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Lots to do this spring for nature lovers

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By Sharon Wootton
Interpretive walks, Monte Cristo stewards, Weed Watchers, campground openings and hot property are samples of what's happening this spring in the outdoors.
Larrabee State Park is offering five interpretive programs on natural and cultural history. The park is a 2,683-acre camping park with 8,100 feet of saltwater shoreline on Samish Bay near Bellingham.
Marilyn Boysen will talk about regional geology, park history, area cultural history and plant and animal life. She has a doctorate in biology, and will lead participants on a hike down to Wildcat Cove and through the wooded areas of the park.
The interpretive programs are at 1 p.m. May 26, June 30, July 14, Aug. 11 and Sept. 1. Meet at the first shelter past the park entrance.
A Discover Pass is required to attend the free programs. The park is at 245 Chuckanut Drive. For more information, call 360-676-2093.
Dig out the tents: Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forests will open most campgrounds by May 24. Snow will keep closed San Juan and Troublesome Creek campgrounds in the Skykomish Ranger District and Corral Pass campground in the Snoqualmie Ranger District for the time being.
For more information on roads, trails and campgrounds, use the following contacts:
• Snoqualmie Ranger District, 425-888-1421.
• Snoqualmie Pass Visitor Information Center, 425-434-6111.
• Snoqualmie Ranger District (Enumclaw), 360-825-6585.
• Mount Baker Ranger District, 360-856-5700.
• Glacier Public Service Center, 360-599-2714.
• Skykomish Ranger District, 360-677-2414.
• Darrington Ranger District, 360-436-1155.
• Verlot Public Service Center, 360-691-7791.
Golden volunteers: The town site of Monte Cristo is known for stories of gold-mining days and as the gateway to alpine lakes and mountain peaks in the adjacent Henry M. Jackson Wilderness.
Now the historical town needs the helping hands of some friends.
Volunteer Monte Cristo Stewards can help blunt the high-impact recreational use with words. Stewards give interpretive tours of the former mining town and help maintain the town site, camp areas, information boards, registration boxes and trails.
Volunteers are scheduled to work a minimum of three days during the summer. If you are interested, contact Matt Riggen at 360-436-2333 for an application and more information.
The Monte Cristo Steward training is from 8:30 a.m. to noon June 2 at the Verlot Public Service Center, 33515 Mountain Loop Highway, Granite Falls.
Weeds be gone: Hiking volunteers are needed for a noxious weed program dubbed the Weed Watchers. Trained hikers can spot infestations of noxious weeds in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and trails in the Upper Snoqualmie area in King County.
Uncontrolled, weeds like oxeye daisy can monopolize alpine meadows; English ivy will cover forest canopies; and Japanese knotweed will choke creekside vegetation.
Instructors will train Weed Watchers how to lead surveys and identify invasive species, record and collect data with GPS units, and control some weeds. The volunteers will choose which trails they want to "adopt" in a particular area this summer.
Training in the classroom and in the field will be from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. June 3 at the Snoqualmie Ranger Station, 902 SE North Bend Way, North Bend; or from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 23 at the ranger station.
There is also an opportunity for volunteers who will assist in the surveys. That training is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. June 27. It will be held at the Mountaineers Program Center, 7700 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle.
Volunteers can register to train for the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Weed Watchers on the Mountaineers website ( or by contacting Sarah Krueger at 206-521-6012.
To join the Upper Snoqualmie Weed Watchers, contact Sasha Shaw at 206-263-6468.
Hot property: If you're interest in current proposals to acquire land by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, you can investigate online. See details of 21 proposed deals at
Columnist Sharon Wootton can be reached at or 360-468-3964.
Story tags » HikingVolunteer

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