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6-14-18 FINAL UPDATE (Soap Lake Fire Wildfire)

InciWeb Articles WA - June 14, 2018 - 10:53am
Soap Lake Fire June 14, 2018 10:00 AM FINAL UPDATE Grant County – Thanks to the great work done by the local firefighters and the team work displayed by the mobilization resources the Soap Lake Fire is 100% contained. The fire will be transferred back to the local fire district at 12:00 PM today. “It was a great effort by everyone involved” said Richard Parrish, Northeast Washington Incident Management Team (NEWIMT) Incident Commander. The fire burned 2,063 acres and destroyed one small outbuilding. No injuries were reported during the multi-day operation. NEWIMT would like to thank the community for its support of the fire suppression efforts. The Soap Lake Fire started June 11, 2018, at 4:30 PM along State Route 17 four miles north of Soap Lake. Grant County Fire District 7 responded and quickly requested mutual aid from surrounding communities as the fire grew rapidly with the strong winds that were present at the time. Firefighters from numerous state, federal and local...

6-13-18 8 PM Update (Soap Lake Fire Wildfire)

InciWeb Articles WA - June 13, 2018 - 8:44pm
Soap Lake Fire Incident Update June 13, 2018 8:00 PM Grant County – Firefighters completed line construction and were successful today keeping the fire within its established perimeter. Strong gusty winds tested the fire lines this afternoon and despite the challenging conditions the fire line held up well. Crews continued to be demobilized throughout the day and the rest are scheduled leave tomorrow. The fire has burned 2,063 and is now 90% contained with no new growth. The Soap Lake Fire started June 11, 2018, at 4:30 PM along State Route 17 four miles north of Soap Lake. Grant County Fire District 7 responded and quickly requested mutual aid from surrounding communities as the fire grew rapidly with the strong winds that were present at the time. Firefighters from numerous state, federal and local agencies battled the fire through the night and into the early morning hours. Their efforts saved numerous homes and outbuildings that were threatened. Level 2 & 3 evacuation orders...

6-13-18 8AM Update (Soap Lake Fire Wildfire)

InciWeb Articles WA - June 13, 2018 - 8:16am
Soap Lake Fire Incident Update June 13, 2018 8:00 AM Grant County – Firefighters are back on the fire line this morning working to strengthen and hold containment lines. Night shift crews reported some smoke and hot spots inside the fire perimeter overnight. Day Shift resources will be working to cool those hot spots and respond to any other areas of concern. Firefighters will also be using GPS devices to more accurately map the fire perimeter. All evacuation orders have been lifted for residents in the area. The Soap Lake Fire started June 11, 2018, at 4:30 PM along State Route 17 four miles north of Soap Lake. Grant County Fire District 7 responded and quickly requested mutual aid from surrounding communities as the fire grew rapidly with the strong winds that were present at the time. Firefighters from numerous state, federal and local agencies battled the fire through the night and into the early morning hours. Their efforts saved numerous homes and outbuildings that were...

6-12-18 8PM Update (Soap Lake Fire Wildfire)

InciWeb Articles WA - June 12, 2018 - 8:00pm
Soap Lake Fire Incident Update June 12, 2018 8:00 PM Grant County – The Soap Lake Fire started yesterday at 4:30 PM along State Route 17 four miles north of Soap Lake. Grant County Fire District 7 responded and quickly requested mutual aid from surrounding communities as the fire grew rapidly with the strong winds that were present at the time. Firefighters from numerous state, federal and local agencies battled the fire through the night and into the early morning hours. Their efforts saved numerous homes and outbuildings that were threatened. Level 2 & 3 evacuation orders were issued for approximately 50 residents in the area. Today at 12:45 AM, Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste authorized state fire mobilization at the request of Fire Chief Kirk Sheppard, Grant County Fire District 7. State mobilization resources from around the state arrived early this morning and relieved the local firefighters. Crews continued to work to strengthen containment lines in moderate...

FINAL Incident Update 5-21-18 (Okanogan Flooding 2018 Flood)

InciWeb Articles WA - May 21, 2018 - 9:13am
OKANOGAN FLOODING 2018 Final Incident Update – May 21, 2018 10 A.M. Okanogan County – With levees built to withstand expected river flows and sandbags stockpiled throughout Okanogan County, the Northeast Washington Interagency Incident Management Team (IMT) has completed its mission to solidify flood protection along the Okanogan River. Monitoring efforts will now be managed by the county’s Department of Emergency Management and cities along the river valley. Thanks to the help of dedicated community volunteers, the IMT made of firefighters from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, the Washington Fire Service, the Washington Conservation Corps and the Washington State Patrol was able to fill and lay more than 220,000 sandbags along the river’s banks, resulting in 6,623 feet of additional protection along levees from Oroville to Okanogan. “We’re glad we were able to come in here quickly and help our neighbors and colleagues in Okanogan County,” said Ed...

Care for the Land, Care for the People

WA DNR News - May 19, 2018 - 9:00am
A Fresh Look at Sustainability in Forest Management

Harvest this much. Save this type of habitat. Achieve these markers of biodiversity. Traditional approaches to forest management tend to focus on specific ecological and revenue objectives, how much land to dedicate to these objectives, and how to achieve them.

But there is something largely missing from these approaches. Us. Humans. Under traditional approaches, humans exist somewhat outside of the forested ecosystems we are managing, even as we look to the forest to meet our needs.

Yet there is a growing recognition that humans are an integral part of these systems. Consider the interactions and interdependencies of a community and the forest and streams that surround it (Figure 1). The forest needs human intervention to stay safe and healthy due to past timber harvest, fire suppression, and major environmental shifts such as climate change. And communities need the forest’s ecosystem services, which can range from timber for harvest to carbon storage, filtered water, and streams with healthy fish populations for food and recreation. Such services keep communities healthy and more likely and able to care for the forest.

Figure 1. Holistic View of Sustainability

This recognition is the basis for a sustainable forest management concept that the ONRC and its partners refer to as “rural ecosystem sustainability.” Under this concept, the forest and its communities are defined as a “rural ecosystem” and managed with strategies that benefit both. “To care for the place, you have to care for the people. And to care for the people, you have to care for the place,” says Hilary Franz, the Commissioner of Public Lands and leader of DNR, steward of over two million forested acres that touch the lives of communities across the state.

Although this concept has been documented in recent scientific literature—for example, the 2017 Island Press book People, Forests, and Change: Lessons from the Pacific Northwest described a “human-forest ecosystem”—it has not been tested at a landscape scale. That is about to change. An ambitious new study called the “Large-Scale Integrated Management Experiment” or T3 Experiment for short is being developed to test this holistic sustainability concept across thousands of acres of forest on the western Olympic Peninsula.

A Unique Study

A basic requirement for studying rural ecosystem sustainability is to define an ecosystem that contains people in the context of the surrounding land. The OESF on the western Olympic Peninsula fits this description. Defined largely along watershed lines, the OESF’s boundaries encompass over a million acres of both forestland and communities. Communities include small towns like Forks and four Native American reservations, plus farms and other businesses. Forests are managed for a range of objectives by DNR, tribes, private landowners, conservation organizations, the US Forest Service, and the National Park Service. DNR manages over 270,000 acres in the OESF on behalf of public trust beneficiaries such as counties and schools.

The T3 Experiment’s central purpose is to find a management strategy that lifts the wellbeing of the OESF’s communities and forests above what is being experienced right now.  In this study, which is co-led by the University of Washington’s ONRC and DNR, researchers will apply three management strategies and a no-action control on DNR-managed lands in 16 Type 3 watersheds in the OESF (Figure 2). DNR will define ecological and community wellbeing indicators through a collaborative process, quantify how well each strategy meets these indicators over time, and then conduct a comparative analysis to draw conclusions on which strategy improves ecological and community wellbeing the most. (Type 3 watersheds are catchments of the smallest fish-bearing streams.)

Figure 2. One of the 16 Type 3 watersheds in this study Figure 3. Timber Museum in Forks, WA. Timber harvest and management has been part of the city’s history for decades.

This is not your typical forestry study.

Forestry studies seldom include something so nebulous….subjective….and difficult to measure as community wellbeing. Elements of environment wellbeing have been studied for decades, and scientific literature abounds for how to do so. For example, many studies have measured biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, and other characteristics.

But community wellbeing can be many things to many people. Jobs. Knowing one’s neighbors. Road access into the forest for recreation. Gathering places like libraries. High school seniors who stay after graduation instead of lighting out at the first opportunity.

So how do you define it?

By asking stakeholders, especially those who live in these communities. Members of the community, local tribes, environmental groups, timber company representatives, and other stakeholders will be invited to define what wellbeing means to them. They may have other opportunities to participate as well, such as workshops. Collaboration with stakeholders is an important feature of this study because there is no way to succeed without involving them, particularly members of the very communities the study is intended to benefit (Figure 3).

Another unique aspect of this study is that each strategy will be implemented through DNR’s Olympic Region timber sale program, not as separate research experiments. This is nothing but practical. “It can be difficult to translate the results of a small research study to normal timber operations,” explains Bill Wells, Coast District Manager with Olympic Region. “We have to be able to incorporate what we learn from this experiment at an operational scale.” So why not start at that scale to begin with? Study units have been sized accordingly.

In other words, researchers are not pursuing knowledge for the sake of knowledge. They want defensible results that can be used to make informed management choices. Through an adaptive management process, results may be used to improve the management of the OESF and possibly other areas DNR manages.

Ideally, results also will benefit forests and communities far beyond the boundaries of the OESF. ONRC and DNR are inviting participation in this study from other land management, academic, and scientific organizations with a major goal of collaborative learning and sharing of knowledge.

16 Watersheds, 4 Blocks, 4 Strategies

One of the first steps in this study was to select the 16 Type 3 watersheds in which the strategies would be tested. To yield meaningful results, each watershed had to be at least 500 acres, be managed mostly by DNR, include at least some older or old-growth forest, include the steep slopes that are so common across the OESF, and contain timber that was ready to harvest. Researchers and DNR managers chose watersheds within the basins of the Hoh, Clearwater, and Queets rivers.

Figure 4. DNR Olympic Region manager Mona  Griswold rolls dice to randomly assign strategies to watersheds in each block.

Researchers grouped watersheds into blocks of four based on how similar the watersheds were to each other. For example, they grouped watersheds that were at a similar elevation, were roughly the same size, and had trees of roughly the same age. Grouping watersheds this way helps to screen out nuisance factors, which are traits like elevation that can skew results and make it difficult to compare results from different watersheds.

Within each block, each watershed was assigned one of the four strategies in a way that was completely random – in this case, by rolling the dice (Figure 4). This spatial design is called a “randomized block” (Figure 5).

Within each block, each watershed will be managed under its respective strategy. Where the harvest will be and what harvest technique will be used will depend on the strategy.

Under the “plan” strategy, the watershed will be managed per the integrated management concept and harvest techniques described in the 2016 OESF Forest Land Plan. Under integrated management, most sensitive areas are managed for ecological values but are not part of fixed, permanent ecological reserves. In areas managed for revenue, DNR uses harvest techniques designed to create and maintain a structurally varied forest that can provide additional support for ecological values as well as revenue.

Integrated management is a marked contrast to the “zoned” strategy, which is widely used by the US Forest Service as well as DNR in other areas it manages. Under the zoned strategy, the watershed is divided into permanent areas or “zones” for either ecological values or timber harvest. Harvests will be located in the latter; the former will be left unmanaged. Techniques likely will be similar to the plan strategy.

The “no-action control” is not a viable management strategy for DNR under state law. However, these watersheds will provide a contrast to active management and enable researchers to understand how the forest interacts with natural disturbance in absence of management. The control strategy also reflects stakeholder interest in managing some areas as carbon sinks and using carbon payments in lieu of harvest to generate revenue. DNR is committed to leaving these four watersheds unmanaged for 10 years.

The “accelerated” strategy is similar to the plan but with one key difference: management will explore techniques and areas that are more innovative or uncertain but may offer greater benefits to both community and environment. For example, DNR may thin riparian areas to a wider spacing than is currently allowed under the plan in the hope of producing larger trees that contribute higher-quality down wood to streams. DNR also may experiment with “tethered logging,” in which logging equipment is tethered to the slope with cables. Tethered logging is more cost effective than cable logging and safer for forest workers, and may enable DNR to operate on steeper slopes than is currently feasible with ground-based equipment.

There is a general perception that the accelerated strategy may spur the most creative answers to how to boost community and environmental wellbeing (Figure 6). But will it? Time will tell.

Next Steps

The T3 Experiment is in its infancy. After discussing the study proposal with stakeholders and managers in 2016, in 2017 DNR and ONRC began collaborating with scientists from the US Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, Oregon State University, NOAA, and other organizations to develop a draft study plan. The full study plan is being developed and will be submitted for peer review later this year. The watersheds have been selected as described earlier. Next steps include specifying experimental treatments, identifying wellbeing indicators for monitoring, and exploring funding options.

Another step is determining how to quantify community wellbeing indicators for each strategy, and how to tease out the differences between the strategies and how well they support the community. That will take creative problem solving.

However challenging and complex, this study is necessary. Rural communities in Washington and elsewhere are struggling as our demands from the forest become more complex, more numerous, and potentially more conflicting. At the same time, the forest is experiencing environmental changes such as rising temperatures and more extreme weather. We need creative, sustainable, and balanced solutions, and we need them now. This study will not only help find those solutions, but provide a model for working collaboratively to achieve a higher level of wellbeing for forest and community alike.

Figure 6. Examples of wellbeing indicators and how they might perform over a decade or longer C is the no-action control strategy, Z is zoned, P is plan, and A is accelerated. C > Z = P = A means that for CO2  sequestration, researchers think the control strategy will outperform the other three strategies, which will perform roughly the same for this indicator.

The Learning Forest is an electronic newsletter published jointly by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and the University of Washington’s Olympic Natural Resources Center. All newsletter issues are available online. To receive this publication or to be added to the distribution list, go to our sign-up page or contact the editor at cathy.chauvin@dnr.wa.gov.

 

About the Authors

Bernard Bormann, Ph.D, is a professor at the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences College of Environment, University of Washington and Director of the ONRC. His research includes forest ecology, the role of soils in long-term productivity, and adaptive management.

Marc L. Miller, Ph.D, is a professor of Marine and Environmental Affairs and adjunct professor of Environmental and Forest Sciences at the University of Washington. His domestic and international research has concerned social and cultural change, globalization, sustainable livelihoods, natural resource and protected area governance, and outdoor recreation and tourism.

Teodora Minkova, Ph.D, is a natural resource scientist in DNR’s Forest Resources Division and an affiliate assistant professor at the University of Washington’s School of Environmental and Forest Sciences. She manages the research and monitoring program for the OESF and is one of principal investigators on the T3 Experiment.

Cathy Chauvin is a writer, editor, planner, and graphic designer for DNR. She was part of the team completing the forest land plan and related environmental documents for the OESF.

Categories: Partner Feeds

Incident Update 5-18-18 (Okanogan Flooding 2018 Flood)

InciWeb Articles WA - May 18, 2018 - 11:45am
OKANOGAN FLOODING 2018 Incident Update – May 18, 2018 11 A.M. Okanogan County – Flood mitigation efforts along the Okanogan River are moving into defense mode as crews finish shoring up protection efforts. Crews working with community volunteers have filled and laid approximately 200,000 sandbags along the river throughout Okanogan County to protect critical infrastructure and homes. Work will now focus on strengthening those barriers and responding to leaks as they arise. Although water levels are not as high as earlier forecasted, the ground is extremely saturated and may become unstable in areas. All citizens should be prepared and take appropriate actions to protect lives and property as necessary. A flash flood watch issued by the National Weather Service Thursday remains in effect. Citizens should be aware of the potential for flash floods especially over recent burn scars, as well as the possibility of rapidly rising tributary systems feeding into the Okanogan River. The...

Incident Update 5-17-18 (Okanogan Flooding 2018 Flood)

InciWeb Articles WA - May 17, 2018 - 12:23pm
OKANOGAN FLOODING 2018 Incident Update – May 17, 2018 12 P.M. Okanogan County – The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch due to severe thunderstorms that are predicted for later today. These storms will produce the potential for flash floods especially over recent burn scars, as well as the possibility of rapidly rising tributary systems feeding into the Okanogan River. All citizens should be prepared for rising water and take appropriate actions to protect lives and property as necessary. Flooding began last week when warm temperatures melted a record Canadian snowpack into the Okanogan, Similkameen and Methow rivers and their tributaries. Incident Commanders are working closely with the National Weather Service to monitor water levels, which are expected to continue to rise through the weekend. Residents living near these rivers should continue to monitor high water levels and be prepared to move to higher ground if necessary. Colville Tribes Emergency...

Road Closure Information (Okanogan Flooding 2018 Flood)

InciWeb Articles WA - May 16, 2018 - 3:36pm
Road closure information for Okanogan County can be found at

Incident Update 5-16-18 (Okanogan Flooding 2018 Flood)

InciWeb Articles WA - May 16, 2018 - 10:00am
OKANOGAN FLOODING 2018 Incident Update – May 16, 2018 10:00 AM Okanogan County – More than 200 responders from around the state are continuing efforts to solidify protection of critical infrastructure throughout Okanogan County against flooding that began last week and is expected to intensify through this weekend. We want all citizens to be prepared for rivers rising and take appropriate actions to protect lives and property as necessary. These efforts are being organized by the Okanogan County Department of Emergency Management and the Northeast Washington Interagency Incident Management Team. Crews from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and the Washington Conservation Corps are working closely with the US Army Corps of Engineers, local officials and countless community volunteers and contractors to assess and strengthen flood protections. Flooding began last week when warm temperatures melted a record Canadian snowpack into the Okanogan, Similkameen and...

Combining mountains and music: Performance duo take their passion to DNR’s Manastash Ridge

WA DNR News - April 26, 2018 - 7:00am

Two musicians based in the greater Seattle area are celebrating their love of the outdoors in a rather surprising way – by playing their instruments in the mountains.

As one of the state’s largest public land stewards, we’ve heard of visitors connecting with our state’s working forests and conservation areas in a lot of ways. With over 1,200 miles of trail and 70 campgrounds statewide, it’s no surprise that DNR-managed lands offer some of the most diverse ways to experience the outdoors. You can cross-country ski in the shadow of Mount Rainier, enjoy one of over 25 beachfront campsites in the San Juan Islands, test out your skills on one of our expert-only downhill-only mountain bike trails or rock climb at some of the state’s most brag-worthy destinations.

While some take a trail map or summit snack with them into the outdoors, Anastasia Allison and Rose Freeman, of the Musical Mountaineers, carry a violin and a carefully packed keyboard along with them for sunrise performances in the outdoors, intended to celebrate both their love of music and their love of the outdoors. The early morning performances are aimed at respecting leave no trace principles and finding time so their enjoyment of the outdoors doesn’t impact other visitors.

“Our intent is to share this beautiful combination of music and the wilderness with the world, but we would never do that at the expense of somebody who didn’t want to hear our music live,” Anastasia said.

The duo has performed in the North Cascades National Park, Mount Rainier National Park and this spring stopped by our Manastash Ridge near Ellensburg, which overlooks Kittitas Valley and provides a breathtaking view of the Stuart Mountain Range.

DNR manages Manastash Ridge in partnership with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, which is coordinating a trails planning process to guide recreation development and management for the system for the next 10 to 15 years.

Anastasia and Rose realized early on the impact their music was having – people from all over the world were deeply touched by the combination of music in the mountains.

“[The Manastash performance] meant a lot to the communities that saw those videos online,” Anastasia said.

As you’re out visiting one of DNR’s 160+ recreation sites this summer, you may find Anastasia and Rose celebrating one of your favorite trails. The Musical Mountaineers aren’t super easy to find though – they keep their performances brief, at sunrise and don’t promote them broadly so they don’t draw too much of a crowd.

To watch all of their wilderness concerts, you can visit their YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/themusicalmountaineers

For more information about getting outdoors in DNR working forestland and conservation areas statewide, visit dnr.wa.gov/go.

Categories: Partner Feeds

Hardwoods and Renewable Energy Drive Community Anticipation for Rural Communities Partnership Initiative

WA DNR News - April 18, 2018 - 3:39pm

In Raymond, Wash., a lumber mill owned by the Port of Willapa Harbor sits abandoned. Piles of alder seem stuck in time after being cut and dried, but never quite making it to shipment to become the products they were intended for.

Last month, Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz made good on her promise to use the resources of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to support development solutions for rural Washingtonians when she announced this mill’s reopening as one of four initial Rural Communities Partnership Initiative efforts.

DNR is partnering with the state legislature to make a $1.4 million investment to get the mill, which closed in 2017, back up and running – maybe with the use of renewable energy.

“For too many in our rural economies, the status quo isn’t working,” said Commissioner Franz. “People are hurting, but they are resilient. And we are investing in our people.”

Phase 1: A New, Old Mill for Pacific County

DNR, in partnership with the state legislature, is granting $1.4 million for the Port of Willapa Harbor to retrofit and lease an existing mill beginning in 2019. Alder wood is versatile and a wide variety of regional businesses will be able to use the mill’s wood products. Mill retrofits will allow the mill to make use of small diameter alder wood logs, which grows well throughout the region.

“This project will have a positive impact on our community and our state,” said State Senator Dean Takko (D-Longview). “By reopening a hardwood mill, we are creating jobs and a new supply of locally-sourced wood products.”

“By reopening a hardwood mill, we are creating jobs and a new supply of locally-sourced wood products.” ~State Senator Dean Takko

Known as “New Pacific Hardwood,” this venture in Pacific County will generate an estimated 49 new jobs – in an area with the third highest unemployment rate in the state. And, each year, the mill will make spend $9.5 million to purchase logs from a variety of local landowners and generate $98,000 in taxes for public services.

“This is what rural community partnership is about – putting lumber mill workers back to work making products out of sustainably harvested trees,” said Commissioner Franz.

About DNR and Timber Lands

The agency knows a good deal about producing locally sourced timber to meet the growing need for wood products in Washington’s urban communities.

Commissioner Franz and her staff manage 3 million acres of state-owned trust lands. Much of that land is forested and managed for timber harvests, though Commissioner Franz’s management of these lands also ensures ongoing access for recreation, forested watersheds for clean water, important wildlife habitat, and wildfire protections via the state’s largest on-call fire department.

Revenue from the timber that comes from state trust lands helps fund construction of public schools statewide and supports state universities, prisons and other institutions, along with public services in many counties.

DNR timber carries SFI sustainability certification and is only sold to mills here in the United States, primarily within Washington to serve customers like you. The New Pacific Hardwood mill will have to compete for these homegrown DNR logs, just as any other mill would.

Yet, timber isn’t the only natural resources DNR has the ability to leverage. DNR resources could also supply materials for renewable energy.

Phase 2: A Port of Willapa Harbor Energy Innovation District

Center for Sustainable Infrastructure will use these funds to assist the Port to explore renewable energy options via an Energy Innovation District.

 The second part of the project will have DNR working with the Port of Willapa Harbor and Evergreen State College Center for Sustainable Infrastructure to determine the economic feasibility of an energy innovation district.

An energy innovation district would co-locate new and current assets at the Port or Willapa Harbor to allow businesses to share energy and reuse waste streams, which could attract new and existing business to locate here.

“The Port of Willapa Harbor seeks to be a conduit for economic opportunities – whether that means timber or renewable fuel sources,” said Rebecca Chaffee, Manager, Port of Willapa Harbor. “More mill jobs right away is a big deal. And, the potential of an energy innovation district – when we have ready access to wood, agricultural waste and other renewable natural resources and byproducts – is a game-changer.”

“The Port of Willapa Harbor seeks to be a conduit for economic opportunities.” ~Port of Willapa Harbor Manager Rebecca Chaffee

DNR will administer a $100,000 grant to Center for Sustainable Infrastructure for this work. Other communities with ready access to forest and agriculture resources or waste streams will be able to use this work to assess their renewable energy options, as well.

About the Rural Communities Partnership Initiative

As part of Commissioner Franz’s Rural Communities Partnership Initiative, DNR solicited economic development ideas from rural communities across the state, receiving more than 80 proposals.

“Communities know best what they need, but often lack the resources for economic initiatives. If you have a good idea, let me know,” says Franz. “Because my agency is investing in good ideas. And by investing in rural Washingtonians – by supporting community-driven economic development – we are creating lasting and sustainable opportunity.”

“Communities know best what they need, but often lack the resources for economic initiatives… by investing in rural Washingtonians – by supporting community-driven economic development – we are creating lasting and sustainable opportunity.” ~Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz

The mill is just one of the projects initially selected. More are on the horizon and the agency continues to take on new proposals.

“We’re incredibly excited to bring these projects, and more, to fruition to drive positive impacts for communities,” said Josh Wilund, DNR Senior Strategic Advisor.

According to Wilund, proposals should be for sustainable projects that offer long-term solutions, make use of renewable natural resources, maintain biodiversity, support ecological systems or provide communities with multi-generational economic opportunities.

A city council, chamber of commerce, DNR employee, county leadership, tribal government, local organization or businesses may submit projects. There is no minimum requirement, however projects should intersect with DNR’s lands and people, and be geared toward creating hard economic value in local communities.

Click to watch project video on YouTube.

 

Categories: Partner Feeds

Missing Washington Plant Found in Illinois

WA DNR News - April 14, 2018 - 7:29am
Herbarium specimen from the University of Illinois herbarium

Oregon geranium (Geranium oreganum) is about 2 feet tall and has large bright pink or purple flowers with prominent veins on the petals (these reflect UV light and help guide bumble bees to nectar at the base of the flower, much like runway lights help pilots land an airplane at night).  Despite its size and showiness, this species has only been found once in Washington, and has not been seen again since 1936.  It is a prairie and oak woodland obligate species and is known primarily from the dry interior valley system that runs from southern British Columbia to northern California and includes the Puget Trough of Washington and Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

The last person to see this species in Washington was George Neville Jones, who at the time was a graduate student at the University of Illinois studying the Geranium species of North America.  Jones made an herbarium collection and recorded his observation in a 1943 paper in the botanical journal Rhodora, noting the specimen was deposited at “UI”.  Each major herbarium in North America has a unique two or three-letter code to identify it.  For years, no one could track down Jones’ specimen because “UI” is the code for a small herbarium in Uintah County, Utah.  Some people began to question if Jones actually made his collection in Washington and whether the species ever occurred in the state.

Last year, Washington Natural Heritage Rare Plant Botanist, Walter Fertig became

Geranium oreganum in the field (Image Creative Commons )

interested in the case of the missing Geranium.  Walter tracked down the 1943 monograph and on the first page Jones, was identified as a graduate of the University of Illinois.  Walter recalls, “It then occurred to me that “UI” was not the code for the Uintah County herbarium, but probably stood for the University of Illinois.  I searched some online databases but was unable to find the Jones specimen.”  Undeterred, Walter emailed David Seigler, the collections manager of the University of Illinois herbarium and asked if he could find the specimen.  Seigler wrote back with double good news: not only did he find the errant collection, but he sent a digital photograph of the specimen.  The label clearly indicates it came from “Mill Plain, Clark County, Washington”.  The image also is of sufficient quality that the specimen can be positively identified as Geranium oreganum.

Mystery solved … except no one has relocated Oregon geranium in Washington since Jones’ time!  If you are exploring wet prairie sites in Cowlitz, Clark, or Lewis counties, keep an eye out for a tall, showy, pink-flowered geranium – it might just be the mystery geranium!

Categories: Partner Feeds

Arbor Day and Spring vs. Fall Planting

WA DNR News - April 10, 2018 - 8:18am
It takes all kinds of help to plant trees in celebration of Arbor Day. Photo: Linden Lampman/DNR

“If fall is the best time to plant trees in Washington, why is Arbor Day celebrated in the spring?”

This question comes up often, so let’s break it down.

Arbor Day was founded by Nebraska farmer and statesman, J. Sterling Morton. The very first Arbor Day was celebrated in Nebraska on April, 10, 1872. In 1885, the Nebraska State legislature recognized Arbor Day as an official state holiday to be annually observed on April 22nd, J. Sterling Morton’s birthday.

In 1957 The Washington State Legislature passed a law designating the official Washington State Arbor Day as the second Wednesday in April, which this year is April 11. Today, the national Arbor Day is commonly celebrated on the last Friday in April, which this year is April 27.

So why spring? It is probably because, to an agriculturalist like Mr. Morton, spring is when farmers planted all of their crops. In their view, why should trees be any different?

Spring is the peak season for rainfall to naturally irrigate anything newly planted in states like Nebraska and many others throughout the eastern and central United States. Many of these states also receive periodic rains from summer thunderstorms that help trees get through the hottest months of the year.

It is also believed by some horticultural experts east of the Rockies that certain species of trees, including Oaks, Ginkgos, Dogwoods, Birches, Hornbeams, and Yellowwoods, among others, have lower mortality rates when planted in spring versus fall. Whether that thinking applies to Washington State, I can’t say that I know for sure…

What I do know is that our environmental conditions are a little different here.

East of the Cascades, communities receive anywhere from 8-20 inches per year, primarily between November and January. Pair this with prolonged periods of hot, dry weather in summer and I think you can see why planting trees in fall is preferred.

On the west side, our waterworks turn on in mid-September and don’t quit until early May. Our summers are mild but it rains almost never between June and August. Once again, these conditions point to fall as a better time to plant trees.

So why do most Tree City USA communities in Washington celebrate Arbor Day and plant trees in April? I’m assuming it is mostly tradition, but just because fall is preferred doesn’t mean that spring is off limits.

The most important thing is to properly mulch and water your trees for the first year after planting, and then at least through the summers for the next year or two following. If your tree gets enough water then it can survive and establish itself no matter when, or where you planted it.

Here are some additional links to thoughts on spring versus fall planting:

Iowa State University, Fall Planting of Trees and Shrubs

Oregon State University, Fall is Good Time to Plant or Move and Replant Perennials, Shrubs or Trees

Garden Myths, Best Time To Plant Trees

Originally published in the April Tree Link Newsletter.

Categories: Partner Feeds

Fire district funding available for radio communication equipment and wildfire risk reduction

WA DNR News - April 9, 2018 - 11:42am
Fire district funding available for radio communication equipment.

DNR is now soliciting applications from fire protection service providers to fund projects for radio communication equipment and wildfire risk reduction activities, including education and outreach, technical assistance, fuel mitigation and other residential risk reduction measures.

Fire protection service providers include fire departments, fire districts, emergency management services and regional fire protection service authorities.

We are only accepting projects located in counties east of the crest of the Cascade mountain range that share a common border with Canada and have a population of 100,000 or less are eligible (Ferry, Okanogan, Pend Oreille and Stevens counties).

DNR will prioritize funding to fire protection service providers within these counties that:

  • Serve a disproportionately higher percentage of low-income residents as defined in RCW 84.36.042, and
  • Are located within areas of higher wildfire risk, and
  • Have a shortage of reliable equipment and resources

Learn more about the grant and how to apply at DNR’s Fire District Assistance webpage.

Categories: Partner Feeds

A Forest Classroom Grows Roots in Kalama

WA DNR News - April 3, 2018 - 3:59pm

 

Click to watch our video on DNR’s partnership with the Forest Management Learning Laboratory.

The plan is just one piece of one of the first four community partnerships announced by Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz to leverage resources of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to support development solutions for rural Washingtonians.

 

The Rural Communities Partnership Initiative

As part of Commissioner Franz’s Rural Communities Partnership Initiative, DNR solicited ideas from rural communities across the state. The agency received more than 80 proposals. The Forest Management Learning Laboratory is one of the initial projects selected and was announced earlier this month.

“Communities know best what they need, but often lack the resources for economic initiatives. If you have a good idea, let me know. Because my agency is investing in good ideas.” Said Commissioner Franz. “By investing in rural Washingtonians – by supporting community-driven economic development – we are creating lasting and sustainable opportunity.”

“By investing in rural Washingtonians – by supporting community-driven economic development – we are creating lasting and sustainable opportunity.” ~ Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz

The Forest Management Learning Laboratory

The Kalama School District is partnering with DNR to connect students with forestry careers by managing a 32-acre forest adjacent to the district’s middle-high School. Additional partners span industry, higher education and state agencies, including: RSG Forest Products, Green River College, the Pacific Education Institute, AWC Center for Quality Communities, Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

“We’re very excited about the Rural Communities Partnership Initiative, as it will not only bring industry expertise into our program, but it will be one more opportunity for students to see how their learning about science relates to the real world and careers in fields related to natural resources,” said Kalama School District Superintendent Eric Nerison. “The program also helps to leverage the local expertise through partners like RSG Forest Products. We’re looking forward to seeing the learning opportunities and partnerships continue to grow as a result of the program.”

“We’re very excited about the Rural Communities Partnership Initiative … it will be one more opportunity for students to see how their learning about science relates to the real world and careers in fields related to natural resources.” ~ Kalama School District Superintendent Eric Nerison

For example, students – working with DNR staff – will develop a harvest schedule for their adjacent 32-acre forest – a practical application of their knowledge that can lead to a career.

About DNR

It’s a particularly poignant project for the Department. Under the guidance of the Commissioner, DNR manages 3 million acres of state-owned trust lands. Revenue from state trust lands – much of them forested – helps fund construction of public schools statewide and supports state universities along with other public services.

A Natural Resources Career Path

DNR staff will pull from their professional networks to bring additional expertise into the “classroom” too. And, to further connect the 18-20 annual student participants to natural resource education experiences, DNR staff will share with the students information on the Washington Conservation Corps, DNR job shadowing, and DNR college internships.

DNR and other timber interests can have difficulty recruiting for forest management jobs in this area and similar regions. Each year, DNR recruited for 260 temporary and permanent positions in this region alone. State and private forestry professions are a way for future generations to stay and give back to the rural communities where they grew up.

“We want to create natural resource aspirations in these students,” said Commissioner Franz. “Working in the forest – whether building a forest road or laying out a timber sale – is not the kind of work you see glamorized in the media.

“But these professional positions are critical to both a solid rural economy and our agency. We want students to know they don’t have to leave the lands they love to have a fulfilling career.”

“We want to create natural resource aspirations in these students … they don’t have to leave the lands they love to have a fulfilling career.” ~ Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz

A DNR outreach and education survey will further inform agency involvement in the Forest Management Learning Laboratory, which could be replicated in other schools who wish to pursue education experiences around our state’s natural resources.

Commissioner Franz and DNR’s management of state lands ensures ongoing access for recreation, forested watersheds for clean water and wildlife habitat – all important things for local communities. In addition, she and her staff oversee the state’s geologic information, forest health, forest rules, 94 natural areas and wildfire protection via the state’s largest on-call fire department.

An Ongoing Initiative

Commissioner Franz will make additional Rural Communities Partnership Initiative project announcements in the near future says DNR Senior Strategic Advisor Josh Wilund, who is administering the program.

“By investing in rural communities, the Department of Natural Resources is building, expanding, and maximizing relationships,” said Wilund. “We’re incredibly excited to bring this and more projects to fruition, and drive positive impacts for communities.”

The agency is well positioned to do so – literally – as DNR is present within every county across Washington.

 

Categories: Partner Feeds

Tree lovers unite, honoring Arbor Day April 11

WA DNR News - April 2, 2018 - 11:02am
It takes all kinds of help to plant trees in celebration of Arbor Day. Photo: Linden Lampman/DNR

Arbor Day is a celebration of trees and all the great things they do for us here in the Evergreen State. Washington State Arbor Day is always celebrated on the second Wednesday in April, and this year, April 11 is proclaimed Arbor Day by Governor Jay Inslee.

 

However, Arbor Day is more than just a celebration of trees. It’s a celebration of responsible natural resource management.

 

Salmon streams that DNR protects in native forestlands flow out of the foothills, across the landscape and ultimately through one or more of Washington’s cities. Urban areas are where streams, shellfish beds and fragile nearshore habitats are most threatened by stormwater runoff, erosion and sedimentation, toxic pollutants, low oxygen levels and climate fluctuations.

 

Trees, however, are erosion reducers, pollution mitigators, water purifiers, climate stabilizers and carbon sinks. The practice of forestry in cities offers practical, low-cost, natural resource-based solutions to many environmental problems that affect our daily lives in Washington. Planting a tree in a city is an act of restoration. Caring for urban trees is an act of stewardship. Cultivating an urban forest is natural resource management.

 

Sixty percent of Washingtonians live in an incorporated municipality, and approximately 90 percent of the state’s population lives in an area identified as “urban” by the 2010 census. There are 91 Tree City USA Communities in Washington and nearly 50 percent of Washington’s population lives in a Tree City USA.

 

Tree City USA is a national award from the Arbor Day Foundation that recognizes cities and towns for making a commitment to plant, protect and maintain their trees. At DNR we celebrate Arbor Day in partnership with local communities across the state that have earned the Tree City USA® award. Find out if your city is a Tree City USA, as there may be special programs to celebrate trees in your community this month.

 

If your city isn’t part of the Tree City USA Program, contact your city officials to help them plan Arbor Day celebrations next year. Sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the US Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters, Tree City USA® provides technical assistance and national recognition for urban and community forestry programs in thousands of towns and cities.

 

But you don’t have to live in a Tree City to celebrate Arbor Day. Many cities and towns provide opportunities for the public to help plant trees, pull invasive weeds or clean-up parklands during the spring season. Contact your city officials to find out what they have going on.

Categories: Partner Feeds

Video & Images Instructions

WA DNR News - April 1, 2018 - 12:20pm

Imbed a Video

Here is a quick guide on how to imbed a video anywhere in your blog post.  The WordPress support link for this is at the bottom as well.

1. Find the URL of the video you would like to use

2. Paste that URL where you want the video to appear on the blog post

3. Delink the URL.    This is done by placing the cursor at the end of the hyperlink and pressing backspace.  You will be able to tell if this works if the hyperlink goes from blue/purple text to the plain black of the other text on the page.  This action should not delete any of the letters in the URL.

4.Enter the phrase “youtube=” attached to the front of the URL.

5. Place brackets [ or ] at either end.

6. Hit preview to make sure it works.

7. Now you have a stellar blog post!

Example of finished imbedded link

check this out!

here is the link to the support site

http://codex.wordpress.org/Embeds

at the bottom are all the sites we can imbed videos from.

 

Make a clickable image

Images inserted into blog posts can be made “clickable” so people can see the full-size image.

  1. Upload your image as usual to the blog (up to 1200 pixels wide suggested if it’s one you want people to be able to enlarge)
  2. Select one of the default sizes and the alignment for display in the blog as usual

NEW STUFF

  1. After the image is inserted, go to your blog in edit mode and click on the image to reveal the image editing tool (shown in yellow below)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Click on the little pencil image and the “Image Details” screen will pop up (as shown below).  Click the arrow next to “Link To” and select “Media File” (circled)

Your image’s URL (in the WordPress library) should automatically appear in the box.
Then click the blue Update button in the lower right.
NOTE: The “Size” selections menu (just above “Link To”) affect the display within the blog, so just use one of the presets—‘large’ in this particular case

OPTIONAL: add “CLICK image to enlarge”  or something like that to the caption.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See the “Heading to the water?” blog for an example of the final product.

https://washingtondnr.wordpress.com/2015/05/06/heading-to-the-water-know-these-safety-tips/

Categories: Partner Feeds

Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz on Investing in Our Rural Communities

WA DNR News - March 30, 2018 - 2:47pm

Washington is rich in natural resources, and I’m investing in ways to make sure those assets are serving the communities they surround. This month, my team and I announced a $3.5 million funding package for our first crop of projects that will create dozens of new jobs and preserve hundreds more.

Through our Rural Communities Partnership Initiative, we’re securing funding to re-open an alder mill in Raymond, help oyster growers manage burrowing shrimp in Pacific County, build a facility in Ilwaco to remove and recycle derelict vessels, and train a new generation of natural resource workers in Kalama.

We’re working with several other communities across Washington to launch similar partnerships. Stay tuned and share your ideas for boosting our state’s rural communities at dnr.wa.gov/rcpi. See more in our video to the right.

 

Categories: Partner Feeds

Geologists working to step up tsunami mapping

WA DNR News - March 28, 2018 - 9:47am

Washington faces the second highest risk from earthquakes, and one of the highest for tsunamis in the nation, yet remains the only west coast state that does not have an inventory of the seismic hazard for critical infrastructure.

Thanks to the state Legislature this year, DNR has more resources to address that gap. We received funding in the supplemental state budget to identify geologic hazards and produce information you and our communities can use to be ready.

DNR received $1.2 million to study the seismic stability of 220 schools and five fire stations, and to work with engineers from the University of Washington and private firms to help provide plans to make those critical buildings more stable during seismic events.

We also received an appropriation for $367,000 to hire more geologists to study and map tsunami hazards along the Washington coast, which is currently only about half-mapped.

All this will help communities be more resilient for the next tsunami, whether that’s from a Cascadia subduction event or less famous faults.

DNR holds scenarios developed to show how seismic forces could impact all of Washington’s communities, from Aberdeen to Zillah.

Our geologists just published new maps to show the tsunami risks to southwest Washington from a 2,500-year Cascadia subduction zone earthquake so people along the coast can identify evacuation routes before the quake and tsunami hits.

The first tip is to be ready. Have plans for what to do when earthquakes or tsunamis happen.

In addition to developing plans to prepare for natural disasters like our friends at Washington Emergency Management advise, you can know more about what these geologic hazards likely mean for your neighborhood, thanks to the hard work of our geologists.

You can view scenarios for the different seismic hazards Washington faces on our seismic hazard catalog.

You can find out more about the risks Washington’s active geology present to you and your loved ones with the scenario catalog or by the hundreds of reports on Washington geology filed in the Washington Geology Library. Those reports can also be accessed online through our new publications catalog.

Yuo can learn more by talking with our geologists and our colleagues at EMD, the National Weather Service, the University of Washington and local emergency management officials at our Tsunami Roadshow April 10-13.

Public presentations will be:

  • 1 p.m., Tuesday, April 10 at Raymond Timberland Library,507 Duryea St. in Raymond
  • 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 10, Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum 115 Lake Street SE, in Ilwaco.
  • 12 p.m., Wednesday, April 11 at the Ocosta Junior-Senior High School Library, 2580 Montesano St, Westport;
  • 6 p.m., Wednesday, April 11 at the Ocean Shores Convention Center, 120 W. Chance a La Mer NW, Ocean Shores.
  • 11 a.m., Friday, April 13 at the J-47 Pirate Union Building (PUB) on Peninsula College, 1502 E Lauridsen Blvd, Port Angeles
  • 6:30 p.m., Friday, April 13 at Chimacum High School auditorium, 91 West Valley Rd., Chimacum.

 

 

Categories: Partner Feeds

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