Week In Review: Olympic cuts back for winter; How to cut a wild tree for Christmas

Snowshoe

There’s some disappointing news for those who like to visit Hurricane Ridge during the holidays. Olympic National Park is keeping the ridge closed for most of the week due to staffing cuts. The ridge will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only.

The ridge’s popular ranger-led snowshoe hikes have been cancelled.

More about these and other winter cutbacks at Olympic can be found here.

On to the week’s news and links….

OUTING: As promised, here’s my story about how to hunt down your own wild Christmas tree. There’s still time to head over to Quilcene, get your $5 tree-cutting permit and make an adventure out of this annual tradition. Don’t forget to pack the hot chocolate.

NEWS: The state has not ‘officially’ announced its long-awaited plan for Green Mountain and Tahuya state forests but it is available now. Go here and then click “Final Recreation Plan.” The plan is aimed at reaching compromise between the growing numbers of users and types of users, from mountain bikers to 4×4 enthusiasts. We’ll have a story next week.

MR. OUTDOORS: Columnist Seabury Blair tackles the issue of ‘uphill’ skiing. Taking a lift to get to the backcountry, he writes, defies his “Puritan notion that you’ve got to work hard for your reward of wild snow.”

WEEKEND: On Sunday, you can head to Bainbridge’s Sportsman’s Club for an afternoon of family archery. More on that here.

COMING UP: Check Monday’s paper for a story about how national wildlife refuges are providing a boost to local and regional economies. A new U.S. Fish & Wildlife study found that for every $1 appropriated to wildlife refuges almost $5 is generated for the surrounding area. The study highlights Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge near Sequim for going further, generating about $7 for every $1 spent on it.

PHOTO: Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park. By Steve Zugschwerdt