Mid-July: Radio Repeater Maintenance
Helicopter flights to support radio maintenance and replacement of outdated equipment will occur to keep the park radio communications system operational. Four to six flights to Ruby and McGregor repeaters and two flights to Copper and Desolation repeater sites are possible. Flights will be combined with other projects and the helicopter will remain on site during work when possible, to reduce flight numbers. If needed, there will be one to two flights to Eldorado for toilet maintenance.
September: Mountain Lake Water Quality Monitoring (tentative dates September 5-7)
Six mountain lakes at NOCA have been monitored annually through the North Coast and Cascades Network long-term ecological monitoring program since 2012. This program provides a robust and unique data set from mountain lake environments. Flights to transport researchers and haul equipment to two of these lakes, Easy Ridge and Lower Silent lakes, are required due to the technical nature of approaching them by foot. Three flights are required for this project; one for ingress into the primary lake, one to transfer crew and gear to a second lake, and the final flight for egress.
September: Mountain Lake Fishery Management (tentative dates September 11-13)
In mid-September NPS resource management staff will conduct environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling and fish removal effectiveness monitoring at Firn, Doug’s Tarn, and Skymo lakes. Survey objectives are to determine the effectiveness of non-native fish removal activities at these historically fishless lakes, and to monitor the recovery of native amphibians. Up to six flights will be required for crew transport to and from these remote mountain lakes.
September: Long-term Glacier Monitoring
Since 1993, the National Park Service has been monitoring the mass balance of four glaciers in North Cascades National Park: Noisy, North Klawatti, Silver, and Sandalee. Field measurements of winter snow accumulation and summer melt occur twice annually in early spring and fall. From these measurements, annual changes in volume can be calculated providing insight into the glaciers’ health and their contribution to regional streamflow. Helicopters support transportation of scientists and monitoring equipment to these remote sites. Spring flights occur over a two-day period between late April and early May and a one-day fall flight will be required in late September.
Ongoing: Helicopter flights by Seattle City Light may occur throughout the summer and fall in Ross Lake National Recreation Area as scientific studies continue for the Skagit River Hydropower Project Relicense. Although flights will not likely occur in wilderness, helicopter noise may be heard on and around Ross Lake.