Take your new “quad” map out for a hike

March 15, 2015
View of Mount Baker from the Lyman Radio Site on DNR-managed trust land northeast of Sedro-Woolley. Photo: Tom Mahon/DNR.

View of Mount Baker from the Lyman Radio Site on DNR-managed trust land northeast of Sedro-Woolley. Photo: Tom Mahon/DNR.

Interested in outdoor recreation? Want to find new places to go (or just figure out where you’ve been)? DNR Public Lands Quadrangle maps are a great asset to anyone who wants to explore Washington state’s great outdoors.

“Quad” maps are full-color printed maps that show important details (including boundaries) about parcels of public land down to 10 acres in size. The maps also show highways, roads, trails, water features, recreation sites, and other key features. Each of these 1:100,000 scale maps covers an area of about 1,600 square miles, with one inch being the equivalent of approximately 1.6 miles.

In addition to recreation enthusiasts, the series of 50 maps published by DNR are popular with hunters, backcountry hikers, and emergency responders. DNR Public Lands Quadrangle Maps are a great to locate lands managed by DNR, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), State Parks and Recreation Commission, and other public agencies.

The three most recently updated maps illustrate the areas around Chewelah, Mount Baker, and Mount Adams.

Maps can be purchased online or in person from the Washington State Department of Printing between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Follow DNR on: Facebook Fan See us on Flickr Watch us YouTube Follow us on Twitter Follow DNR Fire Twitter Join in the DNR Forum

Learn about the health of Washington’s forests near you

March 14, 2015
Forest Health Highlights is a report on insect and disease activity in Washington's forests.

Forest Health Highlights is a report on insect and disease activity in Washington’s forests.

Each year, all forested acres in Washington are surveyed from the air to track recent tree damage. That’s 22.4 million acres of forestland, which you can see in this three-minute video taken from 2011.

These aerial surveys are used to report the location and intensity of damage by forest insects, diseases, and other disturbances. See the results for yourself in our latest Forest Health Highlights report.

If you own forestland, use this report to understand which insects or diseases are active near your property and find out how to get maps and data covering your area.

Even if you don’t own forestland, the report helps you understand the quality and condition of forests near you. It’s so valuable in fact, that DNR and the U.S. Forest Service have conducted a forest health survey of Washington’s forests every year since 1947.

Learn more about DNR’s Forest Health Program, and check out the many resources the U.S. Forest Service has available on Western Forest Insects and Diseases.

Follow DNR on: Facebook Fan See us on Flickr Watch us YouTube Follow us on Twitter Follow DNR Fire Twitter

Wildfire risk? Nip it in the fire-resistant bud!

March 13, 2015

3-13-2015 10-38-33 AM

More people than ever are building their homes in the wildland-urban interface, a transition zone where urban structures and wildland coexist. These urban structures are not always in harmony with their wild neighbors, and the closer houses are built to the forest, the less defensible space there is available to defend against the risk of wildfire.  Therefore, homeowners living in these areas must take extra precautions to protect their homes, lives, and property against potential wildfire.

One way to do this is to layer the landscape around your property with fire-resistant plants. These plants can function both as a defensible barrier and as an aesthetically pleasing addition to any garden or land. Fire-resistant plants are plants that are not easily ignited by a flame, and whose foliage and stems resist significantly “fueling the fire.” Other factors that contribute to a plant’s ability to resist wildfire are moisture content, age, total volume, dead material, and chemical content. If a plant is considered fire-resistant, that does not mean it is fireproof. A fire will burn these plants if they are not healthy, pruned, and properly watered.

Fire-resistant plant characteristics

  • Leaves with high moisture content
  • Little dead wood or dry material accumulated within the plant
  • Near odorless water-like sap
  • Low sap or resin materials

Highly flammable plant characteristics

  • The plant contains fine, dry, or dead material such as twigs, needles, and leaves
  • Volatile waxes, terpenes, or oils contained in leaves, twigs, and stems
  • Leaves have a strong aromatic odor when crushed
  • Thick, resinous sap with a strong odor
  • Loose or thin, papery bark

Many native and ornamental plants also have highly flammable characteristics, therefore, it is important to avoid landscaping with these plants directly around your home. Fortunately, there are many trees, shrubs, flowers, and other fire-resistant plants to choose from that will add color and texture variety to any landscape.

For a comprehensive list of fire-resistant plants, including plant adaptability to different hardiness zones, take a look at DNR’s Fire-Resistant Plants for Home Landscapes publication.

Follow DNR on: Facebook Fan See us on Flickr Watch us YouTube Follow us on Twitter Follow DNR Fire Twitter Join in the DNR Forum

Trees for tomorrow: Webster Forest Nursery seedlings

March 13, 2015
Webster Forest Nursery

After getting a six-month head start in the Webster Forest Nursery greenhouse (between February and August), these lovely Douglas-fir seedlings were transplanted into the nursery’s outdoor bareroot nursery where they will grow for the next 1.5 years before being offered for sale to small forest landowners.

DNR staff at the Webster Forest Nursery are busy tending to seedlings and working on other tasks that will help DNR and many small private land owners meet the replanting requirements of the State Forest Practices Act. Located just south of Olympia, the Webster Nursery consists of 270 acres of bareroot ground and greenhouses. Each year, the nursery produces between 8 million and 10 million seedlings of various species from seeds selected for their suitability to the soils, microclimates and other local conditions found across the state.

The greenhouse nursery is currently sowing seed to grow 3.5 million container seedlings and the bareroot nursery is lifting, packing, and shipping seedlings. The bareroot nursery currently has 5.9 million seedlings packed with 3.5 million more seedlings remaining in the fields to lift and pack. Summer and early fall tend to be the optimal times to prepare planting sites, scout for planting crews to hire, purchase seedlings and do other preparations for winter planting.

As this winter nears its end, the year’s supply of seedlings is sold out. However, next year’s seedlings will be ready for purchase during fall or early winter of the 2015/2016 season.

Sales of next year’s seedlings begin September 1, 2015. In the meantime, you can learn more by:

After September 1, 2015, place your order by calling 360-902-1234 or toll-free 1-877-890-2626.

Please note: Seedlings must be ordered in bundles of 100. The species and stock produced at the nursery are for large trees and not suitable for most urban sites. When ordering seedlings, it is important to know which species and stock type to plant and we recommend that you seek out a qualified forester to get specific recommendations for your planting site.

Follow DNR on: Facebook Fan See us on Flickr Watch us YouTube Follow us on Twitter Follow DNR Fire Twitter Join in the DNR Forum

Diversify your yard with a different type of tree

March 12, 2015
The Japanese pagodatree isn't fussy about soil or water.

The Japanese pagodatree isn’t fussy about soil or water.

Looking for a tough, unusual tree to diversify your yard or woodland? One with character and multi-season interest? Give the Japanese pagodatree, sometimes called the Chinese scholar-tree, a look. Japanese pagodatree has been extensively planted near temples and shrines in eastern Asia for centuries. It is native to China and Korea, but—oddly enough, considering both its common and botanic names—not Japan. The tree was introduced to the western nursery trade in 1747.

Those of us who know the tree as Sophora japonica should be aware that botanists have recently renamed the tree Styphnolobium japonicum to differentiate it from trees of the genus Sophora. The roots of Sophora species form associations with soil bacteria to fix nitrogen like most members of the Fabaceae family. Recent scientific studies, however, show that Japanese pagodatree is one of the few trees in the extensive Fabaceae family that does not fix nitrogen in the soil. Who knew?

The Japanese pagodatree produces large, very showy panicles of creamy white pea-like flowers over several weeks in mid to late summer, a time when most other flowering trees are done with their show. Dark green compound leaves provide dappled shade through summer, becoming yellow in fall. Bark develops a rugged look similar to oak as the tree matures, offering winter interest. Bean-like pods are 3 to 8 inches long, and are retained on the tree through winter, an additional seasonal texture. The roots tend to be fibrous and deep, unlikely to affect nearby hardscape. Read the rest of this entry »

Lessons remain vital four years after deadly Japan earthquake, tsunami

March 11, 2015

On March 11 four years ago, the earth reminded us of its destructive and unstoppable power when a magnitude 9 earthquake in northern Japan touched off a tsunami and caused tens of thousands of deaths and devastated much of the nation’s infrastructure.

Waves from the tsunami reached the coast of Washington and other western states, where they damaged California coastal communities and washed some of the estimated 1.5 million tons of tsunami debris onto our shores.

Not only is the anniversary a time to remember those lost in Japan, but it should also serve as a reminder that Washington needs to be prepared for a similar geologic hazard threat.

An earthquake fault with similar potential lies just off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and British Columbia. Geologists say it is not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ the Cascadia fault off our coast unleashes another mega quake. To get a picture of what we may need to do in the recovery, DNR and other members of the Washington State Seismic Safety Committee produced the ‘Resilient Washington State’ report.

DNR’s Geology and Earth Resources Division, the state’s official geologic survey, is helping Washington communities identify how they are vulnerable to similar tsunami events and how they can craft innovative strategies for dealing with those threats.

ger_ofr2014-03_tsunami_hazard_everett

Following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, the Tsunami Warning and Education Act of 2006 was put in place. The act allowed NOAA to formalize and expand the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program, a partnership with Pacific states to protect the West Coast from tsunamis.

Hazards geologists with the Department of Natural Resources Division of Geology and Earth Resources, the National Center for Tsunami Research at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, and scientists with the University of Washington model tsunami inundation in population centers both along the Washington coast and within the Puget Sound.

To do this complex math, the geologists use software (Clawpack), developed by the Applied Mathematics Department of UW or the MOST model, developed by NOAA.

A recently published inundation map for the city of Everett models how a tsunami would likely impact the Everett area.

The Geology Division is now focusing similar efforts on the San Juan Islands

DNR has charted evacuation routes for those in communities that might be impacted by tsunamis on our interactive geologic map. The Division also documents tsunami-related news in our bi-monthly newsletter, TsuInfo.

To see how a tsunami may impact you and your community, take our tsunami awareness quiz.

For more on tsunamis, visit DNR’s Geology Division web page.

Follow DNR on: Facebook Fan See us on Flickr Watch us YouTube Follow us on Twitter Follow DNR Fire Twitter

Need wildland fire equipment? Applications open today to small fire districts and departments

March 10, 2015
Charley-Burns-

Charley Burns, a Wildfire Unit Forester for DNR, demonstrates an emergency fire shelter. DNR’s grant funding helps eligible rural fire districts buy new fire and safety equipment like these wildfire shelters. PHOTO DNR

 

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the U.S. Forest Service are offering grant funding to eligible fire districts and departments through the Volunteer Fire Assistance Phase I Grant Program that is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

DNR administers the grant program, which is open to all fire districts and fire departments serving communities of less than 10,000 residents. Fire districts and departments serving communities with more than 10,000 residents may qualify, providing their service area includes a rural area or rural community with a population of less than 10,000. The application deadline is April 24, 2015.

Eligible districts apply online using the Phase I Order Form, and submit the order per directions on the form. This grant funding helps eligible rural fire districts across Washington State buy new fire and safety equipment.

The application period opens today, March 10, 2015, and closes April 24, 2015. Interested districts can find more information on DNR’s Fire District Assistance Program webpage.

Follow DNR on: Facebook Fan See us on Flickr Watch us YouTube Follow us on Twitter Follow DNR Fire Twitter Join in the DNR Forum

Project at beach recreation site helps restore healthy vegetation

March 9, 2015
Washington Conservation Crews help remove English Holly from Upright Channel. Photo: DNR

Washington Conservation Crews help remove English holly from Upright Channel. Photo: DNR

Ever visited Upright Channel Day-Use and Beach Access?

The popular DNR-managed site on Lopez Island is looking its best after DNR staff and Washington Conservation Corps crews completed a major invasive species removal to English holly growing there.

DNR's Upright Channel, a popular day-use recreation site on Lopez Island, includes trails, beach access and a picnic area. Photo: DNR

DNR’s Upright Channel, a popular day-use recreation site on Lopez Island, includes trails, beach access and a picnic area. Photo: DNR

The project, coordinated by DNR’s recreation and silviculture programs, will help provide access to the site for visitors to enjoy for years to come.

DNR’s silviculture (tree planting) program manages DNR forest landscapes, for products and ecosystem services, such as wildlife habitat and water quality.

Rob Crawford, a crew supervisor with Washington Conservation Corps, helps to remove holly from Upright Channel. Photo: DNR

Rob Crawford, a crew supervisor with Washington Conservation Corps, helps to remove holly from Upright Channel. Photo: DNR

This project follows efforts from DNR’s dedicated volunteers. Upright Channel work party volunteers have helped to remove rotting railroad ties, trim vegetation and do general site clean-up to the beach-access site.

Upright Channel is a 20-acre day-use park, which includes trails, beach access and a picnic area.

For more information, visit DNR’s recreation Web page.

To stay in the loop about all things DNR, sign up for all of our e-newsletters.

Follow DNR on: Facebook Fan See us on Flickr Watch us YouTube Follow us on Twitter Follow DNR Fire Twitter Join in the DNR Forum

Communities taking action against wildfire hazards

March 9, 2015

More people than ever live in the wildland-urban interface, the transition zone between developed areas and wildlands–a zone where destructive wildfires can and do occur. Cisco Morris, book author and popular television and radio gardening show host, shows you how to make your community more resistant to wildfire.

Follow DNR on: Facebook Fan See us on Flickr Watch us YouTube Follow us on Twitter Follow DNR Fire Twitter Join in the DNR Forum

Use that extra hour to start your wildfire defense

March 6, 2015
All you need to start defending your home from wildfire www.firewise.org

All you need to start defending your home from wildfire http://www.firewise.org

We gain an hour of evening daylight this weekend, as Daylight Savings Time comes into effect. Why not use that extra hour of unseasonable sunshine to protect your home, family and community?

How does your yard look right now? Has your grass grown? Do you notice all the green foliage around your property? All of that green undergrowth will dry out in the hot summer months, turning into fuel that can put your property at risk of wildfire.

Today, we’re starting with the simple basics. What can you do this weekend to protect your home in only one hour? Pick just one of these chores to get started.

If you only have one hour:

  • Clean up the brush: Reducing brush appears to be the most important factor for success. You want to have a zone with at least 30 feet of space immediately around your home that is free from ignition hazards presented by vegetation and combustible construction. This not only helps protect your home, but also gives firefighters a safer place to fight the fire.
  • Rake the leaves: Leaf accumulation provides fuel for wildland fires.
  • Mow the lawn: The grass around the house can tend to grow tall and unruly during the wet winter months. These grasses dry out and provide a path for the fire that can lead directly to your house.
  • Clean the gutters and the roof: Make sure you remove all dead leaves and pine needles from your gutters, roof, and from around your home. This debris left from the winter weather is highly combustible and is like a fire starter for your home.
  • Clean under the deck: Keep the surface and area beneath decks and porches free of debris and leaves.
  • Stack firewood away from the house: Many people make the mistake of keeping firewood stacked close to the house for easy access. If a spark lands in your wood pile it could ignite your house. Make sure you stack wood at least 30 feet away from structures to help protect them from wildfire.
  • Trim trees and brush back from structures: Remove all dead or overhanging branches. During the windy conditions that exist during a wildland fire, flames, sparks, and firebrands could travel from your trees to the roof of your home.
  • Limb trees up to 10 feet from the ground: Limbing your trees up will help reduce the chances that a fire on the ground will spread into tree tops – this is especially important if your property has lots of trees.
  • Dispose of cuttings and debris properly: Dispose of your yard waste properly, and make sure you don’t leave it piled near the house in the back yard. That defeats the purpose of all the work you did.

Making the effort to reduce your home’s vulnerability to wildfire today could really pay off if a wildfire comes through your area.

For additional tips on how to reduce the risk of wildfire to your community, home and family, log on to www.firewise.org.

Follow DNR on: Facebook Fan See us on Flickr Watch us YouTube Follow us on Twitter Follow DNR Fire Twitter Join in the DNR Forum

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 246 other followers