April Trails Report

APRIL, 2017 TRAILS & INFRASTRUCTURE COMMITTEE REPORT

by: Susan A. Stauffer, Trails Coordinator

Our Trails Group has been active in April, 2017 on the Refuge. We had a great sunny day on April 21 when we went to Tarlatt (South Bay Unit). We cleared the brush below the violet/green swallow nest boxes on 85th Street and went to the Tarlatt Blind, clearing vegetation along the way. Then we hiked up from the parking area on 95th Street into Tarlatt along the Slough road/path clearing branches off the path. We branched off into the woods to find bear prints (fresh) in the mud and fresh bear scratchings on the trees, along with some fresh deer prints. We lightly cleared the “forest” trail used by the EE 4th graders who will soon be hiking Tarlatt in May, for their real expedition to explore the Refuge diverse habitats and the creatures/plants/birds that reside there.

The birds were singing away on this day, given it seemed to be their (and our) first warm, sunny day. The views were spectacular from the Tarlatt Slough/Dike path. At the end as we hiked out we were fooled by a very upset Stellar Jay who was making a “worried” call. No one could figure out what bird was making this loud, constant sound, and the initial guess was that it was owl. Then Madeline Kalbach came to our rescue to solve this mystery determining it was the Stellar Jay making a sound that no one had heard them make before but it was clearly documented on the Stellar Jay bird sounds site.

The upcoming May/June, 2017 TRAILS Surveys/Outings are as follows:

Sat. May 13, 2017 Friends HWY 101 garbage cleanup MP 23 to MP25. Meet at 8:30 a.m at the Refuge HQ.

Sat. June 3, 2017 is NATIONAL TRAILS DAY and we are going to celebrate by performing much needed maintenance to the Cutthroat Trail at the Refuge HQ. Meet at 9:00 a.m. at the Refuge HQ.

Anyone can participate in any outing and I do not expect everyone to be available for every event. The outings usually last around 3 to 4 hours. Just let me know if you are interested in joining this section of the Friends of WNWR, ie the Trails Committee. Just ship me an email indicating your interest. You do not have to be a Friend’s member to volunteer for the Refuge. Tools/safety equipment are provided.

Have a great Spring!

Susan Stauffer

email: StaufferLaw@aol.com