Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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

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.


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


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


  • 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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Fast walking can help you survive a tsunami; DNR has maps to show you where to walk

April 15, 2015
Tsunami inundation areas of Washington State. Source: DNR

Tsunami inundation areas of Washington State. Source: DNR

As reported by the Seattle Times Tuesday, a new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences analyzed the risk people living on the Northwest coast face from tsunamis and found some 80 percent of us could escape the waves; more if we walk faster.

If and when the Cascadia Subduction Zone, a 600-mile-long fault that runs from northern California to Vancouver Island, lets loose another megathrust earthquake, a tsunami surge is expected to slam the coast with 15 to 30 minutes.

The study, led by geographer Nathan Wood of the U.S. Geological Survey, found Aberdeen and Hoquiam had the highest concentration of people at risk from a Cascadia tsunami, with 20,000 people living in the area.

Good news, though, as the study also found 90 percent of those people would have enough time to find higher ground walking at an average rate. Sped up, even more would find refuge on the area’s high ground.

DNR has mapped the way

DNR’s Geology and Earth Resources Division, the state’s official geologic survey, is helping Washington communities identify how they are vulnerable to tsunamis to create innovative strategies for dealing with that threat.

We’ve mapped model tsunamis to show where waves would likely strike after a Cascadia quake, identified evacuation routes, and helped communities without the high ground that could provide refuge to Aberdeen residents, create higher ground of their own.

Find your best routes

Want to find the best evacuation routes for your community? Our Geologic Information Portal has a tsunami layer that shows tsunami hazard zones, evacuation routes, and assembly areas. Use the address locator tool to find evacuation routes and assembly areas near your home, school or workplace.

Using our interactive maps, you can create, save, and print custom maps, find more information about map features, and download map data for use in a geographic information system (GIS). In addition to a variety of geoscience layers that can be turned on and off, each interactive map has many base layers to choose from, so you can customize your map in any number of ways.

Here’s a 2-page fact sheet to help you get the most out of the Washington State Geologic Information Portal.

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Walk away those Monday blues

March 30, 2015
Klickitat Canyon RMCA

A view of the Klickitat river as seen from Klickitat Canyon Natural Resource Conservation Area in Yakima County. Photo: DNR

Are you feeling that 3 p.m. energy crash? Reenergize by viewing some flowers and breathing fresh air. Along with a sunny Monday, today is National Take a Walk in the Park Day. It’s the perfect chance to stretch those leg muscles, grab a buddy, and visit your favorite park.

Walking isn’t just good for the body. In fact, many people believe it provides therapeutic benefits. Leisurely walks outside offer low-impact exercise and give tired eyes a reprieve from florescent lights and back-lit screens, relieving the body and mind of tension. Even if it’s just for ten minutes, walking outside on a trail or near a stream can leave you feeling rejuvenated and ready to face the rest of your day. DNR natural areas include some beautiful trails and walking grounds that are open to the public.

Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve 

Located in western Washington, the mysterious Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve (NAP) has roughly 637 acres of grassland and a diverse trail system including a paved, ADA-accessible loop and gravel paths branching out from paved loop. Visitors can schedule a group tour or explore the mounds on their own. A trip to the site’s interpretive center gives guests access to full color signs with information on geology, ecology, fire, and Native American use of the prairie.

Camas Mima Mounds

Blue camas growing at Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve. Photo: DNR

Visitors can also learn about different hypotheses regarding the formation of the mounds.

Protected features:

  • Roemer’s fescue
  • Mima Mounds topography
  • Garry oak woodland and savannah
  • Prairie dependent butterflies and birds
  • Douglas-fir forest

Klickitat Canyon Natural Resources Conservation Area 

For those interested in a more riparian atmosphere, consider heading to the Klickitat Canyon Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA), located near Yakima and Klickitat counties. This 1,516 acre conservation area, made up of a coniferous forest mixed with ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir, provides stunning views of the free-flowing Klickitat River. Take a walk along the river canyon or picnic on the shore while enjoying the view of Mount Adams rising in the distance.

Visitors can see a number of plant and animal species, including seven rare plant species and the endangered greater sandhill crane. The conservation area also houses black bears, bobcats, deer, and many species of bird including, occasionally, bald eagles.

For more information on these and other natural areas on DNR-managed land, visit our website. And remember, when visiting any site on state lands, it is important to bring your Discover Pass.

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DNR crews remove derelict, decimated barge from Eld Inlet

March 24, 2015

Crews working for DNR’s Aquatic Restoration program pulled the remains of an old barge from the muddy shoreline of Eld Inlet last week.

The barge, of unknown origin, washed ashore some 17 years ago and deteriorated to the point it was barely recognizable as a vessel. Weather and tide took its toll on the barge, spreading chunks of metal, treated wood and plastic across a 7,500-square-foot area of the inlet.

Under a contract with DNR, Puyallup-based Woodland Industries removed the barge last week. Woodland workers used excavators mounted on a barge to pick pieces of the old barge out of the Eld Inlet tidelands. The approximately $70,000 removal project was funded from a large debris removal fund created by the 2012 Jobs Now Act.

Removal of the barge’s remnants was aimed at restoring the shoreline as habitat. Forage fish have been found living north of the barge site and are expected to eventually use the former debris field for habitat.

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.

DNR – guardian of Washington’s aquatic lands

DNR is steward of 2.6 million acres of state-owned aquatic lands—including the bedlands under Puget Sound and manages them as a public trust for the people of Washington State.

Through its Aquatic Restoration program, DNR is working to restore, enhance and protect healthy ecological conditions in freshwater, saltwater and estuarine aquatic systems throughout Washington.

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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