Lopez Community Trails Network announces 2015 hikes

“The Lopez Community Trails Network (LCTN) is again scheduling a series of hikes open to the public under the title “Go Take a Hike.” Our hike schedule, under the direction of Bob Walker, includes a variety of destinations on- and off-island, including easy beach walks to more strenuous mountain hikes. These monthly hikes are held on Saturdays. Hikes are at a leisurely pace to encourage exploration and to experience the wonders of nature.

“Sign up is by phone or e-mail with the hike leader. There is no expense except the sharing of transportation costs when we go off island. Please call Bob Walker (468-3397) with any questions about any details.”

The first hike is this Saturday, April 11th at 8am: Bird Walk with Bob Myhr. A San Juan Islands Audubon Society (jointly sponsored by the LCTN) field trip starting at Otis Perkins Park and walking to the Land Bank Peninsula Preserve.

Pick up a brochure for  the full schedule of hikes at the Lopez BLM office, the Lopez Library, or the Chamber of Commerce office. Or view the full schedule of hikes on the LCTN’s website: Go Take a Hike.


Lopez Community Trails Network long range plan

This spring, our partner the Lopez Community Trails Network completed its Lopez Island Trails Long Range Plan. Kirman Taylor will be presenting the Plan to the San Juan County Commission on Tuesday, December 2nd. The meeting will be held at the Lopez Community center and begins at 9:00am.

From Kirman:

“We developed this document at the suggestion of our sibling trails groups, San Juan County Trails Committee and Orcas Pathways, as well as with the advice of our NPS consultant Alex Stone.  We are presenting it to SJC Council for recognition of our accomplishments and to reinforce our vision before the governing body of the county.

“Special thanks to Ilene Unruh and Dianne Dyer who shouldered the bulk of the work.”

Download the Plan here: LCTN Long Range Trails Plan, MASTER Spring 2014, 4-08-2014

Fall Mushroom Hike photos and list

It was a beautiful and warm day for the mushroom walk. Here’s a partial list of mushroom species collected on our October hike. Common names, where available, are in bold:

  • Agaricus hondensis (?) Felt-ringed agaricus
  •  ”  praeclaresquamosus (?)
  • Amanita phalloides (?) Death cap
  • Chlorophyyllum olivieri Shaggy Parasol
  • Fomitopsis cajanderi Rosy conk
  • Gomphidius sp.
  • Gymnopilus sp.
  • Lactarius rubrilacteus Bleeding milk-cap
  • Lepiota magnispora
  • Leucopaxillus sp.
  • Marasmius plientolus (?)
  • Pholiota aurivella (?)
  • Pleurotus ostreatus Oyster mushroom
  • Pluteus sp.
  • Pseudohydnum gelatinosum White jelly
  • Russula brevips, parasitized by Hypomyces laciafluorum Lobster mushroom
  • Suillus sp.
  • Thelephora terrestris

Madrona suggested good local online mushroom key: Keys to Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest

Many many thanks to Madrona, Tim, and everyone who helped to make this possible! See you next year…

Fall Mushroom hike

The autumn rains are priming those forest jewels to pop up for our 2014 Mushroom Walk on Lopez Hill, led by Madrona Murphy from Kwiaht. At 3:00 pm on Sunday, October 19th we will set off from the parking area off Lopez Sound Road (directions here). This walk will be shorter than last year and the number of people will be limited so that everyone can see and hear. Please sign up by emailing Tim Clark at timc@rockisland.com. Wear appropriate clothing and shoes for walking in the weather, along with books, cameras, maps and questions. Please try to car-pool from the school, since parking is limited. See you there!

National Public Lands Day celebration

Via the Lopez Community Trails Network:

The 4th Annual Lopez Island National Public Lands Day Celebration

Saturday, September 27

10am-2pm, Watmough Bay

Spend the day outdoors having fun, learning about & helping your public lands!  Activities include kayak rides, nature walks & talks, trail projects, kids activities, and beach clean-up – opportunities for all ages!

Snacks and drinks provided!

All activities are free.

Events are centered at Watmough Bay, but additional activities will be at:

  • Chadwick Hill: hike & do trail maintenance along the way
  • Point Colville: join a beach clean-up crew or take a nature walk to this beautiful site
  • Iceberg Point: Join Kwiaht’s “Reading the Landscape: Clues to Ecosystem Histories” from 12-2pm

Partner organizations that are making this day possible include: Bureau of Land Management-San Juan Islands National Monument, San Juan County Land Bank, San Juan Preservation Trust, Lopez Island Conservation Corps, Kwiaht, Cascadia Kayaks, Whispers of Nature Herbs, Lopez Community Trails Network, Leave No Trace, National Parks Service, and San Juan Island Conservation Corps.

For more information, call Victoria: 970-739-1993

Hunting on Lopez Hill 2014

There has been hunting on Lopez Hill for many generations. Ever since the major predators of deer (wolves and mountain lions*) were removed from the islands, the deer population has grown unsustainably. Today hunting is the best current hope for keeping the deer population down. The hunting season on Lopez Hill extends for half of the time for the rest of the state, in a compromise between safety and deer population control.

The hunting seasons for Lopez Hill are:

Archery: September 1 – 27
Muzzleloader: September 28 – October 6
Modern Firearms: October 11 – 31

Other areas will have a longer hunting season, with a late season for modern firearms from November 14- 17, archery November 27 – December 31, and muzzleloaders November 28 – December 15. These areas include Chadwick Hill, Point Colville, Iceberg Point, and private property. No hunting is allowed at Odlin South this year.

Wearing ‘hunter orange’ is a good idea during the next couple of months in the woods. As always, please respect others and what they do. We all love the Hill, for various reasons, and we all work to improve it in various ways. We can’t burn bridges on an island.

Thanks to those who work on, use, and just enjoy our more wild areas. We may all be needed to save these places.

—Tim Clark, Lopez Land Bank Steward

* We were informed by Madrona Murphy at Kwiáht that “we’ve never seen reliable reports of mountain lions in the islands in the past. Good records for wolves though.”

Firearm Restrictions

Firearms restrictions are in effect in all of San Juan County. From the Washington State Big Game Hunting Pamphlet:

It is unlawful to hunt wildlife in the following firearm restriction areas with centerfire or rimfire rifles, or to fail to comply with additional firearm restrictions, except as established below.

In firearm restriction areas, hunters may hunt only during the season allowed by their tag.

  • Archery tag holders may only hunt during archery seasons with archery equipment.
  • Muzzleloader tag holders may only hunt during muzzleloader seasons with muzzleloader equipment as defined by department rule.
  • Modern firearm tag holders may hunt during established modern firearm seasons with bows and arrows; crossbows; muzzleloaders; revolver-type handguns; or shotguns, so long as the equipment and ammunition complies with department rules.

Keep your cool on Lopez Hill

Guided hike on Lopez Hill

Sunday, August 24th, 2pm

Beat the heat while enjoying the cool greenery of Lopez Hill with  friends. The “Keep Your Cool” hike will meet at the parking area off Lopez  Sound Road: directions to the trailhead. Experienced guides will walk you around this gem at whatever pace you desire, from a wafting breeze on your face to a howling gale. It’s guaranteed to be cooler than Lopez Village. Please dress for the weather, wear appropriate shoes for hiking, and bring water. See you there!