts
A group of scientists is calling for conservation researchers to do a better job of publicly acknowledging the role of local experts and other non-scientists in conservation biology.

environment360: Soil as Carbon Storehouse: New Weapon in Climate Fight?
The degradation of soils from unsustainable agriculture and other development has released billions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere. But new research shows how effective land restoration could play a major role in sequestering CO2 and slowing climate change.

Coventry University: Health benefits of ‘green exercise’ for kids shown in new study
Children who are exposed to scenes of nature while exercising are more likely to experience health-enhancing effects after activity, according to a study published recently in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

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DNR weekend reading: Use more wood, not less, for a cleaner environment

March 16, 2014
Blanchard Forest recreation area

A rare sunny day in March at the Blanchard Forest recreation area, which is managed by DNR. Photo: Hyden McKown/DNR.

Here are links to articles about recent research, discoveries and other news about forests, climate, energy and other science topics gathered by DNR for your weekend reading:

Yale University: Increasing Wood Usage: An Environmental Win-Win
Contrary to popular belief, the best way to use wood is not simply to leave the vast majority of it alone. A paper co-authored by faculty from the University of Washington and a Yale University graduate student suggests that the ideal course is more active: harvesting a much higher percentage of new growth either for raw building materials or for burning as a source of fuel.

University of Missouri: Small Biomass Power Plants Could Help Rural Economies, Stabilize National Power Grid, MU Study Finds
University of Missouri researchers have found that creating a bioenergy grid with power plants small enough to fit on a farm could benefit people in rural areas of the country as well as provide relief to an overworked national power grid.

University of California-San Diego: Number of Days Without Rain to Dramatically Increase in Some World Regions
By the end of the 21st century, some parts of the world can expect as many as 30 more days a year without precipitation, according to a new study by Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego researchers.

Linköping University (Finland): Wastewater becomes biogas
Wastewater from pulp and paper mills contains large volumes of organic material that can be converted into biogas, according to findings by researchers from Water and Environmental Studies (WES) at Linköping University, who are conducting several pilot trails.

Umea University (Sweden): Not even freezing cold stops alien species in high altitudes
Harsh and cold climates don´t seem to stop alien plants from establishing themselves in high altitudes, where they now successfully penetrate the alpine vegetation,

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Make your voice heard. How can the DNR website serve you better?

March 14, 2014

We need your help! DNR is working to improve our website to create a more user-friendly experience.

We are seeking feedback from each of our user groups. DNR wants your opinion — your view is important to us.

mouse graphicPlease take this 3 – 5 minute online survey to let us know ways the website can better meet your needs. 

Our primary goal is to make sure you can find the information you need and accomplish tasks quickly and easily.

Hurry, the survey ends March 21.

State trust land

Think back to the last time you used the DNR website

  • Did you come in from the homepage?
  • Did you feel the need to bookmark important pages?
  • Was it easy to find what you were looking for?
  • Did you go to another source instead?

Help us reach others. Please share with your friends and make an even bigger impact.

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DNR weekend reading: Magnetic fields guide salmon home

March 9, 2014
State trust land

Fog and below-freezing temperatures combine to give the illusion of recent snowfall on a tract of DNR-managed state trust land in Pend Oreille County. Photo: James Hartley/DNR.

Here are links to articles about recent research, discoveries and other news about forests, climate, energy and other science topics gathered by DNR for your weekend reading:

Oregon State UniversityStudy confirms link between salmon migration and magnetic field
The Earth’s magnetic field may explain how fish can navigate across thousands of miles of water to find their river of origin, say scientists following experiments at the Oregon Hatchery Research Center in the Alsea River basin.

Cornell UniversityDeer proliferation disrupts a forest’s natural growth
Cornell researchers have discovered that a burgeoning deer population forever alters the progression of a forest’s natural future by creating environmental havoc in the soil and disrupting the soil’s natural seed banks.

Science DailyWhat has happened to the tsunami debris from Japan?
The driftage generated by the tragic 2011 tsunami in Japan gave scientists a unique chance to learn more about the effects of the ocean and wind on floating materials as they move across the North Pacific Ocean.

Harvard UniversityInfrared: A new renewable energy source?
Physicists at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences envision using current technologies to create a device that would harvest energy from Earth’s infrared emissions into outer space.

Rec Alert: Murdock Beach access road open after brief closure for soil testing

March 6, 2014

Ruby Beach, located on the Washington Coast. Photo: Jane Chavey/ DNR

All work has been completed and the Murdock Beach access forest road is once again open to the public.

Thank you for your patience!

Original article posted February 27, 2014:

Rec Alert: Murdock Beach access road to close for soil testing
The forest road that accesses Murdock Beach will be closed Tuesday, March 4 and Wednesday, March 5 for soil testing.

Murdock Beach, located on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, will not be accessible during this time.

The temporary closure will be at the junction of US Highway 112 and forest road PA-S-2500. This will block access to the PA-S-2510 beach access road and the PA-S-2600 forest access road.

Why will the road be closed?
The DNR Timber Sales program will be taking core samples of the forest road to determine soil suitability. This is a step in preparing for a fish barrier culvert removal.

Murdock Beach access road closure

The forest road that accesses Murdock Beach will be closed March 4 – 5. Click image to enlarge.

For updates on the closure, please visit DNR’s recreation updates page. Closure updates will also be posted on DNR’s Facebook and Twitter sites.

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