Posts tagged: Olympic National Park
RIVERS — The author of “Elwha: A River Reborn,” will be in Spokane on Tuesday for a free presentation on the people, places, fish and history behind the world's largest dam removal effort.
Lynda Mapes, a Seattle Times reporter, will speak at 7 p.m. in the Community Building Lobby, 35 W. Main Ave.
Mapes joined Times photographer Steve Ringman to document what’s led to this monumental $325 million environmental restoration project.
Two antiquated dams are being removed to allow the Elwha to run freely for 45 miles from its headwaters in Olympic National Park to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The effort is opening more than 70 miles of spawning habitat to steelhead and all five species of Pacific salmon
Scientists, tribes, elected officials, local communities, agency officials and anglers are putting stock in the power of nature to turn back the clock on an Olympic Peninsula river once known for hosting runs of 100-pound chinook.
BUMPY ROAD TO RECOVERY: Fish hatchery losses
A pump failure at the Elwha Klallam fish hatcher last weekend led to the deaths of at least 200,000 coho salmon, spawned last fall, and roughly 2,000 year-old steelhead trout — about 50 percent of this year's crop of the fish destined for restoring runs in the Elwha River. See the story.
BACKPACKING — Olympic National Park is accepting reservation requests for wilderness camping areas with overnight use limits by fax or postal mail only. Phone reservations are no longer accepted.
Limits on overnight use in high-use wilderness camp areas are in effect May 1-Sept. 30 to help minimize the impact from humans and provide a quality wilderness experience. Reservations for these sites are recommended, park officials said in a news release.
Reservations for camp areas without overnight use limits are not required and are not accepted. Permits for these areas are not limited and may be picked up at a permit office just before a hike.
A wilderness camping permit is required for all overnight stays in the park’s backcountry areas. Permit fees are $5 to register a group and an additional $2 per person per night for anyone 16 or older. The full permit fee will be charged for all reservations. The fee is nonrefundable.
Overnight use limits are in effect for these high-use wilderness camp areas:
Ozette Coast, Royal Basin/Royal Lake area, Grand Valley and Badger Valley area, Lake Constance, Upper Lena Lake, Flapjack Lakes, Sol Duc/Seven Lakes Basin/Mink Lake area, Hoh Lake and C.B. Flats, Elk Lake and Glacier Meadows and the group and stock camp sites along the Hoh River Trail.
Here's the proceedure:
Click here for additional information.
PUBLIC LANDS — Retiring Congressman Norm Dicks has receive a conservation award from a national parks group.
The Coalition of National Park Service Retirees has awarded its highest honor, The George B. Hartzog Award, to Rep. Norm Dicks, D-WA, for his career-long support of America’s national parks and the National Park Service.
Hartzog, Parks director from 1964 to 1972, expanded the National Park System and worked with Congress to achieve comprehensive funding of the national parks.
Dicks has served on the Interior appropriations subcommittee since being elected to Congress in 1976.
While he supported a wide range of parks from the Everglades to Yosemite, Olympic National Park on the Olympic Peninsula is a notable gem in Dicks’ district. He was an early supporter of removing the dams that significantly impacted the park ecosystem and blocked the passage of anadromous fish.
The Congressman was a key player in securing the passage of the Elwha River Restoration Act in 1992. After passage of this act, Dicks helped secure 15 consecutive appropriations to make dam removal a reality.
In a press release, the parks retiree group called that “an unheard of accomplishment.”
The Elwha Dam is gone, and the Glines Canyon Dam will be gone next year. The Elwha River will be free flowing, and the restoration of a major ecosystem, within a nationally and internationally recognized park, is on its way.
Upon receiving the award, Congressman Dicks said, “this is a great honor and I deeply appreciate the recognition for one of the most enduring causes of my career on the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee — improving and expanding our National Parks. These are the ‘crown jewels’ of the American landscape and I am proud of what we did in Congress during my tenure to improve the visitor experience at all of our park units.”
WILDLIFE ENCOUNTERS — The effort continues:
WILDLIFE ENCOUNTERS — A judge has dismissed most of a widow’s claims in a $10 million suit against the federal government after her husband was killed by a mountain goat at Olympic National Park two years ago, saying that even if it seems unfair, the park can’t be sued for the decisions it made, according to the Associated Press.
Robert Boardman, a 63-year-old registered nurse, was trying to protect his wife and friend when the 370-pound billy goat gored him, severing arteries in his thigh, on a trail near Hurricane Ridge in October 2010. The goat is believed to have been one that harassed park visitors for years.
His wife, Susan Chadd, sued, accusing the government of negligence in its management of the goat, known as “Klahanne Billy” for the name of a nearby ridge. She also alleged that the park botched the rescue effort – the one claim that was not dismissed in U.S. District Judge Robert Bryan’s ruling in Tacoma this week.
Bryan said even though the park could have acted more quickly to kill or relocate the goat, its actions are immune from lawsuits under the Federal Tort Claims Act because they involved an exercise of discretion related to public policy.
The one remaining claim is that the park staff failed to act quickly once the attack was reported, AP reported.
RIVERS — Ding Dong the Dam is Gone….
That's the report from Olympic National Park. The decades-old project to remove Elwha Dam and return the Elwha River to the once flourishing run of jumbo chinook salmon has hit a milestone.
The dam is gone. We have that much accomplish in a project that spans three presidential administrations.
CLIMATE CHANGE — On the heels of a report on the decline of glaciers on Mount Adams, a scientist in Olympic National Park says the Olympic Peninsula's glaciers have shrunk by an average of 15 percent since the 1980s, with one completely disappearing.
Ferry Glacier, one of the 60 largest at the park in 1982, disappeared from its rocky niche in the Bailey Range, according to the Associated Press.
Olympic National Park physical scientist Bill Baccus says another glacier, Lillian, has “virtually disappeared.”
Baccus has been studying the park’s 311 glaciers in detail since 2010. He says there are more glaciers now because larger ones have broken up. In 1982, researchers found 266 glaciers.
The most recent study found that Blue Glacier — the largest one — has lost 18 percent of its mass since 1982.
He says the average air temperature in the Pacific Northwest has gone up 3 degrees Fahrenheit since 1920.
WILDLIFE — The $10 million claim against Olympic National Park for the October 2010 goring death of a hiker already is having an impact on the park's tolerance of overly friendly or aggressive wildlife.
Park officials said they knew of at least one disruptive mountain goat on Klahhane Ridge before Bob Boardman, 63, bled to death after being menaced and gored in the leg by an aggressive goat. But officials have said they had no way of singling out the goat that killed Boardman as a goat they'd had problems with.
New rules for less tolerance of overly friendly or aggressive animals already are in place in the park.
On Sept. 6, a park ranger operating under the new rules killed a mountain goat that for three days had refused to leave a campsite near Upper Royal Basin along the park’s eastern boundary.
Read on for a Peninsula Daily News story detailing the developments that led to the Boardman family filing a $10 million lawsuit on Tuesday against the National Park Service.
WILDLIFE ENCOUNTERS — The family of a man who was gored to death by a mountain goat in Olympic National Park last year is suing the Park Service, the Associated Press reports.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in federal court in Tacoma by the Messina Bulzomi Christensen law firm.
The Interior Department had earlier denied a $10 million wrongful death claim from the family of 63-year-old Bob Boardman of Port Angeles. A department lawyer said there was no evidence of negligence in the October 2010 death.
Tacoma attorney John Messina told the Peninsula Daily News the goat that killed Boardman was a rogue that the park should have done something about.
Park officials said they knew of at least one disruptive goat on Klahhane Ridge but have said they had no way of singling out the goat that killed Boardman as a goat they had problems with.
New rules for less tollerance of overly friendly or aggressive animals already are in place in the park.
On Sept. 6, a park ranger operating under the new rules killed a mountain goat that for three days had refused to leave a campsite near Upper Royal Basin near the park’s eastern boundary.
HIKING — Olympic National Park hikers who urinate along trails may be creating linear “salt licks” that attract mountain goats. The practice may be partially responsible for luring in goats that have been harassing and even killing park visitors.
Sounds like a troublesome new pack it in, pack it out policy — but there's reason for complying with the park's request to avoid peeing along trails as much as possible.
Read on for more from the Peninsula News.
NATIONAL PARKS — Olympic National Park rangers killed an elk Friday after it had charged three vehicles and damaged a tent at the Hoh Rain Forest campground.
This event comes a year after a mountain goat was killed after it gored and killed a backpacker, and two weeks after another mountain goat menaced a hiker for more than a mile on a backcountry trail.
The Peninsula Daily News reports rangers started monitoring the female Roosevelt elk on Friday after it damaged a tent and charged a park vehicle. They used loud noises to scare off the elk over the weekend when it approached campers or hikers.
After it charged two more vehicles on Monday, rangers decided to kill it. A section of its brain was taken for lab tests for a possible explanation of its behavior.
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.
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.
NATIONAL PARKS — Winter at Olyimpic National Park conjures up images of pounding surf on wilderness beaches. But many people don't realize the Western Washington park also offers stunning winter alpine beauty served by the plowed road to Hurricane Ridge.
Bring your skis or snowshoes if you visit this winter paradise, which is served by a shuttle bus from Port Angeles in case you don't have the tire chains required in some conditions.
Get a weather preview via the Hurricane Ridge webcam.
Read on for details or click here for details from the Olympic Peninsual visitors association.
Did you know?
Mount Olympus receives over 200 inches of precipitation each year and most of that falls as snow. At 7,980 feet, Mount Olympus is the highest peak in Olympic National Park and has the third largest glacial system in the contiguous U.S.