Yakima Herald-Republic file

State seeking members for RCO funding board

The Washington State Recreation Office wants two new members for its Recreation and Conservation Funding Board this fall.

More than $140 million in grant funding will be distributed by the board during a two-year budget cycle to improve parks, trails, boating amenities and access to shorelines. Grants also go towards conserving working lands, such as farms and forests, and to protect pristine wildlife and natural areas.

Nearly a dozen state and federal grant programs overseen by the board go to cities, counties, tribal governments, nonprofits, state agencies and others. The board also adopts plans that establish statewide priorities for outdoor recreation and completes studies on a range of topics such as public ownership of lands and recreational trends.

Appointed members will serve three-year terms beginning in January 2020. They’ll earn a small stipend for attending meetings and be reimbursed for travel expenses.

To apply before the Nov. 1 deadline, go to governor.wa.gov and it’s also recommended that applicants include a resume and letter of interest.

Campground closure

The popular Ahtanum Campground will be closed for the rest of this month.

The Department of Natural Resources will not allow camping at the campground west of Tampico through Aug. 31 while the bridge is replaced. For more information, visit dnr.wa.gov/ahtanum.


It’s that time of year when shorebirds become the focus for birders as the fall migration gets into full swing. This week the Grandview Wastewater Treatment Facility, one of the better Yakima County hot-spots for shorebirds started to heat up with reports of black-necked stilt, killdeer, least sandpiper, semipalmated sandpiper, western sandpiper, Wilson’s snipe, red-necked phalarope, spotted sandpiper, greater yellowlegs and lesser yellowlegs all present

A visiting Vancouver birder found the Yakima Greenway to be fairly active as she compiled a list of 42 species. Highlights included Vaux’s swift, willow flycatcher, eastern kingbird observed feeding young, warbling vireo, red-eyed vireo, gray catbird, Lincoln’s sparrow, orange-crowned warbler, common yellowthroat, yellow warbler, Townsend’s warbler and lazuli bunting. Good finds in Yakima County in the fall.

A birder hiking into Dewey Lake, a great place to hike in the fall, tallied 25 species including {/span}hairy woodpecker, olive-sided flycatcher, western wood-pewee, Canada jay, Steller’s jay, pygmy nuthatch, brown creeper, pacific wren, red crossbill, pine siskin and western tanager. Although a bit early, but not unheard of here in mid-August, a Bonaparte’s gull was spotted flying south on Priest Rapids Lake. The Bonaparte’s is a small, petite gull with a buoyant flight style that I find a joy to watch. There were also two red-phalaropes spotted here.

Email your bird sightings to kdturley@embarqmail.com and be sure to like us on our Facebook page or visit yakimaaudobon.org.



THURSDAY: Yakima Valley Audubon invites the public to a free monthly program featuring a presentation by Columbia Riverkeeper’s Simone Anter at 7 p.m. at the Yakima Area Arboretum. She’ll focus mostly on Riverkeeper’s work in the past year with the Yakama Nation’s Environmental Restoration Waste Management Program to change the “vision” for the future of Hanford, highlighting pressing issues for Riverkeeper at Hanford as well as outreach efforts that have occurred. More information on Columbia Riverkeeper can be found at www.columbiariverkeeper.org.

WEDNESDAY: Nicky Pasi and Ethan Lockwood of the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust will be the speakers at The Cascadians’ monthly meeting at Living Care Retirement Center, 251 N. 40th Ave. They’ll discuss how local partners collaborate to improve recreational access to public lands, engage people in education, and volunteer to take care of land and water.

ALSO WEDNESDAY: The Cascadians will host a new member orientation at 5:45 p.m. at 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.

GETTING OUTDOORSTHURSDAY: The Pathfinders will hike 4.5 miles with 800 feet of elevation gain to the Emmons Glacier in Mount Rainier National Park. Enjoy lunch at the edge of the glacier and on the return, cross a bridge to check out the path that leads to the Summerland trail. Call Marilyn at 509-966-1841 or Kathy at 509-575-3693 for meeting time and place.

MONDAY: Yakima Basin Velo hosts its Mellow Monday ride that starts at 5:30 p.m. at Wide Hollow Elementary School and goes for 20 miles on relatively flat roads at an often brisk pace with several stops to regroup before finishing back at the school.

TUESDAY: The Cascadian Free Spirits will go on two hikes, including one limited to 12 people by wilderness regulations. That group will hike seven miles with 1,600 feet of elevation gain at Bear Creek Mountain in the Goat Rocks Area, Green Trails map 303, with departure at 7:30 a.m. Text Steve Hull at 509-945-4581 to reserve a spot for this hike. The other group will hike nine to ten miles with 2,000 feet of elevation gain to Owyhigh Lakes and Tamanos Mountain at Mount Rainier National Park, Green Trails map 270, with departure at 6 a.m. Plan for cool weather in the morning. Drivers in the first group will need a Northwest Forest Pass or a Senior Pass and drivers going to Mount Rainier need a Senior Pass, National Parks Pass, or money for the park’s $30 entrance fee. For more information, call Jacqui Bush at 509-835-9863 or email jacquib781@msn.com.

ALSO TUESDAY: The Cascadian Trekkers will hike approximately 15-17 miles with 3,100-3,600 feet of elevation gain to Old Snowy in the Goat Rocks, Green Trails map 303S. The route will follow Snowgrass trail to the base of Old Snowy with an option to climb it and complete the Goat Lake loop on return, featuring stunning views of Mt. Adams, St. Helens and Rainier. Departure will be at 7:30 a.m. from the Chesterley Park parking lot. Call Mark Kushner at 509-969-2431 or Elizabeth Cowan at 425-591-4203 with any questions.

ALSO TUESDAY: Bearded Monkey Cycling and Fitness will host its weekly road rides with various distances and paces for different skill levels. Meet at the store at 6 p.m. and be ready to roll out at 6:15 to ride until around 7.

WEDNESDAY: The Cascadians will host one last Golf 4 Fun at River Ridge Golf Course in Selah. Call Sharon Liner if you want to play.

THURSDAY, AUG. 29: The Pathfinders will hike four miles with 600 feet of elevation gain at sunrise along open meadows to Dege Peak, where most of the elevation gain is at the beginning and the end. You’re rewarded with a marvelous view of Mt. Rainier. Bring lunch, water, poles, the usual stuff and money for ice cream after the hike. Drivers need a Senior Pass. Call Donna at 509-452-3961 or Kathy at 509-575-3693 for meeting time and place.

Reach Luke Thompson at luthompson@yakimaherald.com and on Twitter: @luketscribe