Olympic group taps former staffers to key posts

Staff reportJune 23, 2013 

A former park superintendent has been elected the new president of the board for the Friends of Olympic National Park, joining a number of former staffers in the group’s leadership roles.

Former superintendent David Morris will serve as president of the board of directors, while former park volunteer coordinator Ray Lovely has been elected vice president.

Long-standing board members Karen Jensen and Dan Peacock are continuing in their roles as secretary and treasurer, respectively.

Newly elected directors Dave Colthorp and Paul Gleeson, join longtime members Rod Farlee and Jim Hoare on the board.

Colthorp, a lifelong Port Angeles resident, retired in 2010 as buildings and campgrounds supervisor, following a 33-year career at the park, according to a news release from the group. Gleeson, who first came to the Olympic Peninsula in the 1960s as a student working on the Ozette archeological site, retired from the position of chief of cultural resources at the park in 2011 after a 26-year National Park Service career.

The group is a state nonprofit corporation established in 2001 to support the park “in preserving the park’s natural, cultural and recreational resources for the benefit of present and future generations. The Friends of Olympic National Park promotes understanding of the park’s ecological, education, economic and recreational importance and work with Olympic National Park on special projects,” according to a new release from the group.

Over the years, the group has taken the lead in working with park staff in presenting the popular Perspectives lecture series, taken an active role in the annual Washington Coast Cleanup at Duc Point, organizing volunteer events and providing support and assistance to other park events and projects.

“Our board of directors is excited to build on the excellent traditions established by our predecessors and colleagues,” Morris said in the release. “I’d like to find ways to energize our existing members, identify new member constituencies, and enhance community awareness of what we do. Working with Olympic National Park staff and volunteers will continue to be the key element in carrying out our mission.”

The group currently has 267 members. It publishes a newsletter, website and Facebook page. For more information about the group, visit friendsonp.org.


The North Cascades National Park Wilderness Information Center in Marblemount will extend its hours for the summer season starting June 30.

The center will be open 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays. Those hours will be in effective until Sept. 5.

Right now, the center is open 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. through Thursday and 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

From Sept. 6-Oct. 13, the center will be open 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays. The center is closed mid-October-May.

The station is the main backcountry permit office for North Cascades National Park and the adjacent Ross Lake and Lake Chelan national recreation areas.

The center has exhibits about wilderness and backcountry travel, plus a relief map of the park. Books, maps, and other items related to wilderness, hiking and climbing can be purchased.

The center is at 7280 Ranger Station Road, just off state Route 20 at milepost 105.3 west of Marblemount. For more information, call 360-854-7245.

Sky vieiwng programs start at Paradise

Volunteer astronomer Don West-Wilke has returned for another summer season of teaching Mount Rainier National Park visitors about the night sky.

He will have his telescope set up outside the Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center Thursday evenings through Monday afternoons. There will be additional telescopes and astronomical binoculars available for nighttime viewing. Both are weather-dependent.

West-Wilke will help visitors look at celestial objects, but also talk about the National Park Service’s natural lightscapes program.

Day sky viewing via a solar telescope will take place from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Fridays-Mondays.

Night sky viewing will occur Thursdays-Sundays, from just after dark until at least midnight.

This will be a good year to learn about astronomy. The big celestial event should begin around late August, with the first glimpse of the Comet ISON. If the comet stays together, it should be visible to the naked eye by November.

Also, the Southern Delta Aquarids meteor shower will peal July 28-29, and the Perseids meteor shower will peak Aug. 12-13.

The programs will run through Sept. 15.

Staff report

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