Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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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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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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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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.

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.


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