21ST CENTURY MISSION CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION & NATIONAL PARK SERVICE PRESERVATION
21ST CENTURY MISSION CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION & NATIONAL PARK SERVICE PRESERVATION
a project by
Shannon Sawyer Master Of Landscape Architecture Capstone Project University Of Minnesota College of Design Spring 2015
[THE REGION] 18
[THE HERITAGE] 32
[THE EXPERIENCE] 59
[THE RIVER] 75
Note: All images by S. Sawyer unless otherwise noted. Images cited (NPS) are from the Mt. Rainier intranet.
1 | INTRODUCTION
The National Park Service (NPS) for nearly one hundred years has led the mission in preserving, protecting, and sharing the history of our nation’s land and people. Generations of Americans and peoples from across the globe have experienced these lands in all their richness and diversity, from the majestic landscape of Yosemite, to the somber memorial of Antietam National Battlefield. The greatest threat in history to the NPS mission is a challenge of our day – climate change. The landscapes and identities of National Parks and our nation’s cultural heritage are at risk of not only being damaged, but in some cases, of completely disappearing. It is an important time in history when landscape architects - masters of design, and preservationists - protectors of heritage, work together to address the issue of these changing cultural landscapes. The National Park Service is the most mission driven agency in the government. The mission dates back to the Organic Act of 1916 which fundamental mandate is ‘To conserve unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations,’ a dichotomy: unimpaired is free of most human manipulation, yet the mission is also to provide access for people. Climate change is changing the way we manage resources, we cannot manage Mt Rainier today with its melting glaciers as we did in 1916. Mt Rainier provides the setting for the exploration of this intersection of climate change adaptation and the Park Service’s mission of preservation.
3 | INTRODUCTION
â€œTo conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." Organic Act, 1916
Albert Bier Stadt 1898 Painting of Mt. Rainier
Today is a great time to be discussing this, as the 2016 centennial celebration begins. It has been 100 years since the Organic Act and 50 years since the National Historic Preservation Act. The celebration offers enthusiasm, project funding, and open conversation for the Park Serviceâ€™s future direction. Seven of the centennial goals are implemented in this proposal. The project is grounded in the mission, abiding by regulations and laws, yet prodding forward for the next century. This is a landscape preservation and a design project. The design problem is how to preserve in a dynamic and rapidly changing landscape. The landscape design tradition of the park service stems from the same as landscape architecture history - that of the picturesque. In exploring this topic, within the constraints and regulations, it leaves a smaller tool-set than most design projects, but the role of the designer is important. One of the first landscape architects for the park service, Frank Waugh, said in 1917 their role was to locate main points of scenic value, and connect people to them. Today, landscape architects in the Park Service are working with more complexity, and the designerâ€™s role is to sort through it and be a visualizer.
5 | INTRODUCTION
1. Modernize historic preservation methods and technologies 2. Create a new generation of citizen scientists and future stewards 3. Promote large landscape conservation to support healthy ecosystems and cultural resources 4. Identify a national system of parks and protected sites (rivers, heritage areas, trails, and landmarks) that fully represent our natural resources and the nationâ€™s cultural experience 5. Develop and nurture lifelong connections between the public and parks, especially young people, through a continuum of engaging recreation, education, volunteer, and work experiences 6. Manage the natural and cultural resources of NPS to increase resilience in the face of climate change 7. Collaborate with partners and educational institutions to expand NPS education programs and use parks as a place for learning 6
Mt. Rainier National Park
7 | INTRODUCTION
The Carbon Area, the northwest corner of Mt. Rainier National Park is the embodiment of this climate change damage and national park service response issue. In 2006, there was a great flood event that washed away the only vehicle access to this area of the park. The Carbon River Road was one of the first national park service roads designed by a landscape architect, and was to be.....as the designer Daniel Ray Hull said in 1921....”The finest scenic route in all the park system.” And today we have lost it. In 2010, Mt. Rainier National Park acquired an 800 acre piece of land, the size of Central Park, for the new access point, campground, and to connect a vital ecological corridor from the Cascades to the Puget Sound. Today, the Park has acquired the land but there are not yet specific development plans, because they haven’t had the funding. While this site is set for recreation and access, it lies in an extremely dynamic landscape.
Carbon River Road
To Carbon Glacier
36 hours. 36 hours is all the time it took for 18 inches of rain to cause $27 million in infrastructural damage. During the event, the Carbon River changed its course and followed the smooth, path of least resistance - the Carbon River Road. History shows that flooding of the Carbon River is not new. The reality is that the Carbon River Road was placed in the floodplain of an undammed powerful glacial river. Yet projections show that the 2006 flood was just a preview of the catastrophic events to come. This flood was attributed to a combination of an extreme flood event, decades-long aggradation of the river bed, flow diversions from upstream debris jams and a thick layer of highly erodible material beneath the road bed. These conditions are predicted only to worsen, and events occur more often. People will be able to experience this place again because of this newly acquired 800 acre site. The design approach consisted of each decision made with the constraints of the NPS mission, federal regulations, centennial goals, and acquisition goals - and all of these through the lens of climate change.
9 | INTRODUCTION
TIO N S | 2 0 1 6 CE NT E
E CHAN T A GE IM L C
|L AND A
CQ U I S ITI O
N P S M IS SI O N |
AL Carbon Expansion Lands
MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK
Mt. Rainier is a snow-capped mountain less than a two-hour drive from Seattle. It is the most glaciated peak in the Lower 48 with over 35 square miles of snow and ice. Ten thousand people annually attempt to summit this tallest peak in the Cascade Range, reaching 14,411 feet. The Park offers amazing natural wonders to experience such as the subalpine meadows, waterfalls, alpine lakes and streams. With over 236,000 acres, 97% of Mt. Rainier National Park is designated wilderness.
National Parks Mount Rainier National Park Park to Park Highway 11 | INTRODUCTION
THE MOST LUXURIANT AND THE MOST
OF ALL THE ALPINE GARDENS I EVER BEHELD IN ALL MY MOUNTAIN-TOP WANDERINGS - JOHN MUIR
MT RAINIER [NATIONAL HISTORIC LANDMARK DISTRICT]
Mt Rainier also contains some of the park service’s most valued cultural resources. Designed with ‘landscape engineering’ to fit the natural topography and integrate naturalistic features, more than 100 miles of scenic park roads were built between 1906 and 1957. The Mt Rainier masterplan, designed by landscape architects in 1928, was the earliest and today, still best implemented of all national parks. The Mount Rainier National Historic landmark District (NHLD) is significant for its rustic architecture and naturalistic landscape architecture, laid out according to the first national park master plan. The park’s infrastructure is the best surviving example of a pre WWII master plan in the national park system. Mt. Rainier’s NHLD is unique, as it is discontinuous. The road network and Wonderland Trail are the connectors to the developed areas - the districts within the District. The landscape features were designed to highlight their natural surroundings. They were manufactured as well, for example, cliffs were chipped to enhance the sound of a waterfall near the roadsides. (Carbon River Road Cultural Landscape Inventory, 2007) The Carbon area is isolated. Most people enter at number one, and go travel to two and three for the subalpine meadows. The road near number four is what was washed away. Thus visitors to the Carbon area are mostly locals and habitual repeat tourists.
Structure at over 10,000’ elevation
13 | INTRODUCTION
Wonderland Trail Roads
Design with Local Materials
The “Rainier” NPS Guardwall
CARBON RIVER VALLEY ECOLOGY & EXPERIENCE [INLAND TEMPERATE RAINFOREST]
Historically the Carbon River Valley would have been densely forested with a wide, largely unvegetated active floodplain running down the valley bottom. Given the high sediment loads, which create the braided form,the historic channel would have been very dynamic, undergoing periods of rapid sediment deposition and widening in response to large floods. There are great reasons to come to the carbon area. The Carbon River watershed is 52 square miles and contains both old growth and second growth forest. Populations of Sitka Spruce makes this forest habitat an inland temperate rainforest, one of only seven in the world. It provides habitat for several threatened or endangered species, including bull trout, steelhead, chinook salmon, marbled murrelets, and northern spotted owls. Everything is massive, green, and covered in moss with some of the rarest mushrooms. And it provides the experience of hiking to the glacier. (Interview with Lou Whiteaker, Vegetation Specialist, 2014)
17 | the region
HISTORY [CARBON RIVER VALLEY]
The Puyallup and Muckleshoot tribes are located closest in the Carbon River Valley. Their spiritual ties to Mt. Rainier - the mountain that was God - remain to this day. The 1890’s brought a surge of polish pioneers that settled in the area, including the Zavitsky’s (now the Marsh site) and the Poch’s (now the Thompson site). The industrial legacy within the Carbon River Valley is a story of boom and bust. The Northern Pacific Railroad came to Tacoma in 1873. Coal mining in the small company town of Wilkeson started in the 1890’s, and with the railroad access, this was the first successful money making industry in Washington. The nearby town of Carbonado shipped their coal to Gasworks Park which was used to heat all of Seattle. The bust of the 1920’s arrived when oil became more popular than coal, the early development of unions began shifting laborer expectations, and the actual coal veins which here were quite thin translated into many man hours for a small amount of coal. In 1909, the Manley-Moore Lumber Company moved its operations (their camps and the first rail incline) to the tract of old growth forest sited on and near the Thompson Property. Roosevelt’s New Deal program during the Great Depression had a huge impact in this area which is still seen today. The Civilian Conservation Corps had a camp along the Valley and contributed to building infrastructure, trails, and buildings.
CCC Camp on Carbon River (NPS)
19 | the region
Northern Pacific Railroad in Orting (NPS)
First Incline Rail line for Timber Industry (NPS)
Carbonado Hillside Coal Mines (NPS)
NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA
In 2010, there was a new boundary line. Yet this landscape is an integral part of the industrial heritage of the Carbon River Valley Corridor, with a length fewer than 30 miles. The Carbon River Valley was a successful industrial corridor during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Northern Pacific Railroad sustained the industries of coal mining and timber logging which supported most of the Pacific West. The 65,000 people lived a unique way of life in 13 company towns, each with distinct identities. The new site boundary must span across time and space. I propose a National Heritage Area which will connect this site across time and space and re-stitch its fragmented state. A National Heritage Area is a region that has been recognized by Congress and provides a framework for management. The designation fosters relationships among stakeholders and encourages them to work collaboratively to achieve shared goals of historic preservation, an appreciation of the history and heritage of the site, and preparation for the valleyâ€™s future. It strengthens the gateway community economics & recreational tourism. This would happen in collaboration with the Friends of the Carbon Canyon, engaging with the local community who want an integrated system, experience and a remembrance of the history. This encourages engagement and partnership.
Stakeholders: Friends of the Carbon Canyon Mount Rainier National Park State of Washington The Mountaineers Foothills Rails-to-Trails Cascade Land Conservancy Tahoma Audubon Society The Wilkeson Historical Society
Sierra Club The Puyallup Tribe of Indians Puyallup River Watershed Council National Parks Conservation Assoc. North Cascades Conservation Council Biodiversity Northwest Forterra Pacific Forest Trust 21 | the region
NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA [ACCESS]
The corridor has a wonderful ceremonious entry. Everyone must drive across this 1921 rickety squeaky, bridge, one car at a time. It speaks to the romance but also the remoteness of the area. There is one way in and out of the Carbon area. I propose an alternative access system which would start in the town of Wilkeson, with a small welcome center that would manage a shuttle system. This project completes the Washingtonâ€™s Rail to Trail bike path from Mt. Rainier to the Puget Sound, I propose it follows this railroad grade through the site.
1 2 3
1 2 3
Rails to Trails Shuttle Stop Bike Rental
ATV Shuttle 23 | the region
NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA [CULTURAL HERITAGE]
The National Heritage Area designation will integrate the corridorâ€™s resources and experiential opportunities. This was a bustling industrial corridor with over 65,000 people in 13 company towns. Today only four towns remain, with fewer than 6000 people, but remnants remain all along the valley. Today, both physical remnants and intangible values from this vernacular cultural landscape are sacred in the Valley. The 800 acre site has two homesteads, which were unique in this corridor, because they owned their land, whereas the people in the company towns did not.
Company Town built on slopes of Carbon River Valley
25 | the region
Railroad Company Town Mine Tunnels
NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA [NATURAL ATTRACTIONS]
In addition to the sweeping mountainous topography, the Valley is replete with natural wonders. Hiking, driving, or biking, there are numerous natural attractions to experience. Visitors can experience salmon spawning creeks, herds migrating, sandstone formations, a temperate rainforest, & exposed coal veins.
27 | the region
Nurse logs in temperate rainforest
NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA [RECREATION]
In addition to the hiking and camping within Mt. Rainier, an integrated recreational framework can enhance visitor experience. The new Rails to Trails bike route will connect Mt. Rainier to Seattle. The Forest Service, Pierce County Parks, & Mt. Rainier can collaborate for cohesive camping, hiking, camping, and other opportunities.
Hiking at Mt. Rainier National Park
29 | the region
ORV Park in Carbon River Valley
Trails Historic Trails Parks Camping
31 | THE HERITAGE
HERITAGE [COAL MINING]
Incline Lift Machinery
33 | THE HERITAGE
Now, let us zoom in to the 800 acre site, to see how the history of this corridor has shaped this place. Coal mining was a predominant industry, it was mined and purified into coke. There are foundation remnants all along the corridor, some more intact than others, such as the 40 remaining coke ovens.
G N I N I L M A O C
HERITAGE [SANDSTONE QUARRY]
35 | THE HERITAGE
The sandstone quarry is still an active quarry today and can be seen in some of Washingtonâ€™s most iconic buildings such as the Washington State Capital.
STONE QUARRY D N SA
Washington State Capital
HERITAGE [TIMBER INDUSTRY]
.....Largest Sawmill During Roaring 20’s
TIMBER INDUSTRY Railroad Grade Now Trail 37 | THE HERITAGE
The timber industry used the sites dense forests to provide for much of the Pacific Northwest. The largest lumber company, Manley Moore, was headquartered on the site, near the present day Ranger Station.
C N A
N I H
G 1902 Barn
39 | THE HERITAGE
The two homesteads on the site worked the land for their livelihood.
Horses & Cattle
HERITAGE [MOUNTAIN CLIMBING]
41 | THE HERITAGE
Lastly, a major industry in the area is recreation. Starting in 1881, the Carbon area was the first place where people came to summit Mt Rainier. Starting by hiking in the temperate rainforest, then summiting to the top.
These industries have formed the site, which is comprised of three properties. 1. The Marsh was one of the homesteads. Since the early 60â€™s a portion of the property was rented for cabins, known as HuckleChuck. There were 153 cabin sites. 2. The Thompson property was the other homestead. 3. The Plum Creek Wilderness was never developed.
43 | THE HERITAGE
THOMPSON PROPERTY / RANGER STATION
PLUM CREEK WILDERNESS
The Marsh Property was originally settled by Polish immigrants, the Zavitskiâ€™s. Before the homesteaders arrived, the Manley Moore Lumber Company logged the site and built a single track spur line from the mill running along the south side of the river through their property. The Zavitski Homestead, today a 163.68 acre district of buildings and clearings along the south bank of the Carbon River represents the early exploration and settlement of the upper Carbon River Valley, extending from Mt. Rainier. Many of the existing landscape characteristics are directly associated with the homesteading lifestyle of the Polish pioneers who settled agricultural claims in the late 1890s. The dominant use of the cleared land during the period of significance (1897-1930) was agricultural. A 1907 assessment of the homestead indicates eight acres were used for cultivation, 35 fruit trees had been planted, and 13 acres were fenced. The farm produced hay, potatoes, carrots, turnips, beets, rutabagas, cabbage, apples, and plums which provided for family meals and also for sale at the market. A grazing pasture held one horse and six dairy cattle, with the dairy herd increasing in number over time. The timber cut by the homesteaders was used to construct the buildings and fences on the site. The lands supported agricultural, storage, and residential functions with a barn, cellar, chicken house, roothouse, stable, and a secondary house all added before 1907 . In 1912, the need for a local school for homesteader and logging camp children was recognized, and a one acre plot of the Zavitski homestead was sold to School District 120 for the construction of Coxâ€™s School. The building was later to be washed away in a 1977 flood. In 1958, the Marsh family acquired the land and owned the property until it was sold to the National Park Service as part of the Expansion Lands in 2010. The feeling of the homestead lifestyle is evoked by the presence of physical characteristics that reflect the historic scene. (Historic Property Inventory Report, 2012)
45 | THE HERITAGE
Homesteader barn, WA Heritage Barn Register
Vacant Historic Home
MARSH PROPERTY [HUCKLE-CHUCK]
Marsh acquired the land in 1958 and started a private camping area near the river bank in 1963. The revenue from Huckle-Chuck, as it was called, paid for Marshâ€™s land taxes. The camping was made up of a variety of typologies including cabins with concrete footings to simple structures, RV lots, and tents. Water and electricity were never provided. The campers owned their cabin or lot and used the space like a summer getaway. They were allowed to stay for only two weeks at one time. Artifacts from the HuckleChuck era are very visible and present today. (Interview with Kristi Simpson-Marsh, 2014)
Archeologist E. Pritchard investigates artifacts from Huckle-chuck era
47 | THE HERITAGE
Stone Fireplace and Foundation
This site along the Carbon River Valley is associated with historical events of local and regional significance. It is especially associated with the most intense period of mining and lumbering in the region, with early homesteading and ranching, and with Polish immigration. The Poch’s immigrated and settled on the property around 1897 and worked primarily as farmers. Remnants such as fruit trees, iris, rhubarb, and scattered posts with barbed wire still remain today. By 1912, a substantial camp of the Manley-Moore Lumber Company was established on the Poch property to house the workers and their families. Located where Allison’s house sits today in the lower meadow, the lumber company had a small complex of buildings for a sleeping quarters, a kitchen, and an office for company business affairs. Today, the property is known as the Thompson Property or the Carbon River Ranch. The Thompson’s bought the property in 1954, including the house that as yet had no electricity. They opened a boys’ ranch in the 1950’s and 1960’s. They kept chickens, cows, and a garden, but lived primarily from Dr. Thompson’s salary as a teacher and school superintendent. After the 2010 acquisition, the main house was renovated and converted into the Ranger Station for the Carbon area of Mt. Rainier. A maintenance facility and utility infrastructure was also updated at this time. (Interview with John Thompson, 2014)
49 | THE HERITAGE
Thompson House Converted into Ranger Station
Much of the historical circulation, spatial organization, building and structures, and remnant vegetative patterns are still intact and visible today. The Manley-Moore Lumber Company incline rail and raiload placement are distinguishable, yet overgrown. Vegetation has also overgrown and now block some of the historic viewsheds including sunsets and mountain-top views. The Thompson property is composed of several cleared meadows of various sizes. Today these meadows are comprised of invasive grasses, yet have many site programming potentials. The largest of these meadows, cleared from the logging era, contains the most integrity in landscape features of the Thompson period. Mr. Thompson used this site for a boyâ€™s ranch during the summers. It was common to have Boy Scout groups of up to 500 young boys at the site at one time. Mr. Thompson and the eldest of the famous mountain-climbing Whittaker brothers constructed the ranch and picnic tables which are still in place today. Mr. Thompson dug a 14 foot well to provide water to the boys and maintained the small orchard in the meadow. He built a small bridge over the creek for access to the Carbon River banks.
Dude Ranch Ampitheater in distance
51 | THE HERITAGE
Orchard & Well
Arch & Gateway
EXISTING CULTURAL LANDSCAPE CHARACTERISTICS VEGETATION Temperate Rainforest
Thompson Homestead Meadows
Marsh Homestead Meadows
The dense temperate rainforest makes up most of the site, yet meadows reminiscent from the homestead era are interspersed, offering a very enclosed experience to wide open clearings.
NATURAL FEATURES Sweeping Topography
The natural features prominent to the site are no doubt the sweeping mountainous topography and the dynamic river 53 | THE HERITAGE
VIEWS River Valley Views
The views are based upon the mountain and the river valley
ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES Logging
This site has been important to many people over the years, and there are several graves here, where people have buried loved ones. 54
Marsh Homestead Huckle-Chuck
EXISTING CULTURAL LANDSCAPE CHARACTERISTICS CLUSTER ARRANGEMENT Thompson Homestead
The site is based upon the homesteads, in their specific clusters.
CIRCULATION To Park Entrance
To Carbon River Corridor Huckle-Chuck Trails
The circulation is based upon the Northern Pacific Railroad. Located on the site is the Manley Moore Lumber Company headquarters and, the very first logging incline rail-line. 55 | THE HERITAGE
SMALL SCALE FEATURES Thompson Homestead Logging
Marsh Homestead Huckle-Chuck
Small scale features remain from the homesteads such as pasture gates and fences, and logging remnants are scattered all
STRUCTURES Thompson Homestead
Structures on the site are based upon the two homestead clusters. 56
EXISTING CULTURAL LANDSCAPE CHARACTERISTICS
The resources on the site today will be the new visitor program. Yet this needs to be done through the lens of climate change, for example, the old homesteading gates and orchards near the river, are not sustainable to restore and preserve. The most important cultural landscape qualities are the natural power of the river and topography and the vernacular landscape which has been arranged into two clusters, and the intangible values of silence and scenic integrity.
Old Railroad Grade/Obliterated
2 Marsh Home
Facilities Garage New Ranger Station
57 | THE HERITAGE
10 Historic Trail/Obliterated
7 Historic Cabin
Old Logging Road
5919| |THE SITE EXPERIENCE issues
CARBON EXPANSION MASTERPLAN
The three properties that make up this site now must be integrated into one. A major component of the site is connecting people to the various resources - similar to the quote from Frank Waugh about the role of the first landscape architects. Camping will be a combination of cart camping located on higher elevation and reusing the footprints of the Huckle-Chuck cabin sites, backcountry camping with valley views, and camping near an historic cabin.
19 18 3
61 | THE EXPERIENCE
Carbon River Stabilization 1
Wood Reinforced Floodplain
Engineered Log Jam
Day Use / Picnic Meadows
Logging Interpretation Area
Native American Designated Area
Buildings / Structures
1” = 300’
Monitoring / Museum
New Ranger Station
CARBON RANGER STATION [ENTRANCE TO SITE]
63 | THE EXPERIENCE
The Ranger station was the old Thompson home, and is now the entrance of the site, a major drop off station for the shuttle. This is where rangers welcome you. Rain or shine. This is Washington.
BACKCOUNTRY TRAIL TO THE KNOB
From the ranger station, visitors can follow a backcountry trail to the knob. Backcountry because the last section of the trail has increase of over 200 feet with different methods of climbing stairs, depending on the steepness of the slope. The section line is the hikers experience, notice the tiny figure for scale.
65 | THE EXPERIENCE
67 | THE EXPERIENCE
That trail leads to the knob, a 40’ by 40’ clearing where the old logging equipment sat, at 300’ above the river. A powerful photo of the loggers could be made into an interpretation sign - and other logging stories of site. A new overlook tower with traits of the traditional fire towers with a modern twist, constructed from the site’s fallen trees, allows the visitor to view 40 feet above the ground, over the tree lines to see both sides of the river valley, a spectacular view, a place of excitement but can also be more of a quiet contemplative space as is seen here. This frames what is existing here and amplifies the experience.
Logging began in 1890 Witness the change in forest across the river
RAINFOREST TRAIL ALONG RAILROAD GRADE
69 | THE EXPERIENCE
Starting again at the ranger station, the visitor could follow the old railroad grade towards the river. This will be part of the new Rails to Trails path, bicyclists and hikers together will follow the path of the railroad. In this temperate rainforest, trees soar above in this enclosed path creating contrast in scales. Interpretation signs about the flora would follow the trail identifying the sword ferns, doug firs, sitka spruce, and mosses.
HABITAT MEADOWS SEEN FROM THE TRAIL TO THE RIVER
71 | THE EXPERIENCE
Along the trail, the visitors pass a couple of the habitat meadows, protected as part of the conservation habitat corridor. The meadows are favorite habitat of the tame elk. The area is also home to black bears, bobcats, and less threatening owls, migrating mule deer, and chipmunks.
73 | THE EXPERIENCE
The railroad grade trail leads to the largest meadow on the site. This will be a center for educational classes such as wildlife walks, landscape photography, and mountain climbing. Today the meadows are filled of invasive species. A biological inventory will be conducted and a restoration and ongoing management regime will take place. As the first landscape architects in the park service connected people to interest points, so here too on this site, is a place to connect people to what is happening today, to the river right behind these trees. This meadow will be a center to educate adults and children on climate change. The site connects history and future, the effects of climate change are radical and visual here. Is this the new spectacle? Is this why people are coming to see this site, in addition to the history? This 21st mission is a pairing of history and future together, which overlaps right here in an interesting way. So how do we get to that river behind those trees?
75 | THE RIVER
If the National Park Service’s mission entails ‘preserving America’s special places,” then climate change is a direct threat to that mission. Climate change threatens to pull apart the quilt that tells the story of who we are as a nation. We know the Carbon Glacier is melting, the excess water loss is having noticeable impact to the site. What a 100 yr event was in 1972, today is a 12 year event. Mt Rainier is the most glaciated Peak in the lower 48, with over 35 square miles of snow and ice. The Carbon Glacier is the lowest and thickest at 700’ thick in the Lower 48. Climate change is causing the carbon glacier to melt. It is deflating, however, rather than retreating like most melting glaciers. The mountain lost 18% of its volume between 2003-2009. The lateral moraines are pulling away from the sides and a gully has formed, which the debris flows have followed. The Carbon River is fed from this glacier.
Global warming causing the Carbon Glacier to melt causing: + Debris flows + Lahar flows + Floods: 100 yr-event in 1972 now a 12 yr-event Threats to site: + Changing precipitation + Fire regime changes + Bark beetle - tree mortality + Invasive species (leafy spurge, porcelain berry) + Cultural resource degradation acceleration
77 | THE RIVER
CLIMATE CHANGE [SITE PROXIMITY]
MOUNT RAINIER.... ONE OF OUR NATION’S
MOST DANGEROUS VOLCANOES -U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY 79 | THE RIVER
The Carbon Glacier has the lowest terminus of any glacier in the contiguous United States. By area, it is the third largest glacier on Mt. Rainier. It has the largest volume of any glacier on the mountain, a product of its unusual thickness (700 ft). While most glaciers on the mountain have advanced and then retreated a mile or more, Carbon Glacier exposed only a half mile of deglaciated terrain between 1760 and 1966. This behavior and its thickness are the
81 | THE RIVER
result of two factors: First, the glacier is well shaded because it is located on the north side of the mountain and surrounded by steep valley walls. Second, the lower end of the glacier is well insulated by a thick rock covering. Both factors reduce melt rates. Since 2003, there has been an 18% loss of volume. The Carbon Glacier is deflating, getting thinner rather than retreating. (Interview with Paul Kennard, Fluvial Geomorphologist, 2014)
Carbon Glacier Boundaries 1994 1971 1913 1896 Contours
1 km Nylen, T., In process, Spatial and Temporal Variations of Glaciers on Mt. Rainier between 1913 and 1994., Masters Thesis, Department of Geology, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon.
CLIMATE CHANGE DANGERS [AGGRADATION]
“Recent research at Mount Rainier has measured the rate at which the park’s glacial riverbeds fill with rock, a process called aggradation. The process of aggradation seems to be accelerating. One likely reason is that Mount Rainier’s glaciers are melting faster than they are reforming- a symptom of the trend toward warmer temperatures locally over the past century. As the glaciers melt, they release into the riverbed the huge volumes of rock formerly locked in the ice. Moraines, normally trapped between the glacier and the walls of the canyon, also begin to erode into the river. The volume of rock available for the rivers to carry increases and a major flood can cause several decades worth of normal aggradation to occur overnight.” (www.nps.gov/mora) The bank erosion risk of the Carbon River is at least medium-high. Bank erosion averages from 1989-2009 were 4.5’/yr. Climate Change’s impact is evident from the data of the years 2006-2009 with an average of 8.75’/yr. What does this mean for the project site? A cross section at the Park entrance finds that the lateral gradient exceeds the down-river gradient by double - driving energy to the left bank of the Carbon River, and directly towards the project site. (Paul Kennard, 2010) Following the Carbon River from the glacier to the site, its channel width changes as it takes out land on either side for its own. The geologic force causing the flooding is aggradation. The glacier is melting faster than it is reforming. As material sloughs off the mountain, it deposits in the flatter valleys. This sediment builds but it is not being exported. Since 1920, the bottom of the Carbon River channel has risen 31 feet. These sediment bars push the water side to side taking out the banks and land as it changes.
83 | THE RIVER
HISTORICAL MT. RAINIER AGGRADATION TRENDS: Historical Average:
<4” / Decade
Last 10 Years:
6-50” / Decade 3’ / Decade Average
1’ in 1 Event
ntinues to Rise & Rise n Co o i t a rad
CARBON RIVER [GEOLOGIC FORCES]
The geology of the site is important to the flow of the water. As the water comes from the glacier, it is squeezed between the bedrock and gets kicked out. So the land at that point historically has been protected. However, as the aggradation increases and the river boulders pile up, they push the water side to side, and it is evident where the channel has widened - where the site’s resources are located.
970’ 270’ 300’ 675’
85 | THE RIVER
CARBON RIVER [BANK EROSION RATE]
Over the past ten years, there was excessive bank erosion on the Marsh and Thompson property boundaries. At its current rate, these resources will disappear in about 70 years. The location of the sediment bars, changing over time with aggradation, today are driving the energy - the lateral gradient - of the water flow towards the resources of the Marsh property and near the education meadow.
River Channel 1994-2015
River Centerline 1965-2015
Average bank erosion rate for site: 1994-2015: 4.7 ft/yr Average bank erosion rate for Marsh & Thompson Properties: 1994-2015: 7.8 ft/yr 86
CARBON RIVER STABILIZATION OPTIONS 1 2
Allows investment in infrastructure in lower meadows and campsites Can offer more permanent programs near river edge
Potential river channel in 75 years
FULL RIVER STABILIZATION
Marsh resources lost
Habitat meadows changed to camping
Change access to camping
Potential river channel in 75 years
NO RIVER STABILIZATION 87 | THE RIVER
With full river bank stabilization, there could be more infrastructure all the way down to the river, yet this brings a number of environmental concerns. However, with no bank stabilization, many of the resources would be lost. This project proposes an adaptive strategy using a combination of methods. In order to protect the resources on the Marsh property near the river, and in order to protect visitorâ€™s access onto the river channel, two engineered log jams, which are flow deflectors are proposed. A restoration technique, wood reinforced floodplain, is proposed where people can access the bank. This strengthens the bank, but does allow flooding.
Flooding allowed - seasonal camping
Engineered Log Jam (ELJ)
ELJ protects Marsh resources & access
Wood Reinforced Floodplain (WRF)
ELJ protects education meadow & river access
Potential river channel in 75 years
Protect habitat meadow
ADAPTIVE RIVER STABILIZATION 88
ENGINEERED LOG JAM
89 | THE RIVER
This is just the other side of the trees from the meadow, where visitors can safely get down to the river. Citizen scientists can monitor and maintain the turbidity and flow monitors on the engineered log jams, part of the educational component of this changing landscape.
ENGINEERED LOG JAM
91 | THE RIVER
The engineered log jam is comprised of three sections of racking material, cribbing, and alluvium banks, with an addition of a log fence on either side. This is what it would look like walking by before the sediment builds and vegetation starts growing on the structure.
WOOD REINFORCED FLOODPLAIN
93 | THE RIVER
Similarly, the wood reinforced floodplain allows people to monitor, bank erosion, and repeat photography. Documenting the change of this dynamic landscape. Telling this siteâ€™s new story.
RIVER EDGE MONITORING PROGRAM
Measure Bank Erosion
Maintain & Read Turbidity & Flow Monitors
2 2 2 2
95 | THE RIVER
Monitoring and climate change educational programs would extend all along the riverâ€™s edge.
CARBON RIVER EXPERIENCE
97 | THE RIVER
Sitting still in the face of climate change is not an option. As this site now has extensive monitoring and documentation, in years to come when these stabilization structures are not enough anymore, the management regime can be re-evaluated. This site is beyond the concept of natural resources vs cultural resources, the natural resources ARE the cultural and vice versa. The resources have been documented, for climate change is the heritage of the future. But for the next generations, this is the experience: getting to the middle of this river channel, entering this dynamic changing space. Feeling the cold water, that just left the glacier after being trapped 10,000 years. Seeing the sun rise over the mountain here at dawn. And crossing over a bridge, made from the sites trees, that when the channel changes, becoming part of the ecosystem downstream.
99 | OBSERVATIONS
CLIMATE CHANGE [WHAT DOES IT REALLY MEAN?]
The proposal thus far followed the process of a cultural landscape project faithfully, adhering to all the regulations, in this client focused project. Yet, it has left me with some questions. This is not sustainable, stepping back, what happens not only to the river and bank, but to the region with climate change? Cultural resource preservation demands treatment of the context going forward like we did in the past, but climate change demands equally, that we cannot do that. The project is at that collision. How do we conduct cultural resource management in the new climate change scenarios? According to the IPCC, temperatures will increase by 3.8 °F by 2040 and 6.8° F by 2080. So what does that mean for the region? Let’s look at two of the many consequence lines.
101 | OBSERVATIONS
Year 1900 to 2008 Observations
Increase of 3.8째 F by 2040
1900 to 2000 Simulation Lower Emissions Scenario Higher Emissions Scenario
Increase of 6.8째 F by 2080
Highest Emissions Scenario 102
CLIMATE CHANGE [CONSEQUENCE LINES]
So, temperature increases. Precipitation shifts away from snowfall to rainfall. The site will get violent, heavier rains. This increases the likelihood of avalanches. The rainfall and increased temperature causes the glacier to melt, and deflate in this case. This melting causes gullies and exposure. Which debris flows follow. Causing hyper aggradation where the river bed is rising. Which leads to extreme floods and taking out of the land. The full melting of glacier would cause the loss of drinking water for the watershed’s 280,000 residents The increased water temperature and flows would cause salmon and aquatic species extinction, affecting the entire biodiversity network, and here cultural traditions. So when does this happen? On average, Mt Rainier gets 600” of snow each year. This year, the mountain got 150”. Mt Rainier is especially hard to predict because of its height, it makes its own weather. Traveling from the site to the summit is the climate equivalent of traveling from Washington to the Arctic Circle. 103 | OBSERVATIONS
With an increased temperature, there will be an insect infestation since they wonâ€™t die over winter. This site is susceptible to blister rust and the mountain pine beetle. With less snowpack from the change from snow to rain, the trees will be dry and stressed in the summer, making them susceptible to the infestations, leading to tree mortality. The Clarkâ€™s Nutcracker is a key subalpine species that relies on the whitebark pine for food and also spreads the seed. There is another biodiversity network affected. With less snowpack and higher temperatures, the snowpack on the mountain melts earlier, leaving the trees dry. And susceptible to wildfires. Causing soil destabilization. And landslides on these very steep slopes. So what do we do with this site? There are flood uncertainties and landslide uncertainties, among others. 104
When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe. The many uncertainties of any landscape are exponentially multiplied on this dynamic changing place, along with the uncertainties of changing cultural resource management There are a couple observations I gained through this process and threads for the future: - What can agency personnel who are entrusted with safeguarding the resources and bound by legislation do right now? This project and approach buys time and protects against some sudden catastrophic loss. - Maybe the park service needs more of a hands-on management today, replanting areas prone to landslide, a proactive regime, modeling rather than just monitoring, which the Carbon Glacier today isnâ€™t even monitored. - Perhaps the management regime changes and within a park there are a series of management zones. - The park service needs to be more nimble and flexible with the many and fast changes occurring. This flood occurred in 2006 and there still isnâ€™t even a plan, so maybe looking into more temporary solutions. - Rethinking separating cultural and natural resources. as we think and plan for climate change of the river system, so too think of the cultural corridor in same way, a changing methodology for who values the resources, more engagement of experts and community stakeholders. - The centennial needs to take a look at this paradigm of redefining what the park service is, the regulations are just too outdated and tight for the 21st century. This is bigger than the scope of this project, it is a policy, system wide level issue. But the answer will be found in park professionals embracing new goals and philosophies while at the same time convincing the public that the redefined national parks have enduring value. Ethan Carr says the park service designed nature, the notion of what nature is, is changing, it is the designers challenge moving forward. It is about asking the right questions and the inquires that we make,
105 | OBSERVATIONS
â€œWhen we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.â€? John Muir
Allen, David Grayson. The Olmsted National Historic Site and the Growth of Historic Landscape Preservation. Lebanon: Northeastern University Press, 2007. Amoroso, Nadia. Representing Landscapes: digital. New York: Routledge, 2015. Arnold Alanen, Robert Melnick. Preserving Cultural Landscapes in America. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2000. Bradley Cantrell, Wes Michaels. Digial Drawing for Landscape Architecture. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2015. Brockman, C Frank. Flora of Mount Rainier National Park. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1947. Carr, Ethan. Wilderness by Design: Landscape Architecture and the National Park Service. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1998. Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation. “Historic Property Inventory Report.” 2012. Diamant, Rolf. “On Environmental History with a Human Face: Experiences from a New National Park.” Environmental History 8, no. 4 (2003): 628-642. Diamant, Rolf. “From Management to Stewardship: The Making and Remaking of the US National Park System.” The George Wright Forum 17, no. 2 (2000): 31-45. Edited by Ethan Carr, Shaun Eyring, Rihard Guy Wilson. Public Nature: Scenery, History, and Park Design. University of Virginia Press, 2013. Hunt, John Dixon. Historical Ground: The Role of History in Contemporary Landscape Architecture. New York: Routledge, 2014. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis.” 2013. James a Lagro. Site Analysis. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley & Sons, 2008. Keiter, Robert B. To Conserve Unimpaired: The Evolution of the National Park Idea. Washington DC: Island Press, 2013. Ken Taylor, Jane L. Lennon. Managing Cultural Landscapes. New York: Routledge, 2012. Kennard, Paul, Interview by Shannon Sawyer. (September 2014). Lynne C. Manzo, Patrick Devine-Wright. Place Attachment: Advances in Theory, Methods, and Applications. New York: Routledge, 2014. Longstreth, Richard. Cultural Landscapes: Balancing Nature and Heritage in Preservation Practice. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008.
107 | OBSERVATIONS
Mackintosh, Barry. The National Historic Preservation Act and the National Park Service, A History. Washington DC, 1986. Matthew Tyler James Browniee, Jeffrey C. Hallo, Brett A. Wright, Dewayne Moore, Robert B. Powell. “Visiting a Climate-Influenced National Park: The Stability of Climate Change Perceptions.” Environmental Management 52 (2013): 1132-1148. McClelland, Linda Flint. Building the National Parks. Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 1998. Meany, Edmond S. Mount Rainier, A Record of Exploration. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1916. Melnick, Robert Z. “Climate Change and Landscape Preservation: A Twenty-First Century Conundrum.” Journal of Preservation Technology 40 (2009). Moe, Richard. “Sustainable Stewardship: Historic Preservation’s Essential Role in Fighting Climate Change.” Berkley, 2008. Moir, William H. Forests of Mount Rainier. Seattle: Pacific Northwest National Parks and Forests Association, 1989. National Park Service, US Department of the Interior. “A Call to Action: Preparing for a Second Century of Stewardship and Engagement.” 2013. National Park Service. “Carbon River Access Management Environmental Assessment.” 2010. National Park Service. A Guide to Cultural Landscape Reports. 1998. National Park Service. “Blackstone River Corridor Study: Conservation Options.” 1985. National Park Service. “Cultural Landscapes: Rural Historic Districts in the National Park System.” 1984. National Park Service. “Rim Drive Cultural Landscape Report Crater Lake National Park Oregon.” 2009. National Park Service. “Carbon River Road Cultural Landscape Inventory.” 2007. National Park Service. “Mount Rainier National Park General Management Plan.” 2007. National Park Service. “Mount Rainier National Park Organic Act.” 1899. National Park Service. Glaciers and Glacier Change. n.d. http://www.glaciers.pdx.edu/Projects/ LearnAboutGlaciers/MRNP/index.html (accessed 2014). Nick Hanley, Richard Ready, Sergio Colombo, Fiona Watson, Mairi Stewart, E. Ariel Bergmann. “The Impacts of Knowledge of the Past on Preferences for Future Landscape Change.” Journal of Environmental Management 90 (2009): 1401-1412. 108
Nylen, T. “Spatial and Temporal Variations of Glaciers on Mt Rainier between 1913 and 1994.” Oerlemans, Johannes. Glaciers and Climate Change. A Balkema Publishers, 2001. Sarah E Greene, Mark Klopsch. Soil and Air Temperatures for Different Habitats in Mount Rainier National Park. Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, 1985. Simpson-Marsh, Kristi, Interview by Shannon Sawyer. (August 2014). Scott, Owen R. “Utilizing History to Establish Cultural and Physical Identity in the Landscape.” Landscape Planning, 1979. Stripe, Robert. A Richer Heritage: Historic Preservation in the 21st Century. University of North Carolina Press, 2003. Taylor, Pat D. “Fragmentation and Cultural Landscapes: Tightening the Relationship between Human Beings and the Environment.” Landscape and Urban Planning 58 (2002). Thompson, John, Interview by Shannon Sawyer. (August 2014). Tweed, William C. Uncertain Path: A Search for the Future of the National Park Service. University of California Press, 2010. Walter P Taylor, William T Shaw. Mammals and Birds of Mount Rainier National Park. Washington DC: US Government Print Office, 1927. Whiteaker, Lou, Interview by Shannon Sawyer. (September 2014).
109 | OBSERVATIONS