Thursday, June 30, 2016

Hike with a Purpose!

Volunteers are needed to hike popular trails in the park, such as trails to Comet Falls, Summerland, and Spray Park (3-4 hour round trip hikes); this is to support research on trail conditions and crowding in the park.

Along the trail, volunteers would record the number and time they passed each park visitor. Volunteers would be required to spend a set amount of time at the destination (likely around 20 - 30 minutes) and then asked to record the number and time they pass visitors on their return to the trailhead.

We need approximately 12 - 15 people for this project. Due to a desire for consistent data, preference will be given to folks that can commit to hiking 6 or more surveys (trails to destination and back) on a variety of days.

Required skills:
Diligence in accurately recording encounters
Faithful and timely return of clearly recorded data
The ability to hike in the manner of an "average visitor" (sorry, no trail running)
You will be able to pre-select dates
The ability to fulfill the hiking project in sub-optimal weather (days deemed unsafe for travel will be re-scheduled)
Ability to begin survey at a set time and location (trailhead)

If you are able to fulfill the above description and are interested in Hiking with a Purpose! We would love to talk to you. Please send an email and describe your interest, schedule flexibility and contact information to:

Westside Road Erosion Mitigation Project

The Westside Road Phyto-Engineering Project is looking for volunteers from August  22nd- September 16th to help collect live willow stakes to build both wattle fences and for live staking. Our project site will focus on a portion of the Westside Road beyond the gate to help mitigate bank erosion. We will be out every week day from 9:00AM-4:00PM, unless otherwise notified. Tasks per day will vary between collecting and constructing.

We are looking for 10 volunteers to help out with this project where you can learn about the process of bank erosion, and how to deal with it using various engineering methods. Although no prior experience is necessary, familiarity with gardening and construction tools is a plus! All tools are provided. Please bring your own lunch, snack, and water!

For more information, please email

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Regulations for Solo Travel

Rovers Rejoice!  We have been given permission to resume solo roving beyond the one mile limit. The following conditions have been added to the Meadow Rover Handbook.


Sign-in before roving and sign-out after roving; record hours and contacts.  Meadow Rovers are only officially working if signed in. 
Rover Manager or Visitor Center Lead will confirm all rovers have returned or make contact by radio before leaving at the end of the day.  An emergency response will be initiated if contact is not made.
Be specific about where you will be roving.  
Give an estimated time of return.
Keep radio on at all times when on trail.
If radio or battery dies, return directly to base.
If conditions change significantly (e.g. violent weather), check in with Dispatch and report your location and intentions.
If you see a need to change your itinerary, check in with your supervisor.  Make sure your supervisor knows where you are at all times, and approves any change of plans.
A radio must be carried for any rove beyond 1/2 mile from a visitor center or trailhead. Only one radio per group is needed if not traveling solo.
Solo rovers must remain within one mile radius of Visitor Center before Visitor Center opens and after it closes.
After Visitor Center closing, radios will be checked in as per local established procedure.
Supervisor may request that you check in at specific times or intervals.
Make safety the highest priority in the conduct of all duties.

So keep on roving...and always keep your supervisor apprised of your where abouts!

Maureen McLean
Coordinator MORA Meadow Rovers

MRNPA: Two Work Parties In July

From John Titland:

The next Mount Rainier National Park Associates volunteer work party will be Saturday, July 16th.  This will be the annual Mount Rainier National Park Associates Exotic Plant Removal work party, which we refer to as the "deveg".  We will be working at the site of the new Carbon River Ranger Station, and the Marsh Property, both 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 area is still referred to as the Thompson property.  The property extends all the way from the road down to the Carbon River.

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.  Safety helmets are not required.

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. 

We will meet between 8:30 and 9:00 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 this email 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.

A second MRNPA volunteer work party in July

In the advanced stages of planning is a potential MRNPA volunteer trails work party on Saturday, July 30th at Lake Tipsoo at Chinook Pass.  The project would be to remove and replace one of the foot bridges on the path around the lake.  Howard Selmer, the seasonal ranger at Lake Tipsoo, tells me that it would be a good day to wear rubber boots or an old pair if tennis shoes because wading in the water will likely be involved.  Sounds like a fun project!   And the work site is only a few paces from the parking lot .  But that has a down side too.  Saturdays in July can be  pandemonium at Lake Tipsoo.  We may need as many volunteers to assist Howard in crowd control as we need volunteers to work on the bridge.

Part of the uncertainty of this project is - on such short notice can we assemble a big enough MRNPA crew to do the whole job in one day?

 If you are interested in participating in this project and really do think you can attend on July 30th, please reply to this email to tell me you can come and if you can bring additional volunteers with you.  This really is a case where I need to know now how many MRNPA volunteers will be coming.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Mount Rainier Volunteers Tidy Up SR 706

You've seen those blue signs on your way to the Park crediting "Mount Rainier Volunteers" with adoption of a two-mile stretch of SR 706. Well, here they are, all kitted up and ready to go litter-picking! Left to right, stalwart team members Crow Vecchio, Claudia Page, Joan Hays, Jean Millan, Daren Sachet and Jim Smith collected six bags of trash which had accumulated over a mere two months from our last patrol.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Urgent: Deveg Volunteers Needed!

Do you recognize this plant? If you said "Self-heal" (wrong!), you need to join our Longmire Meadow de-Ajuga-fication Project to learn more about a rapidly spreading NON-NATIVE groundcover commonly sold in garden stores.

Yes, this is Ajuga reptans, aka Bugleweed. Visitors, volunteers and rangers walking along the Trail of the Shadows may have seen it at any time over the last several years and have dismissed it as Self-heal, a native species very similar in appearance. Consequently, Ajuga has spread dramatically, and now is choking out native species in an area covering at least 300 sq. ft. We need you to help us eradicate it.

We have to get it before it sets seed! Soon! Now!

On Wednesday July 6, we will gather on the porch of the Longmire Administration Building (the big stone building) at 9:30 AM. It's a very short walk to the site (about a tenth of a mile). There will be a quick botany briefing to assure that we only remove Ajuga, and then work will proceed on a grid similar to that used at archaeological digs. This will ensure that we get a high percentage of the plants.

It is fairly easy to pull, but many of the plants are tiny, so if you have latex or nitrile gloves, please bring them. For those tougher specimens, we'll have a few dandelion forks on hand. Volunteers should be able to sit on the ground or kneel, so if you have a pad, bring that as well.

Please RSVP to Crow at with the number of volunteers you'll be bringing.

Nisqually to Paradise, June 23-30

Click to enlarge

Everybody Loves The Parade!

It's almost time for the Eatonville 4th of July Parade and we need you to celebrate the NPS Centennial with a parade!

Yes, this year we're going all out to celebrate the nation's 240th birthday and the park service's 100th birthday.

Many of you will be working in the park that day, celebrating with the many visitors. But if you're not in the park, think about making the parade part of your (and your family's) 4th of July festivities.

This year we get to do more than just smile, wave flags, and give high fives. We are going all out and will be doing the BioBlitz Dance! Don't panic! You can do it. If this old park service veteran can do it, so can you.

The dance has a brief intro and then four parts (moves) taking a total of 57 seconds, then we move along the parade route and do it again. By the end of the parade you'll be experts!

Here is a video that will teach you the "required" first three moves. Please note: the National Geographic link given in the video no longer offers a download of the BioBlitz song.

The fourth move (Spotted Owl) was created by Annie Runde is unique to Mount Rainier (see below).

Park staff, volunteers, scouts and their family members are welcome to join. Employees and VIPs please wear your uniforms. If you don't have a uniform, dress to celebrate.
If you wish to take part, we usually gather 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.  Please be there by 11:15 AM so we can get instructions and run through the simple dance once or twice as a group.

For more information contact Jim
Please join us!

Meadow Rover Review

Quick notes on a variety of topics!

Meadow Rover Training

Awesome success!  I enjoyed seeing all of you again and greeting the 50+ new rovers. We are going to have a terrific season.  Please check with the Sunrise or Paradise supervisors regarding the 1 Mile Solo restrictions...we are working on the waiver and should have details soon.

Left after training, the following items - let me know if they sound familiar!
   Ladies pull-over fleece L.L Bean
   Blue hard plastic coffee cup with lid
   Red neckerchief
   Spiral notebook with pen attached - lots of notes written but no name

Hike with a Purpose

Several rovers have inquired about combining Meadow Roving with "Hike with a Purpose".  This particular project involves back country trails and is not part of the Meadow Rovers duties.  However, it is another opportunity to help spread your love of this special place.  If you are interested, there is a previous blog on the topic or contact or myself.

Volunteer Agreements

If you were not at training, and have not as yet done so, you will need to complete a new volunteer agreement.  I can send you an electronic copy, or you may fill one out the first time you come to rove.

As always, keep on roving and thank you for all the help that is offered.

Maureen McLean
Coordinator MORA Meadow Rovers

Welcome - Mark Loper

Mount Rainier Volunteers!

The National Park Service Centennial year is in full swing and I'm happy to have joined the team here at Mount Rainier National Park. My name is Mark Loper and I am the SCA Centennial Volunteer Ambassador. I've been at the park for about 4 days soaking in the park's majesty. I've been working in Chicago at DePaul University for the past few years but nature called. I studied environmental policy and wanted to get back to my roots, working with people outdoors. Kevin has told me about the exciting volunteer opportunities available, and the great people that give their time and energy to the park. I'm excited to meet volunteers and hear your stories, passions and involvement at Mount Rainier. 
I'll be working with Kevin and our volunteer programs until June 2017. I'll try to stop by and say hello to as many volunteers as I can. 

Looking forward to a great year!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Farewell to Russ Gibbs

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Russ Gibbs, long-time volunteer and friend to many in Mount Rainier National Park. As you may recall, Russ was recently nominated for the Herzog Award for his outstanding service to the Park. Most notably, he participated in a wide variety of Natural and Cultural Resources projects, including amphibian surveys, spotted owl and harlequin duck surveys and pika surveys among others. Recently, he was also honoured by Pendleton Woolen Mills in their blog. Russ will be deeply missed by all who knew him, and especially by those of us who worked with him in the Park.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Volunteers welcome to join NPS contingent at Pride Parade

Hello, Mount Rainier volunteers! The National Park Service has decided to participate in the annual Pride Parade in Seattle this year, and has invited employees (including volunteers) to join the NPS contingent. Many of you live in the Seattle area and may be attending the parade anyway, so here's an opportunity to get involved in a more significant way! Below is the e-mail I received from our contact in Seattle. If you're interested in participating, please contact David Minaglia directly and he will give you further instructions. You are welcome to participate in volunteer uniform if you wish.

And by the way, if you love parades, watch for the imminent announcement of this year's 4th of July Parade in Eatonville, Washington, where we will also be marching!


Kevin Bacher
Volunteer Program Manager


We are sending this message to ensure that all who would like to participate in the Seattle Pride Parade have an opportunity to join us. We are still welcoming folks who want to support our GLBTQ community and our allies. 

This message is going out to our NPS colleagues throughout Washington State.  Feel free to pass-on to other interested individuals.

The Seattle Area National Park Sites are joining our Centennial partner REI for this year’s Pride Parade in Seattle on Sunday, June 26th.  REI has generously offered to let us join their group, both as a Centennial partner and to emphasize the relationship we have with them through the Outdoor Recreation Information Center in the Seattle REI flagship store.

We are inviting paid & volunteer, uniformed & non-uniformed staff to join us!  If you are interested in joining us in the parade this year, please reply back directly to David Minaglia [at].


David Minaglia
Outdoor Recreation Information Center
222 Yale Avenue North
Seattle, WA  98109
(206) 470-4060

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

MRNPA Work Party Reminder

From John Titland:

Here are the details of the Mount Rainier National Park Associates volunteer trails work party happening on Saturday, June 18th. That's next Saturday.

We will meet at the Carbon River entrance to Mount Rainier between 8:30 and 9:00 AM.  Our cars will be parked inside the gate, so drive through to the gate and park on the road shoulder.  Be ready to head out by 9:00 AM.  I have no idea what the project will be.  On Monday I rode my bike from the gate up the road to the Ipsut Creek campground, and then I hiked up the Wonderland trail about a mile. From what I saw there is more than enough work that needs to be done to keep us all busy.

If you plan to attend, please reply to to indicate that you are coming and to tell me how many volunteers you are bringing with you.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Nordic Patrol Recruiting New Members

NPS photo

Nordic Patrol is recruiting new volunteers to serve during the winter months. Their duties include wanding trails and assisting Park staff by providing "Preventative Search and Rescue" information to visitors. Nordic Patrollers also assist with SAR operations and maintenance of the SAR cache. For more details and to apply, please visit the Park's new Nordic Patrol webpage at Nordic Patrol Volunteers.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Cascade Butterfly Project Trainings

This year, there will be two indoor orientations (trainings) for the Cascade Butterfly Project as well as two field trainings. More information is given below. If you have any questions, contact

1) Webinar: June 22, 6 pm - this webinar will be about 30 minutes in length with time for questions. Registration link is given below. There will be a toll free phone number to listen in:

Please register for Orientation to the Cascade Butterfly Project on Jun 22, 2016 6:00 PM PDT at:

Learn the basics of the Cascade Butterfly project - Why, What, Where and How you can be a part of the project.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

2) June 25, 4 - 5 or 5:30 pm, University of Washington Burke Museum - Come and learn about Monitoring Butterflies in Mount Rainier and North Cascades National Parks and Mount Baker-Snoqualmie & Okanogan-Wenatchee Nation Forests

This will be a short powerpoint presentation with plent of time to talk. Parking is free in the afternoon!

This orientation will be following the MeadoWatch Orientation (MeadoWatch is a Plant Phenology monitoring program at Mount Rainier). If you are interested in both programs please attend both. Here is the website for MeadoWatch:

3) July 8 - Field Training! at Sunrise in Mount Rainier National Park - meet us at 10 am in the Sunrise parking lot in front of the Visitor center. - Bring a lunch and practise netting, butterfly identification, and plant identification. We will bring a calendar and have sign-ups for surveys.

4) Coming Soon - Sauk Mountain Field training - when this scheduled, Regina will send out a notice.

Vote Mount Rainier!

We have much to celebrate this year! Not only is 2016 the centennial of the National Park Service, it is also is the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act.

Since it was passed in 1966, the National Historic Preservation Act has helped protect and preserve places of value to the American people. In recognition of this, we encourage you to think about historic sites important to you to safeguard for the future.

At Mount Rainier National Park, with the passage of the Act as inspiration, we are looking to rehabilitate a historic cabin in the Longmire area. Built in 1936 in the ‘NPS Rustic Style’, which incorporates design principles harmonious to nature, the cabin is now part of the park’s National Historic Landmark District. After restoration work is completed, the cabin will serve as a residence for Mount Rainier’s Search-And-Rescue volunteers.

Lend your support at ‪#‎VoteYourPark until July 5.

Learn more at the Partners in Preservation website

This program highlights historic preservation projects, including our own efforts at restoring the cabin at Longmire. ‪#‎VoteMountRainier‬

NPS Photos (exterior and interior of the cabin house to be rehabilitated) ~rh

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Seeking volunteers to hike backcountry trails for social science research!

To support ongoing social science research (on trail conditions and crowding) in Mount Rainier National Park, we are soliciting volunteers to Hike With a Purpose!

Volunteers would be asked to hike 3 popular trails in the park to destinations like Comet Falls, Summerland, and Spray Park (3-4 hour round trip hikes). Along the trail, volunteers would record the number and time they passed each park visitor. Volunteers would be required to spend a set amount of time at the destination (likely around 20 - 30 minutes) and then asked to record the number and time they pass visitors on their return to the trailhead.

We need approximately 12 - 15 people for this project. Due to a desire for consistent data, preference will be given to folks that can commit to hiking 6 or more surveys (trails to destination and back) on a variety of days.

Required skills:
  • Diligence in accurately recording encounters
  • Faithful and timely return of clearly recorded data
  • The ability to hike in the manner of a "average visitor" (sorry, no trail running)
  • You will be able to pre-select dates
  • The ability to fulfill the hiking project in sub-optimal weather (days deemed unsafe for travel will be re-scheduled)
  • Ability to begin survey at a set time and location (trailhead)
  • Ability to coordinate with Natural and Cultural Resources staff to sign the needed Volunteer paperwork
Entrance to Mount Rainier is free for working Volunteers. Camping may be arranged for Volunteers that will be working for multiple days in a row.

If you are able to fulfill the above description and are interested in Hiking with a Purpose! we would love to talk to you. Please send an email and describe your interest, schedule flexibility and contact information to: Thanks for your help!

[Is this the perfect volunteer job or what? - editor]

Sunday, June 5, 2016

More Training Info

Currently, there are 37 volunteers signed up for the New Rover Training, and 39 for the Returning Rover Training - many of those doing both days.  We will have different speakers on both days including a geologist who has explored the ice cave on the summit and a wildflower specialist who has published a marvelous guide on the flora of Mt. Rainier.  Both of these will be speaking on Sunday along with our Law Enforcement and one of our biologists and more.  Saturday's group will hear from resource specialists and experienced rovers.  Come one, come all, but if you can please let me know so I will have enough printed materials!!  Last year I  was overwhelmed with the response!

Also, this year I reminded you of the tradition to bring food to share for Sunday's lunch.

See you on the 11th and/or 12th

Maureen McLean
Coordinator MORA Meadow Rovers

Sad Note

The family of David Wynia have informed me of his passing on May 23 of this year. David was one of my first volunteers when I began this journey and gave many hours to the meadows and visitors of Mt.Rainier. His warm smile and cheerful countenance shall be remembered by all who have walked the trails with him. Happy trails to you, David.

Maureen McLean
Coordinator MORA Meadow Rovers

Friday, June 3, 2016

National Park Rangers Say "Take a Hike" and "Help a Trail" for National Trails Day

Release Date:  June 1, 2016
Contact:  Kevin Bacher, Volunteer Program Manager, 360-569-6567

The National Park Service invites park lovers to visit Mount Rainier National Park this Saturday, June 4 to celebrate National Trails Day and participate in stewardship events that also honor the National Park Service’s centennial.

Winter snow accumulations have started melting out along lower elevation trails, but snow continues to cover high elevation areas of the park. For information about the park’s trails and a summary of current conditions, visit our wilderness camping and hiking page at

If you venture into the park’s backcountry this summer, be prepared for more difficult than usual conditions. As a result of winter storms, trail crews are finding that an exceptional number of trail bridges and foot logs have been washed away. Additionally, winter storms blew down a large number of trees over trails park-wide, with many root ends blocking entire trail widths. Conditions will improve as trail crews restore trails and bridges, but the work will require a considerable amount of time because of the extent of the damage. Visitors are cautioned to use good judgement in determining whether their planned route is safe under existing conditions. Of note: Due to winter damage the Grove of the Patriarchs Trail footbridge is unsafe for passage.

People can assist the park by volunteering in two ways:

·         On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, June 3-5, the Washington Trails Association (WTA) will lead trail maintenance work parties out of the White River Campground. Work crews will meet at 8:30 a.m., and those who wish to participate should sign up in advance by visiting and selecting the “Volunteer” tab. WTA will continue to lead volunteer trail maintenance parties every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through September. Sign up at

·         On Saturday June 4, volunteers will be doing restoration work in the Longmire Stewardship Campground. The work involves cleaning up and rehabilitating campsites damaged by a windstorm last November and is suitable for all ages. Participants should RSVP to Kevin Bacher at 360-569-6567 or Kevin_Bacher [at]

National Trails Day is a celebration of America’s extensive public trail system, and occurs annually on the first Saturday in June. National Trails Day is an opportunity to participate in trail-based events and activities that celebrate the importance of trails with friends, families, and communities.

To celebrate the centennial, the National Park Service is inviting all generations to discover or rediscover the special places that belong to all Americans. The National Park Service is challenging everyone to “Find Your Park” with creative events and activities throughout 2016. For more information visit:

Park information, announcements, and the Mount Rainier webcams are posted on the park’s official website,

·         Get additional information and updates by joining the Mount Rainier community on

·         Find out breaking news and road status updates through Mount Rainier’s Twitter feed:

·         Explore the park and behind-the-scenes operations with our videos on YouTube:

·         Share your own photos of Mount Rainier with other visitors in the Mount Rainier Flickr group:

About the National Park Service- More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 409 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Vote Your Park!

Did you know that Longmire at Mount Rainier National Park has the largest collection of early 20th century buildings in the "Rustic Style" of architecture in the National Park System? From the Nisqually Entrance Arch to the Longmire Administration Building, the style continues to be appreciated for its use of materials found in nature and for its harmony with the surrounding landscape.

Other good example of NPS Rustic design at Longmire are the residential cabin houses built in the 1920s and 1930s, some with help by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Naturally, time has put wear and tear to many of the houses, and we are hoping to rehabilitate one to its former state for use as housing for our invaluable Search and Rescue volunteers.

Can you lend us a hand? #VoteYourPark until July 5.

Visit to learn more about preservation, and how you can do your part in restoring this historical structure at Mount Rainier National Park. #VoteMountRainier

WTA's Summer Projects Starting June 3rd!

The Washington Trails Association will once again be hosting weekend volunteer projects every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at Mount Rainier National Park this summer.  For the first portion of the summer, the WTA will be staging their work out of the White River Campground.
If you are interested in joining the WTA on trail this summer, visit their website at
As always, we are able to provide free camping for the duration of your volunteer service.  If you are in need of camping while volunteering at Mount Rainier, please contact Kevin Bacher at