Posts Tagged ‘trust land’

Working forests, working double-time

September 3, 2013
Many forested areas offer more than just economic value to communities. Photo: DNR.

Many forested areas offer more than just economic value to communities. Photo: DNR.

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. For instance:

• Forests are effective pollution filters, protecting the water we drink and the air we breathe
• Forests provide fertile and productive soil
• Forests protect against floods from large storms
• Forests reduce climate change impacts by sequestering carbon

Well, now there may be a way to better recognize the many ways that forests provide public health and safety benefits and, perhaps, compensate land managers who manage their land in a way that provides these benefits to communities.

View of Mount Loop Highway in Snohomish County. Photo: DNR.

View of Mount Loop Highway in Snohomish County. Photo: DNR.

In 2011, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) received funding for a demonstration project to test whether public water utilities could provide payments to upstream private forest landowners who are committed to protecting watershed functions related to their mission.

DNR worked with ecosystem scientists and watershed resource managers in the Nisqually and Snohomish watersheds to explore payment systems for ecosystem services.

DNR just submitted a report to the Department of Ecology on their findings. In addition to this report, the demonstration turned from a project into a long-term solution in the following instances:

 • Partners in a demonstration project in the Nisqually watershed are discussing forested properties that could help protect the City of Olympia’s new drinking water source, the McAllister Wellfield.

• The demonstration project in Snohomish County is contributing to the Snohomish Basin Protection Plan.

Special thanks to all involved in this important study which may help preserve both forest land cover and economic vitality in Washington State.

For more information on this project, please visit DNR’s Forest Watershed Services Transactions Page.

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DNR weekend reading: Wildfire seasons to get longer and smokier in western U.S.

September 2, 2013
Mount Adams

View of Mount Adams from DNR-managed trust land in southwest Washington. Photo: Florian Diesenhofer/DNR.

Here are links to articles about recent research, discoveries and other news about forests, climate, energy and other science topics:

Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences: Wildfires projected to worsen with climate change
Harvard model predicts wildfire seasons by 2050 will be three weeks longer, up to twice as smoky, and will burn a wider area in the western United States.

NASA: After a Fire, Before a Flood: NASA’s Landsat Directs Restoration to At-Risk Areas
The U.S. Forest Service is using NASA satellite images of fires in the American West to help rapidly restore burned areas before the upcoming rainy season causes floods and washouts that could threaten lives and property.

US Forest Service–Pacific Southwest Research Station: Woodland salamanders indicators of forest ecosystem recovery
Researchers have established that when woodland salamanders are a viable indicator of forest ecosystem recovery: where they are found in high abundance, it indicates a healthy forest.

Science Daily: Cost Gap for Western Renewables Could Narrow by 2025
Washington state can meet the balance of its current state-mandated renewable energy targets using in-state resources, but unlike several other Western states, there may be little left in the way of undeveloped prime-quality resources for subsequent demand beyond 2025, according to a new Energy Department study.

National Geographic: Rebirth on the River: Washington’s Elwha Flourishing After Big Dam Removals
The first signs of life are beginning to return to the Elwha River in Washington State, where the largest dam removal in U.S. history is nearly complete.

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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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How to be safe using tools in the woods

May 28, 2013
chain saw

This DNR employee displays proper chain saw cutting technique and is wearing approved personal protective clothing, including gloves; head, eye and ear protection; protective chaps; and sturdy footwear. Photo: DNR.

The warm summer weather is taking its time arriving in Washington state this year, but some people are already turning their thoughts to winter: gathering firewood, that is. If you plan on gathering your own firewood from publicly owned lands, you’ll need a permit — check this web page to find out where DNR firewood gathering permits are still available.

If you are using a chain saw to trim your firewood, here are some basic safety tips from the federal safety agency OSHA:

  • Clear away dirt, debris, small tree limbs and rocks from the saw’s chain path.
  • Shut off the saw or engage its chain brake when carrying the saw on rough or uneven terrain.
  • Keep your hands on the saw’s handles, and maintain secure footing while operating the saw.
  • Wear proper personal protective equipment when operating the saw, including hand, foot, leg, eye, face, hearing and head protection.
  • Do not wear loose-fitting clothing.
  • Be careful that the trunk or tree limbs will not bind against the saw.
  • Watch for branches under tension, they may spring out when cut.
  • Make sure your chain saw is equipped with a protective device that minimizes chain saw kickback.

Other places to gather firewood   (more…)

Recreation Alert in Blanchard Forest: Road maintenance is complete

April 25, 2013
Volunteers help with a temporary fix to the roads up to the Blanchard Forest. Photo: Diana Lofflin, DNR.

Volunteers help with a temporary fix to the roads up to the Blanchard Forest.
Photo by: DNR/Diana Lofflin

Update June 25:
Road maintenance on the Blanchard Forest roads is complete.

Please recreate with caution as finished roads may be unfamiliar and there could be heavy equipment in the area. Read our Forest Road Survival Guide before you go to brush up on your forest road safety. Enjoy!

What construction was happening? Read on for our original alert… (more…)

Volunteer Hero Ron Downing Honored at the 8th Annual Great Gravel Pack-In

April 17, 2013
Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark shakes the hand of Ron Downing as he receives a Volunteer Hero Award. Photo: Dana Leavitt, DNR.

Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark (right) presents Ron Downing a Volunteer Hero Award. Photo: Dana Leavitt, DNR.

Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark made a special appearance at the Great Gravel Pack-In volunteer event in Capitol State Forest last weekend and presented a Volunteer Hero Award to a very deserving volunteer, Ron Downing.

Ron has been a long-time volunteer for the Washington State Department of Natural Resource (DNR). He has contributed hundreds of hours to develop equestrian trails in the DNR-managed Elbe State Forest. His passion for equestrian recreation opportunities has been passed down to the numerous volunteers he organizes and trains to develop sustainable trails.

Ron is a great leader with an ability to organize reliable pack animals and riders. He has used these skills to help make the Great Gravel Pack-In a success, year after year, for the last eight years.

Commissioner Goldmark presented a certificate, a jacket, and a Volunteer Hero patch to Ron at the event he works so hard for every year.

“Ron Downing is a dedicated volunteer who inspires the best in all of us. His enthusiastic support makes events like the Great Gravel Pack-In a great success,” said Peter Goldmark. “It is a pleasure to recognize Ron’s volunteer accomplishments today.”

Volunteer Hero Award

Volunteer Hero Award recipients were selected from a pool of individuals nominated by the public in September. DNR received nominations for 19 volunteers from across the state. Two other volunteers, Tom Faubion and Bob Langley, received their award at a 2012 recreation leadership meeting in Seattle.

DNR will open nominations for the 2013 Volunteer Hero Award in September.

Ron Downing at the 8th Annual Great Gravel Pack-In. Photo: Diana Lofflin, DNR.

Ron Downing at the 8th Annual Great Gravel Pack-In. Photo: Diana Lofflin, DNR.

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Volunteers to the rescue after a bizarre series of car fires in Walker Valley ORV Area

March 22, 2013

Members of the Rainier Ridge Rams, a 4×4 club, came to the rescue when two off-road vehicles caught fire at the Walker Valley ORV area last week. Thankfully, no one was hurt and the heavy rains kept the fire from spreading.

Special thanks to the volunteers who helped remove abandoned and burnt cars in Walker Valley. From left to right: Kevin Vanderhorst, Jim Paget, Alexis Kodoskey, Anneliese Muller, and Kyle Farrar. Photo: DNR

Special thanks to the volunteers who helped remove abandoned and burnt cars in Walker Valley. From left to right: Kevin Vanderhorst, Jim Paget, Alexis Kodoskey, Anneliese Muller, and Kyle Farrar. Photo: DNR

Continue reading to find out about the bizarre chain-of-events that led up to the fire, how Rainier Ridge Rams stepped in to help DNR, and see photos of the fires’ aftermath. (more…)

Lyre River Campground closed due to vandalism

March 20, 2013
The Lyre River Campground is closed after vandals stole $800 worth of wood from picnic tables. Photo: Wayne Fitzwater, DNR.

The Lyre River Campground is closed after vandals stole $800 worth of wood from picnic tables. Photo: Wayne Fitzwater, DNR.

Update: April 1, 2013 – Lyre River Campground is now open.

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has temporarily closed the Lyre River Campground in Clallam County. Why? Because of safety concerns after vandals stole recently installed several picnic tables. The sharp metal edges of the fasteners pose a safety risk. The campground will likely reopen in two weeks after the missing wooden tabletops and benches are replaced.

The missing pieces
DNR Recreation staff were surprised and disheartened to find that the new sections of picnic tables they had installed the previous week…were missing.

“Our recreation program has a limited budget. When vandals steal $800 worth of supplies, it directly impacts everyone’s recreation experience.”
-Wayne Fitzwater
DNR Recreation Manager

Report suspicious activity immediately by calling 911.

If you have any information on the missing wood from the picnic tables, please contact the Olympic Region Office at 360-374-2800.

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Hooves and wings unite to clean up Samish Overlook

March 18, 2013
Equestrian riders and paragliders come together to volunteer at Samish Overlook. Photos: Rick Foster, DNR.

Equestrian riders and paragliders come together to volunteer at Samish Overlook. Photos: Rick Foster, DNR.

Samish Overlook in Blanchard Forest near Bellingham (map), not only offers stunning views of the San Juan Islands, but also is a place where hikers, paragliders, and equestrian riders work together to preserve this beautiful recreation area.

On March 9, almost 40 volunteers came out to clean-up Blanchard Forest and the overlook. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) would like to thank each of these volunteers for their hard work and the following partner organizations:

  • North Cascade Soaring Club
  • Whatcom Back Country Horsemen
  • Skagit Back Country Horsemen 

Check out photos from the event and the fun volunteers had after they cleaned up the site!

Equestrian riders clean up trails

A horse and rider take a break after spending the morning clearing trails at Blanchard Mountain.

A horse and rider take a break after spending the morning clearing trails at Blanchard Mountain. Photo: Rick Foster, DNR

Ten volunteers brought their horses and rode up from the lower trailhead to clear brush and wind throw from the trails. They split into 2 groups and covered 7 miles of trail with enough time to meet up with other volunteers at the overlook for lunch. They continued working in the afternoon with the rest of the volunteers at Samish Overlook.

Paragliders and other volunteers clean up Samish Overlook

Volunteers clean up a paragliding launch site at Samish Overlook. Photo: Rick Foster, DNR.

Volunteers clean up a paragliding launch site at Samish Overlook. Photo: Rick Foster, DNR.

At Samish Overlook, about 30 folks spent time spring cleaning the overlook. The work consisted of removing grass in the gravel paths and putting down 6 yards of new gravel. Other volunteers were weed eating and clearing short brush from the paragliding launch sites. Volunteers also filled in ruts at one of the launches, cleared around plants that were put in last year, and picked up garbage around the site.

Volunteers were able to get a lot of work accomplished with time to take advantage of the great weather to play…check out the photos!

Find out about upcoming volunteer opportunities in your area or join us and invite your on April 13 for another Samish Overlook volunteer event.

Related blog: Thank you volunteers! Blanchard Forest has new horse mounting blocks

Discover Pass 

Don’t forget your Discover Pass, your ticket to millions of acres of state-managed recreation land.

 

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Temporary closure of ORV trail and bridge at Walker Valley

March 11, 2013
Walker Valley sign

EZ Valley Connector Trail in Walker Valley is temporarily closed. Photo: Diana Lofflin, DNR.

3/15/13 UPDATE: The EZ Valley Connector Trail and bridge are now open.  

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has temporarily closed the EZ Valley Connector Trail in the Walker Valley ORV riding area to conduct emergency bridge repairs. The trail was closed to protect public safety.

4×4 vehicles and other ORV users can use the Upper Mainline Trail to access the upper half of the trail system (see map).

DNR expects the trail to reopen in 2 weeks.

Check DNR’s recreation page to find the latest information on openings and closures in Walker Valley and other DNR-managed areas.

And don’t forget your Discover Pass, your ticket to millions of acres of recreation opportunities on Washington state-managed recreation lands. The Discover Pass is now transferable between two vehicles.

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