Skagit County, Washington
Skagit County is a county in the U. S. state of Washington. As of the 2010 census, the population was 116,901; the county seat and largest city is Mount Vernon. The county was formed in 1883 from Whatcom County and is named for the Skagit Indian tribe, indigenous to the area prior to European-American settlement. Skagit County comprises the Mount Vernon-Anacortes, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area, is included in the Seattle-Tacoma, WA Combined Statistical Area, it is located in the Puget Sound region. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,920 square miles, of which 1,731 square miles is land and 189 square miles is water, it is noted for its broad, fertile valley of the Skagit River, a center for cultivation of tulips and strawberries. Whatcom County – north Okanogan County – east Chelan County – southeast Snohomish County – south Island County – southwest San Juan County – west Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest North Cascades National Park Ross Lake National Recreation Area Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail As of the census of 2000, there were 102,979 people, 38,852 households, 27,351 families residing in the county.
The population density was 59 people per square mile. There were 42,681 housing units at an average density of 25 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 86.49% White, 0.44% Black or African American, 1.85% Native American, 1.49% Asian, 0.16% Pacific Islander, 7.17% from other races, 2.40% from two or more races. 11.20% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 13.9% were of German, 11.2% English, 9.2% Norwegian, 8.2% Irish and 6.7% United States or American ancestry. Three Salish Native American tribes have reservations in the county: the Swinomish, Upper Skagit, Samish. There were 38,852 households out of which 32.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.60% were married couples living together, 9.70% had a female householder with no husband present, 29.60% were non-families. 23.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.00% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.06.
In the county, the population was spread out with 26.30% under the age of 18, 8.60% from 18 to 24, 26.90% from 25 to 44, 23.60% from 45 to 64, 14.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 98.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.70 males. The median income for a household in the county was $42,381, the median income for a family was $48,347. Males had a median income of $37,207 versus $26,123 for females; the per capita income for the county was $21,256. About 7.90% of families and 11.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.50% of those under age 18 and 6.80% of those age 65 or over. As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 116,901 people, 45,557 households, 30,656 families residing in the county; the population density was 67.5 inhabitants per square mile. There were 51,473 housing units at an average density of 29.7 per square mile. The racial makeup of the county was 83.4% white, 2.2% American Indian, 1.8% Asian, 0.7% black or African American, 0.2% Pacific islander, 8.7% from other races, 3.2% from two or more races.
Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 16.9% of the population. The largest ancestry groups were: 17.8% German, 14.9% Mexican, 13.7% English, 11.4% Irish, 8.3% Norwegian, 4.8% Swedish, 4.3% Dutch. Of the 45,557 households, 30.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.1% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 32.7% were non-families, 25.6% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.01. The median age was 40.1 years. The median income for a household in the county was $54,811 and the median income for a family was $63,468. Males had a median income of $48,979 versus $34,628 for females; the per capita income for the county was $26,925. About 7.4% of families and 11.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.0% of those under age 18 and 6.2% of those age 65 or over. Skagit County's government is headed by three commissioners, in the system laid out in the state constitution for all counties without charters.
Commissioners are "nominated" in the primary by their district, but are elected in the general by a county-wide vote. Commissioners are therefore said to represent the entire county, not just their district; the current Skagit County commissioners include Lisa Janicki, a Democrat from District 3, which encompasses Burlington east of Interstate 5, Sedro-Woolley, the rest of eastern Skagit County. In 2006, the Skagit County Marine Resources Committee commissioned a study to evaluate establishing one or more no-take marine reserves to protect rockfish and other groundfish from overfishing. Skagit Transit provides bus service in Skagit County, it provides connections to Everett, Whidbey Island and Camano Island. Skagit Transit operates the Guemes Island ferry linking Anacortes, Washington to Guemes Island. Interstate 5 State Route 9 State Route 20 Anacortes Burlington Mount Vernon Sedro-Woolley Concrete Hamilton La Conner Lyman Swinomish Indian Reservation Upper Skagit Indian Reservation Samish Indian Reservation Ehrlich Skagit City Whitney National Register of Historic Pla
Dome Peak is a high, glaciated mountain in the Glacier Peak Wilderness of Washington's North Cascades. The remote location of Dome Peak, combined with its height, make it a less common destination for Cascade Range mountaineers. Dome Peak is at the southern end of the Ptarmigan Traverse mountaineering route, it is located at the extreme southeast corner of Skagit County. The mountain was given its name by Albert H. Sylvester, the first forest supervisor of Wenatchee National Forest. There are two main summits connected by a narrow ridge with the northeastern summit being higher than the southwestern. Chickamin Glacier is north of the peak. A rock face drops off to the southeast. Dana Glacier is on the north side of a ridge that connects Spire Point; the higher northeast peak was first climbed by George Freed and Eric Larson on August 1, 1936. The southwest peak was first climbed on July 5, 1936 by Forest Farr, Norval Grigg, Don Blair. Media related to Dome Peak at Wikimedia Commons "Dome Peak". Geographic Names Information System.
United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2009-01-19. "Dome Peak". SummitPost.org. Retrieved 2011-05-07
The elk or wapiti is one of the largest species within the deer family and one of the largest terrestrial mammals in North America and Northeast Asia. This animal should not be confused with the still larger moose to which the name "elk" applies in British English and in reference to populations in Eurasia. Elk range in forest and forest-edge habitat, feeding on grasses, plants and bark. Male elk have large antlers. Males engage in ritualized mating behaviors during the rut, including posturing, antler wrestling, bugling, a loud series of vocalizations that establishes dominance over other males and attracts females. Although they are native to North America and eastern Asia, they have adapted well to countries in which they have been introduced, including Argentina and New Zealand, their great adaptability may threaten endemic species and ecosystems into which they have been introduced. Elk are susceptible to a number of infectious diseases, some of which can be transmitted to livestock. Efforts to eliminate infectious diseases from elk populations by vaccination, have had mixed success.
Some cultures revere the elk as a spiritual force. In parts of Asia and their velvet are used in traditional medicines. Elk are hunted as a game species; the meat is higher in protein than beef or chicken. Elk were long believed to belong to a subspecies of the European red deer, but evidence from many mitochondrial DNA genetic studies beginning in 1998 shows that the two are distinct species. Key morphological differences that distinguish C. canadensis from C. elaphus are the former's wider rump patch and paler-hued antlers. Early European explorers in North America, who were familiar with the smaller red deer of Europe, thought that the larger North American animal resembled a moose, gave it the name elk, the common European name for moose; the word elk is related to the Latin alces, Old Norse elgr, Scandinavian elg/älg and German Elch, all of which refer to the animal known in North America as the moose. The name wapiti is from the Shawnee and Cree word waapiti, meaning "white rump"; this name is used in particular for the Asian subspecies, because in Eurasia the name elk continues to be used for the moose.
Wapiti is the preferred name for the species in New Zealand. Asian subspecies are sometimes referred to as the maral, but this name applies to the Caspian red deer, a subspecies of red deer. There is a subspecies of elk in Mongolia called the Altai wapiti known as the Altai maral. Members of the genus Cervus first appear in the fossil record 25 million years ago, during the Oligocene in Eurasia, but do not appear in the North American fossil record until the early Miocene; the extinct Irish elk was not a member of the genus Cervus, but rather the largest member of the wider deer family known from the fossil record. Until red deer and elk were considered to be one species, Cervus elaphus. However, mitochondrial DNA studies, conducted on hundreds of samples in 2004 from red deer and elk subspecies as well as other species of the Cervus deer family indicate that elk, or wapiti, should be a distinct species, namely Cervus canadensis; the previous classification had over a dozen subspecies under the C. elaphus species designation.
Elk and red deer produce fertile offspring in captivity, the two species have inter-bred in New Zealand's Fiordland National Park, where the cross-bred animals have all but removed the pure elk blood from the area. There are numerous subspecies of elk described, with six from North America and four from Asia, although some taxonomists consider them different ecotypes or races of the same species. Populations vary as to antler shape and size, body size and mating behavior. DNA investigations of the Eurasian subspecies revealed that phenotypic variation in antlers and rump patch development are based on "climatic-related lifestyle factors". Of the six subspecies of elk known to have inhabited North America in historical times, four remain, including the Roosevelt, Tule and Rocky Mountain; the Eastern elk and Merriam's elk subspecies have been extinct for at least a century. Four subspecies described in Asia include the Tianshan wapiti. Two distinct subspecies found in China and Korea are the Alashan wapitis.
The Manchurian wapiti is more reddish in coloration than the other populations. The Alashan wapiti of north central China is the smallest of all subspecies, has the lightest coloration and is the least studied. Biologist Valerius Geist, who has written on the world's various deer species, holds that there are only three subspecies of elk. Geist recognizes the Manchurian and Alashan wapiti but places all other elk into C. canadensis canadensis, claiming that classification of the four surviving North American groups as subspecies is driven, at least for political purposes to secure individualized conservation and protective measures for each of the surviving populations. Recent DNA studies suggest
Larix lyallii, the subalpine larch, or alpine larch, is a deciduous, coniferous tree native to northwestern North America. It lives at high altitudes—1,800 to 2,400 m —in the Rocky Mountains of Idaho, British Columbia, Alberta. There is a disjunct population in the Cascade Range of Washington. Subalpine larch can survive at low temperatures and on thin rocky soils. However, it can grow in a variety of soils and with or without shade, as long as the soil is moist but well-drained. Larix lyallii is a small tree, it has a straight trunk with a somewhat conical crown. The branches are irregularly spaced and twisted; the twigs are finely hairy. The needles are 20 to 35 mm long and crowded in groups of 30 to 40 on short spurs, they are deciduous, turning golden yellow in autumn. The seed cones, 2.5 to 4 cm long, are red-purple when young but become dark brown with age. They have narrow bracts that extend over the scales; the bark turns from yellow-gray to dark red-brown with age. It becomes furrowed into small, scaly plates.
The tree is one of the longest lived tree species. There is record of a specimen in Kananaskis, Alberta, estimated to be ~2000 years old, the oldest tree in Canada; the bark contains tannin and the wood is strong and durable. Gymnosperm Database: Larix lyallii Virginia Tech Dendrology: Larix lyallii Treelib.ca: Larix lyalii
Lake Chelan is a narrow, 50.5-mile long lake in Chelan County, north-central Washington state, U. S. Before 1927, it was the largest natural lake in the state by any measure. Upon the completion of Lake Chelan Dam in 1927, the elevation of the lake was increased by 21 feet to its present maximum-capacity elevation of 1,100 feet. Two communities lie on the southern end of the lake, a third sits at the far north end, providing a gateway to the North Cascades National Park; the name Chelan is a Salish Indigenous word, "Tsi - Laan," meaning'Deep Water'. On an annual basis, an average of 2,200 cubic feet per second flow into the lake. Seventy-five percent of the water that flows into the lake comes from two tributaries; the Stehekin River alone contributes 65% of all water to Lake Chelan, averaging 1,401 cu ft/s annually. The other major tributary, Railroad Creek, averages 202 cu ft/s annually; the remaining water is added via a number of smaller tributaries as well as direct rain and snowfall. With a maximum depth of 1,486 feet, Lake Chelan is the third deepest lake in the United States, the 26th deepest in the world.
At its deepest, the lake bottom is 388 feet below sea level. The total watershed of the lake is a modest 924 square miles More than 90% of the watershed is forested land; the remainder of the basin is composed of agriculture. Lake Chelan is composed of two basins; the lower basin, Wapato, is shallower and a fourth the total length of the lake. The upper basin, extends for the remainder of the length of the lake; the two basins are separated by a sill rising to within 122 feet of the surface, at a point known as the narrows, at which the lake is only 0.35 miles wide. The two basins were created by two independent glaciers that met and formed the sill when they retreated. First, the Chelan glacier came down from the Stehekin valley and scoured the valley as far as the Columbia River; the Okanogan lobe came up the Chelan Valley as far as Wapato Point. As the Okanogan lobe retreated, it left huge amounts of debris in the valley scoured by the Chelan glacier; the lower basin, Wapato, is the shallower of the two, with a maximum depth of only 400 feet.
About 600 feet of glacial sediment and rockslide deposits rest between bedrock. This section of the lake is 12 miles long, has an average depth of 190 feet. Due to the modest size of this basin, water resides in this basin for only 0.8 years, compared to 10 for Lucerne Basin. Lucerne basin, 38 miles long with an average depth of 1,148 feet, is by far the larger of the two basins, it is in this part of the lake. Lucerne basin contains 92% of the water in Lake Chelan and 74% of the surface area, leaving Wapato with only 8% of the total volume of water and 26% of the surface area; the upper basin of Lake Chelan is surrounded by mountainous terrain, resulting in few beaches along the shoreline. 50 miles of the shoreline of this basin are in National Forest lands, 12 miles in National Park lands. The climate of Lake Chelan's watershed is varied. From the southern end of the lake in the rain shadow of the Cascade Range, to the northern tip of the lake located in the eastern Cascades, the climate of Lake Chelan's watershed is as diverse as the lake is long.
The south end's weather is notably dry, with Chelan averaging only 11.4 inches of rain per year, along with 21.8 inches of snow. Stehekin receives an average of 35.5 inches of rain per year, 122.5 inches of snow. Other than precipitation trends, the climates are remarkably similar. Both locations average around 60 °F for a high, 40 °F for a low throughout the course of the year. Due to the isolated nature of Lake Chelan at its northern reaches, there is not a large population that resides along the shore. Chelan, which had 3,918 residents at the 2010 census, is the only incorporated city situated along the lake shore; the city is located at the southern terminus of the lake, adjacent to the Lake Chelan Dam and the Chelan River outflow. The census-designated place of Manson, which had 1,418 residents in 2010, is located at the southern end of the lake; the unincorporated community of Stehekin, with 75 residents, is located at the northern terminus of the lake, adjacent to the Stehekin River inflow.
At the mouth of the Railroad Creek sits Lucerne, a small community of private cabins served by commercial boats. Lucerne is the primary gateway to the community of Holden Village, a Lutheran retreat center located 11 miles inland from the lake. With 50 long-term residents, Holden includes one of the few remaining public K-12 two-room schools in the contiguous United States. Fishing is a popular recreating activity on Lake Chelan; the following fish are or were native to the lake: Bull Trout, Westslope cutthroat trout, Largescale sucker, Longnose sucker, Bridgelip sucker, Northern pikeminnow, Redside shiner, Mountain whitefish, Pygmy whitefish. In addition to these native species, six species have been introduced to the lake for sport fishing purposes: Yellowstone cutthroat trout, Rainbow trout, Brook trout, Chinook salmon, Lake trout) There is one state record fish, pulled from Lake Chelan. In 2013, a 35.63-pound Lake Trout was caught. At the north end of the lake, surrounding the town of Stehekin, is Lake Chelan National Recreation Area.
Surrounding much of the lake on either side is Wenatchee National Forest
The cutthroat trout is a fish species of the family Salmonidae native to cold-water tributaries of the Pacific Ocean, Rocky Mountains, Great Basin in North America. As a member of the genus Oncorhynchus, it is one of the Pacific trout, a group that includes the distributed rainbow trout. Cutthroat trout are popular gamefish among anglers who enjoy fly fishing; the common name "cutthroat" refers to the distinctive red coloration on the underside of the lower jaw. The specific name clarkii was given to honor explorer William Clark, coleader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Cutthroat trout inhabit and spawn in small to moderately large, well-oxygenated, shallow rivers with gravel bottoms, they reproduce in clear, moderately deep lakes. They are native to the alluvial or freestone streams that are typical tributaries of the rivers of the Pacific basin, Great Basin and Rocky Mountains. Cutthroat trout spawn in the spring and may inadvertently but hybridize with rainbow trout, producing fertile cutbows.
Some populations of the coastal cutthroat trout are semi-anadromous. Several subspecies of cutthroat trout are listed as threatened in their native ranges due to habitat loss and the introduction of non-native species. Two subspecies, O. c. alvordensis and O. c. macdonaldi, are considered extinct. Cutthroat trout are raised in hatcheries to restore populations in their native range, as well as stock non-native lake environments to support angling; the cutthroat trout type species and several subspecies are the official state fish of seven western U. S. states. The scientific name of the cutthroat trout is Oncorhynchus clarkii. Cutthroat trout were the first New World trout encountered by Europeans when in 1541, Spanish explorer Francisco de Coronado recorded seeing trout in the Pecos River near Santa Fe, New Mexico; these were most Rio Grande cutthroat trout The species was first described in the journals of explorer William Clark from specimens obtained during the Lewis and Clark Expedition from the Missouri River near Great Falls and these were most the westslope cutthroat trout.
As one of Lewis and Clark's many missions was to describe the flora and fauna encountered during their expedition, cutthroat trout were given the name Salmo clarkii in honor of William Clark. In 1836, the type specimen of S. clarkii was described by naturalist John Richardson from a tributary of the lower Columbia River, identified as the "Katpootl", the Lewis River as there was a Multnomah village of similar name at the confluence. This type specimen was most the coastal cutthroat trout subspecies O. c. clarkii. Until the 1960s, populations of westslope cutthroat trout and Yellowstone cutthroat trout were lumped into one subspecies. Biologists split the group into two subspecies, christening the name westslope cutthroat trout with the lewisii name which honors explorer Meriwether Lewis and renaming the Yellowstone cutthroat trout Salmo bouvierii, the first name given to the Yellowstone cutthroat trout by David Starr Jordan in 1883 honoring a U. S. Army Captain Bouvier. In 1989, morphological and genetic studies indicated trout of the Pacific basin were genetically closer to Pacific salmon than to the Salmos–brown trout or Atlantic salmon of the Atlantic basin.
Thus, in 1989, taxonomic authorities moved the rainbow and other Pacific basin trout into the genus Oncorhynchus. Behnke in his salmon and trout handbook of 2002 recognized 14 subspecies of cutthroat trout that are each native to a separate geographic area. Not all of them were scientifically described, different views on the taxonomic identities have been presented in some cases, it has been suggested that the cutthroat trout evolved from a common Oncorhynchus ancestor that migrated along the Pacific coast and into the mountain west via the Columbia and Snake river basins 3-5 million years ago, in the late Pliocene or early Pleistocene epochs. These epochs had repeated glacial and interglacial periods that would have caused repeated fracturing and isolation of cutthroat trout populations resulting in the different subspecies found today; the 14 subspecies are found in four evolutionary groups—Coastal, Westslope and Lahontan. Throughout their native and introduced ranges, cutthroat trout vary in size and habitat selection.
Their coloration can range from golden to gray to green on the back. Cutthroat trout can be distinguished from rainbow trout by the presence of basibranchial teeth at the base of tongue and a maxillary that extends beyond the posterior edge of the eye. Depending on subspecies and habitat, most have distinctive red, pink, or orange linear marks along the underside of their mandibles in the lower folds of the gill plates; these markings are responsible for the common name "cutthroat", first given to the trout by outdoor writer Charles Hallock in an 1884 article in The American Angler. These markings are not unique to the species, some coastal rainbow trout and Columbia River redband trout populations display reddish or pink throat markings. At maturity, different populations and subspecies of cutthroat trout can range from 6 to 40 inches in length, depending on habitat and food availability. Sea-run forms of coastal cutthroat trout average 2 to 5 pounds; the length and weights of mature inland forms vary depending on their particular environment and availability of food.
Stream-resident fish are much smaller, 0.4 to 3.2 ounces, while lacustrine populations have attained weights ranging from 12 to
The cougar commonly known by other names including catamount, mountain lion and puma, is a large felid of the subfamily Felinae native to the Americas. Its range, from the Canadian Yukon to the southern Andes of South America, is the widest of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere. An adaptable, generalist species, the cougar is found in most American habitat types, it is the biggest cat in North America, the second-heaviest cat in the New World after the jaguar. Secretive and solitary by nature, the cougar is properly considered both nocturnal and crepuscular, although daytime sightings do occur; the cougar is more related to smaller felines, including the domestic cat, than to any species of subfamily Pantherinae, of which only the jaguar is native to the Americas. The cougar is an ambush predator. Primary food sources are ungulates deer, it hunts species as small as insects and rodents. This cat prefers habitats with dense underbrush and rocky areas for stalking, but can live in open areas.
The cougar survives at low population densities. Individual territory sizes depend on terrain and abundance of prey. While large, it is not always the apex predator in its range, yielding prey it has killed to lone jaguars, American black bears, grizzly bears, to groups of gray wolves, it is reclusive and avoids people. Fatal attacks on humans are rare, but have been increasing in North America as more people enter cougar territories. Intensive hunting following European colonization of the Americas and the ongoing human development of cougar habitat has caused populations to drop in most parts of its historical range. In particular, the North American cougar was extirpated in eastern North America in the beginning of the 20th century, except for the isolated Florida panther subpopulation. Transient males have been verified in Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan and Illinois, in at least one instance, observed as far east as coastal Connecticut. Reports of eastern cougars still surface, although it was declared extirpated in 2011.
P. concolor holds the Guinness record for the animal with the greatest number of names, with over 40 in English alone. With its vast range across the length of the Americas, P. concolor has dozens of names and various references in the mythology of the indigenous Americans and in contemporary culture. Scientists refer to it as "puma", as do the populations in 21 of the 23 countries in the Americas; the first English record of "puma" was in 1777, where it had come from the Spanish, who had in turn borrowed it from the Peruvian Quechua language in the 16th century, where it means "powerful". Although "puma" is the common name in Spanish or Portuguese-speaking countries, the cat has many local or regional names in the United States and Canada, of which cougar and mountain lion are popular, it was called gato monte by the early Spanish explorers of the Americas. "Mountain lion" was a term first used in writing in 1858 from the diary of George Andrew Jackson of Colorado. Other names include catamount, mountain screamer, painter.
Lexicographers regard painter as a upper-Southern US regional variant on panther."Cougar" is borrowed from the Portuguese çuçuarana, via French. A current form in Brazil is suçuarana. In the 17th century, German naturalist Georg Marcgrave named the cat the cuguacu ara. Marcgrave's rendering was reproduced in 1648 by his associate, Dutch naturalist Willem Piso. Cuguacu ara was adopted by English naturalist John Ray in 1693; the French naturalist Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon in 1774 converted the cuguacu ara to cuguar, modified to "cougar" in English. Cougars are the largest of the small cats, they are placed in the subfamily Felinae, although their physical characteristics are similar to those of the big cats in the subfamily Pantherinae. The family Felidae is believed to have originated in Asia about 11 million years ago. Taxonomic research on felids remains partial, much of what is known about their evolutionary history is based on mitochondrial DNA analysis, as cats are poorly represented in the fossil record, significant confidence intervals exist with suggested dates.
In the latest genomic study of the Felidae, the common ancestor of today's Leopardus, Puma and Felis lineages migrated across the Bering land bridge into the Americas 8.0 to 8.5 million years ago. The lineages subsequently diverged in that order. North American felids invaded South America 2–4 Mya as part of the Great American Interchange, following formation of the Isthmus of Panama. Linnaeus placed the cougar in the genus which includes the domestic cat; the cougar is now placed in Puma, is most related to the jaguarundi, as well as the modern cheetah of Africa and western Asia, but the relationship is unresolved. The cheetah lineage is suggested by some studies to have diverged from the Puma lineage in the Americas and migrated back to Asia and Africa, while other research suggests the cheetah diverged in the Old World itself. A high level of genetic similarity has been found among North American cougar populations, suggesting they are all recent descendants of a small ancestral group. Culver et al. propose the original North American population of P. concolor was extirpated during the Pleistocene extinctions some 10,000