Posts Tagged ‘DNR’

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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Thankful today, and every day, for DNR’s volunteers

November 26, 2015
Volunteers clear brush on a trail in Capitol State Forest. Photo/ DNR.

Volunteers clear brush on a trail in Capitol State Forest. Photo/ DNR.

Each year, volunteers of all ages put in hundreds of thousands of hours helping DNR maintain and improve recreation sites, trails, and natural areas on DNR-managed lands.

Last year, we benefited from the highest recorded volunteer hours in more than a decade, and that’s thanks to all of you.

Some volunteers devote hundreds of hours; others pitch in a few hours here and there. Either way, we’re thankful to all of you who:

  • Helped us care for recreation sites
  • Volunteered for the Forest Watch program
  • Provided information and nature interpretation to school children and other forest visitors
  • Served as a campground host at one of DNR’s 70+ campgrounds
  • Trekked out in the field to collect data or monitor plant species — providing valuable information to staff scientists.
  • Organized volunteer work parties
  • Provided clerical assistance

…and the many other activities that relied on volunteer efforts in the past year.

National Trails Day

Volunteers help restore and improve recreation trails on DNR-managed trust lands. Photo/ DNR.

To all of you, our sincere thanks, and a Happy Thanksgiving.

Did you know that volunteers can earn vouchers toward a complimentary Discover Pass by putting in 24 hours of time working on eligible projects on recreation lands managed by DNR, Washington State Parks, or Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Get details.

To join the effort, visit our calendar to find a volunteer work party that suits your interests near you. For a round-up of the month’s volunteer events sent right to your inbox, subscribe to our free monthly recreation e-newsletter. For more information, visit our website.

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DNR part of effort to improve safety for loggers

November 17, 2015

As the largest landowner in the state (other than the federal government), DNR’s responsibilities go beyond managing Washington’s trust lands for wildlife habitat and sustainable revenue for state trust land beneficiaries: we also are working to improve safety for those who work in the woods. That’s why we are onboard with the Logger Safety Initiative.

Logging is historically one of Washington’s most hazardous industries — one where workers, particularly in non-mechanized logging jobs, suffer serious injuries much more often than in any other major industry. It’s also an industry where employers face accelerating workers’ compensation insurance costs. That’s why DNR, along with the Washington Contract Loggers Association, Washington Forest Protection Association, Department of Labor & Industries, numerous private land owners and private logging companies, formed the Washington State Logger Safety Initiative. The goal of this effort is to promote occupational safety, reduce fatalities, and decrease workplace injuries in the logging industry.

We all use products made of wood, so looking out for the workers who help bring us those products is the right thing to do.

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Go take a hike on DNR-managed lands

November 17, 2015
hiking

DNR has more than 1,100 miles of trails to enjoy outdoor recreation activities, including hiking. Photo/ DNR.

How are you enjoying Take a Hike Day, today? Look below for our round-up of hikes worthy of getting outdoors to celebrate.

Bob Bammert Grove, Capitol State Forest, near Olympia
The Bob Bammert Trail is a hiker-only trail in Capitol State Forest. Enjoy this two-mile trail through hills of mature trees and the sounds of a nearby creek.

Lily Lake, Blanchard Forest, near Bellingham
This trail ascends the Chuckanut Mountains for views of the Bellingham Channel and Mount Baker. Enjoy backcountry camping at one of the lake’s secluded campsites.

Murdock Beach, Olympic Peninsula, near Port Angeles
This short trail provides beach access and expansive views of Vancouver Island.

Grouse Vista, Yacolt Burn State Forest, near Vancouver
With views of Yacolt Burn State Forest, this 2.2-mile trail ascends into the Gifford Pinchot National Forest by Pyramid Rock.

Hikers

Hikers enjoying DNR forestland in the Snoqualmie Corridor. Photo/ DNR.

Disappointment Trailhead, Loomis Natural Resources Conservation Area, near Loomis 
Don’t let the name discourage you. Located in the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountain Range, this trail provides views of Disappointment Peak and Showshoe Mountain.

Buck Creek Trailhead, near Trout Lake 
This 18-mile loop trail twists around Nestor Peak and along Buck Creek.

Visit our statewide interactive recreation map for other ideas of where to get outdoors today. Remember to bring your Discover Pass, the gateway to exploring state lands in Washington.

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

Unique ways to experience DNR-managed lands: Trial bikes

November 10, 2015
Trial bike riders enjoy the Reiter Foothills Forest trial bike area. Photo/ DNR.

Trial bike riders enjoy the Reiter Foothills Forest trial bike area. Photo/ DNR.

What has two wheels, no seat, and helps riders to navigate steep climbs, large obstacles, and tight turns? Trial bikes.

The off-trail recreation activity involves riders testing their agility by riding over natural obstacles in the forest, such as downed logs and rocks with low pressure tires. Skilled trial bike riders can maintain their balance within slow speeds and tight turns.

Puget Sound Trialers

The Puget Sound Trialers helped DNR install a new trial bikes sign at their October work party. Photo/ Puget Sound Trialers.

Valuable partnerships
One of DNR’s volunteer partners, the Puget Sound Trialers, have worked with DNR to support continued access to a trial bike areas in the Reiter Foothills Forest. The Puget Sound Trialers help to care for the site, and just last month the club installed a trials area sign and other boundary signs to reinforce the area for trials bike use specifically.

In addition to Reiter Foothills Forest, the Puget Sound Trialers also give back at Walker Valley ORV Area, near Sedro Woolley.

Volunteer at Reiter
Want to get involved? Consider volunteering. Visit our calendar to find an upcoming event in your area.


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