Posts Tagged ‘DNR’

Get outside and give back this weekend

April 10, 2015
Samish Overlook

Year-round, volunteers help keep DNR-managed rec sites clean, safe, and healthy. Photo by: DNR/Rick Foster

Coming up short on weekend plans? Consider giving back to recreation areas on DNR-managed lands.

Each year volunteers give their time to care for our 140-plus recreation sites. At 75,780 hours, last year our best year for volunteerism ever.

We’d like to give a big thank you to our volunteers. To get involved, find a volunteer event near you this weekend:

Yacolt Burn Motorized Trail Building, near Vancouver
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 10 – April 19

Little Pend Oreille ORV Annual Trail Clean-up, near Colville
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 10 and April 11

Rock Creek Spring Clean-up, near Vancouver
8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 11

Oyster Dome Work Party, in Skagit County
8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. April 11

Walker Valley Public Outreach Party and Annual Garbage Clean-up, near Mount Vernon
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 11

Tiger Mountain Trail Maintenance, near Issaquah
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 11

Wildfire Awareness and Campground Clean-up, near Yakima
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 11

Oyster Dome Work Party, in Skagit County
8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. April 12

Head to our volunteer calendar for more information. Want to stay in-the-loop with DNR’s recreation program? Subscribe to our e-newsletter today.

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Check out DNR’s newest trail map: Walker Valley ORV Area

April 9, 2015

Headed to Walker Valley ORV Area near Mount Vernon? Check out our brand new trail map of the 36-mile system. Walker Valley is a hub for ORV recreation. It has opportunities for 4×4, ATV, motorcycles, and even mountain bikers and hikers.

Walker Valley ORV Area, near Mount Vernon, is a 36-mile trail system with 4x4, motorcycle, and even mountain biking and hiking opportunities. Photo/ DNR.

Walker Valley ORV Area, near Mount Vernon, is a 36-mile trail system with 4×4, motorcycle, and even mountain biking and hiking opportunities. Photo/ DNR.

Walker Valley also has regional views of north Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands.

Walker Valley ORV Area, near Mount Vernon, is a 36-mile trail system with 4x4, motorcycle, and even mountain biking and hiking opportunities. Photo/ DNR.

Walker Valley ORV Area, in Skagit County, is a multi-use recreation destination. Photo/ DNR.

Check out our trail maps Web page for other DNR recreation areas near you. Have another site in mind? Before making the drive, check our website to see what’s open and closed.

To stay in the loop with DNR’s recreation program, sign up for our e-newsletter.

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The Great Gravel Pack-In by horse or horsepower

April 1, 2015

Ever wondered what it’s like to participate in the Capitol State Forest’s Great Gravel Pack-In? Check out the following clips and become part of a pack train with Ruby, a 7-year-old quarter horse ridden by Cherri Wright. Or, take a spin atop a Yamaha Grizzly 700 with Troy Braley.

Both Ruby and the Grizzly were Great Gravel Pack-In first-timers, though this year marks the event’s 10-year anniversary. Through their efforts, and with the help of sponsors Back Country Horsemen of Washington, the Washington ATV Association and Evergreen Sportsmen’s Club, volunteers and their chosen beasts of burden moved nearly 15,000 pounds of gravel to repair a mile-and-a-half section of trail on Saturday.

The event showcases the combined efforts of all-terrain vehicle riders, horseback riders, mountain bikers, and hikers, who come together to care for the trails they love most. Over the last 10 years Great Gravel Pack-In volunteers have reinforced more than 13 miles of trail in Capitol State Forest.

If it looks like fun, we hope you’ll be like Ruby and the Grizzly and join us next year for your first Great Gravel Pack-In, too.

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Rec alert: Temporary closure at Lower Trailhead parking lot in Blanchard Forest

March 19, 2015

Heading to the Blanchard Forest near Bellingham? The Lower Trailhead parking lot will be temporarily closed starting 8 a.m. Monday, March 23 through 3 p.m. Thursday, March 26 as DNR staff re-gravel the parking area.

Hikers enjoy the view from Samish Overlook, the gateway to Oyster Dome Trail. Photo: Diana Lofflin, DNR

Hikers enjoy the view from Samish Overlook, the gateway to Oyster Dome Trail. Photo: Diana Lofflin, DNR


During the closure, please head to the Upper Trailhead parking lot to explore DNR recreation opportunities in the Blanchard Forest Block.

Lily Lake campground is a backcountry campground with six campsites in  the Blanchard Forest. Photo: DNR

Lily Lake campground is a backcountry campground with six campsites in the Blanchard Forest. Photo: DNR

The Upper Trailhead provides the main access for non-motorized recreation in the southern portion of the Chuckanut Mountains.

The trailhead ascends to backcountry campgrounds at Lilly and Lizard Lakes, as well as much of the largely connected non-motorized trail system in Blanchard Forest.

Trails provide views of Samish Bay, the San Juans, and pristine forest lakes.

For more information about the temporary closure, contact the DNR’s Northwest Region office at 360-856-3500.

To stay up-to-date with DNR’s recreation program, subscribe to our e-newsletter.

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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.

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Communication site leases support schools and counties

February 19, 2015
Grass Mountain communication site

A privately contracted technician repairs microwave dishes on a DNR-leased communication tower on 4,382-foot-high Grass Mountain in King County. PHOTO: Steve Diamond/NW Tower Eng Inc.

Communication site leases were a small-but-visible contributor to the $265 million in leasing and product sales revenues that DNR produced from state trust and aquatic lands last year. Our Communication Site program generated more than $4.28 million from some 100 wireless telecommunication sites in fiscal year 2014. State trust lands provide many ideal locations for communications towers—hilltops and mountaintops throughout many parts of Washington state–that private firms and other agencies lease to carry their radio, television, microwave, cellular and other wireless signals to urban and rural communities. State trust land beneficiaries receiving communication site revenues last year included K-12 public school construction ($1.9 million) and public services in several counties ($1.4 million).

See a list of DNR-managed communication sites by county.

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Planting for success

February 9, 2015

Here are six tips from a DNR urban forester on how to properly care for your trees. Well-cared-for trees provide a lifetime of benefits.

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Stay up to date with DNR: Try E-News

February 7, 2015

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Want to learn more about Washington State DNR news and events? DNR has an online database of e-newsletter collections that are available to the general public at no cost.

E-Newsletters

  • Forest Stewardship Notes – Published 3-4 times a year, this newsletter provides information on products, services, and resources regarding private forestland in Washington.
  • Recreation E-News (DNR) – Learn about volunteer opportunities, developing issues, and events taking place on DNR-managed state trust lands.
  • Recreation News from DNR’s NW Region – Along with providing updates on Reiter Foothills Forest, this newsletter contains information and announcements about recreation and events on state trust lands in Island, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, and Whatcom counties.
  • Small Forest Landowner News – Perfect for woodland owners interested in managing their lands for economic and ecological sustainability.
  • Teanaway Community Forest News – This e-newsletter provides information on Washington’s first state-managed community forest, including the latest community forest news updates and developments.
  • The Dirt: Farming for the School Trust – An e-newsletter that is released 4 times a year, The Dirt provides information about Washington state trust lands in agriculture. Topics include: agriculture land management, public lease auctions, grazing, irrigation, and many others.
  • Tree Link – This newsletter contains all things relating to urban and community forestry, with information for community members, local governments, and anyone interested in learning about arboriculture.
  • Washington State Geology News – Here, readers can find information on news and events from the Washington State Geological Survey at DNR. Topics include earthquakes, landslides, geologic maps, mining, volcanoes, and more.

Signing up for the e-newsletters is quick and easy. Go to our subscription page, enter your email address, and check off the e-newsletters you would like to receive. Be sure to activate your subscription by clicking on the verification code that will be sent to the email address you provided.

Once signed up, you are able to self-manage your newsletters, choose how many e-newsletters you would like to receive, update your preferences as needed, provide your own address changes, and unsubscribe anytime you choose by clicking the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of any email.

In an effort to respect readers and their privacy, our lists are never sold. If you or someone you know is interested in joining the DNR e-newsletter community, you can get more information and sign up here.

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Guide your tree’s life: prune as it grows

February 2, 2015
Learn how to prune properly by taking a class.  Photo to DNR

Learn how to prune properly by taking a class.
Photo to DNR

If you want your trees to live long, healthy, sturdy lives, pruning is the way to go. Good pruning practices act as structural training, which develops strong ‘bones’ as trees grow and mature. In other words, less work for you and more safety for everyone.

Simply put, structural pruning helps your tree keep its ‘head’ – its leader – and develop strong branches. You can start by identifying the central leader, the straightest stem in the middle of the tree. Then prune away the 3Ds:

  • Dead
  • Diseased
  • Damaged

Next, support that central leader by removing any branches that look like they will grow higher than the central leader.

Prune with care. Over-pruning reduces a tree’s ability to feed itself and may stress a tree enough to encourage insect or disease problems. Never remove more than 25 percent of a tree’s live crown in a single year.

If you’d like to see structural pruning in action, take a drive to the City of Shoreline. Throughout the month of February, the City will work with a Puget SoundCorps team to prune young street trees to help them develop a strong, sound structure that will keep them healthy and safe as they mature. To conduct this work, the City received an Urban Forestry Restoration Project (UFRP) grant, which is administered by DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry Program.

The UFRP provides Puget SoundCorps crews to assist communities with urban forestry maintenance and restoration tasks, such as structural pruning and invasive plant removal. For more information about the UFRP, visit our webpage or contact Micki McNaughton at (360) 902-1637 or micki.mcnaughton@dnr.wa.gov.

Well-cared for trees provide a wide variety of environmental services, such as cleaning the air, while contributing to the health, beauty and economic vibrancy of a community. Give your trees the right care to help them grow up to be healthy, safe, beautiful citizens of your community!

Learn more about good pruning practices with these resources:

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Volunteers are key players in DNR’s recreation programs

January 28, 2015
Tiger Mountain State Forest recreation trail maintenance

While not “fun” exactly, these volunteers had a good experience creating future fun times by helping DNR maintain recreational trails at Tiger Mountain State Forest near Issasquah. Photo DNR.

As the recently published DNR 2014 Annual Report explains, 2014 was a productive year for our recreation program. DNR installed 5 miles of new motorized off-road vehicle trails and challenge areas, built nearly 9 miles of non-motorized trails, completed the new 4.7 mile Mailbox Peak hiking trail, and opened 3 miles of new mountain bike trails in Tiger Mountain State Forest.

Volunteers were critical in 2014, both to DNR’s major recreation projects as well as to many smaller-but-still-important projects, such as litter removal and trail maintenance. During fiscal year 2014 (which ended June 30, 2014), DNR hosted about 65,000 hours of volunteer efforts and successfully competed for grants to provide more than 40 percent of its recreation funds. These efficiencies aid DNR in enabling more than 11 million diverse recreation visits across 3,400 square miles of state-managed lands, each year.

Got some time this winter? How about doing some good for the DNR-managed lands you love! Check the DNR Volunteer Calendar to find opportunities to give back. http://bit.ly/DNRvolunteer

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