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.

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

Celebrate Mother’s Day at DNR-managed land

May 10, 2015

Thank you to all our loving Washington moms! We invite you to rejuvenate on your special day with the energy that comes from a hike, ORV ride, mountain bike ride, horseback trail ride, kayak trip or other outdoor adventure.  DNR manages diverse landscapes for recreation access and we can’t think of a better way to indulge yourself than getting out to enjoy them.

Hear are some of our top picks for moms this Mother’s Day.

The Mima Falls Trail in the Capitol State Forest offers views of cascading falls. Photo: DNR.

The Mima Falls Trail in the Capitol State Forest offers views of cascading falls. Photo: DNR.

Mima Falls, Capitol State Forest, near Olympia
Mima Falls is a loop trail in the Capitol State Forest perfect for hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders. A picnic table near the picturesque falls makes for a perfect stop mid-hike.

Samish Overlook, Blanchard Forest, near Bellingham
With access to the Blanchard Forest, Samish Overlook offers views of the San Juan Islands. Watch as hang gliders and para gliders take off and soar over Skagit Valley.

Sheep Creek Campground, Northeast Region, near Northport
This campground is surrounded by miles of forestland and offers primitive campsites near a rolling creek.

Jones Creek ORV Trailhead, in the Yacolt Burn State Forest, offers premier ORV trail-riding opportunities. Photo: DNR.

Jones Creek ORV Trailhead, in the Yacolt Burn State Forest, offers premier ORV trail-riding opportunities. Photo: DNR.

Jones Creek ORV Trailhead, Yacolt Burn State Forest, near Camas
Looking for a premier ORV desintation? Jones Creek Trailhead offers access to ATV, motorcycle and 4×4 trails in the Yacolt Burn State Forest.

Teanaway Campground, Teanaway Community Forest, near Cle Elum
Want a getaway? Head to the the Teanaway Campground, one of three campgrounds in the Teanaway Community Forest.

Murdock Beach, Olympic Region, near Port Angeles
Just a short drive from Port Angeles, this rocky beach provides views of Vancouver Island.

Have another site in mind? Check whether it’s open or closed before making the drive. Remember to bring a Discover Pass, your ticket to Washington’s Great Outdoors.

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

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

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Gear up for downhill mountain biking thrills

May 8, 2015

Mark your calendars! Next Friday, May 15, through Sunday, May 17, DNR’s Dry Hill will play host to the second round of the 2015 NW Cup races. The first round drew more than 600 downhill mountain bike racers to the area, near Port Angeles.

Check out our Flickr album or watch the following clip for a view of the first round’s action.

DNR manages Dry Hill in partnership with Olympic Dirt Society, which has a stewardship agreement with DNR to maintain the trails. Interested in riding Dry Hill? Send an email to olympicdirtsociety@yahoo.com.

For more information, visit nwcup.com. Want to stay in the loop with DNR’s recreation program? Subscribe to our monthly recreation e-newsletter.

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

Heading to the water? Know these safety tips

May 6, 2015

With the weather warming up, now’s the time to start preparing for safe and fun water recreation. Use our graphic (below) for tips to help you enjoy your favorite water adventure on DNR-managed lands while preserving both Washington’s landscapes and yourself.

DNR-managed lands offer a wide variety of boating opportunities, such as catch-and-release fly-fishing on Merrill Lake, kayaking the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River, and sea kayaking to Cyprus Island.

Follow these tips for safe and fun water recreation on DNR-managed land.

Follow these tips for safe and fun water recreation on DNR-managed land. (CLICK image to enlarge.)

 

Don’t let warmer weather mislead you, water temperatures are cold. Before heading out for a day on the weather, remember to dress for the water, have a life vest, and be prepared for changes in weather. For safety information check out our sister agency’s  boating program and check in with your region’s DNR office for local conditions:

Kayakers take advantage of nice weather to paddle around in puget sound. Photo: DNR.

Kayakers take advantage of nice weather to paddle around in puget sound. Photo: DNR.

Northwest Region (Bellingham, Everett, Sedro Woolley) 360-856-3500

South Puget Sound Region (Olympia, Enumclaw, Seattle) 360-825-1631

Olympic Region (Olympic Peninsula, Forks, Ocean Shores) 360-374-2800

Pacific Cascade Region (Long Beach, Vancouver, Castle Rock) 360-577-2025

Southeast Region (Ellensburg, North Bend, Yakima) 509-925-8510

Northeast Region (Okanogan, Colville, Methow) 509-684-7474

For more information, check out our guide to safe and fun recreation on DNR-managed land.

DNR sustainably manages 3 million acres of state trust lands to earn revenue for trust beneficiaries (i.e. money for schools, hospitals, emergency services, and lots of other services Washingtonians need), provide wildlife habitat and help you access water (and land-based) outdoor adventures.

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

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

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 Read the rest of this entry »

Spring brings plants, amphibians and… fungus to Washington forests

May 2, 2015
Calypso orchid. Photo: K. Bevis.

Calypso orchid. Photo: K. Bevis.

As the days grow longer and the earth warms, new growth appears first on the forest floor and in the bushes and grasses, then on the tall trees above. Flowering plants like the calypso orchid are specialists on the forest floor, living on moist decaying wood in older forests and are a wonderful surprise to see. Calypso, or fairy slipper, orchids are fragile and seldom survive picking or transplanting due to their fragile root systems and their association with particular soil fungi.

Amphibians

Rough-skinned newt.

Rough-skinned newt.

Frogs, toads and salamanders become active in the spring as well, breeding as ponds and wetlands lose their ice cover and the edges warm. Depending on where you are, the woods can be alive with their breeding migrations and choruses from late-February to June. Spend an evening listening to their singing or an afternoon watching rough-skinned newts wandering the woods.

Fungus

Lobster mushroom.

Lobster mushroom.

Moist soils and rotting wood produce amazing springtime explosions of mushrooms all over Washington. Mushrooms are the fruiting body of fungi, with the mycelium or “root mass” buried below ground. The mycelium unobtrusively break down organic material on the forest floor, helping to ensure the health of the forest and its residents. When conditions are right, the mushrooms themselves appear, often literally overnight, in crazy and varied shapes, sizes and colors. Mushrooms are also abundant in the fall. If you plan on picking mushrooms, be careful and take along an experienced mushroomer or a good field guide. Although some mushrooms are a tasty treat for humans and wildlife alike, others can make you sick or even kill you.

This blog first appeared in a longer version in Small Forest Landowner News, a free e-newsletter published quarterly by the DNR Small Forest Landowner Office. Click here to get Small Forest Landowner News delivered to your email in-box each quarter

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. Read the rest of this entry »

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.

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 253 other followers