Posts Tagged ‘DNR’

Love to camp? Live the dream and become a DNR camp host

February 3, 2016

Are you a professional, friendly, and polite person who wishes you could go camping for weeks on end? Do you have a properly-insured motor home, camper or travel trailer that supports comfortable camping in rustic, natural areas? DNR might have just the thing for you.

We’re currently taking applications for campground hosts to help provide a positive, safe, and informative experience for visitors at DNR campgrounds statewide.

You can help us serve the public by:

  • Providing information and rules to campers and visitors.
  • Registering overnight campers.
  • Patrolling campground and recreational areas.
  • Regularly inspecting campground restrooms, picnic shelters, campsites, campfire pits, and boat launch areas.
  • Reporting vandalism, illegal, or abusive behavior.

Pick your site today!

Ahtanum State Forest view

View of Mount Rainier from Ahtanum State Forest. Photo: DNR

Ahtanum Campground, Ahtanum State Forest, near Yakima
Ahtanum Campground is a highly used recreation area for off-road vehicle riding, hiking, and horseback riding. Winter recreation is also popular for snowshoeing, sledding, cross country skiing, and snowmobiling.

Cold Creek Campground, Yacolt Burn State Forest, near Camas
Cold Creek Campground is open year-round and is a favorite for family tent camping, equestrian use, mountain biking, and hiking. For more information, check out our flier.

Dragoon2

The picturesque Dragoon Creek runs through Dragoon Creek Campground. Photo/ DNR.

Dragoon Creek Campground, Little Pend Oreille Forest, near Spokane, 
This 23-site campground is surrounded by more than 100 acres of forested state trust lands. Visitors can enjoy the sound of Dragoon Creek, which runs through the middle of the campground. Dragoon Creek Campground is popular for fishing and wildlife viewing.

For more information about campground hosting with DNR, including who to contact and how to apply, visit our volunteer Web page. To see a full list of vacant camp host positions, visit our Flickr album.

To stay in the loop with DNR’s Recreation program, subscribe to our monthly recreation e-newsletter.

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Merry Geo Mapmas: 12 maps to use on your phone

December 25, 2015
Enjoy DNR-managed lands with the help of our maps available for your smartphone. Photo/ DNR.

Enjoy DNR-managed lands with the help of our maps available for your smartphone. Photo/ DNR.

Want to navigate your favorite trails right from your smartphone? For the 12 Days of Geo Mapmas DNR brings to you 12 new georeferenced maps to help you explore DNR landscapes.

Use the free Avenza PDF Maps app to find your location as you enjoy hundreds of miles of trails within 12 DNR-managed landscapes. Even without cell service the maps will continue to work using your phone’s GPS chip. We suggest also having a backup printed map with you.

For the 12 days of Geo Mapmas, DNR brings to you:

Ready to give it a try? Follow the steps below: 

  • Download the free Avenza PDF Maps app to your phone.
  • Open the app on your phone. Click on the icon in the lower left hand corner of your screen called ‘Maps.’ You will see a ‘+’ sign in the upper right of your screen.
  • After you click on the ‘+’ sign, it will ask you where you want to grab the PDF file from. Enter or copy the preferred links above into the box titled “From the Web.”
  • The map(s) will be copied into your app. This may take a moment depending on your connection speed. Pro tip: Do your data plan a favor and download when you have access to Wi-Fi.
  • After the map is copied into the app, it will load when you click on the ‘Maps’ icon. If you have your GPS turned on, it will automatically zoom to your position in the applicable map.

You can also purchase a printed version of several of our maps, like the Elbe Hills and Tahoma State Forest Map and the Capitol State Forest Map, for $9 online or in person, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., from the Washington State Department of Printing, 7580 New Market Street St. SW, Tumwater, WA 98501. Otherwise, visit our website for trail maps you can download and print.

To receive more information like this right to your inbox, subscribe to our monthly recreation e-newsletter. Learn more about DNR’s recreation program on our website.

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Explore DNR-managed lands from backcountry huts

December 21, 2015

High Hut at Mount TahomaWhen winter wonderland seems too far away, escape to the Mount Tahoma Trails Assocation backcountry hunts in DNR’s Tahoma State Forest. Three hunts and one yurt provide unparalleled views of the Cascade Range and Mount Rainier. This time of year, enjoy cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on the 50-mile Tahoma State Forest trail system, which includes 20 miles of groomed trail. The trails transition to mountain biking and hiking in the summer.

Reserve your stay
The huts and yurt are open to the public throughout the day, though overnight stays require a reservation. Winter weekends are mostly booked up this year with most weekdays still available. To make a reservation, visit the Mount Tahoma Trails Association website.

New ways to explore
Still looking for last minute stocking stuffers? Consider giving the gift of the great outdoors with our newly released Elbe Hills and Tahoma State Forest Map. The Elbe Hills and Tahoma state forests offer recreation opportunities for camping, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, off-road-vehicle riding as well as winter activities like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. This map shows the MTTA huts, as well as Elbe Hills ORV and Sahara Creek campgrounds, Nicholson Horse trail system, and picnic sites in the Elbe Hills State Forest.

Download the georeferenced map to your smartphone using the free Avenza PDF Maps Mobile app. For downloading instructions, visit DNR’s blog. Or, purchase the printed version for $9 online or in person, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., from the Washington State Department of Printing, 7580 New Market Street St. SW, Tumwater, WA 98501.

For more information about recreation on DNR-managed lands, visit our website. For monthly recreation updates sent right to your inbox, subscribe to our recreation e-newsletter. View December’s issue.

Partnerships are our key to success: Thanks Cold Creek Mountain Bikers

December 19, 2015
The Cold Creek Mountain Bikers work on a trail kiosk for the Thrillium Trail. Photo courtesy Cold Creek Mountain Bikers.

The Cold Creek Mountain Bikers work on a trail kiosk for the Thrillium Trail. Photo courtesy Cold Creek Mountain Bikers.

Based in Battleground and Vancouver, Cold Creek Mountain Bikers has about 250 members who help care for trails in Yacolt Burn State Forest. Continuing a long history of partnering with DNR, this Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance chapter just finished marking a future connector trail from the new lower Yacolt Burn trailhead and parking area to the Thrillium trail exit.

The completed trail, scheduled for construction in early 2016, will allow riders to skip forest roads in favor of added single track. Started in 2006, the group has been integral to opening the Thrillium trail and trailheads specifically for mountain bike access.

They  continue to coordinate monthly work parties to care for these and other trails in Yacolt Burn State Forest.

The Cold Creek Mountain Bikers are one of a number of groups DNR is partnering with on its current plan to create trail connections in the Yacolt Burn State Forest. The plan calls for 17-miles of additional hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking trail segments and loops. Learn more on our blog.

To learn more about volunteering with DNR’s recreation program, visit our volunteer page. Use our calendar to find an event near you.

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Be aware of weather conditions, choose when to ride

December 10, 2015
Tiger Mountain

Mountain bikers enjoy the Predator Trail, 1.8 miles in length, on Tiger Mountain. Photo/ DNR.

With the opening of DNR’s Predator Trail in the Tiger Mountain State Forest and the Thrillium Trail in the Yacolt Burn State Forest, it’s no secret that mountain bikers are enjoying DNR-managed lands.

With colder temperatures, rain, and snow at higher elevations, it’s important to be aware of weather conditions and when the trails might be susceptible to damage.

If it’s storming, snowing, or trails are frozen or thawing, then it may be best to save your mountain bike ride for a day with nicer weather. Giving the trails some time to dry out helps to ensure they’re rideable year-round.

Explore East Tiger Mountain
We are able to keep trails, like those on Tiger Mountain, open year-round with the help of mountain bikers who generally exercise good judgement. East Tiger Mountain, located in the Snoqualmie Corridor, has about 17 miles of mountain biking trail. Its newest trail, the Predator Trail, offers an expert-only descent. View a trail map, or visit our website to learn more.

Other ideas
On days that enjoying mountain biking might not be the best idea, use our statewide recreation map to find other ways to get outdoors. For more information about recreation on DNR-managed lands, visit our website.

 

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Wet weather can trigger shallow landslides – Do you know the warning signs?

December 9, 2015

The heavy rains forecasted this weekend may cause more than just localized flooding and higher river levels. Prolonged or intense rainfall increases the chances of shallow landslides on hillsides and other steep slopes. During these rain events, some of the rainwater flows across the surface to nearby streams and rivers, some is captured by plants and other vegetation, and some of the water infiltrates the ground. With enough rainwater infiltrating the ground, soils can weaken and slide.

Image of a shallow landslide that initiated during a prolonged and intense rain event in Thurston County. (Image Courtesy of Stephen Slaughter, DNR)

Image of a shallow landslide that initiated during a prolonged and intense rain event in Thurston County. (Image Courtesy of Stephen Slaughter, DNR)

Think of building sand castles with buckets on the beach–with the right amount of water, the grains of sand bind together to form a near-perfect cast of the bucket, but if too much water is added, the sand cannot hold its form and collapses under its own weight. Soil saturation has a similar result on a steep slope. With enough rain, the soil becomes saturated and begins to lose strength, increasing the chances of a landslide.

The geology of western Washington — steep slopes and soils — make this landslide country but with the right conditions, steep slopes in eastern Washington are vulnerable, too. Lots of rain, combined with failing drainage systems and development that increases surfacewater runoff near steep slopes, can be landslide triggers on both sides of the Cascades.

DNR’s Chief Hazard Geologist Tim Walsh explains:

 

Warning signs of an impending landslide

If you live on or near a steep slope, here are some warning signs of potential slope instability:

  • Cracks forming in your yard, driveway, sidewalk, foundation or in other structures.
  • Trees on slopes, especially evergreens, start tilting.
  • Doors and windows suddenly become more difficult to open or close.
  • Water begins seeping from hillsides, even during dry weather.

If you see any of these early signs of a potential landslide, immediately contact your city or county.

Useful links

 

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Tips to enjoy winter recreation on DNR-managed lands

December 6, 2015

With skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling just around the snowbank, now’s the time to start planning and preparing. Use our graphic (below) for tips to help you enjoy your favorite winter adventure on DNR-managed lands while preserving both Washington’s landscapes and yourself!

Safe and sustainable winter recreation

Follow these steps for safe and fun winter recreation on DNR-managed land.

One important winter tip is to plan in advance for seasonal recreation closures. Closures serve to protect wildlife and/or preserve roads and trails for summertime fun.

Check online or contact your region’s DNR office for closure info. (Hint: If you call, do so ahead of the weekend as we’re closed Saturdays and Sundays. And, use the opportunity to ask region staff for their recommended areas too.)

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

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 winter (and summer) outdoor adventures.

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DNR, Conservation Corps stepping up Olympic Peninsula trail

December 5, 2015
A series of rock steps on the Cove Trail that lead to a rocky cove. Photo/ DNR.

A rocky cove awaits at the end of these stone steps. Photo/ DNR.

DNR  is taking steps to improve one hiking-specific trail on the Olympic Peninsula, with the help of Washington Conservation Corps. A crew recently helped DNR to install rock stairs on our Cove Trail, near Port Angeles, which takes hikers down to a secluded rocky cove along the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

A connecting spur from the Striped Peak Vista Trail, the Cove’s Trail rock stairs are about 40 feet long and will lessen erosion along the steep descent to the water.

Striped Peak Vista 
In addition to the cove, the two-mile Striped Peak Vista provides views of Vancouver Island, mature Douglas-fir trees, and the surrounding Olympic Mountains.

Getting there
The Cove Trail is about a two-mile hike from the Striped Peak Vista trailhead. You can also reach the cove via a one-and-a-half-mile hike from the Clallam County’s Salt Creek Recreation Area.

Washington Conservation Corps 
The Corps, founded in 1983, is a multi-agency effort with DNR, AmeriCorps, the Department of Ecology, Veterans Affairs, and others that invests in future generations by building young people’s professional skills as they perform stewardship for the state’s natural landscapeshigh-quality recreation opportunities, and the Puget Sound.

For more information about state lands on the Olympic Peninsula, visit our website. To plan your next trip today, visit our interactive recreation map.

Recreation alert: Avoid getting stymied by seasonal closures

December 4, 2015
Ahtanum

There are 67 miles of groomed snow trails in the Ahtanum Winter Recreation Area waiting to be explored. Photo /DNR.

Planning your winter recreation trips? Before you pack hot cocoa and layer on coats and jackets, remember to check for seasonal closures. As the weather turns colder and snow begins to fall, DNR recreation sites can close with little warning.

Check our website so a fun day in the snow doesn’t get cut off early. Take the time right now to bookmark our state trust lands and natural area pages. From these pages you can quickly get to detailed information for all our recreation sites.

Lots of landscapes with year-round access
Want to enjoy recreation on DNR-managed lands year-round? Head to the Olympic Peninsula, the Elbe Hills ORV Area, Walker Valley ORV Area, Tahuya State Forest, and the Tiger Mountain State Forest, among others. Newly open to winter recreation are also several sites on Cypress Island. For other ideas, visit our statewide interactive recreation map.

For more information about recreation on DNR-managed lands, visit our website.

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Next steps for future mountain bike trail system near Darrington

December 3, 2015
Darrington

Meeting attendees review a map of North Mountain in Darrington in November. Photo/ DNR.

Thanks to everyone who came out this week for our open house to kick off our future 20-mile mountain bike park and trail system on North Mountain, near Darrington.

It was the second in two open houses we held in the Darrington and Arlington communities to gather valuable input for the project.

Those who attended the public meetings and had an opportunity to share their vision and concerns for the future bike park and trail system in a listening station format, which included recreation and trails, economic benefit, partnerships, and culture and history. To view the comments we received, visit our project website.

In case you missed the meetings, there are still many other ways to stay involved. Complete our online survey, send us an email, or subscribe to our Darrington Mountain Bike E-news. To view a map of the project location, click here.

Glenn Glover, project manager, shares information about the bike park and trail system. Photo/ DNR.

Glenn Glover, project manager, shares information about the bike park and trail system. Photo/ DNR.

Background
DNR is building a new mountain bike park and trail system just outside of Darrington, with connections from the Whitehorse Community Park and views of Whitehorse Mountain and the surrounding Stillaguamish Valley. DNR is working collaboratively with the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance and the Darrington community.

Next steps
With the wrap up of the public meetings, DNR and Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance have begun design of the 80-acre skills park at the base of North Mountain, which will connect to the project’s future trail network. We’ve also begun habitat and cultural resource assessments.

For more information, visit www.dnr.wa.gov/DarringtonMTB

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