Posts Tagged ‘DNR’

Enjoy new downhill mountain bike trail on East Tiger Mountain

September 11, 2015
The Predator Trail, 1.8 miles in length, is Tiger Mountain's newest trail. Photo/ DNR.

The Predator Trail, 1.8 miles in length, is Tiger Mountain’s newest trail. Photo/ DNR.

Where will you ride this weekend? DNR is opening a new downhill mountain bike-only trail, the 1.8-mile Predator trail, this Saturday, Sept. 12.

Named after the tiger, an apex predator at the top of the food chain, Tiger Mountain’s newest and most difficult trail provides an expert-only technical and challenging riding experience.

The new trail addition boosts the east Tiger Mountain State Forest mountain bike trail system to nearly 17 miles in total length.

This one-way descent is full of rock-armored steeps, with some tight turns over fast and undulating terrain packed with obstacles that will keep even highly skilled riders challenged. View a map of the new trail.

A collaborative effort
DNR hired Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance for trail construction. Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance provided professional trail builders and a massive volunteer effort that logged more than 5,000 hours of donated construction labor.

The public is invited to celebrate the trail opening at an event being planned for later this fall.

Funding for the new trail and bridges were made possible thanks to grants funds awarded to DNR from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program and the Nonhighway and Off-Road Vehicle Activities Program, administered by the Recreation and Conservation Office.

This project helps implement recreation trail objectives identified in the Snoqualmie Corridor Recreation Plan, a multi-stakeholder public planning process just completed in March 2015.

Find out more 
Visit our website for more information about recreation on Tiger Mountain. To start planning your next mountain bike ride, click on trailheads on our new statewide interactive recreation map.

For more information about volunteering on DNR-managed lands, visit our website or subscribe to our monthly recreation e-newsletter.

Working for Conservation Corps is working for DNR, and Washington

September 7, 2015

This Labor Day, we’re celebrating how Washington Conservation Corps and Puget Sound Conservation Corps crews use valuable work on DNR-managed lands to launch them into Washington’s workforce and careers. Corps members gain experience while helping to fill a variety of needs – from working on DNR trails and campgrounds to caring for wild spaces by removing invasive species and fostering the growth of native plant. Even now, crews are assisting the wildfire fighting efforts in Eastern Washington.

The Corps, founded in 1983, is a multi-agency effort that invests in future generations by building their professional skills  and stewardship for the state’s natural landscapeshigh-quality recreation opportunities, and the Puget Sound. Click the image below to watch our YouTube video and share with your friends.

In collaboration with DNR, Veteran Affairs, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, AmeriCorps, and State Parks, the Department of Ecology is seeking interested young people and veterans for next year’s Corps crews.

Where they’ll be on DNR-managed lands 
In the next year about 10 crews will be working on DNR-managed lands all across Washington state. They’ll be doing valuable work:

Apply today
The Corps is hiring right now. For more information and to apply online, visit Visit their member positions page for more info about qualifications and member benefits. Positions start October 5, 2015. (more…)

Woodland owners face long road to recovery after a wildfire

September 6, 2015
wildfires can create hazard trees

Intense fire can weaken root systems that hold trees in place, creating a hazard for firefighters, property owners and others. Photo: InciWeb.

In the wake of this summer’s wildfires, many evacuated rural property owners are or will soon be returning home to assess damage and begin rebuilding.

Once emergency officials declare it is safe to go back into an area, use caution as local roads will likely be busy with trucks carrying wildfire fighting crews and equipment — the tasks of tending to fire lines, hot spots and performing recovery work can go on for months.

If you own property in addition to a residence, you will want to walk, ride or drive through the site for a preliminary assessment. First, look for anything that poses an ongoing danger. Potential hazards can include areas where the loss of trees and plants could develop into a landslide, areas where trees have burned at the base leaving them in imminent danger of falling, and areas where roots have burned out leaving holes — sometimes hidden under ash — that people or animals could fall into.

If you own woodlands as a source of income, the next step is to review your forest management plan. The area may look dramatically different after a fire. The plan’s maps and pictures will be helpful in assessing the damage to standing timber. The plan also can be a reminder of your objectives, giving context around which to rebuild at an emotional and difficult time.

Helpful publications for learning about post-wildfire rehabilitation include:

Agencies you to contact will include your local Conservation District, DNR, Washington State Department of Agriculture, and the USDA Farm Service Agency, Washington state.

Information you may need to provide to agencies as well as insurers will include how many of your acres burned, how completely they burned, your forest type (major tree species), the amount and type of fencing damaged or destroyed, and other important “metrics” that will help them to determine your recovery needs.

Prioritizing restoration work is important, too. Areas of attention may include fire lines that were cleared down to mineral soil and any other disturbed areas that can serve as entry points for invasive weeds.

Longer term, it’s a good idea to determine if the damage you suffered qualifies as “casualty loss” by checking the National Timber Tax website, which provides “Tax Management for Timberland Owners.” For information on Washington State taxes check the Department of Revenue website and search on “forest tax.”

Read more post-wildfire tips and other advice for forestland owners in Forest Stewardship Notes, a free e-newsletter published quarterly by DNR and Washington State University Forestry Extension.

Even trail crews take extra steps during times of high wildfire risk

September 3, 2015
Hand Tools, IFPL

During fire-prone conditions, Industrial Fire Precaution Levels can restrict forest activities to hand tools only. Photo/ DNR.

All industrial forest work activities are guided by the Industrial Fire Precaution Levels (IFPL), which have varying degrees of restrictions intended to reduce the risk of starting a wildfire. Even trail work on DNR-managed lands has had to to go old school and take extra precautions around activities that wouldn’t typically cause wildfires.

Levels change daily and trail crews must be flexible to continue their valuable work for trails statewide.

How restrictions work on the ground
For example, throughout the summer trail crews in Tiger Mountain and in the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Natural Resources Conservation Area carried 5-gallon bags of water, a fire extinguisher, measured relative humidity, and finished early if conditions became too dry.

Washington Conservation Corps crew members that built motorcycle trails in Reiter Foothills Forest also adhered to the precaution levels. Some levels required them to swap motorized wheelbarrows and mini excavators for shovels and Pulaskis when conditions became too hazardous.

In Yacolt Burn State Forest, DNR staff who trimmed ferns on the Tarbell trail also adhered to levels by starting work in the wee hours of the morning, called “Hoot Owl” hours, and finishing by early afternoon, when temperatures heat up and humidity decreases. (more…)

Explore the Capitol State Forest right from your smartphone

July 30, 2015
The Capitol State Forest geo-referenced map is ideal for  your smartphone. Photo/ DNR.

The Capitol State Forest geo-referenced map for your smartphone. Photo/ DNR.

Did you know that you can take all of Capitol State Forest’s trails with you – wherever you go? With our free geo-referenced map, you can easily navigate the 100,000-acre forest’s trails with your smartphone. Using the free Avenza PDF Maps app, watch along as the map pinpoints your location. Even without cell service the map will continue to work using your phone’s GPS chip.

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 the following address into the box titled “From the Web:’
  • The map will be copied into your app. This may take a moment depending on your connection speed.
  • After the map is copied into the app, it will automatically load when you click on the ‘Maps’ icon. If you have your GPS turned on, it will automatically zoom to your position in Capitol State Forest.

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

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

Sitka spruce: A tree with individuality

July 27, 2015

Western Washington’s Sitka spruce is not afraid to stand out from the rest. This tree can be seen sporting a variety of forms, from bizarrely shaped root systems to huge buttresses. Its unique shape has a lot to do with growing in a coastal environment. Being near the water, Sitka spruce faces challenges that inland trees don’t, such as a dense forest floor and extreme elements. These challenges force the tree to bend and twist in irregular ways.

How exactly does the forest floor of the coast affect the shape of Sitka spruce? The moist floor is often thick with bryophytes and other plants which makes it challenging for a tiny seed to grow. Therefore, Sitka spruce prefers to grow on elevated organic surfaces, such as logs and stumps. When these logs decay and disappear, the resulting Sitka spruce can display an oddly shaped root system and huge buttresses.

Sitka sprice root system

If a spruce started on a very large log, the resulting tree can often have a bizarrely shaped root system. Photo / DNR

Sitka spruce with broken trunk

The rotten top of a 400-plus year-old spruce snapped off in a violent winter storm, only to impale itself in the ground 65 feet from its base. Photo / DNR

Another factor that contributes to the individuality of Sitka spruce is its exposure to coastal elements. Violent winds can alter the shape of a Sitka spruce and if the tree’s top is rotten, the winds might even cause it to snap off.

Interesting facts like this and more can be found in DNR’s guides for identifying old trees and forests in Washington: Identifying Mature and Old Forests in Western Washington and Identifying Old Trees and Forests in Eastern Washington, both written by Robert Van Pelt, PhD. Both guidebooks are free to download.

Conservation of old-growth and other “structurally unique” trees is part of the State Trust Lands Habitat Conservation Plan that DNR uses to guide its management of working forests and provide habitat for endangered species on state trust lands.

Follow DNR on: Facebook FanSee us on FlickrWatch us YouTubeFollow us on TwitterFollow DNR Fire TwitterJoin in the DNR Forum

The western red-cedar: A 1500 year old giant

July 20, 2015
Western Redceder

Away from the coast, pure groves of redcedar are limited to forested wetlands or sections of alluvial forest in the north Cascades, such as this stand from a swamp in the south Cascades. Photo: DNR

The western red-cedar is a tree that continues to surpass the others. Not only is it the largest tree in the Pacific Northwest, it is also one of the longest lived tree species in western Washington. Some western red-cedars have been recorded to reach 1,500 years of age. (The tree’s name is spelled either red-cedar or redcedar to indicate that it is not a “true” cedar, which grows only in Mediterranean regions.)

The age of a western red-cedar can be roughly estimated by looking at the tree’s crown. For the first several centuries, the top of the red-cedar has a relatively simple crown. However, with age, the crown form changes and candelabra tops – which are often seen in ancient trees – begin to emerge. (See drawing).

Western Redceder Drawing

Changes in crown form of western redcedar over time. Note that trees remain relatively simple for the first several centuries — it is only in great age that the individual character and candelabra tops often seen in ancient stands emerge. Drawing: DNR

Interesting facts like this and more can be found in DNR’s guides for identifying old trees and forests in Washington: Identifying Mature and Old Forests in Western Washington and Identifying Old Trees and Forests in Eastern Washington, both written by Robert Van Pelt, PhD. Both guidebooks are free to download.

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 Fourth of July by cooling off on DNR-managed land

July 2, 2015

DNR has more than 160 recreation sites across the state that are perfect for cooling off this holiday weekend. Read on for some ideas on where to beat the heat at our sites with water access.

As you plan your trip, keep in mind DNR’s statewide burn ban. Campfires and all outdoor burning activites are currently prohibited on state forests  and anywhere else on the 13 million acres of Washington forestlands DNR protects from wildfire.

Remember — fireworks are illegal on all DNR-protected lands.
Play it safe Washington.  Learn more.

Yahoo Lake, Olympic Peninsula

Yahoo Lake, in DNR’s Olympic Region, has opportunities for fishing, boating, and swimming. Photo/ DNR.

Yahoo Lake, Olympic Peninsula, near Olympic National Park 
At 2,400-feet elevation, the remote Yahoo Lake Campground provides opportunities for hiking, fishing, and swimming during a stay at one of its three campsites.

Lily and Lizard Lakes, Blanchard Forest, near Bellingham
Enjoy a swim at one of Blanchard Forest’s backcountry campsites. Watch for views of Samish Bay and the San Juan Islands on the hike to these forested lakes.

Howell Lake, Tahuya State Forest, near Bremerton 
This day-use site in the Tahuya State Forest is great for fishing, swimming, and picnicking. Access the lake from the Howell Lake Trail.

Dougan Falls, Yacolt Burn State Forest

Enjoy the gentle, cascading falls of Yacolt Burn State Forest’s Dougan Falls. Photo/ DNR.

Dougan Creek, Yacolt Burn State Forest, near Washougal
The large boulders, forested edges, and cascading 100-foot waterfalls of Dougan Creek are a treat for picnickers and campers who visit Yacolt Burn State Forest.

Palmer Lake Campground, Loomis State Forest, Okanogan area
Palmer Lake Campground is near a 2,100-acre lake surrounded by orchards and mountainous terrain. It is a popular site for boating.

Island Camp, Glenwood Forest, near White Salmon
Island Camp, along Bird Creek, is a perfect campground for exploring Mount Adams.

Remember to bring a Discover Pass, your ticket to Washington’s great outdoors. You can purchase the Discover Pass online, from more than 600 licensed vendors across Washington state, or at automated pay stations in select state parks.

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

Thanks to our Forest Watch volunteers

June 7, 2015

Did you know DNR has dedicated volunteers who work specifically to encourage safe and fun recreation on DNR-managed lands?

Our Forest Watch volunteers act as a safe presence in DNR recreation areas and help DNR respond to potentially unsafe situations quickly. Next time you see a Forest Watch volunteer, be sure to thank them for their service.

Forest Watch volunteers help encourage safe recreation in the Capitol State Forest. Photo/ DNR.

Forest Watch volunteers help encourage safe recreation in the Capitol State Forest. Photo/ DNR.

Forest Watch volunteers

  • Provide information to visitors.
  • Monitor and observe trails, sites, and facilities.
  • Document and report safety concerns and suspicious or criminal activities.

Want to use your skills to be a Forest Watch volunteer?

Forest watch volunteers gain valuable experience serving visitors to DNR-managed lands.  They can also put their hours toward a free Discover Pass. Visit our website for more information.

To stay involved with our Recreation program, sign up for 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

Shout out: DNR staff recognized for trail work

June 5, 2015

One of our recreation staff received national recognition in late May for his outstanding contributions to trail planning, developing, and building. Sam Jarrett, who works in DNR’s South Puget Sound region, received American Trails’ national award, the 2015 Trail Work Award, and manages recreation in one the state’s most-loved landscapes, the Snoqualmie Corridor.

Sam Jarrett, who manages recreation in DNR's landscapes in the Snoqualmie Corridor, received a 2015 Trail Worker award from American Trails. Photo/ American Trails.

Sam Jarrett, who manages recreation in DNR’s landscapes in the Snoqualmie Corridor, received a 2015 Trail Worker award from American Trails. Photo/ American Trails.

This area includes Tiger Mountain State Forest, the Mount Si Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA), the Middle Fork NRCA, West Tiger Mountain NRCA and the Rattlesnake Mountain Scenic Area, and receives 800,000-plus visits each year. Sam uses his nine years of DNR recreation experience to create a legacy of recreational trail experiences on this landscape visitors can enjoy for years to come.

Off-the-Grid Trail in Tiger Mountain State Forest.

Mountain biker enjoying the Off-the-Grid Trail in Tiger Mountain State Forest. Photo/ DNR.

Sam was nominated by one of DNR’s partners, the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance (EMBA). EMBA and DNR are working together to develop premier mountain biking opportunities in the corridor, such as east Tiger Mountain’s 15-mile system and future opportunities in the Raging River State Forest.

Sam has also helped to continue partnerships with the Washington Trails Association, the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, and offer volunteer opportunities for the public to get involved, too.

Want to see the trails for yourself? With so many recreation opportunities, like Mailbox Peak, Mount Si, Rattlesnake Mountain Scenic Area, and Tiger Mountain State Forest, it’s easy to spend a day exploring the Snoqualmie Corridor. Visit our website to see what’s open and closed before you make the drive.

Visit our Snoqualmie Corridor Recreation Plan to learn more about recreation planning in the Snoqualmie Corridor.

Stay connected to DNR’s Recreation program by signing up for 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


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 262 other followers