Your Gifts in Action in Olympic
Your generosity made these projects possible!
to Olympic National Park in 2012-2013 totaled $156,403.26
The following is a
list of funded projects at Olympic National Park in 2013. Several of them will launch in the summer of
to Employment for Diverse Youth – $25,000
Olympic National Park has designed a
comprehensive program to partner youth with leading scientists and creative
educators to engage and train young stewards about today’s significant
environmental issues. The Olympic Pathways for Youth program recruits local
students from Olympic Peninsula’s economically disadvantaged and relatively
isolated communities. Deploying a variety of programs will dram in interested
young people and introduce them to an amazing resource in their own backyard.
There are two large Latino populations and eight Native American Tribes living
on the peninsula. This program will allow the park to create four youth
programs designed to lead to employment options in the future.
Radio-tracking the Return of Pacific Salmon to the Elwha River – $11,500
For nearly a century, salmon migrations into
Olympic National Park have been blocked on the Elwha River by two large
hydroelectric dams. In 2011 the removal of the lowermost dam (Elwha Dam)
allowed Pacific salmon to regain access to eight miles of new habitats. The
next dam up the river, the Glines Canyon Dam, will be fully removed in 2013 and
Pacific salmon will be able to recolonize 80 miles of mostly protected habitat
within park boundaries. This project will allow biologists to tag and track
adult fish migrations in the Elwha and its tributaries. The low populations of
Chinook salmon and steelhead trout will be the species tracked, as they’ve been
recognized as federally threatened species. A website will also be created, to
allow the general public to see the positions and movements of individual fish
throughout the river. This project will provide tangible evidence of the
movements of these fish at they return to a habitat they’ve been denied access
to for the past 100 years, while also directly involving interested students,
volunteers and park employees.
Olympic National Park’s Shrinking Glaciers – $12,000
Glaciers are an important hydrologic resource
and sensitive indicators of climate change. This project will properly monitor
the amount of glacier loss Olympic National Park is incurring and allow the
park to better understand the mechanisms and rate of change each glacier has.
Together with the North Coast and Cascades Network (NCCN), Olympic National
Park will adopt the same methodologies used in Mount Rainier and North Cascades
National Parks, although previous studies have shown that Olympic’s glaciers
are responding to climate change differently than the glaciers in other parks.
Since the glaciers affect everything from salmon health to recreation, this
project is an important part of protecting Olympic National Park’s resources.
Marmot Citizen Science Monitoring Project – $5,500
Since 2010, Washington’s National Park Fund has
funded this program, and allowed Olympic National Park to monitor the fate of
the Olympic marmot population with the help of citizen scientists. Each year,
90-100 volunteer scientists have a day-long training, and then embark on a three
to seven day long data-collecting hike in their assigned area of the park. The
success of this program has spread and the US Forest Service now helps monitor
the entire species range! However, since 90% of the population lives within the
park, this citizen science based monitoring remains a vital part of the
research process. Since more than 65% of the volunteers choose to come back for
a second year, this project is vital to both the marmots, as well as the park’s
5. Monitoring Elk Populations in Washington’s
Parks – $21,000
Past funding from Washington’s National Park
Fund has allowed the foundation for this project to be established by GPS radio
collaring for elk. These collars allowed the park to better understand the elk
movement patterns. With that knowledge, the park is now able to do aerial
surveys to monitor population trends in the Roosevelt elk. These elk are
important drivers of ecosystem change, and long-term monitoring of both
subalpine vegetation and elk populations will help the park to better protect
and understand this majestic creature.
6. Kalaloch Ranger Station – $19,275
In partnership with the Forks Chamber of
Commerce, funding was provided to underwrite a portion of the cost for an education
and public information ranger to base out of Olympic’s Kalaloch Ranger Station.
7. Search and Rescue – $12,000.00
These funds – money raised during our 2013 Spring Dinner and
Auction – were used to purchase high mountain rescue gear (litter, ropes, and miscellaneous
gear) at Olympic National Park.
8. Olympic National Park Endowment – $50,000
Olympic National Park’s endowment was launched in 2013 when the
board elected to dedicate $50,000 to establish it.
Hurricane Ridge Road Winter Access: Year 2 - $50,000
Elk Research Radio Collars Project - $40,050
Olympic Marmot Monitoring: Year 3 - $10,300
How Healthy Are the Elk? - $5,500
Mountain Goats Study - $5,000
Glacier Meadows Ranger Station Replacement - $17,000
Alternative Transportation Planning Guide - $8,000
Youth Program - $9,150
Hurricane Ridge Road Winter Access - $50,500
Thanks to organizations and businesses in the Port Angeles area, including the City of Port Angeles and the Port Angeles Chamber of Commerce, Hurricane Ridge Road was kept open all of the winter of 2010-2011.
Engage Diverse Audiences in Elwha River Restoration - $10,000
To celebrate the beginning of dam removal, Olympic National Park worked with its partners to plan, organize and present a special kick-off event on the weekend of September 16-18, 2011.
Elwha River Restoration Education and Outreach - $30,000
The nation's largest dam removal in history began in September 2011 in Olympic National Park, setting in motion a landmark restoration project. New educational materials focussed on visitor safety, travel and orientation information, to enhance learning and enjoyment of this landmark project.
Citizen Science: Olympic Marmot Monitoring Year 2 - $4,500
This program continued the very successful and popular Olympic Marmot study initiated in 2010. More than 80 volunteers - ranging in age from 11 to over 70 - provided park biologists with important population data. Study results will enhance our knowledge base of the connection between marmot ecology and climate change, and inform natural resource management decisions in the park.
Roosevelt Elk Spring Surveys - $11,000
The Roosevelt Elk is the iconic animal in Olympic National Park. A significant monitoring project using GPS radio collars was launched in 2009-2010 through support from donors to Washington's National Park Fund. Sustaining the annual monitoring of these elk in the "spring range" -- Hoh, South Fork Hoh and Queets - is vital to the park's mission of protecting its native wildlife.
Lake Quinault Tourism Enhancement - $20,000
Expedia's generous contributions supported a number of projects in Olympic National Park. Most recently the Lake Quinault community has launched a tourism program, made possible in part through volunteer expertise and a $20,000 gift from Expedia.
Olympic Marmot Wayside Exhibit - $9,500
This exhibit provides an opportunity for thousands of visitors who walk the Hurricane Hill trail each year to learn about and better appreciate the Olympic marmot, including life history and population dynamics that recent and ongoing research reveals.
Lake Crescent Freshwater Mussels Assessment and Monitoring - $20,495
Lake Crescent is a pristine lake enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year. The project provided a baseline survey of the lake's native mussel population to protect it and also and prevent invasion by non-native species.
Elwha Restoration Project Community Outreach - $34,320
Olympic National Park made education of the Elwha River Restoration, both locally and nationally,a priority. With interactive, web-based information as well as digital animations that show progress from start to finish, the park was able to keep the surrounding community, and those far away, educated and updated with this important restoration.
Adopt-A-River: Study of Fish Populations - $38,965
Park visitors, educators, researchers and public lands managers have benefitted from monitoring the health of four rivers: South Fork Hoh, North Fork Skokomish, East Fork Quinault, and the Elwha. This project detected trends and allowed for specific management actions including: implementation of more appropriate fishing regulations, evaluation of existing hatchery releases, control of non-native fish species, and prioritization of habitat restoration projects.
Monitor Fisher Restoration - $20,000
The goal of this project was to release a total of 100 fishers into the Olympic National Park, over the course of three years, starting in 2008. Results from monitoring these releases will not only add to scientists' understanding of fisher in the ecosystem, but will be used to refine and adjust future releases within the park.
Study and Protect Roosevelt Elk -$25,000
Olympic National Park is home to the iconic Roosevelt Elk. A significant monitoring project using GPS radio collars was launched in 2009-2010 through Washington's National Park Fund.
Assess Olympic Marmot Population - $26,300
Study results from this project will enhance our knowledge base of the connection between marmot ecology and climate change, and inform natural resource management decisions in the park.
Fisher Reintroduction Monitoring and Education Project - $40,000
This project was the beginning the reintroduction of a once-thriving species that has been extinct in Washington State for over 80 years. This project monitored the survival, movements, and broad scale landscape selection patterns of released fishers. Additionally, funding supported outreach, education and citizen science so the public could participate in and learn about the conservation of an imperiled native species.
Elwha Dam Removal/Restoration Project Traveling Exhibit - $55,000
Park staff worked to provide a comprehensive, national-level Elwha education program to help the citizens of our nation understand the significance of this important restoration project. The Elwha Education package interprets more than just the story of the ecological restoration of a watershed; it also tells the story of a broader community of citizens whose values changed over time. It is a story that weaves together the voices of many groups and demonstrates how over time, our nation makes decisions that affect our ecological, economical, and social fabric.
Thank you donors and friends for all your support!