Park Newsletter February 2009

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Olympic Kicks Off Climate Friendly Park Program with Two-Day Workshop
Despite a surprise snowstorm, over 60 people gathered in Port Angeles this week for a two-day Climate Friendly Park workshop. A diverse group of community leaders, scientists and business people took part in the meetings, learning about the effects of climate change on the Olympic Peninsula and helping to generate specific action items for decreasing Olympic National Park's greenhouse gas emissions.

The workshop results, including Olympic National Park's Climate Action Plan, will be available in late spring.

The plan will describe a series of specific, targeted steps that the park will take to reduce its carbon footprint and help inform park visitors and the public about how they can become more climate friendly both at home and while visiting the park.

The Climate Friendly Parks (CFP) Program is a collaboration of the National Park Service and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is made possible in part by funding from the National Parks Conservation Association.

More information about the Climate Friendly Parks program is available at the NPS website. Interested in what you can do right now? Check out the Do Your Part for Climate Friendly Parks website!

man holding small radio antenna on a snow-covered slope; snow-capped mountains in background
A National Park Service researcher listens closely for radio signals from one of Olympic's reintroduced fishers.

Fisher Restoration Continues
Thirty-one fishers have been released into Olympic National Park so far this winter, in the second year of a three-year project to restore these animals to Washington and the park.

Biologists released two female fishers in the Hoh Rain Forest on Monday, February 23 in the last release of this winter.

About the size of a cat, and related to minks and otters, fishers vanished from Washington State decades ago because of over-trapping, and habitat loss and fragmentation. Over the duration of this three-year project, biologists hope to release a total of approximately 100 fishers within the park.

Each fisher is fitted with a tiny radio transmitter before release so that researchers can monitor their movements and survival. More information, including monthly updates from the monitoring effort, is available online.

Of the 49 fishers released so far, biologists continue to monitoring 40. Four animals are known to have died since their release; three are suspected to have died but have not been recovered and two radio transmitters are no longer functioning.

This project is possible through a partnership of agencies and organizations, with project management provided jointly by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Olympic National Park. The U.S. Geological Survey, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Olympic National Park are leading a research program, including monitoring, to evaluate the success of the reintroduction. Other partners and cooperators are providing financial or logistical support for management and research tasks.


Coming Soon ....

March 10Fishers Return to Olympic: An Update on Reintroduction
Join Olympic National Park's wildlife biologist, Patti Happe, for an update on the effort to reestablish these remarkable creatures in Washington State.
Read more.

April 14 - Fire History of Geyser Valley Masters Student Reed Wendel has spent the past two years reconstructing fire history by analyzing tree-ring scars. Join Reed in a discussion about the interactions between fires and forests in a well-known portion of the Elwha River Valley.

May 1 - Hood Canal Bridge will close for six weeks for major repairs, but the park and Olympic Peninsula will remain open for exploration and enjoyment. Read more.


Visitation Update
Through the end of January, Olympic recorded 108,179 recreation visits, a 26 percent increase over January 2008 when several park roads were closed by storm damage.

For more information, and monthly visitor use updates, check the National Park Service NPS Stats website.

What Do You Think?
Every year, staff at Olympic develop and analyze a variety of project proposals. While staff members are responsible for preparing environmental documents and making the final decision, we rely on members of the public to provide thoughtful input, fresh ideas and new perspectives.

The following proposals are now open for public review and comment.

Rehabilitation of the Boulder Creek trail and campground
The park proposes to restore a 2.2-mile section of the old Boulder Creek Road to a trail by removing the asphalt, improving and removing stream crossings, and restoring and rehabilitating the Boulder Creek campground. Open for comment through March 6. More.

Replacement of Griff Creek Culvert
The park is proposing to restore access for bull trout and other fish to Griff Creek through the replacement of a fish-blocking culvert under the Olympic Hot Springs Road. Open for comment through April 1. More.

Proposed changes to the park’s fishing regulations
The proposed changes apply only to non-tribal recreational angling within the park and are aimed at improving clarity of the regulations and better protecting park resources while providing high-quality recreational fishing opportunities for the public. Open for comment through March 11. More.

Last updated: February 28, 2015

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