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Friday, February 26, 2010

Possible Protected DNR - Blanchard Mountain

Posted by: Michael Lanthier

“Blanchard Mountain is a treasure for the state of Washington and needs to be protected in perpetuity,” said Commissioner Goldmark. “By creating an NRCA for 1600 acres on Blanchard Mountain and maintaining the balance as a working forest, we can ensure that area is available to the public for its amazing recreation opportunities, rich wildlife habitat and sweeping views for generations to come.”

Beginning this spring DNR will begin the process to create Blanchard Mountain as a Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA). Replacement working timber lands will be purchased as funds are available.

Blanchard Mountain is a great example of how you passionate grassroots voice can have a tremedous impact. A group of Skagit County citizens formed the Blanchard Mountain Project, which has been working for many years to protect the area.

Looking to hike through the area? Hike through on the Pacific Northwest Trail and find the "Bat Caves" of Oyster Dome.

Friday, February 19, 2010

It Feels A Little Like Spring Out There!

Posted by: Amber Benson

I don't know about the rest of you, but I find myself simply giddy when we have weather like we've had the last couple of days. Lucky for us, the weekend is shaping up to not disappoint. With that being said, this weekend seems like a great opportunity to ditch the flip-flops I've been so optimistically wearing, don some better hiking attire and hit up a trail or mountain. is calling for temperatures in the high 50s both Saturday and Sunday. If you're looking for some trails that haven't been beaten down by winter's harsh conditions, check out Right now the website is highlighting 11 year-round, state parks hikes which you may not have known about.

Also, according to the Seattle Times, The Issaquah Alps Trails Club is offering a 4-mile hike at Lake Tradition tomorrow, Feb. 20. There is also information about snowshoe walks at both Stevens Pass and Snoqualmie Pass. Both run all weekend. For Snoqualmie Pass, visit this website, And if you'd prefer to head north into the Cascades, check out the Stevens Pass walk at

Enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend and, as always, if you take any pictures you'd like to share with us, feel free to email them to

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Celebrating 90 Years. Polly Dyer

Posted by: Michael Lanthier

Polly Dyer has been a leading conservation activist in the Pacific Northwest for over half a century. At The Mountaineers clubhouse over 200 people joined to celebrate her 90th birthday.

Polly has been a prominent figure in virtually every major campaign to protect wilderness in the state of Washington. She is one of the grassroots activists whose tireless efforts resulted in the passage of the Wilderness Act which has led to the protection of over 100 million acres of wilderness over the past four decades. She played a major role in the designation of Glacier Peak Wilderness in the 1960’s, and in the creation of the North Cascades National Park in 1964.

Polly currently presides over the Olympic Coast Alliance, which is dedicated to protecting the land and sea interface that is encompassed by the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. Polly is passionate about wildlife, particularly wolves, and is currently serving on the wolves working committee, coordinated through the North Cascades Conservation Council, a group she co-founded over fifty years ago.

In honor of her great work and dedication, both King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn made a Proclamation that February 13 is Polly Dyer Day! Also, in recognition of the body of Polly’s life work, Congressman Jay Inslee made a statement on the floor of the House of Representatives. That statement is now a part of the Congressional Record.

Happy Birthday Polly and we look forward to many more years of your enthusiastic support and dedication to protecting Washington's wild places for generations to enjoy.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Local Sportsman Speaks About Importance of Wild Backcountry

Posted By: Amber Benson

When it comes to the sports of hunting and fishing, many people are unable to also see the connection to conservation and protection. It’s that stigma that the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers are hoping to change.

Born around an Oregon campfire, the group has members in all 50 states. The non-partisan group is founded on a mission to ensure America’s outdoor heritage in an outdoor setting, through education and work on behalf of clean water and wilderness. Currently, its primary focus is on the illegal use of ATVs and ORVs on public land. One of the organization’s bumper stickers reads, “Use the quads that God gave you.” BHA has also worked closely with Washington Wilderness Coalition to garner support for the now designated Wild Sky Wilderness, the proposed additions to the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and the national push to protect our nation’s roadless backcountry.

Gregg Bafundo, Washington Chair for BHA, joined the group after years as an avid rock climber. Feeling like there was always an element missing from his sporting endeavors, he decided to give bow hunting a try. “I always felt like something was missing. As I phased out rock climbing, and started hunting, I realized I could become a participant in nature and wilderness. It’s in that part that I’ve really begun to understand what goes on out there.”

When it comes to environmental issues, Washington state is often viewed as a more left-leaning state. Gregg says that provides BHA with the unique opportunity to bridge the gap between traditional environmental groups and traditional hunting groups. “It’s a chance to allow hunters to know we have more in common with environmental groups and vice versa.” He says there’s a struggle to get understanding among environmental groups that hunters and fishers do want to protect wild places. Along with that, there’s a need to show hunters and fishers that increased protection means more fish and game and a more wild atmosphere.

To hear more about wilderness protection from Gregg’s perspective as a hunter and angler, come hear him speak Tuesday, February 10 at the Washington Wilderness Coalition (305 N. 83rd St, Seattle, WA 98103). The event starts at 6:30 and will include wine, beer, and light appetizers. To RSVP, email

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Administration's Commitment to the Public's Forests

Posted by: Michael Lanthier

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack gave a statement on this year's 2010 budget. For our forests he says, "We will ensure our national forests and private working lands are conserved, restored, and made more resilient to climate change, while enhancing our water resources."

You can TAKE ACTION by asking Senator Cantwell to continue to push Secretary Vilsack and the Obama administration to uphold the Roadless Rule, which ensures the conservation of about 58 million acres that are key for climate change, water resources, and continued recreational opportunities that benefit local economies.