Newsletter

  Winter 2018 Newsletter (click image to view/download full PDF) The Winter 2018 newsletter features a review of Ever Wild by Darryl Lloyd. He writes about the human uses of the Mount Adams, its native plants, and the science of this … Continue reading

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Cascade Carnivore Project Update

CONSERVING WASHINGTON’S WOLVERINES AND CASCADE RED FOXES Support Cascades Carnivore Project: www.cascadescarnivore.org

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Presentation: Rare Carnivores of Mt Adams

Nearly 100 people packed the library meeting room at the White Salmon Library to watch a presentation on the carnivores of Mt Adams. Presenters were two biologists with expertise in the region. Jocelyn Akins, PhD., of the Cascade Carnivore Project presented on the Cascade red fox and and Jeff Lewis, PhD. from Olympia spoke about the reintroduction of the fisher in southern Washington.

FOMA board member Laurie Wilhite welcomes attendees

 

A packed house for the presentation

Jocelyn Akins (FOMA board member)

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Bird Creek Meadows: good, bad & the ugly

Cry the Beloved Meadows 

by Darryl Lloyd

The Bird Creek Meadows—largely within the Yakama Nation Mount Adams Recreation Area—is one of the most treasured subalpine parklands in the Cascades. Its spectacular wildflower displays are well-known to botanists and nature lovers across the country. The Native Plant Society lists 162 plant species, including 10 conifers. On the mountain’s southern slope, over 100 glades and meadows form a triangular area between 5,700 feet and 7,100 feet. Tumbling down through the beautiful meadows are about a dozen spring-fed streams, most of which flow into Bird Creek.

On Sunday (9/3/17), Darvel and I checked out trails and documented extensive cattle trespass and adverse impacts in the Bird Creek Meadows within the Yakama Reservation boundary. (Note: Friends of Mount Adams are partners in the Washington Trails Association’s trail-maintenance project. Access by road to Bird Lake and the meadows has been closed to the public for the past two years, but we went in as part of the WTA group.)

The Good
WTA volunteers did a wonderful job of repairing and improving the Bird Lake Tr., Bluff Lake Tr., Round-the-Mountain Tr. and Trail of the Flowers.
The Bad 
(1) The Bird Creek road (Rd. 285) to Bird Lake is in, by far, the worst condition we’ve ever seen it. The road is very nearly impassable. (2) The Yakama Nation drift fence was in disrepair. Only part of it had been put up as of September 3rd. However, cattle have been passing through it freely all summer—as they did during the 2016 grazing season.
The Ugly
We counted at least 17 trespassing cows, yearling calves and a large bull in two different parts of the meadows. Most of the cattle were seen along Crooked Creek above the falls. Evidence clearly shows that cattle have grazed heavily throughout the Bird Creek Meadows for the past two years. Parts of the meadows look and smell like beaten-down cow pastures. Riparian areas are being trampled and severely impacted in a number of ways. For example, along streams nearly every clump of late-blooming Lewis’ monkeyflower has been eaten. Plant processes important for survival will undoubtedly be affected, because very few blooms or seed pods remained.
What now?
We immediately called and reported the trespass to the owner of the cattle, Neil Kayser family of Centerville, Washington. They refuse to chase out their cattle until the Yakama Nation puts up their fence properly. The Bird Creek Meadows parklands are being severely degraded from repeated, illegal grazing. For the last two years the Yakama Nation has failed to keep them cattle-free.
– Darryl Lloyd

Approaching the Yakama Nation Mount Adams Recreation Area by the Bird Creek road (Rd. 285), Sept. 3, 2017

New sign at trailhead near Bird Lake

Washington Trails Association volunteers work on the Bluff Lake Trail

New bridge over Crooked Creek, on the Bird Lake Trail

At least 12 cattle—cows, yearling calves and a bull—near Crooked Creek

 

Wetland below Round-the-Mountain Trail

Trampled bank of the frog pond, also heavily grazed meadow

Clumps of late-blooming Lewis’ monkeyflower and other plants trampled and eaten by cows

Cows ate monkeyflowers during their blooming stage

Almost no monkeyflower blooms or or seed pods clusters remained along the many streams

Amazing widflowers on August 21, 2013

Cattle impacts & erosion, done during the 2016 season—15 cow pies counted within about a 25-30 ft. radius

Grazing impacts along Round-the-Mountain Trail

Yakama Nation drift fence on 9/3/17

Broken cattle guard on Bird Creek Road, 9/3/17

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FOMA Continues to Monitor Cattle on Mt Adams

FOMA Board member Jocelyn Akins visited Bird Creek Meadows on August 5, 2017 and took this picture of grazing cattle in subalpine meadows near Crooked Creek. It has been a continuing project of FOMA to monitor these intrusions and to … Continue reading

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Bird Creek Meadows Bench Lake Trail Camp

Join Work Party Overview Volunteer for one or more days, enjoy Saturdays Potluck dinner and stay for an extra day of hiking on Labor Day! Help WTA and Friends of Mount Adams restore trails at Bird Creek Meadows and Bench … Continue reading

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FOMA Participates in March for Science

On April 22, 2017, Friends of Mt Adams had a table and joined in a march in White Salmon, WA, for the nationwide March for Science events to protest policies that do not follow rigorous science. The glaciers on Mt … Continue reading

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Bird Creek Restoration 2017

Friends of Mt Adams in cooperation with the Washington Trails Association will host a Trails and Ales event to publicize our project to repair the trails in the Bird Creek Meadows area. When: Wednesday, May 10. Where: Logs Inn, BZ … Continue reading

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Update on the cattle-grazing/drift fence issue

Because of the 2015 Cougar Creek Burn on Mt. Adams, cattle trespass probably won’t be a problem for at least a couple of years. Most of the forage area burned and will have to recover before grazing permits are issued by the … Continue reading

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Mt Adams Cattle Fence Report — The Fence Is In

I took the low route last weekend backpacking up road 150 and the Snipes Trail. The heat was kind of brutal but the payoff was gorgeous camping in the meadows. Fence examination was Aug 1, walk up the trail to … Continue reading

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