DNR finds Atlantis! (no, not that one)

June 22, 2015
DNR contractors remove the Atlantis from Dockton Harbor off Vashon Island. DNR Photo

DNR contractors remove the Atlantis from Dockton Harbor off Vashon Island. DNR Photo

DNR’s business is taking care of state-owned land at the bottom of the sea, so it was inevitable we’d eventually come across Atlantis.

But this version of Atlantis was not Plato’s submerged city in the Atlantic Ocean. Rather, DNR’s Aquatics Restoration Program last week removed a sunken 43-foot sailboat known as the Atlantis from Vashon Island’s Dockton Harbor.

As caretaker of some 2.6 million acres of bedlands, tidelands and shorelands around Washington’s waters, DNR works to restore, enhance and protect the conditions of aquatic environments.

Nearshore environments, which are the land between beach bluffs and deep water, are crucial for many species and vegetation. DNR has volumes of research on the complex ecosystem of nearshore environments.

Removal of the Atlantis is part of the restoration of 450-square-feet of spawning grounds in Dockton Harbor, part of the Maury Island Aquatic Reserve. Global Diving & Salvage of Seattle removed the vessel under a $64,000 contract paid out of DNR’s Large Debris Removal Fund created by the 2012 Jobs Now Act.

If you know of a site with restoration potential, please contact us. DNR Aquatics has three districts across the state. Each has an Aquatics Restoration Manager designated to the Program who can assist you.

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Celebrate Father’s Day at DNR-managed lands

June 21, 2015

Today is a day to thank all our Washington dads. DNR invites you to get outdoors on DNR-managed lands and celebrate with a hike, horseback ride, off-road vehicle ride, mountain bike ride, kayak trip or other outdoor adventure. DNR has more than 140 recreation sites and 1,100 miles of trail for you to enjoy on this special day.

Here are some of our top picks for Father’s Day.

Green Mountain Vista, Green Mountain State Forest, near Bremerton
Enjoy a hike at Green Mountain, the second highest peak on the Kitsap peninsula. It has views of the Olympic Mountains, Seattle skyline, Puget Sound, and Mount Rainier.

Off-the-Grid Trail in Tiger Mountain State Forest.

Mountain biker enjoying the Off-the-Grid Trail in Tiger Mountain State Forest. Photo/ DNR.

Beverly Dunes ORV Area, east of Ellensburg
Looking for off-road-vehicle fun? Head to the Beverly Dunes ORV Area, which has opportunities for all ages to enjoy.

Tiger Summit, Tiger Mountain State Forest, near Issaquah
Love to mountain bike? Visit DNR’s Tiger Summit Trailhead, which provides access to the primarily mountain biking 15-mile trail system.

Dougan Creek, Yacolt Burn State Forest, near Camas
Wow dad with the 100-foot cascading waterfalls of Dougan Creek. The campground and day-use area are near picturesque falls perfect for a sunny day.

Les Hilde, Harry Osborne State Forest, near Sedro-Woolley
Share a trail ride with dad at the Les Hilde Trail system, which provides 40 miles of horseback riding trails.

Cold Springs, Loomis State Forest, Okanogan County

Loomis State Forest was created in 1925 as part of a federal land grant to the Common School Trust—that helps fund construction of our state’s kindergarten through 12th grade public schools. DNR

Cold Springs, Loomis State Forest, near Loomis
At an elevation of 6,100-feet, Cold Springs Campground has views of the Pasayten Wilderness, Snowshoe Mountain, and Chopaka Mountain. The site is  surrounded by forestland with more than 50 miles of trail.

Little River Trail, Olympic Peninsula, near Port Angeles
This non-motorized 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 old-growth hemlock trees and alpine meadows.

For more ideas about where to go on DNR-managed lands, visit our recreation guide. Check our website for notices before you make the drive.

Don’t forget a Discover Pass, your ticket to Washington’s Great Outdoors. Subscribe to our monthly recreation e-newsletter for more ways to get outdoors.

 

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FORE! World’s greatest golfers hit Steilacoom links that really “rock”

June 19, 2015
Chambers Bay Golf Course, home to the 2015 U.S. Open, is a reclaimed gravel mine in University Place. The "Ruins" shown above were once used for keeping different sizes of aggregate separate. Photo by Michael D. Martin (Flickr Creative Commons). - See more at: http://wa-dnr-env-mj9qijiduq.elasticbeanstalk.com/programs-and-services/geology/energy-mining-and-minerals/aggregate-resources#sthash.QjSm3WZT.dpuf

Chambers Bay Golf Course, home to the 2015 U.S. Open, is a reclaimed gravel mine in University Place. The “Ruins” shown above were once used for keeping different sizes of aggregate separate. Photo by Michael D. Martin (Flickr Creative Commons).

The world’s greatest golfers are swinging for the U.S. Open title at the new Chambers Bay golf course. But the green links-style golf course was once the largest sand and gravel quarry in the world.

As the regulator of Washington’s mining industry, DNR and its Division of Geology and Earth Resources oversaw the reclamation of the mine, which produced some 250 million tons of gravel that was used to build roads, sidewalks and bridges throughout Puget Sound. In fact, the Steilaccom quarry was the first reclamation permit ever issued by Washington.

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With wildfire season heating up, DNR wants you to be prepared.

June 10, 2015

Gov. Jay Inslee and Commissioner Goldmark trained for the coming fire season by practicing their fire shelter deployment skills at Capitol Lake June 10. DNR Photo

Gov. Jay Inslee and Commissioner Goldmark trained for the coming fire season by practicing their fire shelter deployment skills at Capitol Lake June 10. DNR Photo

Wildfire season is heating up around Washington State. Firefighters are being dispatched to be ready when fires threaten homes and livelihood. When responding to wildfires at any hour, ensuring the safety of the firefighters and the public is the top priority. Residents who live in areas prone to wildfire should prepare now in case they have to evacuate quickly.

We want to share a message from a longtime nationally recognized Firewise Community/USA to keep you safe this fire season. When your community is threatened by wildfire, sometimes waiting is the hardest part- here’s something you can do to get ready while you wait. The city of Perry Park, Colorado has devised the “P’s of Preparedness” to remember in case an immediate evacuation is required in your area.

  • People and Pets
  • Papers, phone numbers and important documents
  • Prescriptions vitamins and eyeglasses
  • Pictures and irreplaceable memorabilia
  • Personal computers (information on hard drive and disks)
  • Plastic (credit cards, ATM cards, and cash)
  • Patience

More about preparedness…    

People and pets
When it comes to evacuating your family safely, you need to plan ahead. Do you know at least two routes out of your community? Where is your meeting place and how will you contact each other? Where will your pets stay if you can’t return to your home? Do you have food and water in an emergency kit to keep you, your family, and your pets healthy if you can’t get to supplies? Firewise.org has many publications available to help you get ready for the threat of a fire. Make sure you talk about your disaster plan with your family and practice evacuation drills. Giving tasks to older children can help keep them calm if an emergency strikes and the routine will help everyone evacuate quickly. Post emergency telephone numbers in a visible place and go over what your children should do if they are home alone when an evacuation is ordered. FEMA has great guidelines to help you start your disaster plan and build an emergency preparedness kit today.

Papers, phone numbers, and important documents
If a wildfire strikes your community and you are forced to evacuate, you don’t want to be running around the house looking for all your important documents. Evacuation is emotional enough without you desperately digging through your papers for your husband’s birth certificate. Keep deeds, birth certificates, vehicle titles, and other irreplaceable documents in one location, and look through your papers frequently to make sure everything is up to date.

Prescriptions, vitamins, and eyeglasses
It can be easy for prescriptions and vitamins to spread across the house with daily use, but during an evacuation pharmacies and drug stores may be closed or out of the items you may need. Keep extra allergy medicine, supplements, vitamins, and prescriptions in a plastic bin or bag that will be easy for you to grab as you hurry out the door. Make sure you include emergency supplies such as diabetes medication, emergency asthma inhalers, and EpiPens in your evacuation kit.

Pictures and irreplaceable memorabilia
Even during an evacuation, no one wants to fathom the possibility of losing their home to wildfire. Should tragedy occur, the loss will be softened if you can save irreplaceable memorabilia. Your decorative marriage certificate may not have legal importance, but can hold priceless meaning for you and your family. Giving each person in the home a bin to fill with the things they want to take with them will ease the stress and anguish of leaving home behind.

Personal computers (information on hard drive and disks)
Make a digital copy of family photos, important documents, and business papers that can be downloaded onto an easy-to-carry flash drive or external hard drive. Make sure to back-up household computers in case you have to leave in a hurry. Also, keep any laptops with their chargers so they can be easily loaded for evacuation.

Plastic (credit cards, ATM cards, and cash)
It is a very good idea to keep an extra credit card, cash, and a book of checks in the same place you store your important documents. You don’t know how many times you will have to fill your gas tank, or how many nights you may have to stay in a hotel.

Patience
Evacuation and the uncertainty that comes with it will be stressful. The process will be easier for everyone involved if they have a familiar system to follow. If you stay calm, it will help keep your children and animals calm as well.

Visit the Firewise FAQs page and the Ready, Set, Go! (RSG) Program for more information about wildfire safety and what you can do before a fire strikes to be prepared.

Check out the DNR Burn Map to view the fire danger in your area and stay connected with this year’s wildfire season on the DNR_Fire Twitter feed.

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Thank you National Trails Day volunteers

June 9, 2015

Last Saturday we celebrated American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day with work parties at Tiger Mountain State Forest, Blanchard Forest, Capitol State Forest, Elbe Hills State Forest, and BBQ Flats.

We’d like to give a big thank you to our volunteers, and volunteer partners, from around the state who braved the heat to giveback to the recreation sites they enjoy most.

Volunteer

DNR staff, partners, and volunteers joined together for National Trails Day in the Blanchard Forest. Photo/ DNR.

Blanchard Forest
In partnership with the Back Country Horsemen of Washington, Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition, Pacific Northwest Trail Association, and North Cascade Soaring Club, DNR and its volunteers helped to care for the Samish Overlook.

More than 70 volunteers turned out to donate a total of 453 hours to mowing, cutting weeds, repairing trail tread, and picking up litter.

Volunteer

Volunteers work on the Tiger Mountain Trail on National Trails Day, June 6, 2015. Photo/DNR.

Tiger Mountain State Forest
DNR staff, partners from the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, and about 15 volunteers joined together to clear out a drainage ditch and reinforce part of the Tiger Mountain Trail.

BBQ Flats
DNR staff and volunteers completed Elk Fence at BBQ Flats, a popular horseback riding area near Yakima, in preparation for its opening this summer.

Want to get involved? Visit our volunteer calendar or sign up for our monthly rec e-newsletter for upcoming events.

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Thanks to our Forest Watch volunteers

June 7, 2015

Did you know DNR has dedicated volunteers who work specifically to encourage safe and fun recreation on DNR-managed lands?

Our Forest Watch volunteers act as a safe presence in DNR recreation areas and help DNR respond to potentially unsafe situations quickly. Next time you see a Forest Watch volunteer, be sure to thank them for their service.

Forest Watch volunteers help encourage safe recreation in the Capitol State Forest. Photo/ DNR.

Forest Watch volunteers help encourage safe recreation in the Capitol State Forest. Photo/ DNR.

Forest Watch volunteers

  • Provide information to visitors.
  • Monitor and observe trails, sites, and facilities.
  • Document and report safety concerns and suspicious or criminal activities.

Want to use your skills to be a Forest Watch volunteer?

Forest watch volunteers gain valuable experience serving visitors to DNR-managed lands.  They can also put their hours toward a free Discover Pass. Visit our website for more information.

To stay involved with our Recreation program, sign up for our monthly recreation e-newsletter.

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Shout out: DNR staff recognized for trail work

June 5, 2015

One of our recreation staff received national recognition in late May for his outstanding contributions to trail planning, developing, and building. Sam Jarrett, who works in DNR’s South Puget Sound region, received American Trails’ national award, the 2015 Trail Work Award, and manages recreation in one the state’s most-loved landscapes, the Snoqualmie Corridor.

Sam Jarrett, who manages recreation in DNR's landscapes in the Snoqualmie Corridor, received a 2015 Trail Worker award from American Trails. Photo/ American Trails.

Sam Jarrett, who manages recreation in DNR’s landscapes in the Snoqualmie Corridor, received a 2015 Trail Worker award from American Trails. Photo/ American Trails.

This area includes Tiger Mountain State Forest, the Mount Si Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA), the Middle Fork NRCA, West Tiger Mountain NRCA and the Rattlesnake Mountain Scenic Area, and receives 800,000-plus visits each year. Sam uses his nine years of DNR recreation experience to create a legacy of recreational trail experiences on this landscape visitors can enjoy for years to come.

Off-the-Grid Trail in Tiger Mountain State Forest.

Mountain biker enjoying the Off-the-Grid Trail in Tiger Mountain State Forest. Photo/ DNR.

Sam was nominated by one of DNR’s partners, the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance (EMBA). EMBA and DNR are working together to develop premier mountain biking opportunities in the corridor, such as east Tiger Mountain’s 15-mile system and future opportunities in the Raging River State Forest.

Sam has also helped to continue partnerships with the Washington Trails Association, the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, and offer volunteer opportunities for the public to get involved, too.

Want to see the trails for yourself? With so many recreation opportunities, like Mailbox Peak, Mount Si, Rattlesnake Mountain Scenic Area, and Tiger Mountain State Forest, it’s easy to spend a day exploring the Snoqualmie Corridor. Visit our website to see what’s open and closed before you make the drive.

Visit our Snoqualmie Corridor Recreation Plan to learn more about recreation planning in the Snoqualmie Corridor.

Stay connected to DNR’s Recreation program by signing up for our monthly recreation e-newsletter.

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Safer summer fun: Help prevent wildfires

June 4, 2015

Want to know how you can reduce your chance of accidentally starting a wildfire while enjoying the outdoors? Click the image below and use the arrows below to follow along.

campfire

Before leaving home, always check to find out what the campfire restrictions are for the area you plan to visit. Contact the landowner of the property, whether it’s state land, federal land, a campground, or private land.

If campfires are allowed, extinguish them properly when you leave:

  1. Drown the fire thoroughly with water.
  2. Stir until cold.
  3. Drown the fire again and stir
  4. Never leave a campfire unattended at any time.
  5. Never leave a campfire until it is completely out and cool to the touch.

Please take the time to completely put out your campfire; a little extra care takes only a few minutes – but could prevent a wildfire. Remember, if it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave.

Learn more about how to have safe trips to DNR-managed lands with our guide to safe and fun recreation.

Look for this interactive guide and more in this month’s recreation e-newsletter.

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Celebrate National Running Day with DNR

June 3, 2015

Looking for your next favorite running route? Lace up your shoes and try out these popular running trails on DNR-managed land:

Trail runners begin running at the Rock Candy Trailhead. Photo/ DNR.

Trail runners begin running at the Rock Candy Trailhead. Photo/ DNR.

Foothills Trail, near Port Angeles
Just below Hurricane Ridge and 5 miles south of Port Angeles, the 6.5-mile Foothills Trail is open to hikers, horseback riders, mountain bikers, and motorcycles.

Capitol Peak, Capitol State Forest, near Olympia
Located at 2,559 feet, Capitol Peak offers views of the Cascade Range, Olympic Mountains, and Puget Sound inlets.

Tarbell Trail, Yacolt Burn State Forest, near Camas
Trail runners frequent this 35-mile trail system, open to hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders. Part of the trail has been in existence for more than 100 years.

Trail runners enjoy the Grey Rock Trail in the Ahtanum State Forest. Photo/ DNR.

Trail runners enjoy the Grey Rock Trail in the Ahtanum State Forest. Photo/ DNR.

Oyster Dome, Blanchard Forest, near Bellingham
The Oyster Dome Trail, open to hikers, provides access to the Chuckanut Mountains and Blanchard Forest. A steep climb will provide breathaking views of Samish Bay and the islands.

Visit our recreation guide to find other DNR-managed recreation opportunities near you.

Stay in the know with DNR’s Recreation program by subscribing to our monthly recreation e-newsletter.

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Mount Rainier: Landmark is nation’s most potentially-dangerous volcano

May 30, 2015
Mount Rainier looms over much of Washington's major population centers.

Mount Rainier looms over much of Washington’s major population centers.

When we think of volcanos, most of us picture spewing lava or, as in the case of the great Mount St. Helens eruption of 1980, a raining cloud of rock and ash after the volcano blows its top off. But the most devastating result of a volcanic eruption can actually be the lahar: a flood of mud, debris, and water that flows from a volcano when the water stored in snowpack or glaciers (Mount Rainier has plenty of both) is suddenly released.

Mount Rainier feeds 11 different river valleys, including the Puyallup River valley where many cities and towns are built on top of lahar deposits that are only about 500 years old.

To cap Washington’s Volcano Preparedness Month, DNR’s Ear to the Ground takes a look at the nation’s most potentially-dangerous volcano.

Because of its 14,410-feet elevation, massive icecap, glacier-fed valleys, and proximity to Seattle and Tacoma suburbs, Mount Rainier is the most potentially dangerous volcano in the nation — it’s also ranked among the top ten most-most dangerous in the world.

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