Saturday, June 28, 2014

THE Parade

​Support Mount Rainier National Park as we take part in this year's Eatonville 4th of July Parade.

This year we will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.

We need  6 "Wilderness is..." sign carriers, 2 sets of "banner babes and/or dudes", plus flag wavers, folks smiling, waving, and giving high fives.  If you normally wear a uniform, please do so for the parade. If you don't have a uniform dress in "wilderness attire". Park staff, volunteers, scouts and their family members are welcome to join.
If you wish to take part, we gather at 11:30 AM, usually on Pennsylvania Ave., near Lynch St., one block west of the football stadium at Eatonville High School.  The exact spot is different each year and is not known until we arrive.  Just look around for some ranger hats.  For more information contact Jim Ross.

Please join us!


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Join the Parade!

It's almost July and you know what that means - the Eatonville 4th of July Parade, Like always, Mount Rainier National Park will take part in this year's parade.

This year we will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.  Some of the signs we carry this year will say "Wilderness is . . ."  I would like you to finish that sentence with 1, 2, or 3 words.  Email your "Wilderness is . . ." to me (Jim_Ross{at} and it could be featured in the parade.

To make this a true celebration, we also need park staff and volunteers, including scouts.  We need flag wavers, sign carriers, "banner babes" (banner dudes?), and folks smiling, waving, and giving high fives.  If you normally wear a uniform, please do so for the parade. If you don't have a uniform dress in "wilderness attire".  Family members are also welcome to join.
If you wish to take part, we gather at 11:30 AM, usually on Pennsylvania Ave., near Lynch St., one block west of the football stadium at Eatonville High School.  The exact spot is different each year and is not known until we arrive.  Just look around for some ranger hats.  For more information contact Jim Ross.
Please join us!

Jim Ross

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

In Memory of Terry Kakida

To all Meadow Rovers and all those who worked with him, we are sad to announce the passing of Terry Kakida on June 18. In the words of his life partner, Liz Anderson, "If you visit Mount Rainier, the most beautiful place on earth to Terry, take a moment to remember his love of the mountain. And stay on the trails to make his volunteer ranger soul happy."

Terry ready for Mt. St. Helens crater 2013 - photo courtesy Liz Anderson

Monday, June 23, 2014


First, I would like to thank all of you who attended our New Meadow Rover Training this past Saturday and the Advanced Training on Sunday.  I would especially like to thank all of the presenters for their time and for sharing their knowledge…Gwen, Ed, Ryan, Emily, David, Kevin, Kirsten, Crow, you rock!

I have received the following announcement from Ranger Ryan McLoughlin regarding the Search and Rescue training he spoke of Sunday. 
“Please let all of your Meadow Rovers know we will be having a "Search and Rescue Type III" SRTIII (Team member level) this Saturday from 0800 to 1200. This is the entry level course for all Search and rescue work, and will go over:
-How to come prepared to an incident
-How to act safely during an incident
-Carryout procedures and packaging
-Saftey equipment familiarization
-Basic search tactics
-Risk refusal”
If you would like to attend this class this coming Saturday June 28, please e-mail me at either or I need to give Ryan an approximate number of attendees by Friday.
Again, thank you all for giving your time this past weekend.
Maureen McLean
Coordinator MORA Meadow Rovers

Thursday, June 19, 2014

MRNPA Exotics Removal - July 12

From John Titland:

The next Mount Rainier National Park Associates volunteer work party will be Saturday, July 12th.  This will be the annual Mount Rainier National Park Associates Exotic Plant Removal work party.  We will be working at the site of the new Carbon River Ranger Station, which is located a few miles west of the Carbon River Entrance of the park on the Carbon River Road.  The ranger station occupies a building that was formerly identified as the Carbon River Ranch.  The property extends all the way down to the Carbon River.  I am sure we will be able to find an abundance of invasive, exotic plants to remove.

To participate in the Exotic Plant Removal work party there is no need to know about native plants.  The NPS crew members we will work with will teach you which plants to remove, and they will be able to identify for you all the native plants in the area.  There will be no heavy tools (like shovels and pulaskis) to carry and use.

Things you should bring are work gloves, a small digging tool like a hand trowel, or your favorite weed removing tool, your lunch, plenty of fluids to drink, and a full set of rain gear.  A warm jacket would be good to include.  If you have a reflective safety vest, bring that too. 

We will meet at 8:30 AM in front of the ranger station.  Be ready to go to work by about 9:00 AM and expect to finish about 3:00 PM.

If  you plan to attend this work party, please reply to volunteer(at) indicating that you are coming and give me the number of volunteers you expect to accompany you.  I need an estimate of the number of volunteers who will attend.

John Titland
Volunteer Coordinator
Mount Rainier National Park Associates

SR 410 Traffic Delays - Summer 2014

The Washington State Department of Transportation will be performing chip-seal on SR 410  between Enumclaw and Chinook Pass. Travellers on this highway should expect delays of 30 minutes or slightly more through early July.

July through October, crews will temporarily close SR 410 to remove loose rock from the slopes east of Chinook Pass. Drivers will experience TWO to FOUR hour delays 6 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Thursday and 6 AM to noon on Fridays. Drivers need to plan ahead , be prepared to wait in traffic at the closure points or consider driving an alternate route.

Lanes temporarily open:
10 to 10:30 AM Monday through Friday
To minimize wait times, depart from Naches or Enumclaw by 9 AM.

Noon to 12:30 PM Monday through Friday
To minimize wait times, depart from Naches or Enumclaw by 11 AM.

2 to 2:30 PM Monday through Thursday
To minimize wait times, depart from Naches or Enumclaw by 1 PM.

Can I avoid the closure?
To minimize traffic impacts, drivers may want to travel
* before 6 AM Monday through Thursday
* after 4:30 PM Monday through Thursday
* after 12:30 PM Friday
* any time Saturday or Sunday

Where can I find up-to-date travel information?
* check the weekly construction web page for region wide updates at
* sign up for email updates about SR 410 Chinook Pass at
* tune into the Highway Advisory Radio at 1610 AM
* dial 511 or check the weekly construction hotline 509-577-1944
* learn more about the SR 410 rock scaling project:

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Visitor Survey volunteers needed!

Here's an easy way to put in a few hours as a volunteer! Every year, the National Park Service hands out survey forms at primary visitor contact centers around Mount Rainier. These surveys help us to monitor how well we're meeting visitor needs, and to get a sense of where and how to improve. Survey time slots are 4 hours long, though during the busy summer period it usually doesn't take the whole time period to go through a stack of forms. Surveyors simply need to stand in a predetermined location at a set time and ask a random selection of visitors if they'd be willing to take a survey form, which can be mailed back at their convenience.

If you're interested in helping, please RSVP right away to so that we can set up our schedule. We'll follow up with more details about where to go and what to do. Here's the 2014 Survey Schedule -- and thank you for your help!

2014 Survey Schedule

  • Sunrise,  Friday 7/4/2014, 10:30AM-2:30PM
  • Paradise, Saturday 7/5/2014, 12:30PM-4:30PM
  • Ohanapecosh, Sunday 7/6/2014, 12:30PM-4:30PM
  • Longmire, Monday 7/14/2014, 12:00PM-4:00PM
  • Longmire, Thursday 7/17/2014, 12:30PM-4:30PM
  • Paradise, Wednesday 7/23/2014, 9:00AM-1:00PM
  • Ohanapecosh, Tuesday 7/25/2014, 9:00AM-1:00PM
  • Sunrise, Saturday 7/26/2014, 3:00PM-7:00PM

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Cascade Carnivore Project

If you are interested in joining the Cascade Carnivore Project volunteer crew for the 2014 Field Season (July 1-Sept.30) as a trail steward, read on!

Jocelyn Atkins (Project Coordinator for CCP) is looking for dedicated hikers to collect carnivore scats from one to four trails. In order to join this trail stewardship effort, you will need to commit to a minimum of 3 hikes between July 1 and September 30. You are free to select any 3 dates which work for you within this timeframe. If you want to do them all together, you will need to sign up for 3 different trails. If you would like to sign up for three well-spaced dates, you can opt for the same trail or different ones, as you prefer. There will be no formal training for this position. Ms. Atkins will send you supplies and the field protocol to guide you.

As a trail steward, you will photograph and collect any putative montane red fox, wolverine, coyote or gray wolf scat for genetic DNA analysis in order to investigate the conservation status and connectivity of the montane red fox and the wolverine in the Cascade Range. GPS and camera will be helpful, but they are not required.

If you are interested in becoming a trail steward, select the trail(s) you would like to steward from the following list and contact Ms. Atkins via cascadescarnivore(at) with the trail name(s) and number of visits (1-4) you intend to make.

If you have sighted a montane red fox or a wolverine in Washington or Oregon or would like to suggest a trail you think might be a good spot to detect one, the Cascades Carnivore Project would love to hear about it.

You may follow the Project's blog postings at

Mt Rainier & Tatoosh Wilderness Trail Stewardships

• Wonderland Trail – any sections
• Paradise to Panorama Point
• Paradise River Trail
• High Lakes Trail from Reflection Lakes to Skyline Trail
• Sunrise area – any trails
• Burroughs Loop Trail
• White River to Glacier Basin (optional to St. Elmo's Pass)
• White River to Emmons Moraine Trail (terminus)
• Kautz Creek Trail (at least 6 miles out - 12 miles round trip)
• Eagle Peak from Longmire
• Summerland
• Paul Peak Trail
• Mowich Lake to Eagle's Roost
• Mowich Lake towards Mowich River (1 mile out - 2 miles round trip)
• Tatoosh Lakes

Phenology Photo Op!

Visitors love coming to the park to view our wildflowers, but I need your help to update what's blooming where.

As you're out working in the park this summer, please let me know what flowers you see blooming, whether that is in a meadow, on a trail, or alongside a park road. I'm also looking for photos of currently blooming wildflowers - your photo may be featured on the park website and social media sites!

Wildflower updates are posted weekly on the park website at and on facebook at

So what to email me:

  • Name of wildflower (or a photo if you don't know the ID)
  • Location of wildflower in the park (Ex. Longmire Campground, Silver Falls trail, Grand Park, Sunrise Road, etc)
That's it! Thanks for the help!

Contact Kristyn Loving via kristyn_loving(at)

Friday, June 13, 2014

Take 2! Interpretive Training

There are a very limited number of spaces still available if you are interested in taking the second round of Interpretive training. This session will be held at the Tahoma Woods Ed Center on Monday, June 23 and covers the following topics:

8:30-9:30 am Resource and Visitor Protection (Craig Brouwer)
9:30-10:30 am Vegetation, I&M, Climate Change (Lou Whiteaker)
10:30-11:30 am Wilderness (Kraig Snure) 
11:30-12:30 pm Animal Communities (Mason Reid) 
12:30-1:00 pm LUNCH 
1:00-2:00 pm Human Habitation (Greg Burtchard) 
2:00-3:00 pm Authority of the Resource (Casey) 
3:00-4:00 pm Historic Features (Sueann Brown) 
4:00-5:00 pm Tectonics (Sierra) 

If you'd like to attend this session, contact Kevin Bacher kevin_bacher(at) immediately! "First come, first served" applies!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

AT LAST! Meadow Rover Training Info!

Plans for Meadow Rover Training are finally coming together.  For those of you who are doing Meadow Watch with the University of Washington, your day will start on the 21st at 9:30 at the Education Center, Park Headquarters, 55210 238th Avenue East, Ashford, Washington 98304.

Meadow Watch will end at 11:30 and Meadow Rover Training for new rovers will begin at 12 noon.  Be sure to bring your lunch, snacks and mug to drink from.  Training will be finished by 5:00.  New rovers are encouraged to return Sunday to meet with the returning rovers.  Training on Sunday, will begin at 9:30 and end around 3:30.  Sunday’s training will be held at the Community Building at Longmire. 

For those of you that have requested a campsite at Longmire, you should be getting a confirmation e-mail.  If you haven’t by Monday, double check with me via the meadow rover e-mail.  

I look forward to seeing all the returnees and meeting the new rovers.

Maureen McLean
Coordinator MORA Meadow Rovers

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Volunteers needed to paint Ohanapecosh Amphitheater

After being closed last year due to budget cuts, the Ohanapecosh Visitor Center will be back open part-time this summer! A key part of restoring the evening campfire programs that have been such a tradition at Ohanapecosh will be repairing and repainting the amphitheater where they are presented. The projection stage, as you can see in this photo, is tattered and careworn from years of exposure.

Volunteers are needed!
We need 4-6 physically fit volunteers who can spend a day working with maintenance rangers to repaint the amphitheater and make it look fresh for the summer season.

Thursday, June 19, 2014 is the tentative date of this project; Friday, June 20 is our backup date if we can't find enough volunteers available on the 19th or if the weather is poor.

Please RSVP to Kevin Bacher at Kevin_Bacher (at) or 360-569-6567 if you can help on either June 19 or 20. We will provide tools and supplies, including brushes, stepladders, and paint; you wear clothes that can get dirty and bring a lunch and plenty of water. We'll make a campsite available to you for free at Ohanapecosh or any of our other park campgrounds, for the nights before and/or after the project.

Be part of restoring Ohanapecosh to its rightful status as one of Mount Rainier National Park's special places!

Volunteer Newsletter: June 2014

Last year's volunteers set up platform tents
in the Longmire Stewardship Campground
Upcoming Events

Saturday, June 7 - Longmire Campground Projects
For the last seven years, Mount Rainier National Park has hosted an annual volunteer event for geocachers, and their families and friends, asking their help to prepare the Longmire Volunteer Campground for summer use. This year, we have some special construction projects to make the day even more satisfying, and we need all the hands we can get. All our volunteers are invited to participate!

The first order of business will be to erect the platform tents which serve as housing for summer volunteers. Next, we'll move to construction of wooden picnic tables. Last fall, the Japan Volunteers-in-Parks Association built ten of these massive, old-style tables, but plans to build more in October had to be cancelled when the government shutdown occurred. We hope that volunteers at this event will be able to build as many as 15 more. The wood is on site, but we need the manpower. Please join us for this event!

Saturday, June 7 - National Trails Day and beyond
Mount Rainier National Park is pleased to welcome the Washington Trails Association back to Mount Rainier this summer. As in past years, WTA will be leading trail maintenance projects every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday into September. Check their website at and click the "Volunteer" link to find a list of events planned over the next couple of weeks.

Saturday, June 14 - MRNPA Trails project
This will be a trail maintenance project on the Wonderland and Glacier Basin Trails. Visit for details, and write to John Titland at volunteer(at) to sign up.

Saturday, June 14 - Adopt-a-Highway Litter Patrol
Mount Rainier's volunteers partner with the Washington State Dept. of Transportation to make litter patrols along Hwy 706 three times a year. For more information or to sign up, contact Crow at petrina_vecchio(at)

Thursday, June 19 - Ohanapecosh Amphitheater Painting
Volunteers are needed to repaint the Ohanapecosh Amphitheater in preparation for its reopening! We're looking for half a dozen physically fit volunteers. Contact Kevin Bacher at Kevin_Bacher(at) if you're interested in helping.
Saturday, June 21 - MeadoWatch and Basic Meadow Rover Training

The MeadoWatch training session to be held at Mount Rainier National Park headquarters is now booked to capacity, but if you would still like to attend a training session, two more will be offered at the University of Washington's Hitchcock Hall. The dates are Thursday, June 5th from 7pm-9pm and June 7th from 9:30am to 11:30am. For further details, please contact Anna Wilson at mwatch(at)

To register for Meadow Rover training, contact Maureen McLean at MORA_Meadow_Rovers(at) Rover training will run from 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. and will be held at the park's Education Center at 55210 238th Ave E, Ashford, WA 98304. (Go straight in, past the first parking lot and through the open gate, to reach the Education Center.)

Sunday, June 22 - Advanced Meadow Rover Training
Advanced Meadow Rover training will be held at the Longmire Community Building. Please sign up with Maureen McLean at MORA_Meadow_Rovers(at) Details will be coming soon, so make sure you're on our Meadow Rover mailing list to receive more information! Camping in the Longmire Stewardship Campground is available to volunteers attending the training. Note that this advanced training requires either attendance at the Basic training or previous experience as a Meadow Rover.

Wednesday, June 25 - New Employee Orientation and All-Park Safety Meeting
All volunteers are invited to attend New Employee Orientation (in the morning) and an All-Park Safety Meeting (in the afternoon) at Columbia Crest Elementary School in Ashford. This is a great opportunity to learn more about Park operations.

July - Citizen Science Season begins
If you've signed up to participate in one of our Citizen Science programs, but haven't heard from anyone about it, don't panic! We're still waiting for snow to melt, and our Citizen Science coordinator won't even come on duty until later this month. Expect to hear more by e-mail soon. If you've received this newsletter, you're on our mailing list!

Road Construction 101 for Volunteers and Visitors

A road well-traveled aptly describes the historic Nisqually to Paradise Road. It is the most common entry to popular destinations in Mount Rainier National Park. Like most roads that you travel, it too requires maintenance and periodic repairs.

This year, the main focus is on the seven miles from the Nisqually Entrance to Longmire. Taking advantage of the best weather, construction began in March 2014 and will continue throughout the spring and summer months.

The road continually endures impacts from thousands of cars, buses, and RVs. It sustains damage from nature's forces: snow, ice freezing and thawing, rain, and more snow. The road is also impacted by fallen trees and the Nisqually River meandering too close.

Improvements to the road will preserve its integrity as a popular scenic drive and provide continued safe access for years to come.

Updates on construction progress and delays can be found on the Park's website at or on our volunteer blog at Updates are also posted on the Park's Facebook page or you may call the Park's main phone number (360) 569-2211.

The key word is "patience." Allow extra time to drive to your volunteer assignment and remember to be courteous to visitors who may also have been held up by construction delays.


What Else Has Been Going On

Welcome, and welcome back!
This is the time of year when the largest number of volunteers--both full-time and part-time--come on duty at Mount Rainier. If you've been here before, welcome back, and if you're new, welcome! We're glad to have you here as part of our team!

The Meadow Rover program is gearing up
Maureen McLean is back to coordinate the Meadow Rover program, so if you have questions, need training or want to reserve a campsite in the Longmire Stewardship Campground, please contact her at MORA_Meadow_Rovers(at) Lynn Kittridge will be coordinating daily Meadow Rover operations over at Sunrise, once it opens on July 3.

Ravens return!
The Emergency Roadside Assistance, AKA "Raven," program is back this year! Rob Barker, from Alabama, and John Grubb, from Maryland, are our road heroes this year, helping with lockouts, dead batteries, and other minor emergencies.

Webelos get it done
If you haven't seen the report on our blog, check out the work this group of young volunteers accomplished in the Longmire Campground! We'd love to see your own photos from volunteer activities all over the park, so send your pictures and videos, or links to them, to the Volunteer Program Manager at Kevin_Bacher(at) We welcome your stories, too!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Update on MRNPA Trails Project, June 14

From John Titland:

"The June Mount Rainier National Park Associates trails work party on June 14th is ten days away.  We will meet at the White River climbers parking lot at 8:30 AM.  Be ready to move out by 9:00.  I am told we will work on the Wonderland Trail and the Glacier Basin Trails.  Sounds like a busy day!  As always, bring your lunch and a full set of rain gear."

If you haven't signed up already, contact John via volunteer(at)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Litter Patrol Needs YOU!

The June 14 Adopt-a-Highway litter patrol needs YOU! We only have a couple of people signed up so far, and would like to have at least eight. If you have two hours to devote to this community service project, please contact Crow by writing to petrina_vecchio(at) by June 10. If you have not participated in previous Adopt-a-Highway patrols, you are required to watch the Dept. of Transportation's short training video, available at

We will be gathering at the Park's Tahoma Woods Headquarters at 10 AM. Work should not continue past noon and may end earlier. Gloves, bags and "long-armed grabbers" will be supplied. Please join us!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Campground Cleanup Crew

If you are camping in the Longmire Stewardship Campground, you can thank the Webelos of Troop 850 and their parents for helping clean up the winter storm debris. The seven young men shown in this photo alongside Volunteer Coordinator Crow Vecchio and Campground Hosts Jim and Lorraine Cherry were as hard-working, enthusiastic batch of workers as anyone could want. Armed with only with rakes and spirit, they gathered downed branches from around the platform tent sites and carried them far, far away into the forest, distributing them as Nature would have done. It was my pleasure to work with these young gentlemen who, to everyone's delight, presented several humorous skits after their duties were completed.

Upcoming WTA Trails Projects

The WTA (Washington Trails Association) will be conducting work parties throughout the summer and have party-size limits in place. If you'd like to join them in working on the trails, the following dates still have space available.

June 6-8: Help maintain the West Boundary Trail on Mount Rainier near Carbon River. The crew will help get this trail back into shape, removing downed logs and repairing any damaged tread. When the work is completed on the West Boundary Trail, we'll move on to the Mine Trail.

June 14-15 : Continued work on the West Boundary Trail and Mine Trail.

June 20-22: The crew will be working on sections of the Wonderland near Longmire in the southwest corner of the park. This project includes annual maintenance including drainage, tread repair and brushing. If/when work on the Wonderland trail is completed, we will move on to do maintenance on other trails in the Longmire area.

June 28-29: Continued work on the Wonderland Trail near Longmire.

July 4-6: Continued work in the Longmire area.

As always, volunteers for these events may camp for free in the Longmire Stewardship Campground. Please make your reservations at least one week in advance by contacting Campground Host Jim Cherry james_cherry(at) Platform tents will not be available until June 7 (see previous post if you'd like to help put up the platform tents).