Sunday, May 20, 2007

Interactive Storm Damage Maps Online!

As winter snows melt, more damage to our Northwest national forests and parks is revealed. Over the weekend, the Tacoma News Tribune ran a story and interactive map highlighting backcountry damage. The National Park Service (NPS) also has an interactive map. It can be found here. The map shows known damage to backcountry trails, bridges and campsites. The Washington Trails Association also just launched an online trails database. The Storm Damage Map and Database will be updated as more trail damage is uncovered, and as damaged roads and trails are repaired.

The NPS reopened Olympic's Hoh Road on May 1st. The Hoh Visitor center is currently open on the weekends, but will open daily on May 25th.
Finally, please join us for a night with the Superintendents on May 31st. Rainier Superintendent Dave Uberuaga, Olympic Superintendent Bill Laitner and North Cascades Superintendent Chip Jenkins will update the public on storm recovery efforts and how interested individuals can get involved. Click here for more information.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Coalition Storm Recovery Efforts Kick Off June 2nd!

On June 2, in celebration of National Trails Day, hundreds of dedicated volunteers from Washington Trails Association (WTA) will hit backcountry trails throughout the Cascades and Olympics to repair storm damage from last winter’s record rains.

National Trails Day, organized every year by the American Hiking Society, is the largest trail celebration in the US and boasts more than 1,000 locally organized events in all fifty states, involving nearly a million trail enthusiasts across the country. The day is centered on healthy outdoor recreation and environmental stewardship.

Washington Trails Association is hosting eight trail work parties this day and one storm damage scouting hike. Each year, local groups like WTA have been a part of this nation-wide celebration of trails. Meanwhile, the National Parks Conservation Association, as well as the Student Conservation Association will host work camps up at Mount Rainier.

For more information on National Trails Day activities visit here.
In related news, the NPS at Mount Rainier announced yesterday that State route 123 to the Stevens Canyon entrance, as well as the Ohanapecosh Campground and Visitor Center will open May 25th.

Gifford Pinchot Forest Needs Your Help!

Besides National Parks, Washington's National Forest also saw significant damage from last fall's storms. The Gifford Pinchot National Forest in south/central Washington was particularly hard hit. Like neighboring Mount Rainier, the Gifford Pinchot lost roads, campgrounds and trails.

The Forest Service has been making slow but steady progress on repairing this damage. To learn more about how you can help repair some of the damage please click here or here.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Evening with the Superintendents, May 31

The Northwest Parks and Public Lands Storm Recovery Coalition is sponsoring an “Evening with the Superintendents” on Thursday, May 31, 2007. This event will bring the Superintendents of Mount Rainier, Olympic, and North Cascades National Parks together to update the public on the ongoing restoration programs in the parks and answer questions about the process. This unique event promises to be very informative.

Please join us!

“An Evening with the Superintendents”

Thursday, May 31st
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

The Mountaineers – Tahoma Room
300 3rd Ave., West
Seattle, WA 98104

For more information about the event, contact:
David G. Graves, Northwest Field Representative

Monday, May 7, 2007

Road to Paradise Reopens!

On Saturday the National Park Service officially reopened Mount Rainier National Park. The mountain had been closed to the public since the November storms.

Roughly 200 people including Representatives Norm Dicks and Dave Reichert turned out for the ceremony. For more information about the day see here and here. Olympic National Park had similar good news, when it reopened the Hoh river road.

Yet, Saturday marks only the beginning, much work at Rainier, as well as Olympic and the North Cascades remains to be done.