Outdoors blog

Marmot counters needed at Olympic National Park

The Olympic marmot.
The Olympic marmot.

WILDLIFE WATCHING -- If you're game for an Olympic National Park hike of five to 20 miles and eager to go count housecat-sized rodents, park officials may want you for its "citizen science" marmot monitoring program.

For the second year, the park is looking for volunteers to visit designated survey areas to tally Olympic marmot numbers and distribution to boost marmot research.

Last year, more than 80 volunteers participated, coming from as far away as Los Angeles.

Park spokesman Dave Reynolds says applicants must be capable of hiking and camping in remote areas, navigating off-trail and working on steep slopes. Volunteers will get one day of training.

The application deadline is May 1 but applications may close earlier if the park gets enough eligible volunteers.

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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