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Your Gifts in Action in Olympic

Your generosity made these projects possible!

Gifts 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 2014.


1.  Pathways 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.


2.  Adopt-a-Fish: 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.


3.  Understanding 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.


4.  Olympic 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 volunteer program.


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.





    Olympic National Park: $145,000 TOTAL

    Hurricane Ridge Road Winter Access: Year 2 - $50,000

    Youth Programs in Olympic National Park (ongoing support) - $9,150

    Citizen Science: Olympic Marmot Monitoring Year 3- $10,300

    Started in 2010 with the generous support from WNPF donors, the Olympic Marmot Monitoring project just completed a very successful second year.  In 2011 over 90 volunteers in 38 groups visited sites throughout the park, in spite of this year’s record snowfall.  New this year we were able to add enhanced outreach and improve our volunteer recruitment through the projects website.  The website was a joint effort between NPS staff and WNPF volunteers.

    How Healthy are the Elk? - $5,500

    From 2008- 2010 we captured over 50 elk to equip them with radio collars in order to gain better information on elk movement patterns and design a more accurate census method.  For each elk we captured we also took advantage of the opportunity to gather biological samples for future analysis to get a better understanding of the health of elk in the park.  We are asking for funds to support performing those analysis now that the capture operations are complete.Among the analysis we will run are:  age, parasites, exposure to diseases such as leptospirosis, para tuberculosis, and Jonnes disease.


    Elk Research Collars - $40,050

    This large gift was given by one corporation who strongly supported the research being done at Olympic National Park.

    Mountain Goats Study - $5,000

    There are over 30 linear feet of archival materials gathered during the height of the mountain goat controversy in the Olympic National Park collection. These records relate to the review of the scientific research on the goat impacts to part high country habitats, the question of whether goats were historically present in the Olympic Mountains, and park mountain goat management. This issue resurfaced with the death of a hiker from an aggressive mountain goat in 2010. These documents are providing the historical context for past park management actions regarding mountain goats. The collection is generally organized by record, type, but requires creation of a finding aid, archival housing, and cataloging. This project will ensure that these collections are preserved in the park archives for future use by park management and outside researches.

     Glacier Meadow Ranger Station - $17,000

    Replace yurt, used as Ranger Station, at Glacier Meadows, the platform it stands on and helicopter time to fly new station materials into site and remove old station.

    Alternative Trip Guide - $8,000

    Brochure highlights public transportation for Olympic National Park that identifies existing public transportation providers and describes routes and connections for key park destinations.



    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!