Posts Tagged ‘DNR’

DNR Website Maintenance

March 8, 2014

March 8

Staff will be upgrading some of DNR’s online systems March 8.

The website and web based programs may not be available for use. In the meantime, please stay connected on our “Ear to the Ground” blog and/or other social media tools.

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DNR’s social media sites:
“Ear to the Ground” blog
Twitter
Fire Twitter
Flickr
Facebook Fan page
YouTube
 
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Plan your weekend adventure with DNR

March 7, 2014

Looking for something to do this weekend? Plan an outdoor adventure on DNR-managed lands.

Try Something New
Don’t let cool weather hold you back. This time of year you can go hiking, mountain biking, trail running, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, horseback riding, off-road vehicle riding, camping, bird watching, free flying (hang gliding and paragliding), and many other activities.

Ahtanum

The 67 miles of groomed snow trails at Ahtanum Winter Recreation Area are waiting to be explored. Click to learn more. Photo: Ken Dean/DNR

If you can dream up a fun outdoor activity, you can probably find a group doing it on state-trust lands.

Plan Ahead
The key to a good trip out into nature is to make sure you’re prepared. Here are some things to consider before striking out into the great outdoors:

Explore some DNR recreation photos on our Flickr site to get inspired for your next outdoor adventure.

Most importantly, have fun on your trip.

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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 Volunteer Heroes are at it again! Annual Great Gravel Pack-In

March 4, 2014

Great Gravel Pack-In

Great Gravel Pack-In volunteers are happy to help rain or shine! Photo by: Diana Lofflin/DNR

At DNR, we could not do the work we do without the help of our volunteers statewide. 

The Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark presents an annual Volunteer Hero Award to honor extraordinary volunteers who demonstrate leadership and commitment in their service to the DNR Volunteer Program.

The time of year has come where our Volunteer Heroes are at it again. They just can’t help leading volunteer efforts and they are looking for people who are willing to strap on their work gloves and join in the work. (more…)

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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Easy steps to becoming a Tree City USA®

February 28, 2014

Tree City USA recognizes cities and towns that go the extra mile to manage and care for healthy urban forests.

Find out if your city is involved, and if not, learn how easy it is to become a Tree City.

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Keeping up with kits and knowledge for earthquakes

February 27, 2014
web_0429_RedCrossKit

An example of an American Red Cross emergency kit

Tomorrow, Feb 28, is the 13th anniversary of the Nisqually earthquake that shook a large part of Washington State. This earthquake in 2001 was a reminder that natural disasters can happen at any time and sometimes without any warning at all. There is no season for earthquakes so it is helpful to always be ready. The time to prepare for an earthquake is before it happens. There are many ways you can prepare for an earthquake, from learning about safety precautions and procedures, to having the essentials available when you really need them.

Have an emergency kit

The American Red Cross has a basic emergency kit that can be prepared and then placed in a safe, accessible place so it can be grabbed quickly in an emergency.

Know before you go

Here is a great refresher on basic knowledge to store in the back of your mind. You cannot tell from the initial shaking if an earthquake will suddenly become intense… so always Drop, Cover, and Hold On immediately!

» DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!),

» Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and

» HOLD ON to your shelter and be prepared to move with it until the shaking stops.

Find more resources on the state Emergency Management Division website about preparing for — and surviving — an earthquake.

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Select the right place to plant your tree: Tips to avoid tree-planter’s regret syndrome

February 26, 2014
This was the wrong tree planted closely to sidewalks. Think ahead before planting a tree that will grow too big for its location.

This was the wrong tree planted too closely to the sidewalk. Think ahead before planting a tree that will grow too big for its location.

Your yard might be a bit bare and lacking character. Trees to the rescue!

Whether you decide to plant a tree for aesthetics, to increase your property value, to save energy by planting shade, or to watch birds while lounging in a hammock, it is important to plan for your planting. Start by thinking about site selection.

Evaluate the site to make sure this is the best possible place for a tree to live and that you have the information to select the best species for that site.

Considerations when selecting your site include:

  • Are there underground utilities? Call 1-800-424-5555 two working days before you dig a hole. A utility location service will mark the pathways of underground utilities on your property, including water, electric, gas and sewer, so you can avoid costly and dangerous line damage.
  • Is there enough space for the tree? Visualize the tree 50 years from now and plant so that it will not interfere with nearby structures, or overhead utilities (see photo). A large-statured, long-lived tree will need more space than one that matures at a small height. Only small-growing trees (less than 30’ at maturity) should be planted under overhead power lines. Consider how wide the base of the tree will be at maturity, and plant to avoid damage to sidewalks, and infrastructure.
  • What are the environmental conditions? Some trees are tolerant of partial or full shade; others need full sunlight to survive. Some trees tolerate well-drained, dry soils while others need and thrive in consistently moist soils.
  • Do you need a permit? Know your community’s regulations regarding tree planting on public and private property.

The U.S. Forest Service has a checklist of points to consider before, during, and after planting your tree.

Visit DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry Program webpage for additional information.

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Professional Divers: Online registration, agenda now available for DNR’s dive safety conference

February 25, 2014
Photo of diver about to jump in water.

Photo courtesy of Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife

Are you a professional diver who makes a living working underwater? Are you interested in learning about the latest in dive safety? Would you like to spend some time networking with fellow professional divers?

DNR is hosting the 2014 Professional Dive Safety Conference April 7-8 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. The conference will bring together local, state and national dive experts to present the latest scientific research, technology and best management practices.

Registration for the conference is free but required.

Some of the topics at the conference include:

  • DNR’s Dive Program: Overview, history and sustaining a safe diving culture.
  • Panel discussion with dive safety review experts.
  • Standards governing professional diving.
  • History and regulation of scientific diving.
  • Decompression sickness.
  • Using advances in equipment technology to improve dive safety.
  • EPA task hazard analysis for diving in contaminated waters.
  • Diving risk management course.
  • Developing a dive safety network using technology and social media.

Registration will be open until filled.

A full agenda and online registration are available on DNR’s conference web page.

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Goldmark sees positive development in wildfire funding

February 24, 2014
forest fire

Fighting wildfires can be costly. Photo: DNR.

On KOMO News Radio this morning, Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark praised President Obama’s proposal of a significant change in how government pays to fight wildfires. Listen to the interview.

The Obama administration officials say it’s a move that reflects the ways in which climate change is increasing the risk for and cost of wildfires. Goldmark is glad the president recognizes the conflict of funding costly wildfires.

Currently, to fight wildfires, Congress has to use funds that would otherwise be used to prevent fires or to increase hazard mitigation, so if they have to dip into those funds, it takes away from other important funding. This approach can be counterproductive.

Goldmark says, “We’re very interested in the President’s proposal; we want to support it.”

In Washington State, DNR carries out normal firefighting activities, but when needed for suppression costs, we can use a special fund that the legislature repays. With changes in climate and worsening forest conditions, the situation is ripe, particularly in western states, for catastrophic wildfires. We need stable, adequate funding.

Obama is asking Congress to pay the costs of fighting extreme wildfires in the same way it finances the federal response to disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is authorized to exceed its annual budget and draw on a special disaster account. This proposal would create a similar exception.

It’s a positive development for Washington. Wildfires need to be put out as quickly as possible and as safely as possible.

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