Six reasons why it’s great to be outside near Port Angeles

May 28, 2015

Port Angeles is currently one of the last four towns in the running for America’s Best Town in Outside Magazine’s fifth annual Best Town Ever contest. Here are six reasons why we know it’s a great place to be outside.

Murdock Beack is a DNR-managed beach access site near Port Angeles. Photo/ DNR.

Murdock Beack is a DNR-managed beach access site near Port Angeles. Photo/ DNR.

Murdock Beach, near Port Angeles 
Murdock Beach, located on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, gives visitors a view of Vancouver Island. This is the only public beach access for 12 miles between Camp Hayden and the East Twin River.

Striped Peak Vista and Trailhead, near Port Angeles 
Striped Peak Vista and Trailhead offers a spectacular view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Vancouver Island. The trail takes hikers through mature Douglas-fir trees, alongside a waterfall, and to a rocky cove on the Strait.

Foothills Trailhead, near Port Angeles
The Foothills Trail system includes 6 miles of ORV trails. It is nestled below Hurricane Ridge, approximately 5 miles south of Port Angeles.

Lyre River, near Port Angeles
Located on the Olympic Peninsula, this campground is offers fishing from the nearby Lyre River.

Sadie Creek, near Port Angeles, offers off-road vehicle riding opportunities. Photo/DNR.

Sadie Creek, near Port Angeles, offers off-road vehicle riding opportunities. Photo/ DNR.

Sadie Creek, near Port Angeles
Sadie Creek Trailhead, a 30-mile trail and road system on the Olympic Peninsula. The trail climbs to about 2,500 feet, giving visitors views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Vancouver and the San Juan Islands.

Little River Trail, near Port Angeles
The Little River Trail begins just a few miles west of Port Angeles and provides access to Hurricane Ridge and the northern end of Olympic National Park. It winds through mature hemlock trees and alpine meadows.

Head to our Olympic Region recreation Web page for more information about year-round recreation opportunities on the Olympic Peninsula.

Want to stay in the loop with DNR’s Recreation program? Subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter. This month’s recreation e-news features DNR’s Dry Hill, also near Port Angeles.

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Mount Baker: Hazardous even during snowy slumber

May 27, 2015
Mount Baker's Carmelo Crater at the summit is breached by Roosevelt Glacier, view to the southeast, Washington.

Mount Baker’s Carmelo Crater at the summit is breached by Roosevelt Glacier, view to the southeast, Washington. Photo by John Scurlock for USGS.

Even sleeping beneath tons of snow and ice for the past century-plus, Mount Baker in center Whatcom County poses a number of hazards for the considerable population living in its shadow. The number of glaciers that cover the 10,781-feet tall stratovolcano trails only Mount Rainier in the lower 48.

And though it has been more than 150 years since Mount Baker last erupted, it will again someday, which is why DNR and its Division of Geology and Earth Resources help map, monitor and educate the public, governments and others about its hazards. May is Washington’s Volcano Preparedness Month, and DNR has all you need to know about how the stunning mammoths dominating much of our skyline handle the geothermal pressure bubbling below.

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Ehhh, what’s up doc? Diagnosing plant health problems

May 27, 2015
Tree Doctors can come in all ages. Photo DNR

Tree Doctors can come in all ages. Photo DNR

The term “Tree Doctor” implies that such a professional can effectively diagnose a plant health problem and offer advice or prescriptions for resolving it.

Although not known as tree doctors these days, arborists are often called upon by their clients for exactly this service, since diagnosing plant health problems takes specialized knowledge and experience. Some diagnoses are straight-forward when dealing with common problems; however, other plant health issues can be frustrating to diagnose in cases when symptoms are elusive or when circumstances conspire to obscure the signs that something might be wrong.

The best plant health diagnosticians out there will tell you that it takes decades of study and diligent practice to get really good at it – and even then, the most experienced will still consult textbooks and research articles to help verify their conclusions.

So whether you’re a professional looking to beef up your skills on how to triage a tree issue or a homeowner with general concerns about the plants in your yard, consider consulting the following sources that outline the process of plant problem diagnosis:

  1. Article: “Plant Disease Diagnosis” from the American Phytopathological Society (APS).
  2. A companion PowerPoint presentation to the above APS article.
  3. “Diagnosing Plant Problems” as excerpted from the University of Kentucky’s Master Gardener Manual.
  4. “Diagnosing Tree Disorders” from the Colorado State Extension Master Gardner program

“As any doctor can tell you, the most crucial step toward healing is having the right diagnosis. If the disease is precisely identified, a good resolution is far more likely. Conversely, a bad diagnosis usually means a bad outcome, no matter how skilled the physician.”

~Andrew Weil, Director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona.

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Love to camp? Live the dream and become a DNR camp host

May 26, 2015

Are you a professional, friendly and polite person who wishes you could go camping for weeks on end? Do you have a properly-insured motor home, camper or travel trailer that supports comfortable camping in rustic, natural areas? DNR might have just the thing for you.

We’re currently taking applications for campground hosts to help provide a positive, safe, and informative experience for visitors at DNR campgrounds statewide.

Host responsibilities include:

  • Be professional, friendly, and polite when interacting with the public.
  • Provide information and rules to campers and visitors.
  • Register overnight campers.
  • Patrol campground and recreational areas.
  • Regularly inspect campground restrooms, picnic shelters, campsites, campfire pits and boat launch areas.
  • Report vandalism, illegal or abusive behavior.

Pick your site today!

Ahtanum State Forest view

View of Mount Rainier from Ahtanum State Forest. Photo: DNR

Ahtanum Campground, Ahtanum State Forest, near Yakima
Ahtanum Campground is a highly used recreation area for off-road vehicle riding, hiking, and horseback riding. Winter recreation is also popular for snowshoeing, sledding, cross country skiing, and snowmobiling.

Cold Creek Campground, Yacolt Burn State Forest, near Camas
Cold Creek Campground is open year-round and is a favorite for family tent camping, equestrian use, mountain biking, and hiking. For more information, check out our flier.

Jim Davis, a Tahuya and Green Mountain Committee Member, gets ready for a trail ride in Tahuya State Forest. Photo: Herb Gerhardt.

Jim Davis, a Tahuya and Green Mountain Committee Member, gets ready for a trail ride in Tahuya State Forest. Photo: Herb Gerhardt.

Tahuya River Horse Camp, Tahuya State Forest, near Belfair
This site provides camping opportunities for primarily non-motorized recreationists including equestrian and fishing enthusiasts.

For more information about campground hosting with DNR, including who to contact and how to apply, visit our camp host Web page.

To stay in the loop with DNR’s Recreation program, subscribe to our monthly recreation e-newsletter.

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Many ways to give back in the Teanaway

May 24, 2015

Two or three years isn’t long in the life of a tree, but the next several years are likely to be important to a full forest of trees. And not only trees, but the wildlife, people, and entire ecosystems found in the Teanaway Community Forest, too.

If you’re willing to dedicate your time to this landscape by attending monthly or quarterly meetings for the next two or three years, we encourage you to apply to be an advisory committee member. You’d be giving us input on the implementation of a pending forest management plan and working with a diverse array of stakeholders on how to best provide recreation opportunities. Your challenge would be to advise us on how to reflect the varied priorities of the broad cross-section of Washingtonians who cherish and value the Teanaway.Featured image

If this seems like the kind of worthwhile challenge you’d be up for, we invite you to apply by the June 10 deadline.

Another volunteer opportunity is the upcoming Teanaway Campground work party, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., on June 3 and 4. Come out and help clean up, build and install picnic tables, and install fire rings so that our three area campgrounds are ready for summer visitors. These volunteer hours also count towards earning a free Discover Pass. RSVP to Stephanie Margheim at 509-925-0984 or stephanie.margheim@dnr.wa.gov.

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Washington’s most overlooked mountaintop

May 23, 2015
Glacier Peak

Glacier Peak as seen from the Pacific Crest Trail, September 2013. This image shows the west side of Glacier Peak (elev. 10541 ft.), a young stratovolcano located in the Cascade Range, eastern Snohomish County, Washington. Prominent glaciers are the slightly curved Scimitar Glacier, in the center of the photo, and the Kennedy Glacier, to the left. Image courtesy of Tim Olson and J. Eric Schuster.

May is Volcano Awareness Month in Washington State, and DNR’s Ear to the Ground is featuring one of our state’s five active volcanoes throughout the month.

Today, let’s take a look at Washington’s least-recognized volcano, Glacier Peak.

Located in a wilderness area in eastern Snohomish County, Glacier Peak is not easily visible from any major metropolitan centers, and so the hazards (and attractions) of this 10,451-foot peak may get overlooked. The peak wasn’t known by settlers to be a volcano until the 1850’s, when Native Americans mentioned to naturalist George Gibbs that “another smaller peak to the north of Mount Rainier once smoked.”

Yet, as KING5 recently reported, Glacier Peak has produced larger and more explosive eruptions than any other Washington volcano except Mount St. Helens. Glacier Peak is only 70 miles from Seattle, which puts it closer to the state’s largest metropolitan area than any volcano except Mount Rainier.

Eruptions of Glacier Peak have characteristically produced large volumes of volcanic ash and airborne pumice that could endanger the closest centers of population. The last major eruption of Glacier Peak was around the year 1700.

Glacier Peak hazardsWe want our awareness-raising about Washington State volcano threats to encourage preparation and not raise unnecessary alarm, so here is the very latest on alert levels for Cascade Range volcanoes from the U.S. Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory.

DNR and its Division of Geology and Earth Resources help map, monitor and educate the public, governments and others about geologic hazards, including volcanoes.

Join our discussion on Facebook about your favorite volcano in Washington State.

Shout out to our volunteers: 2015 Pick Up the Burn

May 21, 2015

ORV riders, mountain bikers, horseback riders and hikers joined together in early May for the 13th annual Pick Up the Burn.

Each year dedicated volunteers help to care for the Yacolt Burn State Forest and pitch in to tackle illegal dumping in the forest. This year, about 150 people turned out, gathered, and hauled more than 40 cubic yards of litter from the Yacolt Burn State Forest.

Watch our short clip below to see more of this year’s Pick Up the Burn.

Want to know more about DNR’s recreation program? Check out this month’s recreation e-newsletter, and sign up to receive future updates right to your email.

 

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Sun, fun, and ORVs: Your motorized recreation guide

May 19, 2015

Did you know DNR has more than 400 miles of ORV trails ready for you to explore this summer? Follow this guide to fun and safe motorized recreation and enjoy spending your summer off-road vehicle riding on DNR-managed land.

Use the arrows to navigate or select the "autoplay" button on the bottom right. Full screen recommended.

Use the arrows to navigate or select the “autoplay” button on the bottom right. Full screen recommended.

Have a site in mind? Head to our website to see what’s open and closed.

Want to stay in the loop with DNR’s recreation program? Subscribe to our monthly recreation e-newsletter.

Remember to bring your Discover Pass, your ticket to Washington’s Great Outdoors.

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Mount St. Helens: Today marks 35 years since last big blast

May 18, 2015
Mount St. Helens eruption viewed from an airplane.

On the morning of May 18, 1980, Keith Stoffel, then a DNR employee, took this photo while on a sightseeing flight over Mount St. Helens. It is the only known image of the initial eruption. Stoffel, his wife and the plane’s pilot narrowly escaped the rapidly spreading ash cloud. Photo: Keith Stoffel (c) 2010.

At 8:33 a.m. May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens was a 9,677-foot-tall volcano with a conical shape that lent it the nickname the Mount Fuji of America. One minute later a 5.1 earthquake one mile under the volcano prompted a massive landslide on the volcano’s north flank. Shortly after, an eruption removed the top 1,300 feet as rock and gases were sent out at speeds ranging from 220 to 670 miles per hour, leaving a more-than-2.5-square-mile crater at the mountain’s top.

Today marks the 35th anniversary of Mount St. Helens’ eruption.

The initial eruption on that Sunday morning destroyed 230 square miles of national, state and private forests and took 57 lives. Some of those who died from shock waves and clouds of hot ash and superheated gases were more than 10 miles away. Others drowned in rivers swollen by mud flows that spilled down local valleys and river beds. Experts say the loss of life would have been much greater had the eruption occurred on a weekday when many more workers would be in the surrounding forests.

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A boost for the Morning Star Natural Resources Conservation Area

May 17, 2015
Lake Stickney-Morning Star Natural Resources Conservation Area.

Lake Stickney (center-right in photo) is included in the 2,445 acres recently authorized for transfer into the Morning Star Natural Resources Conservation Area.

The terrain around Lake Stickney is rugged to say the least. No roads lead into the area and the site ranges from 1,000 to 4,000 feet in elevation. With steep slopes, high quality forest habitat, and numerous trees more than an century-and-a-half old, harvesting timber there for the Common School (construction) Trust would have required a high-level of forest practices oversight and, most likely, the use of helicopters to remove logs.

Those concerns are gone now with the Board of Natural Resource’s recent authorization for DNR to transfer 2,445 acres of Common School Trust land near the lake into the Morning Star Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA). The area, north of Gold Bar in Snohomish County, will continue to offer low-impact outdoor recreation to hardy visitors. In return for the transfer, the state’s school construction account will receive $5.1 million for future school projects. The amount reflects the value of standing timber on the land. DNR will receive $599,000—the land’s value—to purchase replacement lands better suited to natural resources revenue for the trust. The money to complete the transfer comes through the legislatively funded Trust Land Transfer program, which helps the school trust get value from lands that cannot be harvested and replace them with other properties more conducive to management for long-term revenue.

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