Friday, October 4, 2013

Restoring alpine vegetation in the Cascade mountains

 We kicked off a Treasured Landscapes Volunteer Vacation this summer with citizen scientists, National Forest Foundation's  (NFF) Kathleen Dowd-Gaily, the North Cascades Basecamp's Bondi family, and Therese Ohlson (retired USFS botanist) as they hiked the Maple Pass Loop to enjoy the wildflower display and learn about alpine ecology and restoration as part of a week long program to explore areas that are a part of the NFF’s Treasured Landscapes, Unforgettable Experiences conservation campaign.

The Maple Pass Loop is a great example of a trail being over-loved in our eastern Cascades mountains.  The views are incredible of Black Peak, Cutthroat Pass, Golden Horn to the north, and Glacier Peak to the south.  It is a strenuous but satisfying 8 mile round trip loop.  This beloved trail has earned its popularity with over 10,000 visitors /year (explained T. Ohlson), and it is written up in many of our North Cascades hiking guide books.  However its abraided trails through the mountain heather, the bare soil on every potential overlook, and the lack of vegetation at Maple Pass show its high volume use.

The US Forest Service and NFF are working to change over-loved trail with restoration of the alpine plant communities.  The Treasured Landscapes Initiative is collaborating its efforts with citizen science volunteers and forest service employees to designate a sound user path along the trail, plant and restore native plants outside the newly designated paths, and gently block off restored areas for future generations to enjoy.   The outcome will be incredible if folks respect the efforts and take charge of their actions on this and other trails above treeline.  A grand hope is that if this restoration effort is successful, it will lead to a greater understanding of how to love and protect our alpine trail systems.

If you'd like to be part of this effort, please contact Kathleen Dowd-Gailey by email at or phone at 206/832-8280.  Or let us know if you'd like to partake in the project as part of a North Cascades Basecamp citizen science effort and we can help organize a summer project for 2015. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Basecamp Granola

This is a favorite cereal at the North Cascades Basecamp, put out daily as part of our cold cereal bar to accompany a locally grown, healthy hot breakfast we serve for our guests.   This granola recipe is truly the inspiration for this recipe blog since we have requests for it so often, and we love to share!  It holds its crunch, is loaded with nuts and seeds, and low on sugar compared to other (even healthy) granolas.  I thinks the combination of coconut oil, peanut butter, agave syrup, maple syrup, ground flax seed, our our own Basecamp honey give it the perfect sweetness and texture. One note is that each batch is unique because we like to throw the ingredients together depending on our moods.  Let us know what you think!


4 cups rolled oats
1 cup raw almonds (chunked)
1 cup raw walnuts
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup raw sesame seeds
4 T ground flax
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup honey (substitute partial 100% maple syrup or brown rice syrup)
3 T agave nectar
3 T coconut oil
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 1/4 cup brown sugar

coconut flakes, dried cranberries, pepitas, raisins

Set oven to 100 degrees F.  In a medium saucepan, head the wet ingredients until smooth.  Stir frequently so it doesn't burn.  Stir wet ingredients into dry until well coated; it may be hard to stir at this point, but make sure everything is combined.  Spread mixture onto a well oiled jelly roll sheet, or other baking pan with at least a 1/2 inch side.  Bake for 45 minutes, removing the pan every 15 minute to give the granola a good stir and prevent over browning on the sides.  Allow to cool on the pan before putting it away in a airtight container.

Printed from North Cascades Basecamp recipe blog
October 2013
inspired by Oh She Glows My Favourite Homemade Granola (to-date)