Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

A big thank you to volunteers at our 11th Annual Great Gravel Pack-in last weekend

April 12, 2016

Powered by a mutual love of recreation in Capitol State Forest near Olympia, dedicated volunteers came together to make an important contribution to the 100,000-acre forest’s trails. In partnership with the Back Country Horsemen of Washington, Washington ATV Association, and Evergreen Sportsmen’s Club, volunteers on foot, horseback, and all-terrain vehicle, reinforced one-fourth mile of trail on the Campground trail and one mile of Waddell Basin West trail with gravel.

For more than ten years, Great Gravel Pack-in volunteers have reinforced more than 12 miles of trail in Capitol State Forest. This year they moved 30 yards of gravel (75,000 pounds).

Check out some photos from the event:

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Volunteers with the Back Country Horsemen of Washington dedicated the event to Daniel Lyon, a firefighter severely burned in the 2015 Twisp River Fire, and the firefighters who bravely work to protect our forests from wildfire.

To learn more about volunteering with DNR, visit our website.

Check out our upcoming volunteer opportunities on our calendar.

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Volunteer trail stewards enhancing Blanchard trail experience

April 10, 2016

Want to get outdoors near Bellingham and participate in rewarding stewardship this Spring? Join DNR staff and partners from the Skagit-Whatcom-Island Trail Maintaining Organization (SWITMO) to care for trails in Blanchard Forest.

SWITMO caring for trails on Blanchard Mountain. Photo courtesy SWITMO.

SWITMO caring for trails on Blanchard Mountain. Photo courtesy SWITMO.

They’ve got upcoming work parties April 16, May 7, and May 21. Visit our calendar to for upcoming event details.

Lasting partnerships
Founded in 1999, SWITMO works to care for the Pacific Northwest Trail, a 1,200-mile national scenic trail, as it passes through DNR’s Blanchard Mountain and Anderson forests.

SWITMO volunteers give back to DNR-managed lands on Anderson Mountain. Photo courtesy SWITMO.

SWITMO volunteers give back to DNR-managed lands on Anderson Mountain. Photo courtesy SWITMO.

The 120-member nonprofit drastically improved the previously rock-and-root-laden trail between Chuckanut Drive and Samish Overlook, which also provides access to popular Oyster Dome. They also built Max’s Shortcut, a 1.4-mile connection trail in DNR’s Blanchard Forest.

Learn more about volunteering on DNR-managed lands.

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Defend your home from fire! Ciscoe Morris shows you how

April 8, 2016


Do you know how to defend your home from fire? No, not standing on the roof with a garden hose, but keeping the landscaping around your house healthy and fire resistant – especially important if you live in a rural area.

Ciscoe Morris, master gardener and certified arborist, narrates four shows made for TV that are now on YouTube. The Ciscoe on: Firetopics include:  Communities Taking Action;Beetle Invasion; Fighting Fire with Flowers; and Fire Resistant Home and Landscaping Ideas.

The potential for fire danger in the forests, including urban and community forests, is increasing.

What you can do

People are moving into the urban interface, where forests meet the edge of communities. Ciscoe Morris demonstrates to homeowners how you can better protect yourself from wildfire.

Prevention is the key – not only knowing what steps to take but also being aware of what is going on in the surrounding environment. Forests that are overcrowded and contain many dead trees are signs of an unhealthy forest. Watch for these signs in the greenbelts or forested areas close to your home. Dead and dying trees ultimately mean more fuel for a fire.

Protect your home and community in the event of a wildfire by:

  • keeping the trees and vegetation in your yard watered
  • keeping vegetation and materials that could become fuel for a fire farther away from the home
  • consulting with a certified arborist for diagnosing disease, pruning or thinning
  • consulting with local landscape professionals, who are a great source for advice and products

Landscaping offers one of the best returns on investments for homes, and by incorporating some fire resistant techniques, can give some peace of mind.

This four-part series on wildfire prevention topics is in partnership with three members of the Northwest Compact: Washington State, the Province of British Columbia and the Province of Alberta. The Northwest Wildland Fire Compact is a fire protection agreement used to share resources across borders to promote effective prevention, pre-suppression and control of wildland fires.

Happy National Walking Day; where should you go?

April 6, 2016
Woodard Bay (in Thurston County) is one of the most significant heron rookeries in the state. Photo:DNR/Roberta Davenport

Woodard Bay (in Thurston County) is one of the most significant heron rookeries in the state. Photo:DNR/Roberta Davenport

For National Walking Day, we have two exciting natural areas that are great for a 30-minute walk.

Woodard Bay Natural Resources Conservation Area

Woodard Bay NRCA,  nestled in South Puget Sound near Olympia, protects native shoreline habitat, much to the delight of bird watchers, nature conservationists, and others who enjoy the beauty and peace of minimally disturbed habitat.

Some of Puget Sound’s most stunning native shoreline habitat is revealed along the paths and waterways of DNR’s Woodard Bay NRCA. Nature enthusiasts; bird, bat and seal watchers; and others who enjoy the beauty and peace of forest and estuary habitat have a new favorite location nestled in South Puget Sound near Olympia. Interact with new tribal heritage-inspired artwork, learn from large, new interpretive signs, and get inside a historical timber camp-car that’s now used for site interpretation. Woodard Bay offers an unparalleled glimpse into the South Sound’s natural, economic and Native American history. Click here for directions.

Dishman Hills NRCA

DishmanHills

Dramatically sculpted by the great Glacial Lake Missoula floods, Dishman Hills NRCA give you the chance to see Spokane the way it was before civilization. Photo by: DNR/Jane Chevay

The Dishman Hills NRCA is a 518-acre nature reserve just east of Spokane that is the perfect spot for an afternoon picnic after a nice nature walk. This area, which was dramatically sculpted by the great Glacial Lake Missoula floods, is guaranteed to wow people with over 50 species of butterflies.

Bring the kids and enjoy the singing of frogs, colorful wildflowers, and over 50 species of butterflies. Because it is a conservation area, leave your mountain bikes, horses, rollerblades, rock climbing gear, and motorized vehicles at home. The serenity will give you a unique chance to see the land the way it was before the chaos of modern civilization. View some trails where you can enjoy wildlife, rare species of plants, and spectacular geological features.  Click here for directions.

Before you go, remember to bring your Discover Pass, the gateway to exploring Washington’s great outdoors.

Protecting the state’s natural areas
DNR manages two different kinds of natural areas to conserve and restore special state-managed lands. There are Natural Area Preserves (NAPs), like Columbia Hills NAP, for the protection of scientifically important sites and Natural Resources Conservation Areas (NRCAs), which include scientifically important sites that also have outstanding scenic values—such as Woodard Bay NRCA.

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Taking a new look under Washington’s surface

April 5, 2016

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This winter and spring have witnessed a flurry of LiDAR-(light detection and ranging) related activity at the Department of Natural Resources Division of Geology and Earth Resources as the new LiDAR program begins to take shape.

The ongoing collection of new aerial LiDAR data in western Washington will ultimately serve as the foundation data for mapping, geologic hazard mitigation, urban planning, habitat and vegetation modeling, and transportation applications.

Thanks to support from the Washington legislature last year, DNR is expanding the lidar view of Washington to provide our state’s communities information about the geologic hazards around them.

Our first few days of sunny weather allowed LiDAR vendors to make lots of headway in the lower elevations. Flights for the project began on March 17th in both the northern and southern collection areas (see maps below). Collection flights in higher elevation areas will follow the snowline. (more…)

DNR gearing up for fire season in two different ways; can you participate?

April 4, 2016

rp_fire_prevention_570pxThere are two different ways DNR is working to give you and your community the tools you need to prepare for wildfire and to bring awareness to those who don’t know about living in wildfire country.

First, DNR is encouraging local communities to participate in the National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day on May 7. Neighbors working together to prepare for wildfire is simply smart and can reduce the wildfire threat to your community. Preparing for wildfire gives us a chance to get ready and, as a bonus, connect with our neighbors.

Can’t fit in any extra time to work with your community? At least take these easy steps to prepare your home now. Whether working on your own or with your neighbors, you can always learn more about how to live with fire.

Also, in conjunction with National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, DNR is participating with seven other western states to proclaim the month of May Wildfire Awareness Month.  Throughout May, DNR will share more wildfire preparation tips on Ear to the Ground, Facebook and Twitter.

Join DNR and participate in these campaigns, and help your family prepare for wildfire.

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Timely tree tips — insects and diseases can indicate other problems

March 29, 2016
Cherry trees on the Capitol Campus Photo: Micki McNaughton, DNR

Cherry trees on the Capitol Campus       Photo: Micki McNaughton, DNR

Trees that are damaged, stressed, unhealthy or in decline are far more susceptible to insect infestation and diseases for two reasons:

1) Physical injuries damage a tree’s protective bark tissue, providing easy access to the tree’s core for insects and pathogens; and,

2) Stressed, unhealthy or declining trees have fewer available resources to provide active defenses against insect and disease attacks.

Unhealthy trees are attractive to insects and pathogens for the same reasons that a sickly zebra is attractive prey for a predatory lion: sickly prey is weaker, easier to attack and less likely to fight back, skewing the odds in the predator’s favor.

Prescriptions for treating insect and disease problems often come in the form of pesticide applications. Pesticides can be powerful tools to address symptoms, but do little or nothing to mitigate underlying causes of a tree’s decline, and nor are they helpful in returning the tree to health.

The best antidote to tree disease is similar to the advice given to us humans: proactive attention to stress reduction and good care. Here are a few recommendations to get you and your trees started down the road to good health:

  • Plant the right tree in the right place. Choose trees that are well-suited to local soils and other site conditions with adequate growing space above and below ground.
  • Plant the tree properly with the root flare at grade. Planting too deeply is one of the leading causes of long-term tree decline, and one of the easiest to avoid.
  • Provide supplemental water when needed. Dehydration is incredibly stressful but also preventable when trees, especially newly planted ones, are provided adequate water during hot summer months.
  • Mulch trees deeply. 2″- 4″ of organic mulch in a nice, wide ring around the base of your trees can do wonders to reduce plant stress by decreasing moisture loss from the soil and cooling the rooting zone of the tree. Physical damage from mowers and string trimmers may also be lessened by keeping grass and weeds away from the tree trunk.
  • Prune trees according to best practices. Good pruning practices not only reduce the risk of storm damage, but may also limit the spread of some pests and disease organisms.

Pause before breaking out the chemicals and look for opportunities to improve tree health instead; it’s cheaper and friendlier to the environment, and the positive effects are longer lasting. Healthy trees will reward your care by fending off nasty pests and diseases on their own, as well as looking more beautiful in the landscape.

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Spring into recreation on DNR-managed lands with new activity

March 20, 2016
Kayaking near Mine Creek Picnic Area on the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River. Photo/ DNR.

Kayaking near Mine Creek Picnic Area on the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River. Photo/ DNR.

Time to celebrate, today marks the first day of spring. This year, why not take on a new activity to get out enjoying Washington’s great outdoors?

Popular kayaking spots on DNR-managed lands include our Mine Creek Day-Use Area, which accesses the Snoqualmie River in the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Natural Resources Conservation Area, and Hoh Oxbow Campground, which accesses the Hoh River.

To learn more about river kayaking, get involved with a local organization, such as American Whitewater, Washington Kayak Association, or The Mountaineers. They can help connect you with pool sessionsclasses, and tips for beginner trips. To keep your trips safe and fun, use our recreation guide and check out these guidelines from our partners at Washington State Parks.

Start planning your trip with the help of our online interactive recreation map. Visit our website to learn more about DNR’s recreation program.

Was your neighborhood a recipient for an urban & community forestry grant?

March 16, 2016
Healthy urban trees

Smart planning assures not just lots of trees for urban areas, but a healthy and sustainable urban forest. Photo: DNR.

This year, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources’ Urban & Community Forestry Program, working in partnership with the USDA Forest Service, is pleased to announce our 2016 grant recipients in the following three categories:

Community Forestry Assistance Grants 

# Applicant Project
1 Seward Park Audubon Center  Tenacious Roots Leadership Team
2 City of Camas  Urban Tree Program

 Tree Inventory Grants

# Applicant Project
1 City of Everett Parks and Recreation Parks Landscape Tree Inventory
2 City of Gig Harbor Gig Harbor Tree Inventory
3 City of Lakewood Lakewood Tree Survey
4 City of Olympia City of Olympia Tree Inventory
5 City of Pasco Pasco Urban Tree Inventory Update
6 City of Vancouver Park Trees Inventory

 Tree Planting Grants

# Applicant Project
1 City of Bremerton Parks
and Recreation Department
Blueberry Park Enhancement Project

CONGRATULATIONS to our 2016 grant recipients, and thank you to everyone who submitted an application this year. We look forward to successful completion of all our funded projects.

More information on DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry Program (UCF) grant opportunities can be found on our website.

If you have questions about our grant process or wish to learn more, please contact us at: 360-902-1703 or 360-902-1330.

Article in the March Tree Link Newsletter.

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Put that lost hour in perspective with stunning view of geologic time

March 13, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 8.12.34 AM

Upset over that lost hour from the switch to Daylight Savings Time? DNR geologists can help put that into the perspective of a geologic time frame in which that hour isn’t even a blip.

A new interpretation from DNR’s Division of Geology and Earth Resources of lidar scans of the Chehalis River flood plain reveals how Washington’s natural forces change and sculpt the land over long periods of time, capturing those changes in stunning and beautiful ways.

As the river has swollen and shrunk with the seasons, it has carved new channels, escaped the confines of river banks and sculpted the land between Pe Ell and Oakville.

The map, made by new GIS Cartographer Daniel Coe, uses data from past lidar scans to show that movement. Elevation along the river changes from white to dark red as it has been influenced by the channel’s migration and past flood events.

More than anything, this map is a display of the revolutionary capacity of lidar maps. These accurate, high-resolution pictures of the earth’s surface allows geologists to see the surface of the earth.

Thanks to support from the Washington legislature last year, DNR is expanding the lidar view of Washington to provide our state’s communities information about the geology around them.

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