Wildland firefighters wanted for 2020

The Washington Department of Natural Resources will be accepting applications for wildland firefighters through Dec. 1.

Thirty new full-time positions will be offered this year along with hundreds of seasonal jobs that usually last three to four months, from mid-June to mid-September. Training, safety clothing and protective gear will be provided, with pay up to $53,904 a year for the full-time positions at DNR regions across the state.

Other duties outside of wildfire season will include helping with prescribed fires and wildfire risk assessments for communities and homes. Candidates for full-time positions must possess some prior knowledge of dealing with fires and will need to work with the public, sometimes under stressful situations.

Seasonal positions require no experience, but applicants must be at least 18 years old with a high school diploma or GED when hired and have a valid driver’s license with the ability to use a manual transmission vehicle. For more information and to apply, go to washingtondnr.wordpress.com.

Online Q&A with WDFW director rescheduled

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife director Kelly Susewind will participate in an online Q&A with residents of Yakima, Kittitas, Benton and Franklin counties from 6-7 p.m. on December 4.

The opportunity to hear from Susewind and regional director Mike Livingston was postponed when the department said Susewind was too sick to participate in October. Updates will be shared on issues including land management and the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan, habitat projects, WDFW’s budget challenges, and local elk herds.

To learn more or to watch and ask questions, go to wdfw.wa.gov.

BIRD ALERT

The Sunnyside Reservoir along Van Belle Road east of Sunnyside has been attracting quite a mix of waterfowl. This week there were large rafts of Canada and cackling geese that numbered in the hundreds as well as mallard, ring-necked duck, bufflehead, Barrow’s goldeneye, common merganser, and a common loon. The winter habitat of the common loons is primarily coastal marine, especially sheltered, relatively clear, food-rich waters such as bays, inlets, channels, and shoals. A few individuals winter inland on freshwater such as the irrigation reservoir if they remain ice-free.

A short stop along the riparian area on Pom Pom Road on the Yakama Reservation turned up observations of an interesting mix of birds, including western screech-owl, pileated woodpecker, brown creeper, Pacific wren and Bewick’s wren. Nearby at Fort Simcoe, the resident Lewis’s woodpeckers were out in force with nearly 50 seen busily fluttering about the oak trees.

A hike up Waterworks Canyon turned up a good mix of birds including chukar, two golden eagles, Steller’s jay, canyon wren and a flock of around 100 gray-crowned rosy-finches.

A resident living just east of Fisher Park Golf Course tallied 20 species in his yard. Highlights included California quail, Eurasian collared-dove, Anna’s hummingbird, sharp-shinned hawk, Cooper’s hawk, California scrub-Jay, red-breasted nuthatch, pine siskin and American goldfinch.

Please email your bird sightings to kdturley@embarqmail.com and be sure to like our Facebook page or visit yakimaaudubon.org.

ON THE CALENDAR

SATURDAY: Join Yakima Valley College faculty member Hillary Goodner for an interpretative walk through Cowiche Canyon, starting from the West/Weikel entrance at 10 a.m. Discussion will include the confluence of two vastly different episodes of Washington volcanism as well as how the landscape has changed over time. Bring water, wear sturdy shoes and dress for the weather.

SUNDAY: The Hard Core Runners Club will host its annual free Turkey Trot along the Yakima Greenway at Sarg Hubbard Park, starting at 1 p.m. Runners will predict their times and the male and female closest to their predicted times wins a turkey. Those furthest from their predicted times win turkey bologna.

WEDNESDAY: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife regional wildlife program manager Scott McCorquodale will be the featured speaker at the Cascadians’ monthly meeting. He’ll discuss his work and experience as an avid hiker with an interest in photographing wildlife. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at Meyer Auditorium at Living Care Retirement Center.

ALSO WEDNESDAY: The Cascadians will host a new member orientation at 5:45 p.m. in the Living Care Village East Room for new members or those curious about the group. The program will include a history of the club, details on its civic involvement, and the activities it hosts. Participants will receive details about group activities and a list of committee leaders with contact info. RSVP is required: email Darrell Patterson at Darrell.Darlito@gmail.com or call him at 503-984-1729.

THURSDAY, NOV. 28: The 10th annual Turkey Trot 5K walk/run with a costume contest and prizes will benefit local nonprofits Camp Prime time and the Yakima Greenway. The race starts at 9 a.m. with registration from 8 to 8:40. Entry fees are $25 for adults, $10 for youth 15 and under, or $22.50 for adult groups of four and $10 for youth groups. For more information and to register, go to the event’s Facebook page.

GETTING OUTDOORS

THURSDAY: The Cascadian Pathfinders will hike four miles with 1,200 feet of elevation gain at Waterworks Canyon. Call Lynne at 509-952-5059 for meeting time and place.

SATURDAY: Join the Cascadians for David’s Winter Walk No. 1, a usually easy-intermediate to intermediate hike (i.e. possible steep pitches, elevation gain of 1,500 feet or so, or travel over scree and talus) with a leisurely lunch. The group will leave at 8:30 a.m. from the Chesterley Park parking lot to go to a destination to be determined by the leader on the day of the hike, so come prepared for the weather. Drivers will most likely need a Discover Pass. Call David Hagen at 509-965-3697 with any questions.

TUESDAY: The Cascadian Free Spirits will hike eight miles with 300 feet of elevation gain along the Tieton River Nature Trail near Tieton, Green Trails map 305. Departure will be at 8 a.m. from the Chesterley Park parking lot.