News in Brief: Grant opportunity, National park, State parks passes


Funding available in the Nisqually Watershed

Nisqually Valley News staff

The Nisqually Indian Tribe is requesting grant proposals for salmon habitat restoration and protection projects within the Nisqually River Watershed.

Through state and federal funds, $1.8 million in funding is available for on-the-ground habitat restoration projects, assessments that will lead to other projects and land acquisitions, according to a release from the Nisqually Indian Tribe.

The Nisqually Indian Tribe serves as the lead entity that coordinates the solicitation and ranking of projects within the watershed.

According to the Nisqually Indian Tribe, total funding available for projects has not yet been determined by the state legislature. Eligible project proposals are to be ranked by the Nisqually River Council and submitted to the state Salmon Recovery Funding Board (SRFB), then to the state Legislature for funding consideration.

High priority actions and geographical areas within the Nisqually Watershed’s Salmon Recovery strategy will have the best chances of obtaining high ranking and funding.

Applicants eligible for funding include local governments, state agencies with a local partner, conservation districts, tribes, non-profit organizations, special purpose districts, Regional Fisheries Enhancement Grounds and private landowners, the release said.

Parties interested can submit a Letter of Intent to the Nisqually Indian Tribe’s Natural Resources Office, and must do such by Dec. 1. Completed applications are due in February.

Applicants are encouraged to contact Ashley Von Essen, Lead Entity Coordinator for the Nisqually Indian Tribe Natural Resources. She can be reached at or (360) 456-5221.

Mount Rainier National Park seeks public input on draft plan to improve park accessibility

Nisqually Valley News Staff

The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking public feedback on the Mount Rainier National Park’s Draft Accessibility Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan (SETP). The document is available for public review and comment now through Thursday, Nov. 30.

The Draft SETP documents existing barriers to accessibility, provides recommendations for improving in-park access and proposes timeframes to implement changes, according to a press release. Suggested improvements include upgrades to park structures, programs and services.

“It is very important that Mount Rainier National Park provides a welcoming and inclusive environment for visitors of all abilities to enjoy,” Superintendent Greg Dudgeon said in a press release. “This plan describes our strategy to improve accessibility in key locations throughout the park, and helps ensure that Mount Rainier’s spectacular wildflower meadows, old-growth forests, waterfalls, and other resources can be experienced by all.”

Comments may be submitted online at the project website by clicking on “Open for Comment.” Those interested in providing feedback can visit

State parks  Sno-Park passes available Nov. 1, off-season senior citizen passes on sale now

Nisqually Valley News staff

Sno-Park passes are set to go on sale Nov. 1, and those interested can purchase their pass online at A Sno-Park permit is always required to park at a Washington Sno-Park between Dec. 1 and March 31, and could be required in April and November at the land manager’s discretion.

The discover pass is no longer required to accompany the daily or season Sno-Park permit, even on Washington State Parks land or in Sno-Parks.

Seniors can now apply for the off-season senior citizen pass. It is offered to those older than 62 years of age and includes free camping or moorage at one site per night. Utility fees only total $10 per night if the camper is at a hook-up site.

The pass itself costs $75, and Senior Citizen Limited Income pass holders can purchase the off-season pass for $37.50, a 50% discount.

The pass is valid seven days a week through March 31 and Sunday through Thursday in April. It expires after April 30, and discounts apply to reservations made during the off-season period only.

The pass is available for purchase at