Outdoor News - June 1, 2018
Crater Lake National Park Update
The North Entrance Road and West Rim Drive in Crater Lake National Park opened for travel last Friday afternoon, May 25. Superintendent Craig Ackerman announced that visitors will now be able to drive to and from the park via this popular route and access spectacular views of the lake from West Rim Drive. This is a very early opening for Crater Lake’s North Entrance. Warm temperatures and a low snow pack have resulted in a greatly accelerated spring opening this year.
Some snow still remains on the ground throughout the park. Snow depth is greater at many locations around the rim. All trails, including the Cleetwood Trail, are still closed and snow covered. However, it is possible to hike and bike on the parts of East Rim Drive that have been plowed, but are not yet open to traffic. National Park Service snow removal crews are now focusing their efforts on opening other parts of the park.
Crater Lake Lodge and Mazama Village Motor Inn are open for the season, and two loops of Mazama Campground are open for camping. The Rim Café and Annie Creek Restaurant are also open daily. For lodging reservations, please call (888)774-2728; for general concession information, please call (541)594-2255.
Steel Visitor Center in Munson Valley is open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Ranger talks are given at Crater Lake Lodge each day at 4:00 PM. More ranger-led programs, including boat tours and trolley tours, are scheduled to begin on Friday, June 22, 2018. For more information, call the Steel Visitor Center at (541)594-3100.
With several feet of snow still covering much of the park, visitors should be aware of potential hazards such as slippery snow patches and falling rocks. Please use caution when driving as icy and snowy roads can still occur this time of year, especially at night and in early morning hours. Steep snowfields still exist at many of the overlooks along Rim Drive, and visitors should use extreme caution to prevent falls. Please stay far
back from the edge! Because of the hazardous terrain that exists in the caldera surrounding Crater Lake, travel below the rim is prohibited at all times.
5000 Miles of Wild
5,000 Miles of Wild is a joint campaign of non-profit and corporate partners including: American Rivers, American Whitewater, Pacific Rivers, REI, Keen, OARS and many more. The goal is to protect 5,000 miles of new Wild and Scenic Rivers and one million acres of riverside lands nationwide in homage to the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
Of the total 5000 miles, 1,500 miles of newly protected rivers will come through federal legislation initiated by grassroots campaigns across twelve states; the other 3,500 miles are coming through federal administrative protections. But the 5,000 Miles of Wild Campaign won’t stop there. The campaign is also using the power of the people to collect and share 5,000 personal stories from around the country, get 500 kids out on rivers (free of charge) and secure at least 500,000 signatures to demonstrate broad support for river protection.
The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act protects the free and natural flow of a river and its special features. In particular it:
- Safeguards clean water
- Prevents activities that would significantly harm the river’s character and benefits
- Prohibits new dams or damaging water projects
- Protects land along the river — a quarter-mile protective buffer is established along Wild and Scenic Rivers flowing through publicly-owned lands.
- Requires a management plan with input from local landowners and other stakeholders
The Act recognizes that people and their needs change. The goal is to preserve the character of a river, and engage the local community in its management for the long-term.
For all the details on 5000 Miles of Wild see www.5000miles.org
Noise at Olympic National Park
ANACORTES, Wash. — One of the quietest places in the country is on the Olympic Peninsula, but its serene nature is under threat. Olympic National Park has become a refuge for people looking to get away from the noise pollution of cities. That includes Chuck Nelson, a veteran who moved from Seattle to a secluded location near the park.
But in recent years, the U.S. Navy has been flying aircraft known as Growlers over the park to their Whidbey Island air station. Growlers are considered one of the loudest planes in the sky. There are about 10-15 flights per day, and more could be coming.
For Nelson, that's a massive intrusion on an area that has acted as a form of therapy as he works through post-traumatic stress from 12 years of service. He talked about the jets' effect the first time he and some other veterans heard them. "And this Growler comes over, and those of us that are suffering from PTS were really affected by it - jumping off the trail, taking cover - and it was just a big trigger,” Nelson said.
Nelson is joining other veterans asking the Navy to move the training flights somewhere else. He said the Navy has not been very responsive to these calls, but has pointed to cost savings for training at Whidbey Island, as opposed to other locations in the Northwest.
Nelson is in a short documentary by the National Parks Conservation Association called "Hear Our Olympics," which will be screened today, in Anacortes. Rob Smith is the Northwest regional director for the National Parks Conservation Association. He said the park's Hoh Rain Forest acts as a natural sound chamber. Smith recently measured sound levels at rush hour from his office in Seattle and found they were the same as the noise from a Growler. Otherwise, the forest is 20-30 times quieter.
"The Hoh rain forest and the Olympic National Park should not sound like downtown Seattle at rush hour,” Smith said. He said it's increasingly hard to get away from the clamor of the city. "This is one of those places, one of those rare places, you can find that,” he said. “And we should keep that. And if the Navy flies somewhere else, they can train as they need to do, but we can also keep this very special feature."
Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - WA
New National Recreation Trails
On wednesday, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Michigan Natural Resources Commission announced the formation of an advisory body to identify new collaborative opportunities and further broaden a base of support for outdoor recreation and natural resources stewardship within the state. The Outdoor Recreation Advisory Council is composed of leaders in Michigan’s outdoor recreation business community, reflecting the manufacturing, retail and service sectors, as well as employers in health, community finance and other leading industries.
On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today designated 19 national recreation trails in 17 states, adding more than 370 miles to the national recreation trails system of more than 1,000 trails in all 50 states.
“By designating these new national trails, we acknowledge the efforts of local communities to provide outdoor recreational opportunities that can be enjoyed by everyone,” said Secretary Zinke. “Our network of national trails provides easily accessible places to exercise and connect with nature in both urban and rural areas while boosting tourism and supporting economic opportunities across the country.”
On Saturday, June 2, hundreds of organized activities are planned as part of American Hiking Society's National Trails Day®, including hikes, educational programs, bike rides, trail rehabilitation projects, festivals, paddle trips, and trail dedications. Trails of the National Recreation Trails system range from less than a mile to 485 miles in length and have been designated on federal, state, municipal and privately owned lands.
“The network of national recreation trails offers expansive opportunities for Americans to explore the great outdoors,” said National Park Service Deputy Director Dan Smith. “As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System, I hope everyone will take advantage of a nearby national trail to hike or bike.”
While national scenic trails and national historic trails may only be designated by an act of Congress, national recreation trails may be designated by the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture in response to an application from the trail's managing agency or organization.
The National Recreation Trails Program is jointly administered by the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service, in conjunction with a number of Federal and not-for-profit partners, notably American Trails, which hosts the National Recreation Trails website.
Secretary Zinke designated the following trails this year as national recreation trails:
- CALIFORNIA - Mt. Umunhum Trail - 3.7 miles
- FLORIDA - Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park Trail System - 20.85 Miles
- KANSAS - Fort Larned Historic Nature Trail - 1.1 miles
- MASSACHUSETTS - Fort River Birding and Nature Trail - 1.1 miles
- MICHIGAN - Iron Ore Heritage Trail - 47 miles and North Western State Trail - 32 miles
- MINNESOTA - Cannon Valley Trail - 19.7 miles
- MISSOURI - Wilson's Creek Greenway - 5 miles
- MONTANA - River Edge Trail - 53 miles
- NEW MEXICO - Climax Canyon Nature Trail - 3 miles
- NEW MEXICO AND TEXAS - Guadalupe Ridge Trail - 100 miles
- NEW YORK - Martin Van Buren Nature Trails - 3.7 miles
- PENNSYLVANIA - Jim Mayer Riverswalk Trail - 3.1 miles
- SOUTH DAKOTA - Blackberry Trail - 1 mile
- TENNESSEE - Bays Mountain Park Trail System- 40 miles
- TEXAS - Salado Creek Greenway - 15 miles
- UTAH - Corona Arch - 3 miles
- VERMONT - Wright’s Mountain Trails - 7.2 miles
- VIRGINIA Dahlgren Railroad Heritage Trail 15.7 miles
“The Blackberry Trail is an example of what a dedicated community can do to expand access to the Black Hills’ incredible landscapes,” said Congresswoman Kristi Noem. “Especially after the recent rehabilitation efforts, I am thrilled Secretary Zinke and the Trump administration have designated it as a National Recreation Trail.”
“The designation of the Guadalupe Ridge Trail as a National Recreation Trail will provide hikers and recreationalists the opportunity to see some of the most picturesque landscapes in New Mexico,” said Congressman Steve Pearce. “The trail itself will run 100 miles from Guadalupe Peak through the Lincoln National Forest and ends at Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Increasing access to our public lands is absolutely essential and something that I will continue to push for. I am happy to have helped work with local communities to make this come to fruition and applaud all those involved for their hard work.”
“As hundreds of thousands of Americans participate in American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day® on June 2 and celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the National Trails System Act all year, we applaud the opening of nineteen new recreational trails,” said American Hiking Society Executive Director Kathryn Van Waes. “Trails are an essential part of the fabric of our country and provide access to our public lands for all kinds of recreational users, from hunters and anglers to hikers and snow-shoers.”
Michigan Recreation Advisory Council
“Enjoying the great outdoors in many different ways is a significant driver of our state’s economy, and a big part of what draws people to visit, live and work in Michigan,” said Gov. Rick Snyder. “The creation of the Outdoor Recreation Advisory Council will pay dividends in both expanding the outdoor recreation economy and further supporting the enjoyment and stewardship of natural resources for all of Michigan.”
Millions of people participate in some form of outdoor recreation every year, and a recent DNR study found Michiganders spent 2.6 billion days a year engaged in these activities. A national Outdoor Industry Association study states that outdoor recreation generates $26.6 billion in consumer spending each year in Michigan and supports 232,000 jobs.
“This effort will create partnerships that can grow the outdoor recreation economy, as well as increase recreational opportunities and access for everyone – residents and visitors alike,” said NRC Commissioner Chris Tracy, who will chair the Outdoor Recreation Advisory Council. “It’s a win-win situation.”
The DNR also plans to hold public regional listening sessions to learn more about the needs and goals of outdoor recreation businesses and unlock potentially innovative ideas about delivering quality outdoor recreation experiences
“There are many potential connections to improve the relevancy of natural resources and outdoor recreation for Michigan,” said Vicki Pontz, NRC chair. “Recommendations that support and improve talent and business recruitment and retention in our state, connect outdoor recreation to healthy living, and anticipate emerging trends in recreation, are immensely valuable.”
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Video of the Week
Guadalupe Mountains National Park holds the tallest mountain in Texas and some rugged wilderness for your exploration pleasure. It also holds some fascinating history. Enjoy!