Monday, September 26, 2016


Greetings to all the wonderful rovers.  It is hard to believe summer has ended and fall is here. Yesterday the Sunrise Visitor Center closed after I think its biggest summer ever! However, the road to Sunrise will remain open through possibly the end of October and rovers can still make a difference.  

While we truly appreciate your commitment to the preservation of Mount Rainier National Park, we are also concerned for your safety.  After the visitor center at Sunrise closes, there is a lack of back-up for our dedicated volunteers.  For that reason the following regulations will be in effect:

1.  SOLO rovers must remain within 1 mile of the parking lot/Visitor Center

2.  Those roving in pairs are limited to the following trails –
a.  Sunrise Nature Trail - .75 miles
b.  Silver Forest Trail – 1 mile
c.   Shadow Lake – 1.3 miles
d.  Frozen Lake – 1.5 miles
e.  Sourdough Ridge to Dege Peak – 2.1 miles

3.   When signing out, be specific about where you will be.

4.   Rovers must return radios and check-in at WIC before closing time – hours are 7:30 am to 5:00 pm daily until 10/10.

5.   If for some reason, there is no Law Enforcement Ranger or General Ranger available between White River and Sunrise, Rovers should return to the parking lot area and rove near by. 

These regulations will be in effect until the WIC closes on 10/10.  Roving after that will depend on the ability to provide back-up for our rovers.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

National Public Lands Day, September 24

Mount Rainier National Park will celebrate National Public Lands Day on Saturday, September 24, 2016, with two large volunteer projects open to public participation. The work day caps a busy summer in which nearly 2,000 people have contributed to the protection of Mount Rainier's natural and cultural treasures and helped serve its visitors.

Supt. Randy King (left) poses with volunteers on NPLD in 2015
National Public Lands Day is an annual celebration of public involvement in the stewardship of America’s national, state, and local parks and forests. More than 170,000 individuals are expected to participate in events all over the country. In recognition of this, entrance fees will be waived at all national parks for the day. Volunteers will receive an additional coupon for free admission on a day of their choice.

Members of the public are invited to join in the day’s work. The National Parks Conservation Association will coordinate registration for the event beginning at 8:00 a.m. at the White River Campground, six miles west of Highway 410 in the northeast corner of the park. After a brief welcome at 9:00, participants will divide into work groups. The Washington Trails Association and Park Service crew leaders will lead trail maintenance projects at Sunrise, while other volunteers will work with the park’s revegetation crew to plant native plants in a restoration area about a mile from the Sunrise Visitor Center. Trail work is suitable for ages 16 and up, while planting is good for all ages.

Volunteers should come prepared for any kind of weather, with warm clothing, rain gear, sturdy footwear, and gloves. Knee pads are also recommended for planting. If the weather is nice, sunglasses, sunscreen, and hats are recommended. Volunteers should also bring water, snacks, and a lunch.

Volunteers at Mount Rainier National Park maintain and patrol trails, assist and educate visitors, conduct research as citizen scientists, and plant native plants. Last year, 1,778 volunteers and interns contributed 65,538 hours of service, an effort valued at $1.5 million.

Information about Mount Rainier’s volunteer program, including a list of open positions, a calendar of activities, and pictures and videos of volunteers in action may be found on Mount Rainier National Park’s website at

Monday, September 12, 2016

A big THANK YOU to Michaela Lawrence!
Michaela Lawrence worked 320 hours as a volunteer this summer. She is the 3rd Wooster College student in the program to use geochemical means to detect stagnant glacier ice for geohazard recognition. the lead professor plans on publishing the results this year.
Below is a poster she created school. Michaela looks to have a bright future ahead of her!
Click the image to enlarge.

Adopt-A-Highway Volunteers

For a little over three years now, Mount Rainier volunteers have been participating in the state's "Adopt-a-Highway" program through the Dept. of Transportation. Three times every year, we go out and patrol a two-mile section of SR 706, collecting multiple bags of trash each time we work. It's not a glamorous job, but we like to think it makes the journey to the Park a little more pleasant for visitors.

Our pickup dates vary, but we always schedule one in April and September, with the third frequently occurring just before or after the Fourth of July weekend. We're done for 2016, but we hope you'll join us next year!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Westside Road Project - Thank You!

A big thank you to those volunteers who have been working on the Westside Road with Jeni! Some of their work included: shoveling soil, using tools to cut down young willow and alder branches for live staking, using rock bars to move rocks for site preparation, moving soil via wheelbarrow, and hammering live stakes into the creek bed.

Lots of hard work - thank you!!!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Nisqually to Paradise - September 8-15

Click to enlarge

Meadow Rovers Rock

Summer 2016 has forged new records in Meadow Rover hours and contacts.  Our volunteers have come from as far away as Florida, Colorado, and California, and as close as the concession employees in the park.  But we aren't done yet!  With warm sunny weather predicted for the next week or two, visitors will continue to hit the trails.  Even in the cold wet weather, rovers do tremendous work in preventing people from going forth unprepared.  So keep on roving until the road is closed at Sunrise or the snow flies at Paradise!!

My season as coordinator will wind down by mid-October. During this time, I would like to hear from you. Your observations as to issues with trails, crowd control, or anything you feel park management should know, are welcomed.  These will be included in the End-of-Season report that is prepared before I leave for winter.

Also, please let me know what you would like to see, hear, or do with training next June. I always want your needs met and to make training worthwhile. So send me your ideas.

And for those of you who just can't get enough....keep your eyes open for Snow Rover training!

Maureen McLean
Coordinator MORA Meadow Rovers

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Reveg at Sunrise

Mount Rainier National Park Associates would like to remind everyone that their last work party of the year will be a revegetation project in the Sunrise area on Saturday, September 10th. If you are interested in participating, please contact John Titland at for more details.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Stitchers Needed for Bat Bags!

An unusual request for volunteer help comes from Wildlife Biologist Tara Chestnut: she needs bat bags...600 of them, as a matter of fact, and if you're adept with a sewing machine, you can help out.

You've undoubtedly heard about White-Nose Syndrome, a fungal disease which is devastating bat populations across the country. It has been reported in Washington in several areas including one just 30 miles north of Mount Rainier National Park. Tara and her team will be capturing bats next spring in order to test them for the disease, and that's where the bat bags come in. Each bat captured will need to be retained in a bag until they have been examined for evidence of White-Nose Syndrome, and since there is a risk of transferring the disease from one bat to another, the bags cannot be reused until they have been thoroughly washed. You can read more about White-Nose Syndrome in this NPS article.

Tara gives the specifics based on a commercially-produced holding bag. "It's a simple rectangular bag, sewn with a finished hem (a turn under hem - folded over twice with a runner stitch - is simple and easy) and sturdy ribbon tie.  The material needs to be cotton but I'm okay with any pattern (given that it's near Halloween, I suspect there are lots of fun bat themed fabrics available). The ribbon tie can be any material that will hold up to boiling water and lots of washing."

If you're interested in bat conservation and want to help in a tangible way, please contact for more details.

Photo courtesy of US Forest Service