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Hiker Headlines: Snowpack, Park Directors, Land Swap, Culvert Replacement

Posted by cwakenshaw at Mar 11, 2021 01:32 PM |

Mountain snowpack may take longer than normal to melt out this summer, and a new tool will help you track it. Two new park directors lay out their plans. The Colville National Forest is considering a land exchange. A culvert replacement project will take place in the Black Diamond Natural Area this summer.

It’s March 11. Mountain snowpack may take longer than normal to melt out this year, and a new tool will help you track it. Two new park directors lay out their plans. The Colville National Forest is considering a land exchange. A culvert replacement project will take place in the Black Diamond Natural Area this summer. Here’s some news you may have missed while out on trail this week.

Analyzing snow. Photo by Emma Cassidy..jpg
Winter recreationists have many methods for researching snow conditions. A new online tool from the UW and NWAC tracks snowpack at 9 sites in the cascades. Photo by Emma Cassidy. 

Measuring snowpack: Meteorologists are predicting that the snowpack in the North Cascades may take longer than normal to melt out this summer. High snowfall during the winter combined with low temperatures and lots of rain in the spring, typical of this La Niña year, will help the snow stick around. And, in other snow news, the University of Washington just released a new tool that shows current and historical snowpack data for 9 sites across Washington.

New park directors: Peter Mayer will be the new director of Washington State Parks. He will oversee the 120,000 acres of public land managed by state parks. And in Eastern Washington, the City of Spokane Valley announced that John Bottelli will be the new director of parks and recreation. He has laid out his plans to expand existing parks, develop new ones and build an interconnected trail network.

Colville land swap: The Colville National Forest is considering a land swap with Stimson Lumber Company. If approved, the exchange would result in Colville National Forest taking ownership of inholdings, resulting in a contiguous area of public land, which is currently fragmented. This is just the beginning of a long process toward approval which will involve public input, an environmental assessment and many other considerations.

Black Diamond Natural Area: WSDOT will be working on Highway 169 where it crosses through the Black Diamond Natural Area. They will be removing an old culvert to improve fish passage. The construction project will take place in mid-July and may result in some trail closures.

Hiker Rally: Over 100 hikers have joined WTA's biannual hiker rally yesterday and today to speak directly with legislators and advocate for trails. 


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