DNR, partners offer unique experiences on Natural Areas Appreciation Day June 19
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DNR, partners offer unique experiences on Natural Areas Appreciation Day June 19 
 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
                                                                                                         
June 9, 2010
 
DNR, partners offer unique experiences on Natural Areas Appreciation Day June 19
Tours and Work Parties to honor Natural Areas

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Pacific Northwest Interagency Natural Areas Committee are sponsoring events to honor Natural Areas Appreciation Day throughout the Northwest on Saturday, June 19, 2010.

Some of the most exquisite native ecosystems in Washington State and Oregon will be open for the public to help improve trails, pull invasive plants, and take a tour. The public is invited to celebrate Washington’s natural areas by joining DNR staff and partners on June 19 to help care for several Natural Resources Conservation Areas (NRCA) and Natural Area Preserves (NAP). In addition to helping out, work-party will be guided on a special tour of each site.

DNR manages a statewide system of Natural Resources Conservation Areas and Natural Area Preserves − 130,000 acres − to protect native ecosystems and the plant and animal species that depend on them. Many natural areas also provide access for education, research and low impact public use. Natural Area Preserves include 35,361 acres at 53 sites (with the highest level of protection for native species and ecosystems), Natural Resources Conservation Areas consist of 94,479 acres at 29 sites, which protect ecosystems and unique natural features and provide limited low impact public use.

Following are opportunities and contacts to get more information, get directions to the sites, and to sign up to various areas that people may choose to experience.

Camas Meadows NAP- Work Party and Wildflower Walk
What:  This work party will clear small pines to improve habitat for the federally endangered Wenatchee Mountains Checker-mallow. After the work party, DNR biologists will guide a wildflower walk in this spectacular site with large open wildflower meadows dotted with quaking aspen groves.
When:  Work party: 9 a.m. to noon. Wildflower walk: 1p.m. to 3 p.m.
What to bring:  Bring gloves and a tool for clearing small pines (loppers, hand saw, hatchet etc), also bring a lunch and water.
Contact:  Keyna Bugner (360) 925-0906, or Tony Sachet (509) 925-0940

Table Mountain NRCA Hike
What:  This fairly strenuous hike up Table Mountain starts at Bonneville Hot Springs. We’ll do some trail clearing and other light trail work along the way. The 8-mile round trip has some very steep and rocky sections, but from the top, spectacular views of the Columbia Gorge and the Bonneville Landslide are well worth the climb. Come learn about rare plant communities on balds, and rare plant and animal species. With luck, we’ll see peregrine falcons that nest on the cliffs, other wildlife and wildflowers. 
When:  9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
What to bring: Bring sturdy hiking boots, loppers or handsaw, lunch and two quarts of water.
Contact:  Carlo Abbruzzese (360) 575-5056

Mima Mounds NAP Hike
What:  This short, easy 1-to-2 mile guided walk over relatively flat ground will be lead by Mima Mounds site stewards Cliff Snyder and Barry Bidwell. They will talk about some of the many theories on how these mysterious mounds were formed. They also will point out wildflowers, butterflies and birds. Participants will get a full color 8-page Mima Mounds butterfly guide, and learn about efforts to protect these beautiful prairie and oak forest communities. 
When: 9 a.m. to noon
What to bring:  Bring walking shoes/hiking boots, binoculars, and a lunch and water if you plan to eat lunch on one of the picnic tables after the walk.
Contact:  Carlo Abbruzzese (360) 575-5056 

Mount Si NRCA 
Little Si Trailhead— Invasive Plant Removal
What: This will be an invasive plant removal project sponsored by the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust.  Volunteers will help eradicate Himalayan blackberry, scotch broom, and butterfly bush. 
When:  9 a.m. to 3p.m. (volunteers can work a half day)
What to bring:  Gloves, grubby clothes and a lunch. Tools will be provided.  Information will be provided when you sign up at the website below.
Contact:  Visit the Mountains to Sound Greenway website to sign up: http://mtsgreenway.org/volunteer/events

Mount Si NRCA 
Teneriffe Falls Trailhead – Trail work
What: This trail work party is sponsored by the Mountains-to-Sound Greenway Trust.  Volunteers will help work on trail maintenance such as installing waterbars and drainage, surfacing and repairing trail tread.  
When:  9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (volunteers may work a half day, too)
What to bring: Gloves, grubby clothes and a lunch…and some water. Tools and some water will be provided. Further information will be provided when you sign up at the website below.
Contact:  Visit the Mountains to Sound Greenway website to sign up: http://mtsgreenway.org/volunteer/events

Media Contact:  Jane Chavey, Senior Communications Manager, 360-902-1721 jane.chavey@dnr.wa.gov

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