Trails magazine reduced to 6 issues

  • By Sharon Wootton
  • Saturday, April 4, 2009 12:25am
  • Life

There’s no hiding from the current state of the economy.

Washington Trails magazine is just the latest to feel the pinch. The 10-issues-a-year publication of the Washington Trails Association is shrinking to six issues a year.

Editor Andrew Engelson writes about the downside, the upside and the alternative side to this decision in the March-April issue.

Down: Fewer issues, less printed content in a year.

Up: The current issue has 12 full-color pages, as will every issue under the new publishing plan.

Alternative: Responding to member requests, the group’s Web site,, will be beefed up to cover more hikes, issues, gear and programs.

The association is the force in training volunteers who provide many thousands of hours maintaining trails.

Speaking of the economy, the restoration of several buildings in the Olympic National Forest will be made possible with $500,000 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Orcas. Around here, it’s fairly easy to find good views of orcas on a whale-watching cruise or from Lime Kiln State Park on San Juan Island.

Every orca is counted, photographed, identified through markings and given a name. The lineage of each is kept, and followed with parental and scientific interest, especially since there are so few of them.

The big news isn’t local, although it is good. About 200 orcas have been sighted in four pods in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, according to an Associated Press story. They were nearly 100 miles off the Alabama coast and a biologist confirmed the sighting.

Disappearing dike. The days are numbered for the 5.5-mile walk on the Brown Farm Dike Trail in the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge.

For 35 years, hikers and wildlife-watchers have walked through much of the refuge, which is conveniently located just off I-5.

But the dike is being torn down and Puget Sound salt water will come in, cover about 750 acres and restore the estuary marsh, a boon for salmon and waterfowl.

The trail will be open until at least April 22.

Meanwhile, the refuge is hosting a Farewell Trail Walk from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 18. A shuttle will run continuously to allow walkers to start at various points on the trail, a great idea for those who find walking an effort.

Stations will be set up along the trail with chairs and water.

There are plans to build a boardwalk at the estuary, although with money tight, who knows when that will happen.

For more information, call 360-753-9467.

Seabirds and grizzlies. Pilchuck Audubon Society continues to bring in interesting speakers to its monthly meetings.

At 7 p.m. Friday, Jane Dolliver of the UW’s Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey team will speak. She’ll talk about a training session that turns residents into scientific partners for monitoring marine ecosystems.

At 7 p.m. May 8, David Knibb speaks about grizzly bears in the North Cascades, the recovery program and his new book, “Grizzly Wars: The Public Fight over the Great Bear.”

Meetings, open to the public, will be at the Everett Firefighters Hall, 2411 Hewitt Ave. Call 425-252-0926 for details.

Long-distance activities. OK, for some of us these events constitute long-distance; for others, it’s all in a day’s fun.

  • Daffodil Classic, Orting, April 19. Bike tours of 15 to 100 miles;

    Northwest Crank, Wenatchee. April 23 to 27. Cycling festival includes short and long tours of the area, such as the 76- or 125-mile route to Lake Chelan;

    Ridge to River Relay, Wenatchee, April 19. Nordic and alpine skiing, biking, running, canoeing or kayaking;

    Columnist Sharon Wootton can be reached at 360-468-3964 or

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