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Institute offers field classes

Eight field classes featuring the geology and botany surrounding Mount St. Helens will be offered from August through October.

The schedule includes: Aug. 6, blast zone geology; Aug. 12-13, high-elevation geology; Aug. 12-13, Harmony Trail; Aug. 19-21, plant recovery backpacking trip; Aug. 27, Lava Canyon geology; Sept. 9-10, pumice plain geology; Oct. 8, Ape Canyon trail, and Oct. 22, foraging for edible mushrooms.

The field classes are offered by the Mount St. Helens Institute, which also offers guided climbs of the peak on Fridays and Saturdays.

For more details, go online to http://mshinstitute.org.

Road No. 99 to open Friday

COUGAR — Road No. 99 leading to Windy Ridge viewpoint on the east side of Mount St. Helens will open Friday.

The Gifford Pinchot National Forest announced interpretive rangers will be presenting talks at the viewpoint through the remainder of the tourist season.

Hikers on trails such as Loowit and Harmony Falls will encounter snow drifts and may find some direction signs buried.

Help sought on grant panel

OLYMPIA — Five volunteers are needed to evaluate grant applications for backcountry trail projects in Washington.

The volunteers will serve on the Nonhighway and Off-road Vehicle Activities (NOVA) advisory committee.

Volunteers are needed represent the following interests: campers-wildlife watchers, hunters and fishermen, four-wheel-drive riders, mountain bike riders and hikers-snowshoers-cross-country skiers.

The program provides grants to local, state, federal and tribal agencies to plan, acquire land, develop and maintain trails for motorized and non-motorized recreation.

Appointees will serve from January 2012 through December 2015 and advise the state Recreation Conservation Office on trail issues. The office pays most travel expenses for members not otherwise reimbursed. Members generally attend four to five weekday meetings in even-numbered years to evaluate grant applications.

To apply, send a completed application and any support material to RCO no later than Sept. 30. The application form is available online at http://www.rco.wa.gov/grants/vol_eval_cmte.shtml.

For more information, contact Lorinda Anderson at 360-902-3009 or lorinda.anderson@rco.wa.gov.