Auction to benefit state’s national parks

Tickets are on sale for the annual spring dinner and auction held by Washington’s National Park Fund. The event is scheduled for April 11 at the Seattle Design Center.

Attendees will have the chance to meet mountaineer Lou Whittaker, who is the honorary auction chairman, as well as park staff and volunteers, and community leaders.

Money raised at the event is used to fund programs and projects at Mount Rainier, North Cascades and Olympic national parks.

In recent years, grants from the fund have allowed Mount Rainier to provide roadside assistance to park visitors, trained park staff for mountain rescues and funded the park’s volunteer program.

At North Cascades, funds have been used for trail repair, a 14-day bioblitz and the creation of a guide to alpine and subalpine wildflowers.

Olympic National Park has used funds to track salmon returning to the Elwha River, monitor elk and fund an education/public information position at the Kalaloch Ranger Station.

Last year’s banquet raised more than $180,000 for the park fund, including $53,000 specifically earmarked for trail repair. Since 2007, the fund has contributed $2 million to support more than 100 projects at the three national parks.

From now through March 16, tickets are $125 each, or $1,000 for a table for eight people. Tickets for park staff are $75 each.

To learn more, go to wnpf.org.


The social media team at Mount Rainier is sharing a different background photo each month this year. The image, including a small calendar, is available through the park’s social media pages and website, according to interpretive media specialist Patti Wold.

This month’s background photo, showing a cloud-obscured summit taken from Paradise Meadows, was taken by former park guide Jasmine Davis.

The January image was of the snow-clad forest overlooking a cloud-filled White River valley.

The images are available in eight screen sizes. This month’s image can be found at go.usa.gov/FzuQ.


While not a local park, plenty of South Sound residents visit Yellowstone National Park. They should note the park will begin charging an overnight backcountry permit fee May 1. The money raised from the new fees will help defray the costs of running the park’s backcountry program.

Anyone obtaining a permit to stay overnight in the backcountry between Memorial Day and Sept. 10 will have to pay a per-person, per night permit fee for all individuals 9 years of age or older.

Backpackers and boaters will pay $3 per person, per night, with groups of five or more paying a total of $15 per night. Stock users will be charged $5 per person, per night.

Visitors can purchase an annual backcountry pass for $25, which covers the per-person, per-night backcountry fees for the individual pass holder for the calendar year in which the pass is purchased.

Revenues from the advanced reservation and per-night fees are expected to cover 40 percent of the costs associated with operating the park’s nine backcountry offices.