Welcoming the New Year by decree


									                                           The Bridge
                                       Interpretive Newsletter
                                        Deception Pass State Park
                                              December 2009

                   Winter Diets                           mouth of the Skagit. Smelling their way along, they
                                                          eventually recognize the chemical signature of their
        It seems to me that almost every year about
                                                          home river. In the Lower River and estuaries,
this time, my thoughts turn to food.
                                                          salmon start the ultimate winter diet, they stop
        Comfort foods to help us weather the cold,        eating. Counting on their reserves of fat, they will
dark winter months or sharing food with family and        not eat again before reaching their spawning ground
friends during the holiday, we all have favorite          to lay and fertilize eggs. Once they have achieved
memories surrounding a particular meal.                   their goal, they die. All on its own, this is a pretty
        I also find my thoughts drifting to fitness       amazing journey.
and lamenting my physical state, having eaten more                If you get a chance, follow the journey this
and exercised less. Thoughts of dieting briefly           winter, driving up Highway 20 following the path
entertained before the next holiday gathering,            of the salmon. Only then can you really get a true
always with a promise to do better in the coming          sense of the importance of salmon to the ecosystem.
year.                                                     Everything you see on your drive can be connected
         For many of us, thoughts turn to helping         to salmon in some way.
others, spending time volunteering for, or sending                 The human communities strung along the
food to, local food banks to help those in our            river rely on the salmon directly or indirectly for
community who are less fortunate. Communities             their livelihoods, from fishing to tourism. The
are only as strong as the connections of its              animal and plant communities, everything from the
component parts. Each link in the community plays         largest old growth tree to the smallest macro
a critical role to keep the community healthy.            invertebrate, in some way rely on the salmon’s
        Of course there is a parallel in our local        journey.
natural ecosystems. To see this first-hand is as easy           See it for yourself this winter, drive
as driving Highway 20 eastbound; from the open            Highway 20 and make the connections.
shores of Deception Pass, past the estuary of Padilla
                                                                 A couple of recommended stops along the
Bay, all the way to the crest of the North Cascades.
Driving Highway 20 is as close as you can get to
                                                          Deception Pass State Park: Vital gateway to the
following the migratory journey of Pacific Salmon
                                                                 Skagit for migrating salmon. Park Hours:
as you can get without swimming it for yourself.
                                                                 8:30am-dusk. Tours available, call 360-
       In November and December, Skagit River                    675-3767 ext 31
Chum and Coho salmon start their journey up the
                                                          Padilla Bay National Estuarine Reserve: Critical
Skagit River to their spawning grounds in the Upper
                                                                 stop for salmon and wintering waterfowl and
Skagit River and its tributaries.                                raptors. Check winter hours:
        Returning from their journey into the Pacific            http://www.padillabay.gov/aboutlocationhours.a
Ocean, packed with marine nutrients, many salmon                 sp
return through Deception Pass on their way to the

Deception Pass State Park, Interpretive Services: 360.675.3767 x31
National Park and Forest Service Office, Sedro-                              Winter Images
       Woolley, WA. Call for hours- 360-856-5700
Rockport State Park: Amazing Old Growth Forest,
       benefits from and provides resources for Eagles
       and Salmon.
       Find out how: January 2010: Saturdays (9th,
       16th, 23rd, 30th): 10am-3pm
       Deep Forest Tours – free naturalist and self
       guided activities for the whole family.
Skagit River Bald Eagle Interpretive Center,
       Rockport, WA.
       Check hours and activities:

There are many other wonderful stops along the
journey. Get out and discover our local
        At some time this winter, perhaps while
enjoying a special meal with family and friends or
celebrating the past year, please pause to reflect and
think about all of the members of our community
that are linked to our lives in some way. Don’t be
afraid to learn more and reach out to those that need
our help.
        Enjoy the rare winter sunshine and the
replenishing rains of the New Year.

          School Trips to Deception Pass
If you are a teacher or know a class that is
interested in taking a field trip to Deception Pass
State Park, contact us at 360-675-3767 ext 31 or
adam.lorio@parks.wa.gov to schedule a trip with                       Bald Eagle wintering on Fir Island
park staff.

                 Looking Forward
                                                          If you would like to schedule an Interpretive
The Deception Pass Bridge turns 75 years old on           Program or have any questions regarding
Saturday, July 31st, 2010.                                Interpretive/Education Services at Deception Pass
We are planning a celebration to rival the opening        State Park please contact us at:
of the Bridge in 1935.                                    (360)675-3767 ext 31 or adam.lorio@parks.wa.gov

We need your help!                                        If you would like to be added to or removed from
                                                          the regular e-mail distribution list please contact us
Please call me if you would like to be involved:          at adam.lorio@parks.wa.gov
Adam: 360-675-3767 ext 31

Deception Pass State Park, Interpretive Services: 360.675.3767 x31

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