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cliff mygatt
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/27/09

Loc: Kitsap County, WA
Table Mountain Star Party, Washington
      #5428448 - 09/18/12 11:20 PM

I am saddened to report that the location of TMSP has been burned! I am told the trees in the center of the meadow survived! The TMSP website has more details! The TMSP board will head up and evaluate the site as soon as the roads are open

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zerro1
Postmaster
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Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Smokey Point , 48.12°N 122.25...
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: cliff mygatt]
      #5428455 - 09/18/12 11:26 PM

that "is" very sad...

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rainycityastro
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 03/29/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: zerro1]
      #5428604 - 09/19/12 01:22 AM

Oh,no! This is indeed quite sad.

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zerro1
Postmaster
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Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Smokey Point , 48.12°N 122.25...
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: rainycityastro]
      #5428635 - 09/19/12 01:46 AM

based on the map the lion rock campground is fire central and it covers the entire area surrounding it.

http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3269/


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Stacy
Star Partyer
*****

Reged: 09/15/02

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: zerro1]
      #5428651 - 09/19/12 02:11 AM

Hard to be upset. Fire is as natural to a forest as wind and rain. Nature will eventually replenish anything that is lost.

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zerro1
Postmaster
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Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Smokey Point , 48.12°N 122.25...
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: Stacy]
      #5428692 - 09/19/12 03:32 AM

for future generations. not in my lifetime

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DarkSkys
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Reged: 10/11/10

Loc: In the dark desert of Eastern ...
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: zerro1]
      #5428699 - 09/19/12 04:05 AM

Atleast the tree's in the middle of the feild survived. Sucks, it was pretty up there.

I did notice how many dead tree's you could see in the woods when I was up there a few years ago. Hopefully the forrest will comback healthy and strong after this.

Edited by DarkSkys (09/19/12 04:11 AM)


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cliff mygatt
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/27/09

Loc: Kitsap County, WA
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: DarkSkys]
      #5428889 - 09/19/12 09:15 AM

Last time I was at Table I saw the same thing as DarkSkys, deadwood everywhere. It was bound to happen with all the fuel. Just sorry to see it go up in smoke. TMSPA has been making noises about moving to another location because the Ellensburg light dome is getting problematic. We will see what the future holds.

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Stacy
Star Partyer
*****

Reged: 09/15/02

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: cliff mygatt]
      #5429166 - 09/19/12 12:43 PM

In many situations, fighting forest fires can be extremely detrimental to the natural forest ecosystem.

Natural forest fires, sparked by lightning for example, serve to clear out a lot of underbrush. These fires burn fast and sweep through the forest quickly, doing minimal "damage" and allowing certain plants and animals to thrive. Most trees will survive this type of fire and they can actually be a benefit by opening cones and allowing more sunlight to get to the floor to feed the new saplings. The natural mosaic patterns created serve a much broader ecosystem.

When an area is "protected" from fire, the underbrush accumulates over many years. It chokes off many plants and animals and creates a thick tangle that when it finally does catch fire, burns EXTREMELY hot, charring everything and killing many, many more trees.

So many houses being built in dry forest areas prone to fire, and the people who choose to live there, is the bigger problem in my opinion. However, controlled burns and other measures can reduce the instance of a "killer" fire. Pretty basic stuff. Table Mountain on fire is Table Mountain doing what it's supposed to do. Nature WILL have it's way eventually.


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Stacy
Star Partyer
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Reged: 09/15/02

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: Stacy]
      #5429242 - 09/19/12 01:36 PM Attachment (22 downloads)

Love this place....

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DarkSkys
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 10/11/10

Loc: In the dark desert of Eastern ...
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: Stacy]
      #5429673 - 09/19/12 06:27 PM

Quote:

In many situations, fighting forest fires can be extremely detrimental to the natural forest ecosystem.

Natural forest fires, sparked by lightning for example, serve to clear out a lot of underbrush. These fires burn fast and sweep through the forest quickly, doing minimal "damage" and allowing certain plants and animals to thrive. Most trees will survive this type of fire and they can actually be a benefit by opening cones and allowing more sunlight to get to the floor to feed the new saplings. The natural mosaic patterns created serve a much broader ecosystem.

When an area is "protected" from fire, the underbrush accumulates over many years. It chokes off many plants and animals and creates a thick tangle that when it finally does catch fire, burns EXTREMELY hot, charring everything and killing many, many more trees.

So many houses being built in dry forest areas prone to fire, and the people who choose to live there, is the bigger problem in my opinion. However, controlled burns and other measures can reduce the instance of a "killer" fire. Pretty basic stuff. Table Mountain on fire is Table Mountain doing what it's supposed to do. Nature WILL have it's way eventually.




Theres acutaly quite a few houses i've seen built that would be impossible to burn. The big problem is the expence and getting people to build them.

The "concrete log" cabins's i've seen and read about, as long as they have the right kind of metal roof, are almost impervious to fire's.
I'd build one if I find myself liveing in the woods.


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MadHungarian
sage


Reged: 11/18/10

Loc: Cloudy WA
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: DarkSkys]
      #5429714 - 09/19/12 06:49 PM

Quote:


There's actually quite a few houses i've seen built that would be impossible to burn. The big problem is the expense and getting people to build them.

The "concrete log" cabins i've seen and read about, as long as they have the right kind of metal roof, are almost impervious to fire's.
I'd build one if I find myself living in the woods.




But it'd seem to me there's a good chance of the thing turning into a Dutch Oven for the unfortunate occupants inside?


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zerro1
Postmaster
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Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Smokey Point , 48.12°N 122.25...
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: Stacy]
      #5429898 - 09/19/12 08:47 PM Attachment (22 downloads)

Quote:

Love this place....


may only be a fond memory now...

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Rich
member


Reged: 01/21/06

Loc: Seattle
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: zerro1]
      #5430339 - 09/20/12 04:36 AM

I drove up last Saturday for new moon time. Was hoping the Wenatchee complex would be blowing east enough to make Table usable. Stopped in Cle Elum and heard about the Liberty fire... drove out 97 a ways and quickly saw that smoke was blowing east right up over Table from 3 smaller fires. I drove around some to see the effects of the Taylor Bridge fire, including seeing the bridge itself. Amazing how the fires can torch one area and leave sections around green and happy.

Well I guess now those Liberty area fires have spread big time and the whole area around Table is under seige. We can only hope that some areas may be left less damaged.

I do agree that fires are natural and can even enhance the forest, but a major one where we like to congregate will likely impact it for years to come and may make it uninhabitable. I've certainly noticed that the forest up there has not looked healthy, and of course growth is very slow at 6400 ft elevation so it could be a prolonged regrowth time.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: cliff mygatt]
      #5430695 - 09/20/12 11:01 AM

Quote:

I am saddened to report that the location of TMSP has been burned! I am told the trees in the center of the meadow survived! The TMSP website has more details! The TMSP board will head up and evaluate the site as soon as the roads are open




I've always heard about this great location, and am saddened about the fire. This has been a terrible fire season. I've not viewed for a couple of months because of the smoke from (now) 28 ongoing wildfires in Montana.

I've been very fortunate to drive thru & visit many of the Wa. areas most of you live in.


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bper
member


Reged: 02/22/08

Loc: Yakima Washington
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5431111 - 09/20/12 02:56 PM

This is a terrible tragedy. I started going to Table Mtn in 1982 and have attended many of the star parties from the small early ones upto the bigger ones. I have more recently attended the Orion Nebula Star Parties at the Table Mtn site held in September and we were all packed and ready to go for this new Moon when all hell broke loose.

For anyone interested, here are a couple of links that have not appeared yet. Click on the Interactive Fire Map to get the latest. It does not look good at all, but I won't speculate. Click the + on the map and look for NF-3400-124 Rd. This is the road that goes by the TMSP site to Lions Rock.

http://www.co.kittitas.wa.us/response/20120915-fire/default.asp

The second link is to an article this morning in our local paper online. Be sure to view the slideshow of 10 pictures mostly of Table mtn.

http://www.yakima-herald.com/stories/2012/09/19/table-mountain-complex-consuming-nearly-12-000-acres

I don't know how this is all going to shake out in a week or two, but it does not look good at this time. The last time I was at the Table mtn site was a year ago and we had planned to go for new Moon August, but the Taylor Bridge fire had all the roads closed to it and now this fire in September. Yakima has been smoked in for two weeks now - Bruce


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Gregg Lobdell
sage


Reged: 01/20/06

Loc: Covington, WA
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: bper]
      #5431183 - 09/20/12 03:34 PM

Based on the latest maps, it would appear that the meadow and all the trees have been burned. See the 9/20/2012 map on the kittitas.wa.us site that bper posted, and also at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3269/ that zerro1 posted above.

Yes this is sad, but it is natural. From an astronomer's perspective, this will improve the horizon view lines, though that may include more skyglow. Depending on how the re-growth happens, it may be possible to use the very top of Table Mountain for observing in addition to the traditional meadow just to the south of the high point. On the downside, it was always nice to be able to set up in the shade of the trees on the meadow.

Meadow grass grows back much faster than trees. It's been several years since I drove up to Table Mountain, but the last time I did, the low scrub sagebrush was becoming a problem. Hopefully this fire burns out the sagebrush and encourages the grasses.

I live in western Washington, and we can see the smoke plumes from the fires about 70 miles away.


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Jack Day
super member
*****

Reged: 03/04/05

Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: Gregg Lobdell]
      #5431372 - 09/20/12 05:29 PM

Hi all,

Living in Wenatchee, WA and being the program director for the Student Telescope Making Program at TMSP I also have been following these events closely. Bits of TM are falling on the ground outside my window as I write this. I have been going up to Table Mountain since 1985, this is a very sad time for myself, the other directors at TMSP and I know it has been VERY tough on Thom Jenkins. I don't know what TMSP will look like next year, but I am sure it will be memorable. I would guess from folks I have spoken with that the mountain may remain closed until next spring. Hopefully once the fires are out we can at least get a better idea of the impact on the site. This is one time I would ask everyone to pray for rain...

Clear skies,

Jack Day

Edited by Jack Day (09/20/12 05:36 PM)


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DarkSkys
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 10/11/10

Loc: In the dark desert of Eastern ...
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: Gregg Lobdell]
      #5431402 - 09/20/12 05:52 PM

Quote:

Based on the latest maps, it would appear that the meadow and all the trees have been burned. See the 9/20/2012 map on the kittitas.wa.us site that bper posted, and also at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3269/ that zerro1 posted above.

Yes this is sad, but it is natural. From an astronomer's perspective, this will improve the horizon view lines, though that may include more skyglow. Depending on how the re-growth happens, it may be possible to use the very top of Table Mountain for observing in addition to the traditional meadow just to the south of the high point. On the downside, it was always nice to be able to set up in the shade of the trees on the meadow.

Meadow grass grows back much faster than trees. It's been several years since I drove up to Table Mountain, but the last time I did, the low scrub sagebrush was becoming a problem. Hopefully this fire burns out the sagebrush and encourages the grasses.

I live in western Washington, and we can see the smoke plumes from the fires about 70 miles away.




Though i'm not sure if they ( the forrest service) will allow anyone up there after the fire goes out.

I hope we get some rain soon. The fire fighters had said the fire could burn for weeks if we don't get a good rainstorm. I hope liberty is spared.


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square_peg
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 03/26/04

Loc: Maple Valley, WA
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: DarkSkys]
      #5432040 - 09/21/12 01:35 AM Attachment (17 downloads)

I drove by on I-90 yesterday. Table Mtn. reminded me of the Mt. St. Helens eruption. The plume reached 40,000'. Dark smoke was billowing up off the mountain in several places. Lighter smoke was coming up everywhere. I knew just from driving by that the observing area was toast.

Just sad, sad, sad.


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square_peg
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 03/26/04

Loc: Maple Valley, WA
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: square_peg]
      #5432054 - 09/21/12 01:53 AM

My brother got evacuated from his home a few days ago. The current map shows his home in the 'burned' zone but his answering machine picked up so the house is still there. I reached him on his cell phone and he told me that the fire fighters made a line around his house and saved it. They stopped that fire at the road 100 yards below his house. He'll be OK so long as the Peavine Fire doesn't come down his way.



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DarkSkys
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 10/11/10

Loc: In the dark desert of Eastern ...
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: square_peg]
      #5432156 - 09/21/12 05:26 AM

I'm going to go talk to the Rangers at the ranger station in naches today. I read some talk on the web of a fire on American Ridge up by bumping. Thats just across the Bumping river road from my grandparents cabin.

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Dragonwatcher
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/21/08

Loc: Coupeville, WA
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: DarkSkys]
      #5432690 - 09/21/12 01:11 PM

Tom,

Glad your brother one of the lucky ones.


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vsteblina
sage


Reged: 11/05/07

Loc: Wenatchee, Washington
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: Dragonwatcher]
      #5436664 - 09/23/12 06:10 PM

Here is a picture of the Table Mountain Fire when it blew up and the plume went to 42000 feet.

http://inciweb.org/incident/photograph/3269/0/

Forest fires are natural events, but so are earthquakes and hurricanes.


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David Back
newbie


Reged: 09/27/12

Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: cliff mygatt]
      #5443318 - 09/27/12 11:13 AM

Quote:

TMSPA has been making noises about moving to another location because the Ellensburg light dome is getting problematic. We will see what the future holds.




I hope they do decide to move. The meadow was a beautiful spot, and I am saddened that the area was burned. But we outgrew that spot several years ago when the forest service started limiting attendance to 700. In addition, at TMSP this summer, the Ellensburg light dome was so bad I had difficulty finding stars in Saggitarius. The Wenatchee light dome is getting to be noticable too.

I'd like to see the party moved to a place with dark sky. I know there are considerations for distance and accessability, but that spot is by no means "dark" any more.


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square_peg
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 03/26/04

Loc: Maple Valley, WA
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: David Back]
      #5443362 - 09/27/12 11:48 AM

Welcome to the forums, David.

I agree that we need to find a new place. It's gonna be tough to find a place that can accommodate that many people and has good skies.


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vsteblina
sage


Reged: 11/05/07

Loc: Wenatchee, Washington
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: David Back]
      #5444314 - 09/27/12 09:50 PM

It is difficult to find a real dark site in Washington state within reasonable driving distance of Puget Sound.

I can see the sky glow from Seattle from my house in Wenatchee. Granted it is just along the horizon, but up in the Cascades the effect is more pronounced.

Overlay the requirement for a 1,000 people and you can see how difficult it is to find a suitable area.

Then you can start looking at environmental review laws on federal and state lands.

Now do you have a headache??


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Stacy
Star Partyer
*****

Reged: 09/15/02

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: vsteblina]
      #5446756 - 09/29/12 12:55 PM

There is a great space with arguably the darkest skies you are likely to find in the Northwest. It's not too far and can accommodate a thousand easily. Unfortunately, it's already spoken for by OSP.

Seriously, I think a merger of the two events (if the quagmire of politics and finances could be untangled) would be the best option. At least for a year or so.

If not, there are some seriously dark skies in northeast Washington. If we have to have our own, that might be an area to look.

Table Mountain's days as an optimal site for astronomy are long since past. Since you can't have TMSP anywhere but Table Mountain, it could continue as a recreational and educational event.

I would love to see a regional event with consideration for campsites with a little room to breathe. Not packed in like sardines as at Table.

Just my musings on this fine Saturday morning.


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vsteblina
sage


Reged: 11/05/07

Loc: Wenatchee, Washington
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: Stacy]
      #5447313 - 09/29/12 07:22 PM

I lived in Colville for five years. The skies are dark in northeast Washington, but it is a very long drive for folks in western Washington. Lots of trees on national forest managed land and I am not sure that you could find a place for 1,000 people.

The Okanogan Highlands has some nice private parcels that could host a star party and much better skies than Table Mountain.

I found the perfect spot outside of Enterprise, Oregon but it had a partially blocked southern horizon. Again, quite a distance from Puget Sound.

I would look around Satus Pass on the Yakama Indian Nation or the private land on the south facing slopes.


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Rich
member


Reged: 01/21/06

Loc: Seattle
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: vsteblina]
      #5447597 - 09/29/12 10:02 PM

I've only been to the large party up there once, due to being out of town in the July timeframe. I certainly enjoyed the large party, but for me it was a special place to go near new moons and usually there were others observing up there, although by late September it would sometimes just be me (usually with the family). The Orion Nebula party has always been a favorite.

On the sky conditions, I agree it is not as dark as it could be, but obviously great compared with the metro areas. I believe the high altitude makes a big difference and getting above much of the moisture really helps compared with lower sites that may be a little darker.

Reading some threads here on CN about star parties it has been pointed out that ultra dark sky is not as key as accessablity, activities and such for the 1000 people size events. There will always be stray light at such a large gathereing anyway. Not that it wouldn't be nice to have, but probably location will depend more on other criteria.

Will be good to hear what people come up with for alternatives.


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zerro1
Postmaster
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Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Smokey Point , 48.12°N 122.25...
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: Rich]
      #5447668 - 09/29/12 10:51 PM

Vladimir, Do you know anything about the area up around Freeze-out Pass. It's up near the area that the 30 mile fire was in. It's the dirt road from West chewuch to Tonasket. It comes out just north of Wannacut Lake. Seems to me that there are some fairly large clearings up there. It's a big Snowmobile playground during the winter..

Lets Face it...There are no other places like Table Mountain, with a well developed road, a few miles from the Interstate. If you-all want dark sky, it's going to be a bit more obscure than right up the hill from Ellensburg.


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square_peg
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 03/26/04

Loc: Maple Valley, WA
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: vsteblina]
      #5447884 - 09/30/12 02:39 AM

Quote:

I would look around Satus Pass on the Yakama Indian Nation or the private land on the south facing slopes.




Bickleton. Maybe we can find a farmer who'd like to host us on his land.


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vsteblina
sage


Reged: 11/05/07

Loc: Wenatchee, Washington
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: zerro1]
      #5452606 - 10/02/12 08:33 PM

Quote:

Vladimir, Do you know anything about the area up around Freeze-out Pass. It's up near the area that the 30 mile fire was in. It's the dirt road from West chewuch to Tonasket. It comes out just north of Wannacut Lake. Seems to me that there are some fairly large clearings up there. It's a big Snowmobile playground during the winter..




Lots of dirt roads in that area if I remember correctly.

I think the Okanogan Highlands is probably the best bet. I did talk to this lady at a meeting once. Looks like they might have enough room.....and horizon's look good. It would be dark up there.

http://www.edenvalleyranch.net/

Not sure if they could fit 1,000 people...however.

I really like the Satus Pass area. I saw Hale-Bopp from there in winter when coming back from Portland. It was a great sky. Not sure if there is a site large enough in the area, but it might be worth looking around. The other advantage to Satus is that you can easily do star parties later and earlier in the year than in other sites.

Table is a great site for environmental education and kids. My daughter still has fond memories of wandering the mountain top in the dark!!


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Spaced
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/01/05

Loc: Tacoma, Washington, USA
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: vsteblina]
      #5453843 - 10/03/12 04:47 PM

Quote:

Bickleton. Maybe we can find a farmer who'd like to host us on his land.




Hmmmm, I dunno. I think the skies there would be considerably brighter than west of Goldendale, since it's adjacent to the Yakima Valley.

I believe everything around Satus pass is wooded.

Yakama nation might be worth invesigating. It would have to be on the western side, away from the Yakima valley, but they have a lot of land and the tribe might welcome some revenue. I don't know the area, though. Pegster, didn't you drive out to Ft. Simcoe State Park one time?

Probably Tonasket / Republic region would be the best combination of dark skies and available land adjacent to black top, but as pointed out, it's a long, long way to drive from Puget Sound.


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square_peg
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 03/26/04

Loc: Maple Valley, WA
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: Spaced]
      #5454377 - 10/03/12 11:50 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Bickleton. Maybe we can find a farmer who'd like to host us on his land.




Hmmmm, I dunno. I think the skies there would be considerably brighter than west of Goldendale, since it's adjacent to the Yakima Valley.




Maybe so. But Horse Heaven Hills would be blocking much of that light to the north. And the southern skies look pretty good. And the critical SE skies look toward the blackness of eastern Oregon. Check the light pollution maps. It's looks decent to me.

There's a 1 square mile patch of land SW of Bickleton that appears to be public land. Might be worth investigating.

Google map


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DarkSkys
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 10/11/10

Loc: In the dark desert of Eastern ...
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: Spaced]
      #5455115 - 10/04/12 01:34 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Bickleton. Maybe we can find a farmer who'd like to host us on his land.




Hmmmm, I dunno. I think the skies there would be considerably brighter than west of Goldendale, since it's adjacent to the Yakima Valley.

I believe everything around Satus pass is wooded.

Yakama nation might be worth invesigating. It would have to be on the western side, away from the Yakima valley, but they have a lot of land and the tribe might welcome some revenue. I don't know the area, though. Pegster, didn't you drive out to Ft. Simcoe State Park one time?

Probably Tonasket / Republic region would be the best combination of dark skies and available land adjacent to black top, but as pointed out, it's a long, long way to drive from Puget Sound.




Not sure if the Tribe will wan't us around, from what i've been told by family, non-tribal members are not allowed to be on Yakima nation forrest lands unless you have a yakima nation member there with you.

I wonder if there is anywhere we can go down in SE wa, down in the Blues?


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BradleyB
professor emeritus
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Reged: 09/01/06

Loc: Olympia, WA
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: square_peg]
      #5455834 - 10/04/12 10:17 PM

It looks like there is a regular grid of sections that are WA DNR land, and that this is one of them. There are lots of them in the area. I do not see a single road into it on the satellite view.

Brad

There's a 1 square mile patch of land SW of Bickleton that appears to be public land. Might be worth investigating.

Google map




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bper
member


Reged: 02/22/08

Loc: Yakima Washington
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: DarkSkys]
      #5455880 - 10/04/12 10:48 PM

Living in Yakima, I can vouch for the light pollution here. We have to head West into the mountains for good dark skies. It's steadily getting worse as I am sure it is almost everywhere. I think Stacy may have been correct in an earlier post or at least had an idea worth looking at.

Quote:

There is a great space with arguably the darkest skies you are likely to find in the Northwest. It's not too far and can accommodate a thousand easily. Unfortunately, it's already spoken for by OSP.




Here is proof of this.

The night sky in the World

At least it makes the most sense so far and possibly you need to be thinking about July and August. Food for thought. I've been to Pine Mt a couple time (one mt range South of OSP). Excellent skies, but not enough room for a big crowd. I'm sure the TMSP board will do what is best for everyone, regardless of all our good intentions here.

The Table Mt fire is still only 80% controlled as of today and it won't be out until the snow or rain comes. It is both a tragedy and blessing if you consider all the blown down and diseased trees on the mountain. Every take a walk to the North of the viewing area? 100 years from now it will look real pretty again. I think of that when I get down on the whole thing. I'm sure someone will fly over and take a picture of the site when everything is safe again, but I'm not sure I want to see it.


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square_peg
Postmaster
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Reged: 03/26/04

Loc: Maple Valley, WA
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: bper]
      #5456275 - 10/05/12 09:40 AM

I heard that the central group of trees was saved. And a meadow fire generally doesn't get so hot as to kill the roots. So the meadow will probably be as green as ever next summer. It's just the surrounding forest that will be blackened. I don't think the fire precludes TMSP being held at the usual location next summer.

The growing light domes are another issue. Table Mtn still has a lot going for it, capacity, proximity, tradition and a good road.


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square_peg
Postmaster
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Reged: 03/26/04

Loc: Maple Valley, WA
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: square_peg]
      #5476057 - 10/17/12 11:07 PM

I took a hike up First Creek today just a few miles below the Table Mtn. Star Party site. I was surprised by how much had survived the fire. Granted, this was in the lower reaches of the fire but many of the trees appear to have survived. The underbrush is burned and many trees are burned but many still have green tops. And there were many patches of grass that were skipped over by the fire.

I'm sure the devastation is worse up on top where the fire burned hotter but I was encouraged by what I saw today. I'll try to get some pics up tomorrow.

The area got a good rain soaking over the last few days. Never the less we found one stump still smoldering at the edge of the burn. We smothered that with dirt. There are probably still hundreds of others like the smoldering stump we found.


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cliff mygatt
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/27/09

Loc: Kitsap County, WA
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: square_peg]
      #5476590 - 10/18/12 09:31 AM

Thanks for the update, Tom. It would be nice to know what the future holds for Table.

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Jack Day
super member
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Reged: 03/04/05

Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: cliff mygatt]
      #5511901 - 11/09/12 03:53 PM

Hi All,

New info about TMSP was posted today on the TMSPA.com website.. And a few post fire pictures of the site as well. Go take a look!


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Stacy
Star Partyer
*****

Reged: 09/15/02

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: Jack Day]
      #5512028 - 11/09/12 05:34 PM

Yes, in a few years from now, while evidence of the fire will still be prominent, much of the beauty of the area will be intact.

Thanks for the report!


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DarkSkys
professor emeritus
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Reged: 10/11/10

Loc: In the dark desert of Eastern ...
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: Stacy]
      #5513238 - 11/10/12 02:04 PM

Hmmmm. Mabey this will workout well in the end, if they can find a site that just as nice, but darker?

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cliff mygatt
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/27/09

Loc: Kitsap County, WA
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: DarkSkys]
      #5513723 - 11/10/12 09:36 PM

Thanks Jack for posting the info, the site looks OK and I agee with the decision of the board, let it recover, we can always go somewhere else for a few years.

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svtdoug
sage


Reged: 02/07/11

Loc: Gig Harbor, WA, USA
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: cliff mygatt]
      #5525285 - 11/17/12 11:30 PM

I find the report encouraging that the main telescope field and north trees survived the fire. I hope the TMSP board hasn't acted hastily by already abandoning TM next year. If the site, for the most part escaped the flames, not sure why they have given up on TM? I love the site. To me it beats OSP's site. Yes, skies are darker at OSP, but I really miss the beauty of TM, when at OSP - unless you love looking at rocks! I also like the fact that the main telescope field is pretty much contiguous, while OSP is segmented all over the place.

I hope they keep TM as an option for 2013 when evaluating other alternative.

Just my $.02

Doug


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Stacy
Star Partyer
*****

Reged: 09/15/02

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: svtdoug]
      #5526225 - 11/18/12 02:15 PM

I think it's mainly a saftey thing. Damaged trees can fall without notice. Along the roads and/or the site itself.

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cliff mygatt
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/27/09

Loc: Kitsap County, WA
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: Stacy]
      #5528981 - 11/19/12 10:27 PM

I think the forest service wants to let the area "rest and recover" for a while before allowing use! TMSPA would be happy to use the site if allowed!

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Jack Day
super member
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Reged: 03/04/05

Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: cliff mygatt]
      #5704172 - 02/27/13 08:06 PM

New information posted regarding TMSP for 2013 posted on the TMSPA.com site today!

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groz
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/14/07

Loc: Campbell River, BC
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: Jack Day]
      #5717584 - 03/07/13 12:36 AM

It's just down the road from the mt kobau star party going at the same time. The skies at kobau have always been far superior to what we saw at table mountain. We will be on mt kobau for that event. We may drive down one day from kobau just to check out the location.

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Bill Weir
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/01/04

Loc: Metchosin (Victoria), Canada
Re: Table Mountain Star Party, Washington new [Re: groz]
      #5737941 - 03/17/13 02:30 AM

So that's this place? http://www.edenvalleyranch.net Looks like a reasonable location. I wish you well with it until you're let back to the old site.

Bill


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