Posts Tagged ‘DNR’

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.

Planning for new trails in Yacolt Burn State Forest

November 8, 2015
Yacolt Burn State Forest

The Yacolt Burn State Forest is open year-round for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Photo/ DNR.

Last month DNR kicked off its first meeting to celebrate a new planning project for 17 miles of future hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking trail in the Yacolt Burn State Forest, near Camas.

Supported by a grant from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, the plans would lay the ground work to better connect the forest’s non-motorized trails by way of connectors and loop trails. DNR anticipates finalizing a plan for the trails by the end of June 2016.

DNR is collaborating with some of its volunteer partners to assist with the trail planning. Partners include the Back Country Horsemen of Washington, Chinook Trails Association, Cold Creek Mountain Bikers, Washington Trail Rider’s Association and Washington Trails Association.

For more information about recreation planning in the Yacolt Burn State Forest, contact one of our partners or visit our Western Yacolt Burn Forest Recreation Plan, which we published in August 2010. For more information about recreation in the Yacolt Burn State Forest, visit our website. Click here to view a trail map of motorized trails and here for non-motorized trails in the forest.

To stay in-the-know about upcoming recreation plans and developments, consider subscribing to our free monthly recreation e-newsletter. Visit October’s issue here.

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New mountain bike trails coming to Stillaguamish Valley

November 6, 2015
Darrington-Event-8 5x11

DNR is planning a 20-mile bike park on state lands on North Mountain near Darrington. Photo/ DNR.

In partnership with the Darrington community, Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, legislative leaders, and the public, DNR is developing a new 20-mile bike park on North Mountain near Darrington, with trails opening as early as next spring. Now’s the time to share your input.

Once complete, riders will be able to access the park from Snohomish County’s Whitehorse Community Park and ascend North Mountain with views of Whitehorse Mountain and the Stillaguamish Valley.

To provide your feedback on the project, complete a survey, send us an email, or attend one of two open houses.

Darrington Open House
Monday, Nov. 16
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Darrington Community Center
570 Sauk Ave.

Arlington Open House
Tuesday, Dec. 1
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Stillaguamish Conference Room
Public Works Office
154 Cox Ave.

For project updates and more information, subscribe to Darrington MTB E-news or visit our website.

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Explore Elbe Hills and Tahoma state forests right from your smartphone

November 2, 2015

Did you know that you can take all of Elbe Hills and Tahoma state forests’ trails with you – wherever you go? With our free geo-referenced map, you can easily navigate the 50,000-acre forests’ 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. We suggest also having a backup printed map with you.

Recreationists can now enjoy DNR's Elbe Hills and Tahoma state forests with the help of a new map. Photo/ DNR.

Recreationists can now enjoy DNR’s Elbe Hills and Tahoma state forests with the help of a new map. Photo/ DNR.

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:” bit.ly/ElbeTahomaMap
  • 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 the Elbe Hills and Tahoma state forests.

You can also purchase a 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.

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.

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Use that extra hour to enjoy DNR-managed lands

November 1, 2015

We gain an hour of daylight this weekend with daylight saving time. Why not use that extra time to get out and explore DNR-managed lands? See our top pics for where to enjoy Washington’s great outdoors below, or visit our statewide interactive recreation map to get more ideas.

Kayaks on beach at Cypress Head campground.

Kayakers on beach at Cypress Head Campground. Photo/ DNR.

Cypress Head Campground, near Anacortes
This boat-access campground in the Cypress Island Natural Resources Conservation Area offers stunning views of the Bellingham Channel and Mount Baker. Enjoy camping all year long, as DNR returned Cypress Island campgrounds back to a year-round camping season this fall.

Little River Trail, near Port Angeles 
The Little River Trail offers hikers, horseback riders, and mountain bikers access to Hurricane Ridge and the northern end of Olympic National Park.

Elbe Hills ORV Trailhead, near Eatonville 
Enjoy off-road-vehicle driving at this year-round 14-mile system near Mount Rainier.

Rock Creek Campground, near Battle Ground 
Located in the Yacolt Burn State Forest, this campground is popular with horseback riders. Look for the nearby Tarbell Trail, open to hikers, horseback riders, and mountain bikers.

Eagle Nest Vista

Located in the Ahtanum State Forest, Eagle Nest Vista offers expansive views. Photo/ DNR.

Eagle Nest Vista, near Yakima 
Want a new perspective? Head to Eagle Nest Vista, located in the Ahtanum State Forest. It gives you a bird’s-eye view into the surrounding forest.

Dishman Hills Natural Resources Conservation Area, near Spokane
Enjoy hiking and wildlife viewing at Dishman Hills, a 518-acre natural area that contains sculpted terrain left by the floods from Glacial Lake Missoula. This site is co-managed by Spokane County, Dishman Hills Conservancy, and DNR.

Before you go, don’t forget your Discover Pass. The Discover Pass is your gateway to enjoying Washington’s great outdoors. For more information about DNR’s recreation program, visit our website.

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Cougars on state trust lands

October 29, 2015
cougar kittens

If you see this in the woods: don’t touch and don’t hang around! Although alone at the time, these four cougar kittens were not orphans, and quite likely mom was very close by. Photo: DNR.

Felines live all around us in Washington state’s wild areas, including state trust lands managed by DNR. We’re talking about bobcats, lynx and cougars–the largest North American feline.

Also known as mountain lions or pumas, the exceptionally powerful legs of Puma concolor enable it to leap 30 feet from a standstill, or jump 15 feet straight up a cliff wall. The cougar’s strength and powerful jaws allow it to take down and drag prey larger than it is, according to the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Living with Wildlife webpage on cougars. While it is estimated that there are fewer than 3,000 cougars in Washington state, these large predators can be found in pretty much any rural or semi rural area where cover and large prey — including deer — are in abundance.

Adult males average approximately 140 pounds but can be as large as weigh 180 pounds, measure 7 to 8 feet long from nose to tip of tail and stand about 30 inches tall at the shoulder. Adult female cougars average about 25 percent smaller than males.

Sometimes, people hiking through thickly wooded or brushy areas come across cougar kittens, such as those seen in the photo with this article, and assume that they are orphans because the mother is not around. Don’t be fooled. Cougar kittens stay with their mothers for 12 to 19 months after their birth. While she hunts, the mother will leave the kittens in a ‘daybed’ which can be a cave but in less-mountainous areas can be a thickly forested area, a thicket or under large roots or fallen trees. And if you are hanging around when she returns…. well, re-read the paragraph about their strong jaws and leaping abilities. The fact is that while stronger than humans, cougar-human encounters almost never turn out well for the cougar. If you spot a cougar and have concerns, contact your local state wildlife office or, if it’s an immediate emergency, call 911 or any local law enforcement office. And never, ever touch one of those cute cougar kittens.

Cougars are among the many species of animals that live on the more than 2 million acres of DNR-managed forested trust land which, in western Washington, is managed under a comprehensive habitat conservation plan.

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Explore DNR-managed lands from green dot roads

October 28, 2015

Enjoy forest drives, wildlife viewing, camping, or hunting? DNR has just the place for you – a network of green dot roads in southeastern Washington.

DNR manages a green dot road system in partnership with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and private landowners to provide opportunities for dispersed recreation, or recreating outside of our designated trails, campgrounds, and picnic areas.

Whites Ridge Rd in Ahtanum S.F.

Off-road-vehicle riders from the All Wheelers Off Road Club follow Whites Ridge Road in the Ahtanum State Forest. Photo: Clay Graham

View our green dot road maps for: 

Background
The Green Dot Road Management System was established in the early 1980s as a means to provide connections across a landscape of checkerboard ownership made up of DNR land and WDFW land. You can locate green dot roads by using the maps above, and looking for reader boards and route markers with green dots when you’re out exploring.

Check out our forest road survival tips before you go hunting. For hunting information, visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website. Remember to bring a Discover Pass, your gateway to exploring Washington’s great outdoors.

County burn bans may still be in effect in various locations throughout Washington.  Check with your community fire district for local information. Before having a campfire, check to see if there are any fire restrictions for your area.

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