Tag Archive for DNR

DNR to host safety conference for professional divers April 7-8 in Seattle

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced today that online registration is now open for the 2014 Professional Dive Safety Conference taking place April 7-8 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. Registration is free, but required.


The 2014 Professional Dive Safety Conference is designed for divers who earn their living working in underwater professions such as geoduck harvesting, scientific research, salvage removal, and water rescue and recovery. The conference will bring together local, state and national dive experts to present the latest scientific research, technology, and best management practices.


“At DNR, safety is an important part of our culture,” said Blain Reeves, DNR Aquatic Resources Assistant Division Manager and conference organizer. “We want to make this conference the best possible experience for all of the participants.”


Conference attendees can expect to hear presentations and participate in dialogs with national and regional dive safety experts on the following topics:

  • Diving program at DNR: Overview, history, and sustaining a safe diving culture.
  • Panel discussion with dive safety review experts.
  • Standards governing professional diving.
  • History and regulation of scientific diving.
  • Decompression sickness.
  • Using advances in equipment technology to improve dive safety.
  • EPA task hazard analysis for diving in contaminated waters.
  • Diving risk management course.
  • Developing a dive safety network using technology and social media.


Registration will remain open until filled. To view the agenda and to register online go to:  http://bit.ly/dive2014conference.


For more information, contact Blain Reeves, [email protected], or 360-902-1731.


DNR’s Dive Program

The primary responsibility of DNR’s professional dive team is to conduct compliance monitoring of the state’s wild stock geoduck fishery, which is jointly managed by DNR, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Puget Sound Treaty Tribes. These large clams are harvested individually by divers using hand-operated water jets in subtidal areas between minus 18 and minus 70 feet. The dive team also conducts additional in-water and on-water support activities for the agency.

DNR now accepting Community Forest Trust nominations

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is now considering nominations for lands to be included in the state Community Forest Trust.

Local communities interested in having lands included in the Community Forest Trust need to file the request for nominations form by June 2, 2014. This form can be downloaded from DNR’s website at: http://1.usa.gov/1b46Jft.

In 2013, the Teanaway Community Forest in Kittitas county became the first Community Forest Trust property in Washington.

Included in the application is a checklist of materials needed to submit a nomination and a desired timeline for the process.

DNR Community Forest Trust program
Working forests in Washington are a vital part of our economy and culture. However, since the 1980s, more than one sixth—17 percent—of Western Washington forests have been converted to other land uses. As working forests vanish, so do many benefits for communities, including local timber, natural resources jobs, clean air and water, and recreation.

To address this, in 2011, DNR worked with the state legislature to create a new tool for local community partners to participate in protecting working forestlands that benefit their communities—the Community Forest Trust.

The first state community forest was established in 2013 in the Teanaway River Valley, just north of Cle Elum in Eastern Washington. This new category of working forestland is held by the state and sustainably managed by DNR, consistent with the values of the local community.

DNR says groundbreaking research could save Washington Douglas fir

Washington Academy of Sciences

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced the publication of an important new scientific report on root rot diseases in Douglas fir trees by a Study Committee of the Washington State Academy of Sciences. DNR requested the report to better understand and address root rot diseases that threaten Douglas fir, which are a vital economic and ecological resource in Washington.


The commercial harvest of Douglas fir on DNR-managed, state-owned public land in the 2011-2013 biennium accounted for  an estimated 800 million board feet of harvested timber and $250 million in non-tax revenue for DNR’s trust beneficiaries, which include public schools and universities.


“We thank the Washington Academy of Sciences and the esteemed scientists working under its auspices for completing this groundbreaking report,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “With the leadership of Study Committee Chair Dr. R. James Cook of Washington State University, they have produced an important road map to guide scientific inquiry and the response to tree parasites and disease that threaten the ecological health of Washington’s forests and the economic vitality of the communities that rely upon them.”


The Study Committee’s report, entitled Opportunities for Addressing Laminated Root Rot Caused by Phellinus Sulphurascens in Washington’s Forests, recommends consideration of several approaches to manage laminated root rot. The Committee also stressed the need for further molecular biology research, noting that a robust understanding of the full life cycle of tree-root pathogens and their host interactions can lead to innovative ways to exploit deviations in disease infection and tree mortality.


“The importance of molecular research on tree-root pathogens to our state and region cannot be overstated, and we urge research universities to devote resources and expertise to developing this emerging area of study,” said Dr. Cook. “I look forward to continued work with DNR on this issue, and I am pleased that the agency is under the effective leadership of Commissioner Goldmark, himself a molecular biologist with a keen interest in cutting-edge research.”


A copy of the report is available at the Academy website: http://www.washacad.org/initiatives/files/WSAS_Laminated_Root_Rot_%202013.pdf.


Washington State Academy of Sciences Study Committee

Members of the Study Committee include: R. James Cook, Chair, University of Washington; Robert L. Edmonds, University of Washington; Ned. B. Klopfenstein, USDA Forest Service; Willis Littke, Weyerhaeuser Company; Geral McDonald, USDA Forest Service; Daniel Omdal, DNR; Karen Ripley, DNR; Charles G. “Terry” Shaw, New Zealand and US Forest Services; Rona Sturrock, Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Pacific Forestry Centre; and Paul Zambino, USDA Forest Service.


Commissioner Goldmark would like to thank all of the Study Committee members and their collaborators on behalf of the citizens of Washington.


About the Washington State Academy of Sciences

The Washington State Academy of Sciences provides expert scientific and engineering analysis to inform public policy-making, and works to increase the role and visibility of science in the State of Washington. Learn more at: http://www.washacad.org.

WA Natural Resources Board OKs purchase of Wahkiakum forestland for Common School Trust

OLYMPIA – At its regular monthly meeting today, the state Board of Natural Resources authorized the purchase of 834 acres of working forestland in Wahkiakum County from a private seller for $2.19 million.

DNR will manage the acquired parcels, located near the town of Skamokawa, to support quality stream and forest habitat for fish and wildlife, while producing sustainable long-term income to the Common School Trust, which funds public school construction statewide.

Read more

Preacher Slough Road near Montesano closed for construction

DNR Preacher Slough

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced today that Preachers Slough Road near Montesano will close for construction of a river access site for small boats on January 6, 2014. DNR expects the site to be open by January 24, 2014.

The construction project is located within the DNR-managed Chehalis River Surge Plain Natural Area Preserve. The trailhead parking and interpretive trail near Washington State Route 107 will remain open.

View a map of the closed area here: http://1.usa.gov/JzmXGy


Improved river access for small boats, canoes, and kayaks

The Preachers Slough Road project will improve existing public access to the Chehalis River in the natural area preserve. The new site will help protect water quality and nearby wildlife habitat from damaging impacts. It will also improve the user experience at the site.

Funding for the project comes from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, which is a state grant program managed by the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office.

DNR Natural Areas Program

DNR conserves more than 152,000 acres of lands and features in designated natural area preserves and natural resources conservation areas, protecting the highest-quality examples of natural Washington and providing opportunities for research, environmental education and low-impact recreation.

DNR to enhance recreation opportunities in Green Mountain and Tahuya state forests

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced today the adoption of the Green Mountain and Tahuya State Forests Recreation Plan. The plan will guide the sustainable management of recreation in nearly 38,000 acres of DNR-managed forest land on and near the Kitsap Peninsula for the next 10 to 15 years.

The recreation plan represents the culmination of three years of collaborative work by DNR, local user groups, a citizen advisory committee, and interested members of the public.


“I wish to thank everyone who worked on this plan for their valuable efforts, time, and dedication to our shared goals.” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “I encourage each of them to remain engaged as we implement this plan over the coming years.”


The recreation planning area includes Green Mountain and Tahuya state forests; the West Tahuya, Sherwood, and Anderson forest blocks; and scattered parcels of land just north of Green Mountain State Forest.


Recreation plan highlights

DNR will continue to work with user groups to enhance and expand recreation opportunities in the planning area. DNR is pursuing grants and other funding sources to develop the projects laid out in the plan.


A few of these projects include:

  • Convert an old forest road to a non-motorized trail.
  • Locate, design, and construct new trailheads and trails.
  • Enhance and expand existing 4×4 motorized recreation opportunities in Tahuya State Forest.
  • Design and construct new hiking and mountain biking trails.
  • Improve vista sites.
  • Design and construct an “around-the-mountain” non-motorized trail in Green Mountain.

View the final, adopted recreation plan: http://1.usa.gov/1a4zEiR


Volunteers needed

The time, participation and knowledge of dedicated volunteers and recreation users will be vital in helping DNR put this plan into action. Those interested in volunteering may contact Jesse Sims, DNR South Puget Sound Region Recreation Manager, at [email protected].


Organized volunteer events will also be posted to the DNR website: www.dnr.wa.gov/volunteer.


Recreation on DNR-managed lands

DNR seeks to provide outdoor recreation opportunities to the public throughout Washington state. Recreation on DNR-managed lands includes activities such as hiking, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, camping, off-road vehicle (ORV) riding, mountain biking, and boating.


The agency provides trails and campgrounds in a primitive, natural setting. Most recreation on these lands takes place in the 2.2 million acres of forests that DNR manages as state trust lands. DNR manages approximately 1,100 miles of trails and 143 recreation sites, on a wide variety of landscapes across the state.

DNR puts geoduck tract off-limits, pending further testing

WA DNR Wild Geoducks

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced several measures to address China’s action on shellfish imports and to ensure the safety of shellfish from Washington’s waters.


On December 5, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) notified the state that China had banned imports of all “molluscan” shellfish (clams, oysters, mussels and scallops) from much of the North American west coast. China stated it had detected paralytic shellfish poison (PSP) and arsenic in geoducks from “Area 67,” which covers the west coast from Alaska to northern California.


Effective immediately, DNR has closed the Redondo tract, a 135-acre area of state-owned aquatic lands in Puget Sound managed by DNR, to commercial harvest of geoducks, and the Puyallup Tribe has concurred. The Redondo tract was identified as the source of China’s concern about high arsenic levels in imported geoducks.


“Out of respect for China’s recent action, DNR is working with sister agencies, including the State Department of Health and NOAA, as well as tribal and industry partners, to investigate China’s concerns,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “We know this has been a hardship on our state’s shellfish industry, and we will work diligently to find resolution as quickly as possible. While state and federal testing results to date have not raised any health concerns, we take these steps out of an abundance of caution.”


Goldmark continued, “We also commend the swift action of the Puyallup Tribe to suspend indefinitely their usual and accustomed harvesting on the Redondo tract. Together with DNR’s action today, this means that no geoducks from the area at issue can enter the stream of commerce, domestically or internationally.”


More information about geoduck safety is available on the Department of Health website: http://1.usa.gov/JQw9GQ.


Background regarding DNR’s Wild Stock Geoduck Program can be found here: http://bit.ly/dnr_wild_geoduck.


DNR’s Wild Stock Geoduck Program
DNR is the manager and steward of more than 2.6 million acres of state-owned aquatic lands, including submerged lands that are home to wild stock geoducks. DNR sells the right to private contractors to harvest geoducks at public auctions several times a year. Half of revenue from these auctions helps pay for managing and restoring state-owned aquatic lands and resources. Wild stock geoducks are harvested by commercial divers between minus 18 and minus 70 feet. Commercial geoduck harvests take place during specific harvest periods and on selected tracts throughout the year.


Media Contact: Peter Lavallee, DNR Communications and Outreach Director, 360-902-1023 (office), (360) 870-3853 (mobile) [email protected].

Campfire ban lifted in Washington State Parks

Stay connected to your state parks by following Washington State Parks at www.facebook.com/WashingtonStateParks, www.twitter.com/WAStatePks, www.youtube.com/WashingtonStateParks and www.foursquare.com/WAStatePks. Share your favorite state park adventure on the State Parks’ blog site at www.AdventureAwaits.com.

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages a diverse system of more than 100 state parks and recreation programs, including long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation. Washington State Parks turned 100 years old on March 19, 2013, and will celebrate with events in parks all over the state, all year long. For more information, visit www.parks.wa.gov/events/.

Support state parks by purchasing your annual Discover Pass today, and enjoy a whole year of outdoor fun on Washington’s beautiful state-managed recreation lands. For more information, visit www.discoverpass.wa.gov.

Grays Harbor County lifting burn ban Saturday

For information on local fire restrictions
Grays Harbor County: Fire Marshal’s Office at (360) 249-4222
Fire Districts: Emergency pages of the local telephone book
City Fire Departments: Government pages of the local telephone book
Washington State Department of Natural Resources: Pacific Cascade Regional Office at (360) 577-2025 or Olympic Region Office at (360) 374-2811
Olympic Region Clean Air Agency: 1-800-422-5623
Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest: (360) 565-3121
Washington State Parks: (360) 902-8844
For daily updates on burn restrictions
Contact DNR at 1-800-323-BURN or visit the website at www2.wadnr.gov/burn-risk then click on fire information in the far right corner.
Contact ORCAA at 1-800-422-5623 or visit their website at www.orcaa.org.

Department of Natural Resources lifts statewide burn ban

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced that the statewide burn ban on DNR-protected lands has been rescinded. Fire danger is reduced by the recent rainfall and moderating temperatures.


Restrictions set by local authorities are not affected by DNR’s action. Potential burners and the public at large are reminded to check with those local authorities before burning. For local fire restrictions, please visit:  http://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/firedanger/BurnRisk.aspx


In addition, industrial forest operations on DNR-protected lands remain regulated under the requirements of the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) system. Individuals involved in forest operations will need to check for and follow restrictions as they apply to the area in which they intend to work. Information on any such restrictions can be found at: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/RecreationEducation/Topics/FireBurningRegulations/Pages/rp_fire_ifpl.aspx.aspx