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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Washington Wild's 2012 Conservation Award Winners

 Washington Wild’s annual dinner and auction, a Wild Night Out, is coming up on November 10, 2012 at the Mountaineers Club in Magnuson Park. This is an annual tradition for WW and gives us the opportunity to engage with our supporters in an intimate setting with good drinks, food, and of course, auction items!

During this event, we also present two awards – The Karen M. Fant Founder’s Award and the Conservation Voices Award. These awards are presented to people who have exhibited exemplary dedication and commitment to the conservation field over the course of a year.. This year, we are proud to be presenting the awards to the following individuals: 

2012 Karen M. Fant Founder’s Award: Tim McNulty

Tim McNulty is a poet, conservationist, and nature writer.  He has made his home on Washington's Olympic Peninsula since 1972, and currently resides in Sequim, WA.

Tim McNulty
Tim has written extensively on wilderness, forests, wildlife, and conservation issues for many publications, including American Forests, High Country News, The Oregonian, Slate, and The Seattle Times. His natural history books include Olympic National Park: A Natural History, Washington's Mount Rainier National Park, Washington's Wild Rivers: the Unfinished Work, and From the Air: Olympic Peninsula, The Art of Nature. Tim has also written eight books of poetry.

For most of the past four decades, Tim has been active in conservation issues in the Northwest.  He worked toward the successful passage of the 1976 legislation that added Shi Shi Beach and Point of Arches to Olympic National Park's coastal strip.  As a founding board member for Washington Wild, he played a key role in the passage of the 1984 Washington Wilderness Act, which protected more than 1 million acres of forest lands in Washington. Tim also worked for the successful passage of the Washington National Parks Wilderness Act in 1988, the Elwha River Ecosystem Restoration Act in 1992, and the establishment of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary in 1994. 

In 2012, Tim was a critical part of the Wild Olympics Campaign’s advocacy and education efforts, which culminated in legislation being introduced in Congress to protect 126,000 acres of new Wilderness and the first ever Wild and Scenic Rivers on the Olympic Peninsula. Tim also led a successful hike for Washington Wild this year to his beloved Lower Gray Wolf trail within the Wild Olympics proposed Wilderness and Wild and Scenic River designations. 

2012 Conservation Voices Award: Congressman Norm Dicks
For the past 36 years, Norm Dicks has represented the 6th Congressional district, which includes the Olympic Peninsula, and has been a dominating presence within the political landscape of both Washingtons.

Norm Dicks
The environment has always been a high priority for Rep. Dicks. He was responsible for a key wilderness designation – the Clearwater Wilderness near Mt. Rainier– as part of the 1984 Washington Wilderness Act. He helped support passage of several other Wilderness bills in Congress, including the Washington Parks Wilderness Act of 1988 and the Wild Sky Wilderness Act of 2008.

He has been an effective leader, who understands that our environment is the natural foundation on which our economy is built. As Chairman of the Interior Appropriation Subcommittee, he has championed critical funding for salmon recovery, National Parks, the removal of the Elwha dams, and restoring Puget Sound. Congressman Dicks also championed new federal funding to begin to deal with the problem of old and decaying logging roads on our national forests, which are posing aquatic risks to our watersheds due to decades of neglect and lack of maintenance.

In 2012, Congressman Dicks joined Senator Murray in introducing the Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, which would protect the first Wilderness on Olympic National Forest in more three decades and the first ever Wild and Scenic River designations. 

Please purchase your tickets today and join us for a truly Wild Night Out!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Washington Wild's Photo Contest Winners

This summer, Washington Wild held a photo contest, encouraging our members and supporters to take their cameras with them on their trips into Washington's wonderful wild places. We were amazed at the response - more than 50 entries! After much deliberation and careful consideration, our staff has selected our top three winners. These three photos will be printed and framed (by generous local donors), and available for purchase at our 2012 Wild Night Out, our annual dinner and auction.

In the meantime, please enjoy these beautiful shots!

Mt Shuksan, by David Rosen (first-prize winner)

Mt. Rainier from the summit of Mt. St. Helens, by Nathan Johnsen (second-prize winner)

Cutthroat Peak, by Jonathan Schmitz (third-prize winner)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Youth Go Hiking – A Partnership between Seattle Parks and Recreation and Washington Wild

On Saturday, September 29, 2012 a group of energetic teens and their two trusty leaders arrived at the Ira Spring trailhead for the first ever Seattle Parks and Recreation Meadowbrook Teen Life Center-Washington Wild Youth Hike.  The parking lot was overflowing with other eager hikers and a large party of trail workers from Washington Trails Association and Volunteers for Outdoor Washington, but they still managed to find their Washington Wild counterparts, Interim Executive Director Nancy Osborn Nicholas and Volunteer Coordinator Christine Scheele.  Kevin J. Roberson, Recreation Specialist at the Meadowbrook Teen Life Center helped to forge this partnership, and leaders Glenn Hubbard,  Teen Development Leader, and Brittney Sims, Recreation Attendant, both from the Meadowbrook Teen Life Center were brave enough to lead the youth into the woods.  The sky was overcast and there was a light mist enveloping everything, which served to make the entire endeavor feel seriously adventurous.

After a short talk about Leave No Trace principles and learning the federal government’s definition of “wilderness,” we were on our way.  The youth took photos while they hiked, so I will let their pictures tell the story from here.

At the trailhead – looking fresh and ready to go.  The trail begins in a dense second (or third?) growth forest and enters the alpine zone, and the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, after approximately 2 miles.

Trail break – rocks make great seats

Sisters go hiking!


Fall colors + amazing views + sunshine = why wild places in Washington are so amazing

Leader Glenn is a hiking blur

Nancy & Callie the dog enjoying the scenery and the exercise

Exposed talus slopes are an entirely different environment from the lush lowland forest the trail starts out in.  94% of designated wilderness in Washington’s National Forest lay in the alpine zone – high rock and ice-filled places with minimal tall trees.  Washington Wild is working to change this statistic.  The lower part of the Ira Spring trail is in the proposed Alpine Lakes Wilderness addition.

About one third of the way into the hike, the trail gets steep (not that the first third was flat… it wasn't flat at all).  Two of the teens were surprised to learn that they were hiking on the side of a mountain (Bandera) and, looking up, were even more surprised that they were “going up there.”  The trail crosses multiple slide areas that provide unobstructed views both up and down the mountain.  This can be awesome because the views are amazing, but it can also be intimidating because you can really see how far UP you still need to hike.
Getting down to Mason Lake (yup, you climb up and up, only to have to hike DOWN to get to the actual lake) by clambering over boulders was a new experience for some.  All participants, however, deemed arriving at Mason Lake to be worth the energy, sweat, and effort required to get there.

While at Mason Lake, we asked the group to record some of their thoughts about the hike on paper.  These are the responses we received:

At first, when I knew we were going up a mountain, I was like, “Oh HE§§ NO!”  But when I got here, I was like, “This is worth it!”

This was such a great experience.  It was very scenic and peaceful.  I feel very blessed to have come on this journey!  There is a distinct presence of serenity in the atmosphere near the lake.

All in all it was a beautiful, rewarding day in a special place with great company.  With only a few weeks left before the snow flies in the high country, I encourage all of you to explore Washington’s wild places and appreciate what a spectacular state we live in.

The mission of the Seattle Parks and Recreation Meadowbrook Teen Life Center is to provide a safe environment for youth to explore, learn and grow. We build programs year round that are a platform for youth voices, including programs with a specific focus on environmental appreciation.

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Day on the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Trail

This past Saturday, October 6th, Washington Wild organized a hike to the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Trail, lead by special guest Mark Boyar. With sunny skies, beautiful fall colors, and energy to spare, we traversed this trail, located just outside of the proposed Alpine Lakes Wilderness additions. Find out more about what Washington Wild is doing to protect this wild place here, and enjoy the pictures!

Photos courtesy of hike attendees Roger Lippman and Joyce Fowler, as well as membership & development director Kimberly Adank. Thanks!

Reflections in the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River

Suspension Bridge over the River

Our hiking group on the suspension bridge

Garfield Mountain

Interim E.D. Nancy Osborn Nicholas

Suspension bridge over the river

Fall colors

Garfield Mountain
Hike attendees (hi, Evelyn!)