Sunday, July 28, 2013

Hunting without a permit on Crawford Mountain

Teasel with a hover fly at the parking area

Crawford Mountain is just outside of Tenino and south east of Olympia.  It is owned by Weyerhouser.  The mountain was popular with geocachers but that has just changed...

Weyerhaeuser will be closing open general public access to the Vail Tree farm which includes Crawford Mtn. Beginning August 1, 2013, there are only two authorized ways to travel on these lands.

1) Purchase a $150 recreational permit, which covers Aug. 1 - Dec. 31, allowing for keyed access to the gate for motorized access. This permit is subject to closure for fire and logging.

2) Bid for a year 'round group recreational permit. These are expensive and unfortunately the bid process closes in late June. The annual period runs from Aug 1 to July 31 and again is subject to closure for fire and logging.

For more Weyerhaeuser information:

Phone: 360-446-2704

I wanted to see this place before public access is shut off to all but the well-to-do by the new permit system. Timber companies were given a lot of land and got other lands on the cheap and pay a much reduced agricultural tax rate. The justification for the low tax rate is that tree farms provide sport and recreational opportunities.

With each cache owner’s permission we removed 21 caches from the tree farm as probably no one will want to pay $150 to access the land for just a few months each year at the peak of hunting season, for the sake of geocaching. It’s probably not even safe to be geocaching at that time of year in such a popular hunting ground.

 12 miles with 1,200 feet elevation gain.  I'll count six of these mile as hiking miles since we pushed our bikes most of the way up.

Starting at the gate with a trailer to haul the caches out in

Nice second growth on DNR land behind the gate

our star on top of the mountain

checking off caches as they are removed

Bagged our limit of caches

Track and elevation log

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