Thursday, December 13, 2007

Field Notes

Here's a random assortment of current news and links related to volunteering:

Flood Recovery: Here's a great story in The Olympian about volunteer efforts in response to the flooding around Chehalis, including information about how you can help through the Volunteer Center of Lewis, Mason, and Thurston Counties. See also this report, from The Oregonian.

Olympic Flooding: Olympic National Park now has a page for reporting the current status of roads and trails in the park, which also includes some impressive photos of their flood damage. It's all eerily familiar to those of us at Rainier who went through this last winter. I spoke with Maggie Tyler, the volunteer coordinator there, a couple of days ago. They have many roads washed out or undermined, a lot of their trails are buried by snow and so we won't know until spring how much they were affected, hundreds of trees came down, the entrance station at Hoh Rainforest was flooded, and at the peak of the flood, the Elwah River came just barely short of overflowing its dam. Current details are in the December 13 edition of the National Park Service's Morning Report.

Flood Science: Last winter, volunteer Scott Beason and others surveyed the effects of the flooding on Mount Rainier National Park. Along with park geomorphologist Paul Kennard, he has now published his final report on what he learned, and it's fascinating reading. Right-click this link to download a copy of "Environmental and ecological implications of aggradation in braided rivers at Mount Rainier National Park."

Next Summer at Rainier: In other news, planning for next summer's volunteer program continues well. Jill Baum and I have met with several park supervisors, and we're all excited about next year's program, which will be similar to this year's but with volunteer coordinators "embedded" in some of the park's key programs. We've gotten good feedback, suggestions, and questions, and are fine-tuning plans, even as we begin hiring for next summer's Mount Rainier Recovery Corps! If you know of anyone who might be interested in applying, send them our way! We're also working hard on putting together an exciting schedule of volunteer training opportunities in May and June, including NPS volunteer management, Leave No Trace, Risk Management, CPR, Wilderness First Aid, work skills, and NPS Orientation. Should be a fun summer!

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