Search This Blog

Friday, May 31, 2013

Volunteer Opportunity: Ground-Truthing!

What is Ground-Truthing?

Ground-Truthing: Collecting factual information about a specific area by actually visiting that area.  Ground-Truthing provides fact-finding support by documenting information regarding management, maintenance, current conditions, and apparent use of forest roads.

Why is Ground-Truthing Important?
Does this look like a road?
 In all of our wildlands campaigns it is essential that we have the ability to confidently demonstrate and justify the inclusion of lands within our wilderness proposals.

Oftentimes, what is labeled as a “road” on a map is not an accurate representation of what actually exists in real life.  That road may have been converted to a trail.  It may have been officially or unofficially decommissioned and is no longer passable by vehicle.  That road may not have seen any human visitors in decades and it may be 100% overgrown and impossible to find.  The information gathered during Ground-Truthing trips is often the most current data available about these “roads” and that is invaluable for our wildlands campaigns.

How can volunteers help?
Over the past two years, volunteers have chipped away at our long list of “roads” by taking photos and recording notes about current conditions. 

Could your car or truck drive on this?
Examples of what volunteers may be asked to document include: visible road maintenance and/or degradation, off road vehicle damage, bridge site materials, inventories of culverts on roads, signs of human visitation (campsites, shooting ranges, illegal dumping, etc.), evidence of wildlife, and whether or not the road still exists. 

We have specific places that we need volunteers to Ground-Truth, so this isn’t a project that one can undertake independently.  Currently all of our Ground-Truthing needs are on the Olympic Peninsula in support of the Wild Olympics Campaign. 

Wild Olympics Campaign Ground-Truthing Stats:
This is definitely not a road! 
2011-2012 Accomplishments
7 volunteers ground-truthed 23 segments of “road” and hiked 62 miles in the process

Remaining for 2013
10 segments of “road” and approximately 26 miles of hiking remain – it would be excellent to complete the remaining segments this summer.

How can you get involved with 
The best way to get involved is to attend a volunteer training.  These trainings will provide information about where and how to Ground-Truth, how to be safe while on a Ground-Truthing trip, and how to return the data to Washington Wild once you are home.  

Upcoming Training Opportunities
·         Thursday June 6th
·         Saturday July 13th
More information about both trainings can be found here

To RSVP for either training or to ask questions, contact or
call our office at 206-633-1992.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Announcing Washington Wild's 2013 Summer Photo Contest!

Love to get out in the wild? Are you planning any trips this summer for hiking, backpacking, climbing, rafting, or any other fun outdoor activity? We want to see where you go!

Photo by 2012 contest entrant Andy Porter - Sunrise at Shi Shi Beach, Olympic National Park
Washington Wild’s Summer Photo Contest will be held until August 15th, 2013. Simply take your camera on trips into Washington’s wonderful wild places (see details below) and snap some photos of landscapes, flora & fauna, recreation, people out in the wild, or whatever captures your eye. Then, send us your best shots!

Photos must be taken on federal lands within Washington State, both protected and unprotected, including the following (for a detailed map of these places, click here):

  • Any of Washington’s National Forests
  • Designated Wilderness areas
  • Inventoried Roadless areas
  • Any of Washington’s National Parks
  • Any wild rivers, streams or lakes on federal land
  • Any areas within pending proposed wilderness including the Alpine Lakes Additions and the Wild Olympics proposals

The photos that you send in will be entered into a photo contest and the TOP 3 PHOTOS will win a cash prize from Washington Wild!
  • First Prize = $100
  • Second Prize = $50
  • Third Prize = $25
These TOP 3 PHOTOS will also be printed in large format, matted, framed, and displayed during our annual dinner and auction this fall! Those top 3 photos will then be auctioned off at our annual dinner in the fall, with the proceeds going to support Washington Wild’s efforts to protect wild lands and waters in our state.

In addition, all winners and runner-ups will receive a one-year membership with Washington Wild! This includes regular updates in our e-newsletter, special invitations to our events, and a subscription to our print newsletter.

  • Please email your photo entries directly to
  • Please submit the following with your photo:
    • Be sure to include the location of your photo! We don’t need GPS coordinates, but tell us where you took the photo, including which wild area, and what the subject of the photo is (a specific mountain, river, roadless area, or trail).
    • Please submit your photo in one of the following photo formats: JPEG, TIFF, or PNG.
    • Please submit the highest quality (largest size) version of your photo – if your photo is too large to email, please contact or 206-633-1992.
  • The deadline for this photo contest is Thursday August 15, 2013 @ 5:00pm.
  • The Washington Wild Board of Directors and staff will make their decisions on the top 3 photos by September 1, 2013. The winners will be notified via phone and email, and will also be announced on our web site, our blog, and our Facebook page.

This photo contest is only open to people over the age of 18. By entering this contest, you agree to give over all legal and intellectual property rights of your photo(s) to Washington Wild. All photo entries (not just the winning photos) will become the sole property of Washington Wild and Washington Wild retains the rights to use those photos. All photo entries will be added to our media library; and photo entries will be eligible for public display on our website and/or any print or promotional materials including (but not limited to) brochures, postcards, posters, newsletters, calendars, handouts, and educational materials. If Washington Wild chooses to use a photo submitted during this contest for any printed material(s), the photographer will receive full photo credit in the form of his/her name and subject of the photo listed under the photo. If we auction off your photo, we are simply selling a copy of that photo to the purchaser. The purchaser does not have the right to reproduce or use that photo in any way.

Thank you for your interest in helping us capture the beauty of Washington’s wild places! If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact or 206-633-1992.  

Friday, May 17, 2013

Come Hiking With Us!

It's that time of year!  Time to brush the cobwebs off your hiking boots, dig out your trail maps, and start planning your summer hiking trips.  We'd like to help you ease into planning mode, by organizing a most excellent early season outing for you! 

Next Saturday May 25th, long-time conservation advocate and Washington Wild friend, Harry Romberg, will be leading a hike for our members and supporters. The hike will follow the newly reconstructed Pratt Connector trail in the Middle Fork Valley.  It travels through part of the proposed Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions area and runs next to the Pratt River, which we are working to permanently protect with a Wild & Scenic River designation. 

It starts by crossing the impressive arch bridge over the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River and then heads southwest, following the Middle Fork downstream.  This hike features deep river pools, cliffside views, and an 8-foot diameter old-growth Douglas Fir!  There are many spectacular lunch and rest stops on the river or under the thick mossy canopy, weather depending.  Total distance is 5 to 8 miles round-trip (depending on the group’s preferences).  This is a relatively flat to slightly rolling hike. 

The updated version of the Pratt Connector Trail is likely not found in any guidebooks, as it was revamped by Washington Trails Association  trail crews so recently.  Old descriptions of this hike make it sound like a nightmare: tough route-finding, significant bushwhacking, mud, water crossings... there will be none of that!  Trails crews eliminated all of those difficulties, so this trip should be straightforward and fully enjoyable.

Date: Saturday May 25th
Time: 9:00am

Meeting Place: Middle Fork Trailhead, 11.8 miles up the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Road (Forest Road 56) just outside of North Bend.  A NW Forest Pass is required to park at the trailhead.
Cost: Free! 


If you would like to attend, please email Christine 
or call our office at 206-633-1992.


Friday, May 10, 2013

Brewsheds and Seattle Beer Week

I spent the better part of this glorious Friday afternoon touring Seattle.  Specifically, I visited a sampling of Seattle's best pubs and breweries to meet with the owner's about BREWSHEDS!  
Rest assured, Washington Wild is not hanging up its conservation hat in order to enter the brewery promotion business; we remain staunchly committed to protecting Washington's wild lands and waters through Wilderness and Wild & Scenic River designations.  Our Brewsheds project, however, is a simple and logical way help Seattle's faithful craft beer drinkers connect with our watershed protection work. 
Watersheds are Brewsheds. Most of the delicious craft beer that we enjoy in these parts is made all the tastier by the water that wets it.  This water comes from the Cedar River Watershed, the Skagit River, from springs around Snoqualmie, from Icicle Creek... the list is long, varied, and depends entirely on geography. 

So while you're out enjoying Seattle Beer Week (May 9th-19), see if you can spot some of Washington Wild's Brewshed fliers around town. Talk with your friends about Brewsheds.  Talk with the local and regional brewers who'll be converging on Seattle to share their products, and tell them why watershed health matters for their businesses.  Talk with your families or total strangers!  Help us spread the Brewshed word.

Washington Wild's Brewshed project is small, but growing quickly - because it's a simple and logical way to connect something many love (local craft beer) to something that typically exists somewhere in the cluttered junk drawers of many minds (watershed health).  We are grateful to the business that enthusiastically support our Brewshed project, and we look forward to growing our Brewshed network of brewers and breweries in the future.  

Have a phenomenal weekend, and don't forget to talk about Brewsheds! 

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Seattle Foundation’s GiveBig Campaign is Wednesday May 15th!

GiveBIG gives us more.

Every dollar you donate will be augmented by a percentage of the Foundation’s funding!  

In 2012 the Seattle Foundation’s GiveBIG campaign generated $7.43 million for more than 1,100 local nonprofits. More than 37,800 individuals from all 50 states and 23 foreign countries donated between 12:00am-11:59pm. The Seattle Foundation stretched these gifts further, matching a share of every contribution with a pool of funds provided by corporate sponsors, individual contributors and the Foundation. (source)

 Your donation will help Washington Wild fulfill its mission.
Your donation will help Washington Wild protect and restore places like these:

  • If you gave in 2012 or 2011, please consider giving again in 2013.
  • If you have been thinking about donating to or becoming a member of Washington Wild, May 15th is the perfect day to make that happen, as every dollar you donate will be matched by the Seattle Foundation!
  • If you have never given to a charitable organization before, Wednesday May 15th is a phenomenal day to start.
  • Every dollar counts, so instead of getting a latte on May 15th, get a delicious cup of drip and donate the balance to Washington Wild – those dollars add up fast!
Last year we set our goal at $8,000 for GiveBIG day, and we met that goal. Our goal of this year is $10,000. We know this goal is attainable – and we need you to help us get there!