fisher - Photo by John Jacobson

Endangered Fisher to be Reintroduced into Cascades after success in Olympic National Park

SEATTLE (AP) — A weasel-like predator that disappeared from Washington state decades ago will soon be reintroduced to the Cascade Mountains after its successful reintroduction into the Olympics. Wildlife officials are preparing to re-establish fishers into Mount Rainier and North Cascades national parks and surrounding areas over the next several years. The dark brown carnivores […]

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    Go take a hike on DNR-managed lands

    DNR has more than 1,100 miles of trails to enjoy outdoor recreation activities, including hiking. Photo/ DNR. How are you enjoying Take a Hike Day, today? Look below for our round-up of hikes worthy of getting outdoors to celebrate. Bob Bammert Grove, Capitol State Forest, near Olympia The Bob Bammert Trail is a hiker-only trail […]

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  • Time to trade those sunglasses and sandals for ice scrapers and chains

    OLYMPIA – As state highway crews shift into winter gear, they have a few words of advice for drivers: be prepared and slow down.

    Those simple words of wisdom could be the difference between a long wait on the highway or more time for family and fun.

    “The last thing we want to do is see a car in the ditch,” said Mike Krahenbuhl, maintenance supervisor on Interstate 90 at Hyak. “That usually means the driver was going too fast or had to avoid someone else going too fast.”

    Krahenbuhl has spent more than 40 years clearing snow and ice from Washington’s roadways. He said it takes just one person driving too fast or forgetting to prepare their vehicle for cold weather to cause a chain-reaction collision.

    And it’s not just in the mountains, said Monty Mills, snow and ice program manager for the Washington State Department of Transportation.

    “Prepare your car and prepare yourself for the conditions you will be driving into,” said Mills. “When the temperature drops, drivers all over the state need to be ready. We’re working to keep the highways open but need drivers’ help.”

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  • Elk Foundation Grants Fund Research and Habitat Work in State

    OLYMPIA, Wash. – Enhancing over 10,000 acres of habitat and using GPS collars to research the Snoqualmie Valley elk herd top a list of Washington conservation projects slated to receive 2012 grants from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

    The RMEF funding commitment totals $189,960 and affects 11 counties: Asotin, Columbia, Garfield, Grays Harbor, King, Lewis, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, San Juan, Stevens and Yakima.

    Two projects have statewide interest. One has implications across the northwestern U.S.

    The research in Snoqualmie Valley will identify elk herd composition, habitat use and movement patterns, and the data will be used to identify highway crossings and improve management plans, we’re proud to work with the Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, Washington Dept. of Transportation and other partners on this important project. – David Allen, RMEF president and CEO

    Allen added that prescribed burning, weed treatment and forest thinning projects will be used to enhance habitat in many areas of the state.

    RMEF’s mission is to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat. Since 1985, the organization and its partners have completed 484 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Washington with a combined value of more than $106 million.

    Funding for RMEF grants is based on local membership drives and banquet fundraising by RMEF chapters and volunteers in Washington. Allen thanked RMEF supporters for their dedication to conservation both in Washington and all across elk country.

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  • Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

    Washington to release hatchery steelhead into inland lakes again this year

    Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) fish managers will release “early winter” hatchery steelhead into inland lakes again this year, now that federal fisheries officials have decided to conduct a full-scale environmental impact analysis of all Puget Sound hatchery steelhead programs. WDFW leaders announced the action after learning that the National Marine Fisheries Service […]

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  • Users help Forest Service rethink its road system

    EVERETT, Wash. – Every National Forest has to come up with a new plan for its road system in the next couple of years – and in one Washington forest, that effort has become a way to open up the planning process to those who use and love the area.

    On the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, people can let forest managers know which roads they use and what they think of them, in a series of meetings and on a public website

    Forest Supervisor Jennifer Eberlien says what has most pleased her is seeing how strongly people feel about their public land.

    “We provide a lot of resources and experiences and services,” she says, “so the interest and that level of passion of the people who are attending and giving input is just fantastic. It’s one of the things that really keeps us as Forest Service employees, going.”

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  • Westport Winery Earns Gold, Double Bronze at Seattle Wine Awards

    SEATTLE, Wash. – The largest and most influential independent wine recognition program in the state, the Seattle Wine Awards (SWA), announces the winning wines in 26 categories spanning three retail price ranges and comprised exclusively of Washington state appellation wines. 

    Seattle Wine Awards Executive Director, Christopher Chan, launched the awards as a wine-recognition program focused on Washington-grown grapes and wine in 2006. The inaugural event garnered only 274 entries. This year, however, the program received nearly one thousand bottles of Washington’s highest quality wines for consideration. A top-tier panel of experienced local and national wine-savvy professionals committed to tasting and evaluating this year’s entries.

    Westport Winery’s voluptuous red blend Bella earned a gold medal at this year’s Seattle Wine Awards in April. A portion of the proceeds from Bella, a blend of Tempranillo, Refosco, Barbera, Primitivo, Merlot and Syrah, benefits the Mt. Rainier Chapter of the American Red Cross’s blood bank. This wine’s label is in homage to the region’s fame as home to the Twilight book and movie series.

    Westport’s other red blends, Jetty Cat and Boom Runner, each earned bronze medals in this competition. Jetty Cat, a scrappy blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Franc, benefits the Harbor Association of Volunteers for Animals (HAVA). Boom Runner, a bold blend of Syrah and Merlot aged in French oak, benefit Hoquiam’s Polson Museum. Founded in 2006 by Christopher Chan the Seattle Wine Awards is the largest wine competition in Washington State.

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