Posts Tagged ‘DNR law enforcement’

July’s top posts: Discover Pass, moon tree, illegal dumping among most popular stories

August 1, 2011

Here are the top Ear to the Ground blog postings that you and others read in July: 

discover pass

Where do you need a Discover Pass to recreate on DNR-managed lands? 
To help you discover where you’ll need a Discover Pass on DNR-managed lands, we have posted four PDF maps on our website at One map shows Discover Pass-required areas for the entire state. The other three are divided into sections: northwest, northeast, and southwest. Read more…  

Capitol State Forest siteInstant ugly: Illegal dumping is a BIG problem, costs you money 
Our not-so-slick attempt at humor to dramatize the illegal dumping problem on state trust lands got no love from the public last month. A trick photograph (placing the object close to the camera with a man standing several yards in the background) was panned in comments to DNR’s Facebook and Twitter feeds. Read more…

Washington State’s ‘moon tree’ growing tall
While Space Shuttle Atlantis is on the final mission of the NASA shuttle program, we have a tall piece of space history to gaze upon each day right here in Olympia. It’s a “moon tree.” Planted in 1976, Washington State’s Douglas-fir (“moon tree”), Pseudotsuga Menziesii, was one of dozens of tree seedlings transported into moon orbit during Apollo moon missions between 1969 and 1972. Each of the 50 states received seedlings, and many of these trees are still thriving today, including the majestic one that graces Capitol Way in Olympia. Read more…


Grounded! Teen fined for trying to drive his 4×4 over forest road barricade

March 23, 2011
Toyota 4x4 stuck trying to climb over barricade

Toyota 4x4 gets stuck trying to climb over forest road barricade. Photo: Chris Rankin/DNR

On a recent Sunday afternoon, Chris Rankin came across a Toyota 4×4 pickup attempting to crawl over a buried ecology block designed to keep people from driving in the McDonald Ridge Forest block. 

The truck ended up “high-centered” and stuck on the dirt berm that covered an ecology block.

Rankin, who happens to be a DNR law enforcement officer and on duty that day, presented the 17-year-old driver—a local teen—with an $87 citation.


Weekend reading: Droughts, ugly animals, human dangers in the wild

December 11, 2010
Wind Turbines

Wind turbines on leased state trust land near Goldendale in central Washington. Photo: Joe Brady/DNR

Here are a few articles about science and the environment to read as you and everyone else in Washington state watch raindrops (or snow flakes) falling this weekend.

Environmental Research Web: US set to see more droughts
More evaporation and reduced soil moisture adds to the increased risks of drought due to changing weather patterns. A comprehensive study of 99 water sub-basins in the United States indicates that the chances of drought will increase in many areas of the U.S., especially in the Rocky Mountain states.
Also: Science Daily: Earth’s Lakes are Warming, NASA Study Finds

Scientific American: Zoo Illogical: Ugly Animals Need Protection from Extinction, Too
Zoos have helped save endangered species that have lost their habitats with captive breeding and other programs, but are zoon only saving the poster-species that zoo-goers find aesthetically pleasing?

New York Times: In the Wild, a Big Threat to Rangers: Humans
More people are using wild lands for pursuits like illegal trophy hunting, manufacturing drugs or stashing weapons.
Also: New York Times Commentary: For Wildlife Rangers, a Human Menace

Scientific American: Plastic from Plants: Is It an Environmental Boon or Bane?
Plant-based plastics are beginning to replace petroleum. But as the price drops and usage rises, will the advantages (cleaner plastic production) outweigh the disadvantages (increased competition for crop land and possibly higher food costs)?

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DNR Forum on recreation: Last day to join the conversation

September 19, 2010

DNR Forum logoThanks to everyone who participated in DNR’s online forum about recreation. We’ll be accepting comments until midnight tonight—Sunday, September 19. To find out how to join the conversation, go to: 

Need more information before you comment? Visit our web page with background information on recreation.

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Looking for info on hunting? WDFW just updated its website

August 17, 2010

Hunting season has arrived in many parts of the state and will really kick into high gear this fall. Many of the state trust lands that DNR manages are open for hunting; however, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is in charge of regulating the locations and open seasons for hunting and fishing, issuing hunting—and fishing—licenses and providing educational information.

WDFW just updated its website, so if you’ve bookmarked your favorite hunting page the address may have changed.

If you’re a person with a disability and would like to hunt on DNR-managed lands, contact Heidi Stephens for more information at 360-902-1375.

Be safe this hunting season!

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Volunteer spotlight: Frank Venske | Cleaning up Triangle Pit one shell casing at a time…and providing some education, too

July 29, 2010
Frank Venske, volunteer, and Chief Larry Raedel, DNR

Frank Venske, volunteer extraordinaire at Triangle gravel pit in Capitol State Forest, accepts an award from Larry Raedel, Chief Law Enforcement Officer for DNR. Photo: Nick Cronquist/DNR.

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What a difference a volunteer can make. And what a difference five months can make. Take Triangle gravel pit in Capitol Forest, for example. A popular spot for target shooting, the pit was also a popular dumping ground for everything from old TVs, VCRs, and computers to propane tanks and even a pool table. Yes, a pool table. People often used these discarded items as targets.

Then along came volunteer Frank Venske. Now retired and living in Montesano, Frank spends nearly every day at Triangle, cleaning up casings from shotgun shells and picking up trash. In the past five months, Frank has picked up more than 350 bags of garbage, 140 of which were shotgun shells.

In October, volunteers also cleaned up Triangle gravel pit. Unfortunately, shortly after this, people resumed dumping in the area—until Frank showed up.

Frank presides over the area with a sense of ownership. Don’t even think of littering or dumping off that old couch. You’ll have to answer to Frank. He also educates the public about safe shooting and contacts DNR staff if he encounters a situation with the public that requires help from law enforcement. (more…)

Training helps DNR law enforcement keep state lands safe

July 9, 2010

DNR law enforcement officers learn how to patrol safely during a May ORV training. Photo: Puget Sound Safety

July 4th has come and gone, and the summer recreation season is here—a time when state lands usually crowd with visitors.  To prepare for this busy time of year, DNR’s law enforcement officers spent a day last month motor biking at Straddle Line ORV Park as part of an Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) safety course. The group included officers stationed in each of DNR’s six regions, and was lead by the state’s Law Enforcement Chief, Larry Raedel.

The training is one of three safety courses held every year, and is meant to enhance education and enforcement:  officers practice riding on different kinds of terrain—including very steep or unsafe roads—in variable weather conditions. Importantly, they learn how to prevent and handle behaviors that could be harmful to the public or state lands. This experience is essential to being able to patrol safely, especially in a pursuit situation, or if someone needs help.  

Although the budget prevented it this year, as a past service to the public, officers have conducted annual Safety Summits to give off-road users tips to stay safe. Safety awareness is just a part of DNR’s officers’ broader mission to protect the public, DNR employees and state lands. Officers manage state lands for the benefit of all. Other duties include monitoring recreation to avoid injuries and property damage, investigating and preventing wildfires, and much more.

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