Backcountry Amphibian Surveys - Golden Lakes
Thursday, August 21, 2008 at 12:00 PM - Saturday, August 23, 2008 at 4:00 PM (PDT)
Mount Rainier’s moist landscapes harbor many interesting amphibian species of the northwest. Species of interest are highly impacted by the changing environment as global climate change is felt throughout our region. The western toad was formerly common to Mount Rainier but is now known to persist in relatively few locations within our boundaries. The park is interested in expanding the search for western toad and we need to form a volunteer based effort to locate more breeding sites. Work will include hiking to ponds and lakes that were formerly known breeding sites to survey possible populations. Volunteers will walk around the circumference of the water if possible while investigating the water, moss, rock and moist habitat for toads. Hip-waders and nets provided by the park will occasionally be useful for shoreline surveys. Although some lakes contain non-native fish species, most water bodies have a variety of local amphibians to observe. Reports of toads and other concerned species will aid the park biologists in focusing their studies and tracking population changes over the next few years. Key sites for the volunteer effort include Three Lakes, Mystic Lake and the Golden Lakes. However, since there are so many water bodies in the park, there will be ongoing survey work all summer. Further questions can be forwarded to Dan_Rowlands@nps.gov
We will provide all equipment and group cooking gear, plus food for all meals in the backcountry for the modest fee of $25 (payable by check to SCA at the start of the project). You will be responsible for personal equipment -- pack, sleeping bag, tent, water bottles, dish and utensils -- and for carrying a share of the group gear, including equipment.
We will meet at the Mowich Road Paul Peak trailhead (just inside the park border) at noon on Wednesday, August 20. This project will wrap up on Saturday, August 23. More detailed information will follow for those who register (registration closes a week in advance). Happy trails!
**Please note that Rainier volunteers receive free entrance to the park (tell the folks at the entrance that you're volunteering) and are welcome to camp overnight at our reserved group Ranger Site in the Cougar Rock Campground. Anyone under the age of eighteen requires parental permission before they're able to volunteer -- please contact us if your parent or guardian will not be with you the day of the project so that we can send you paperwork ahead of time.**
When & Where
Mount Rainier National Park
Every year, hundreds of individuals contribute their enthusiasm and skills to help the National Park Service preserve and protect its natural and cultural resources, and to serve and educate its visitors. Volunteers help in almost every area of the park, from maintaining trails to leading guided hikes. The time commitment for volunteer work varies from one-day projects to full-time work extending over months or years. Both individuals and organized groups are welcome to volunteer, and opportunities are available both for highly skilled professionals and for families with little or no experience in land management. Consider joining our team! Your contribution of time and energy will help us to protect the magnificent natural and cultural areas entrusted to us, and you’ll go home with a sense of pride at having participated in something worthwhile. Mount Rainier is your national park!