Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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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Technology reveals hidden Teanaway

May 15, 2015

Aerial LiDAR surveys help map the Teanaway landscape

Planes zigzagged over the Teanaway Community Forest in April with highly sophisticated instruments on board to see what lies beneath the mountain forests. Using technology called Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), the aerial surveys collected detailed information about the condition of the forest and the contours beneath its landscape.

High-quality LiDAR images can provide information on the shape of the ground and the kind of vegetation that covers it. DNR and WDFW staff will use data from the surveys to identify floodplains, steep slopes, and historic landslides, which can help indicate areas of concern. LiDAR imagery can also reveal stream channels and old road or railroad beds. Among other uses, the agencies could, for example, use this information to uncover where a road restricts a stream’s natural movement, and then help determine alternate road routes.

LiDAR data can also reveal the kinds and height of existing tree canopies, which may help reveal priority areas for habitat preservation.

Agency staff are looking forward to using the data to help prioritize future efforts.

Three LiDAR images.

Shown in LiDAR imagery is the main branch of the Teanaway River.

Road graders add to this summer’s scene at Cattle Point

May 13, 2015
Cattle Point NRCA offers beautiful views of the San Juan islands. Photo: Paul McFarland, DNR.

Cattle Point NRCA offers beautiful views of the San Juan islands. Photo: Paul McFarland, DNR.

Spring and summer bring scenic and historic Cattle Point Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA) a wide range of unique sights. Joining the more than 40 species of butterflies, 160 species of birds and 150 species of native plants this year, will be giant excavators and road graders.

Erosion continues to take away the coastal bluffs along San Juan Island’s southern point, which has threatened the primary access road to Cattle Point, potentially cutting off access to public and private lands.

San Juan County and the National Park Service, along with the Federal Highway Administration, are realigning the road nearest the bluff. This project is underway now and scheduled for completion by this October. Visitors to the NRCA may experience minor traffic delays to accommodate construction activity. The Mt. Finlayson Trail and nearby roadside viewpoint in the NRCA will be closed during construction, but all other trails in the NRCA remain open.

You can track the progress on the U.S. Department of Transportation website at http://flh.fhwa.dot.gov/projects/wa/cattlepoint/

At Cattle Point NRCA, visitors will find grasslands, gravelly beaches, dunes, a mature conifer forest and steep bluffs. Cattle Point NRCA consists of two waterfront parcels at the south end of San Juan Island.

On just 112 acres, the NRCA provides a diverse range of geologic features, plant communities and wildlife habitat. The largest portion of the NRCA extends across the tip of the island from the Strait of Juan de Fuca, over the Mount Finlayson ridge and into Griffin Bay. A second parcel is near the U.S. Coast Guard lighthouse and includes an historic building, beach access and a day-use interpretive area. Adjacent to the western edge of the conservation area is the San Juan Island National Historical Park “American Camp” unit.

When visiting San Juan Island, make time to drop by our interpretive site near the Cattle Point Lighthouse. The day-use interpretive area includes parking [remember to bring your Discover Pass], beach access, hiking trails with viewpoints, and a picnic area with restroom. Wildlife is abundant and includes eagles and other birds of prey. Cattle Point offers outstanding views of the Olympic and Cascade Mountains and surrounding islands.

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Mount Adams: Our most considerate volcano

May 9, 2015
Mount Adams towers over the Trout Lake Natural Area Preserve, which is managed by DNR. Photo: DNR

Mount Adams towers over the Trout Lake Natural Area Preserve, which is managed by DNR. Photo: DNR

With May being Washington’s Volcano Preparedness Month, DNR’s Ear to the Ground thought it a good time for you to get to know our active volcanic neighbors. We start this week with the sleepiest and alphabetically-antecedent of the Cascade volcano peaks, Mount Adams.

At 12,280 feet above sea level, Mount Adams is the second-tallest of Washington’s mountains, trailing only Mount Rainier. Perhaps that has something to do with its less active history. As Mounts St. Helens, Rainier and Hood have spewed over the past few thousand years, causing noise and ruckus for us in the lowlands, Mount Adams has been polite enough to remain relatively quiet.

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DNR brings in chopper help to clean Puget Sound beach

May 3, 2015
DNR restoration specialist Kristian Tollefson waits for a load of debris to be brought in via helicopter. Photo: Joe Smillie, DNR.

DNR restoration specialist Kristian Tollefson waits for a load of debris to be brought in via helicopter. Photo: Joe Smillie, DNR.

With some whirlybird help, DNR crews spent the past week cleaning out one of the primary catch traps of the Puget Sound kitchen sink.

Crews cleared about 120 tons of that debris that washed into the Doe-Kag-Wats estuary at Indianola on the Kitsap Peninsula from as far south as the Tacoma Narrows. Read more about it in this Kitsap Sun article.

“The way the sound circulates, there’s a pretty good chance that if something falls into Puget Sound, it will end up here,” DNR restoration manager Chris Robertson said.

However, the estuary is located on a remote section of the (more…)

May is Washington Volcano Month — be prepared

May 1, 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.

If you think you need to let off some steam from the pressures of daily life is something, imagine holding the pressure of dissolved gas and magma in for centuries.

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.

Washington is home to five major composite volcanoes or stratovolcanoes (from north to south): Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, and Mount Adams. These volcanoes and Mount Hood to the south in Oregon are part of the Cascade Range, a volcanic arc that stretches from southwestern British Columbia to northern California. If you want to check them out, take along DNR’s five-day field trip guide of the Cascade volcanoes. (more…)

We’ve got new trail opportunities flying your way

April 30, 2015

This month a helicopter delivered two trail bridges in the Snoqualmie Corridor. Watch along with us via the clips below.

Granite Creek Trail, Middle Fork Snoqualmie Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA), near North Bend

With the addition of a 40-foot bridge over Mine Creek River, the popular 5-mile hiker-only trail will better serve visitors for years to come.

Climbing Trail, East Tiger Mountain, near Issaquah

This 4-mile trail is expected to open Spring 2016, and it will be well worth the wait. This primarily mountain biking trail provides a more direct ascent to higher elevation trails within the 15-mile East Tiger Mountain trail system. With the new trail, mountain bikers won’t need to navigate forest roads to make the climb. Until then, please be aware of timber harvest activities while biking on roads in East Tiger Mountain.

Want a closer look at our plans for fun and safe trips to DNR rec sites in the Snoqualmie Corridor? Check out our Snoqualmie Corridor Recreation Plan, which we published in March.

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

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Get ready for the 13th annual “Pick Up the Burn”

April 26, 2015
Volunteers help clean up the Yacolt Burn State Forest in a previous "Pick Up the Burn" event. Photo/DNR.

Volunteers help clean up the Yacolt Burn State Forest in a previous “Pick Up the Burn” event. Photo/DNR.

In its 13th year, theYacolt Burn State Forest-based “Pick up the Burn” brings ORV riders, hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders together to help improve Yacolt Burn State Forest trails. This year’s work will include picking up littler, site maintenance, and improving campgrounds to prepare for the summer season.

This is the 13th annual "Pick Up the Burn," a Yacolt Burn State Forest volunteer event. Photo/DNR.

This is the 13th annual “Pick Up the Burn,” a Yacolt Burn State Forest volunteer event. Photo/DNR.

Want to get involved? 
8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 2, 2015
Yacolt Burn State Forest
Meet at the Jones Creek ORV trailhead

Getting there

  • Start in Camas at junction with SR-14. Go N on SR-500 for 3.8 miles to Fern Prairie
  • Turn right on NE 19th St. and go .8 miles.
  • Turn right on NE Reilly Rd., which becomes NE 292 Ave. Go 1.9 miles.
  • Turn right on NE Ireland Rd.
  • G .2 milies, turn left on NE Lessard Rd. At 2 miles, pavement ends.
  • Continue on gravel road for 1.6 miles to trailhead.

Visit DNR’s volunteer calendar for more information or check out this year’s flier.

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

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The Washington Geology Library’s best kept secret

April 16, 2015

3-20-2015 3-32-53 PM

In honor of National Library Workers day, DNR would like to celebrate Stephanie Earls of the Washington Geology Library (WGL). Stephanie has worked with the WGL for the past two years, a position that seamlessly incorporates her own unique background in geology and library sciences.

The WGL was created in 1935 by way of legislation for the Division of Mines and Mining, a predecessor of the Washington Division of Geology and Earth Resources. The library provides support to the employees of DNR, but is also open to the public, government agencies (federal, state, and local), geotechnical consultants, and the academic community.

Library Resources

A number of unique services are available at the Washington Geology Library, and Stephanie extends a personal invitation to the public to explore the various resources available. Whether you are looking for specific information on geologic hazards or mining, or you harbor general curiosities about the landscape in your community, the library is a useful resource.

Services include:

  • Reference/research/public information geologist
  • Circulation (DNR employees only)
  • Scanning maps/documents into digital format
  • Aid with online tools: Division of Geology Interactive Geologic Map Portal & USGS National Geologic Map Database
  • Aid in finding obscure items

Catalogue collections

Along with the numerous services it provides, the Washington Geologic Library houses an impressive collection of more than 50,000 titles. These include books, maps, reports, journal articles, theses/dissertations, and more.

Topics include:006

  • general geology
  • geologic hazards
  • mining
  • soils
  • Environmental Impact Statements
  • watershed analyses
  • private consulting reports

Publishers:

  • Government (federal, state, and local)
  • private consulting firms
  • universities

Maps:

  • Geologic hazards – landslide, tsunami inundation zones, earthquake faults
  • topographic
  • coal map mine collection
  • coastal zone atlas

The library also offers access to the online database GeoRef, and The National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program Library.

For more information on the Washington Geologic Library, take a look at the website, or for those adventurous types, visit the library in room 174 at the Natural Resources Building at 1111 Washington Street S.E. in Olympia.

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