West Bay tree planting will aid heron habitat

Volunteers are needed to help plant native trees and shrubs, spread mulch and remove ivy at West Bay Saturday.

Participants will work with staffers from the Olympia-Thurston County Stream Team, and members of the Olympia Coalition for Ecosystem Preservation and Washington Conservation Corps.

The work is designed to help restore the forest where herons have chosen to create a rookery and build their nests. This is will be the last chance to do any restoration work before the nesting season, as herons need seven months of quiet to raise their young.

Volunteers should dress for the weather. Gloves tools, and hot beverages will be provided.

The work party will run 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Participants should meet near 1212 Dickinson Ave. NW, Olympia, at the end of the pavement.

For more information, contact Tamara Lindner at tlindner@ci.olympia.wa.us or 360-753-8159.

Animal Planet

New TV series follows state wildlife officers

Rugged Justice,” a six-episode Animal Planet network series featuring state Department of Fish and Wildlife enforcement officers will make its debut Sunday (Jan. 18) at 8 p.m..

Filmed last fall, the show follows wildlife officers as they patrol “unforgiving mountain terrains, twisted rainforest back roads and densely populated coastal areas … more than 42 million acres of rugged terrain, half of it heavily forested and filled with wild animals – and often-dangerous people,” according to a press release from the cable channel.

The department’s law enforcement’s Facebook page said, “It’s safe to say that our typical, regulated, hunting and fishing license-holding public knows what we do, but this series will highlight Enforcement’s relevance to the greater public.”

Water sports

State reopens most Wanapum access sites

After most of the Wanapum Reservoir on the Columbia River has reopened for public use, two boat launches and some shorelines owned by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife in the upper basin will remain closed until spring.

Most areas of the 37-mile reservoir have been closed to the public since last March, when Grant County Public Utility District drastically lowered water levels to repair a fractured spillway at Wanapum Dam, near Vantage.

Since that work has been completed, the utility has raised water levels to a point where access points in the southern end of the reservoir have been reopened. But water levels in the West Bar and Quilomene areas remain too low to open to the public.

Department-owned lands scheduled to remain closed at least until March 31 include:

• The Sunland Estates and Yo Yo boat ramps, north of Vantage.

• Portions of the shoreline upriver from Sunland Estates, marked by closure signs.

In addition, all off-road vehicles are currently prohibited on all exposed WDFW shorelines and beaches along the reservoir, whether they are posted as closed.

The agency improved the Sunland Estates and Yo Yo boat launches, installing armor matting to prevent boat trailers from “bottoming out.” Using those ramps during low-water conditions could damage the new matting as well as boats and trailers.

Compiled by Jeffrey P. Mayor, jeff.mayor@thenewstribune.com