Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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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DNR weekend reading: Earthquake lights, tallest trees, and more

March 1, 2014
hoarfrost

Hoarfrost in Capitol State Forest near Fall Creek campground. Photo: Bryan Hamlin/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:

Nature: Earthquake lights linked to rift zones
A new catalogue of earthquake lights — mysterious glows sometimes reported before or during seismic shaking — finds that they happen most often in geological rift environments, where the ground is pulling apart. The work is the latest to tackle the enigmatic lights, which have been described by eyewitnesses for centuries but are yet to be fully explained by scientists.

Science Daily: Temperature Most Significant Driver of World’s Tallest Trees
The tallest specimens of the world’s nine tallest tree species grow in climates with an unusually small seasonal temperature variation. Understanding the role of temperature in driving tree height, may help scientists forecast how forests adapt to climate change.

University of California-BerkeleySuburban Sprawl Cancels Carbon Footprint Savings of Dense Urban Cores
According to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, population-dense cities contribute less greenhouse gas emissions per person than other areas of the country, but these cities’ extensive suburbs essentially wipe out the climate benefits.

University of California-Santa Barbara: Cities Support More Native Biodiversity Than Previously Thought
Rapid conversion of natural lands to cement-dominated urban centers is causing great losses in biodiversity. Yet, according to a new study involving 147 cities worldwide, surprisingly high numbers of plant and animal species persist and even flourish in urban environment.

environment360: Urban Nature: How to Foster Biodiversity in World’s Cities
As the world becomes more urbanized, researchers and city managers from Baltimore to Britain are recognizing the importance of providing urban habitat that can support biodiversity.

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DNR offices closed today, but here is some fun reading from DNR’s time travel machine

February 17, 2014
Doug-fir

DNR Forester Jesse Steele with old growth Douglas-fir estimated to be 250-300 years old. Photo by: DNR

This Douglas-fir has seen a lot in its lifetime on the Olympic Peninsula. DNR conducted an old growth assessment and concluded that the tree is between 250 and 300 years old. It may already have been standing in the forest when the first U.S. President George Washington was born 282 years ago this week. Today, like each year on the third Monday of February, we celebrate our nation’s presidents.

Can you imagine what changes have taken place since this tree was a seedling more than 250 years ago?

251 years ago – When this tree was young, Benjamin Franklin was conducting experiments to uncover the complexities of lightning and electricity.

225 years ago – By the time George Washington was elected president in 1789, this tree was already as old as most of the ones you see in our forests today.

203 – 207 years ago – When Abraham Lincoln was born in 1809, Washington State was already rapidly undergoing many of the changes that would shape it into the community we know today. Just four years before Lincoln’s birth the Lewis and Clark Expedition entered the area that is now Washington State. Two years after Lincoln was born David Thompson sailed down and completing the first formal mapping of the Columbia River.

125 years ago – The State of Washington was admitted to the Union on November 11, 1889. That year the U.S. government endowed the state with 3.2 million acres of trust land.

57 years ago – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources was established — just over 150 years after our first president began his term in office. The new agency combined seven agencies and boards, including the Commissioner of Public Lands who administers the state trust lands and DNR.

Florian doug fir

DNR Forester Florian Deisenhofer with a Douglas-fir estimated to be over 400 years old. Photo: Dan Friesz/DNR.

49 years ago - The first formal DNR recreation sites were created in 1965.

43 years ago – In 1971, Washington State legislature stopped the sales of state tidelands and shorelands, and the State Environmental Policy Act was established. The following year, DNR was selected to manage natural area preserves, and the first natural resource conservation areas were established.

Washington State has come a long way since the days of those first presidents. We can celebrate history and the accomplishments of our country and state today while remembering these majestic old growth trees that have seen it all.

Happy President’s Day!

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Great Backyard Bird Count – It’s free, fun & easy!

February 15, 2014

The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of bird populations. Participants are asked to count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on one or more days of the event and report their sightings online at www.birdcount.org. Anyone can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, from beginning bird watchers to experts, and you can now participate from anywhere in the world! 

Evening Grosbeak -- Photo by GBBC participant Carrie

Evening Grosbeak — Photo by GBBC participant Carrie

Fun for the whole family!
Each checklist submitted during the GBBC helps researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society learn more about how birds are doing, and how to protect them and the environment we share. Last year, participants turned in more than 134,000 online checklists, creating the world’s largest instantaneous snapshot of bird populations ever recorded.

The 17th annual GBBC will be held Friday, February 14, through Monday, February 17, 2014. To learn more visit the official website at www.birdcount.org.

For more on the results of the 2013 GBBC, take a look at the full summary, and be sure to check out some of the images in the 2013 GBBC Photo Contest Gallery.

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Plan your V-Day getaway on DNR recreation lands

February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine’s Day!! Wait, did you forget…?

Plan a fun trip to DNR-managed recreation lands this Valentine's Day!

Plan a fun trip to DNR-managed recreation lands this Valentine’s Day!

Still scrambling to plan a romantic getaway? Or perhaps searching for a single’s adventure to escape all the hearts and flowers?

Plan your trip today at www.dnr.wa.gov/recreation.

Just because you forgot to plan Valentine’s Day, doesn’t mean you should go unprepared. 

Remember:

Have fun!

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Wish you were here?

February 13, 2014
High Hut at Mount Tahoma

Book your adventure to the Mount Tahoma Snow Huts on DNR-managed state trust lands today at http://www.skimtta.com/huts.htm

Winter recreation season is finally in full swing. The mountains are covered in snow and Eastern Washington’s trails are groomed and ready for snowmobiling, skiing, and snowshoeing.

Planning a trip to see the snow? We at DNR want you to have the opportunity to enjoy some winter outdoor adventures, but we want you to be safe.

mountain bikers riding a snowy trail

Winter outdoor recreation takes many shapes on DNR-managed lands.
Photo: Randy Warnock/DNR

Safety first for winter recreation
Whether you snowshoe, cross country ski, hike, or snowmobile, you should be prepared.

Here are some tips to follow for a safe and enjoyable trip:

Snow mobile

Don’t get out on the trails without proper permits! Make it a fun day and know before you go.
Photo: Chuck Lamica, DNR

Snowmobilers
Snowmobilers should follow all of the aforementioned as well as know their ability to ride on or off groomed trails.

Wear protective equipment with Washington Department of Transportation approved helmets. Never carry a passenger unless the snowmobile is designed for it. Always avoid alcohol while operating a snowmobile and ride responsibly.

Sno-Park Permit, Discover Pass, or both?
Don’t forget to grab your Sno-Park Permit or Discover Pass before you head out.

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