The Adventure Guys

The inside story on outside recreation for South Puget Sound and beyond

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Category: Wildlife Viewing


Final portion of Nisqually refuge boardwalk reopens

The last 700 feet of the Nisqually Estuary Boardwalk Trail reopened to public use today.

This stretch of the boardwalk includes the Puget Sound Viewing Platform.

That portion of the 1-mile boardwalk had been closed since Oct. 22 for waterfowl hunting season.

Waterfowl hunting is allowed on the refuge and adjoining state Department of Fish and Wildlife lands on McAllister Creek and to the north on the Nisqually tideflats.

The vieiwng platform gives visitors great views of Puget Sound, the western edge of the refuge and the top of Mount Rainier on a clear day.

The hike from the

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Snowy owl seen in Northeast Tacoma

UPDATED 9:06 A.M.: We initially credited the wrong person for the photo.

The birding community has been buzzing in recent weeks about sightings of snowy owls in Western Washington. They have been sighted in places from Ocean Shores to Renton.

Now we can add Northeast Tacoma to the list.

Linda Sawers, who lives on Hillside Drive Northeast, said there has been one in her neighborhood for several days.

“It’s a beautiful bird. It’s an amazing sight,” said Sawers, who admits she is not a birder.

The owls are circumpolar birds, usually living in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

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Rare Ross’s gull seen in Okanogan County

A Ross’s gull has been spotted on Palmer Lake in Okanogan County by state Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist Jeff Heinlen.

Here is the rest of the news release:

The Ross’s gull (Rhodostethia rosea), an East Siberian arctic species that normally winters at sea, has only been documented one previous time in the state- in late November and early December of 1994, near McNary Dam on the Columbia River.

“This is like a holiday present for bird watchers,” said Heinlen of Omak. “This is arguably the rarest bird currently in the state, and definitely worth a trip to the

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Governor appoints two to Washington State Fish and Wildlife Commission

Larry Carpenter, a Mount Vernon boat dealer and long-time sportfishing enthusiast, and Jay Kehne, an Okanogan County conservationist and hunter, have been appointed to fill two vacant positions on the state Fish and Wildlife Commission.

The appointments were announced a short time ago by Gov. Chris Gregoire.

“We’re extremely pleased to welcome these great additions to the commission,” Miranda Wecker, commission chairwoman, said in a prepared statement. “These are two strong individuals and we are looking forward to seeing their perspectives brought to the table.”

Carpenter, appointed to a western Washington position on the commission, is owner of Master

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Gifford Pinchot National Forest raises fire warning level

Gifford Pinchot National Forest officials just announced they have increased the fire warning level. The impact on the general public will be minimal, however.

Forest officials said the Industrial Fire Precaution Level has moved from Level I to Level II, increasing restrictions for work on the Forest.

The only effect on the general public is a restriction on the use of chainsaws. The new restriction means chainsaws may not be run from 1-8 p.m.

The Gifford Pinchot National Forest fire danger rating is now at moderate.

Camp fires should be completely extinguished before departing camp at any time. Keep a

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Forest Road 25 opens Thursday at Mount St. Helens

Forest Service Road 25, on the east side of the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, is expected to open Thursday.

That will allow Forest Service crews to turn their attention to Road 99 that provides access to east-side monument attractions such Windy
Ridge, Meta Lake and Norway Pass Trailhead.

“In my 21 years on this Forest, this is the latest opening we’ve ever had,” Public Services Manager Ron Freeman said in a news release. “We are excited to finally get people into the Forest and Monument. Now if summer would just show, we’d really be happy.”

Late season

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Tornado wipes out Minnesota heron rookery

In light of Sunday’s Adventure article about a local great heron rookery near Pioneer Way, I thought some readers might be interested in this story.

A recent tornado ripped through the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area and wiped out a great blue heron rookery that was on an island in the river outside of Minneapolis. An estimate by rangers indicates more than 250 nests were destroyed and perhaps as many as 180 birds killed.

For details and photos, click here.

Here is the link to the story I wrote as well as some great photos by staff

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Washington wolves remain protected under state law

Although wolves have been removed from federal Endangered Species Act protection in the eastern third of Washington, they remain protected as a state endangered species throughout Washington.

That is the crux of a news release sent out this morning by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Under Congressional direction that prevents any judicial review, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Thursday removed the northern Rocky Mountain population of gray wolves from federal endangered status. The action affects wolves in Montana, Idaho, the eastern third of Oregon and Washington and a small area of north central Utah.

Idaho has

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