Spokane 2012 Annual SRM Meeting
Technical Tours
Drumheller Channels near Othello, Washington


Saturday, January 28, 2012
8:00 AM TO 5:00 PM
Lunch Provided
Minimum number of participants:  40

The preconvention tour will visit Grand Coulee Dam and Dry Falls State Park in central Washington's rugged "Channeled Scablands". These sites present spectacular vistas of Washington's monumental water works, past and present.

Workers installing penstock at Grand Coulee Dam.

Grand Coulee Dam has been described as one of the Seven Civil Engineering Wonders of the World. Spanning the Columbia River and backing water upstream 150 miles to the Canadian border, the dam is one of the largest concrete structures in the world. It feeds the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project, watering 560,000 acres of farmland in a network of canals and reservoirs stretching nearly to Oregon. The history of the project, its role in development of the Columbia Basin, and impacts on natural resources will be discussed.

Bruce Bjornstad, Senior Research Scientist, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington, and author of "On the Trail of The Ice Age Floods: A Geological Field Guide to the Mid-Columbia Basin", will outline the dramatic flood geology of the Grand Coulee. A noted lecturer and photographer, Bjornstad has explored the Lake Missoula Floods and led field trips through its scoured channels and curious landforms for over twenty-five years.

Dry Falls State Park marks the discharge of Ice Age Floods through the Grand Coulee. The waterfall, which ran over 400 feet in height and more than three miles wide, is now exposed in basalt cliffs amid the desert. This exceptional overlook and visitor's center is dedicated to J. Harlan Bretz, visionary interpreter of this vast geology.

As a "Welcome!" to the 2012 SRM meetings, a wine tasting will explore award-winning Washington wines, products of the region's fertile soils and distinctive climate. Our host is Gary Cox, of Cox Canyon Vineyard - wine maker, viticulturist, and Instructor of Vineyard and Winery Technology at Yakima Valley Community College.

All events will be held indoors. Photographers and other adventurers should dress for brief exposure to outdoor conditions.

Indian Paintbrush


Special Notice: We physically cannot take any more folks to Swanson Lake. The bus and the shop facility where we are meeting is full.

Rainier Seed will be encouraging folks to come out and see the seed plant over the weekend on their own. They are welcome to do that if they want, but there will be no transportation provided and no signup. Folks should check with Rainier at their booth in the trade show about timing and directions.
Sage Grouse
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
8:00 AM TO 1:00 PM
Refreshments Provided
Minimum number of participants:  25

Seed quality includes all aspects of seed production from initial selection and testing of plant materials through the marketing of commercial seed. Rainier Seed Inc. at Davenport, Washington, produces a large variety of introduced and native grass seed, as well as native forb seeds selected for specialized uses such as riparian revegetation and source identified native seed for restoration projects. Company managers will discuss large-scale production of seed from the field to the commercial package. Procedures for maintaining seed purity, germination, and conditioning of quality seeds will be emphasized.

The Swanson Lakes Wildlife Area near Creston, Washington, will be visited to discuss sage grouse management. This refuge, managed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, has been extensively revegetated to restore Pacific Northwest native rangeland. Since 2008, sage grouse have been transplanted into this historic grouse range. Ongoing telemetry studies are documenting the response of these birds to transplantation, and habitat use by both sage and sharp-tailed grouse. Adaptive management within the refuge and on adjacent privately owned rangelands and Bureau of Land Management grazing allotments will be discussed.

All participants should dress to be comfortable out-of-doors in cold weather for brief periods.

Sacred Heart Mission

"THE 1910 'BIG BURN'"

Friday, February 3, 2012
8:00 AM TO 4:00 PM
Lunch Provided
Minimum number of participants:  30

The post-convention tour will take in historic sites in beautiful North Idaho. The Old Mission State Park at Cataldo displays the Sacred Heart Mission dating from 1853. This restored National Register property is the oldest standing building in the state of Idaho, and a focal point of Anglo-Indian relations and other early historic development of the region.

Edward Pulaski, survivor of the 1910 Big Burn

The tour will conclude at Wallace, Idaho, located in the middle of the historic "Big Burn", which spread over three million acres from the Salmon River to Canada in August of 1910. This cataclysmic event transformed the ecosystems of North Idaho forest and it altered management of the newly staffed US Forest Service. The event also influenced US federal fire management policy through the Twentieth Century.

Guest speakers Russ Graham of the Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, and Doug Nace and Jason Jerman of the Northern Idaho Panhandle Forests will discuss the history of this event, its lore, ecology, and impacts on public land management. Weather permitting, a brief walking tour will introduce participants to the Historic Wallace District and the Wallace District Mining Museum, and provide a pilgrimage to the "Center of the Universe" at the intersection of Bank and Sixth streets in downtown Wallace.

Events to be held indoors. Photographers and the curious should dress for outdoor conditions.