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Friday, March 2, 2012

Bumping Lake geography

In past and upcoming issues of The Wild Cascades, we express grave concern about plans to raise the dam at the outlet of Bumping Lake east of Mt. Rainier and inundate some very rare ancient forest. To help illustrate the threat, here are a couple of maps.

First we feature a map drawn by our founder, Patrick Goldsworthy, an old-school cartographer and conservationist if there ever was one! We're proud to continue to feature Patrick's handmade maps in our journal and online. Thanks, Patrick!


Patrick notes on his map that Bumping Lake is adjacent to the William O. Douglas Wilderness, and that the site of Justice Douglas' cabin, Goose Prairie, is just downstream from the lake. Douglas was a tireless advocate for conservation and wrote Of Men And Mountains as a personal memoir of his time in the Cascades, a good deal of it in the Bumping Lake area. He would be appalled to know that the last big trees around his beloved Bumping Lake would fall as part of this water plan. 

Now to a more modern map of the area, (c) DeLorme TopoUSA, highlighting the contour line that represents the area to be inundated if the dam is raised. Most of the land is relatively level on the south shore, part of an alluvial fan, covered with huge east-side ancient forest, very rare and beautiful but outside designated Wilderness or Park, and thus unprotected. In the upcoming issue of The Wild Cascades, we'll take you on a guided walking tour of this forest, so you can see just what will be lost if the dam is raised.


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