The Washington State Department of Natural Resources said Wednesday that a sacred mountain in the mountains of eastern Washington is at risk of being destroyed.
The DNR said the Stony Mountain Preserve in eastern Washington has lost more than 50 percent of its trees since a tornado swept through in September 2016.
The department said the preserve’s 1,000-acre snowpack has declined by more than 100 percent since January, and the vegetation has been severely damaged.
The Stony Mtn.
Preserve has seen its total snowpack decline from about 300,000 cubic feet per square mile in 2015 to about 75,000 cu ft per square miles in 2017, according to the DNR.
It lost some of its remaining snow in September, and there is no indication it will recover, the department said.
It said that when a tornado ripped through the St. Louis County area in December, the snowpack dropped about 25 percent.
The preserve is home to about 40 species of endangered and threatened wildlife, including a bald eagle, mountain lions, a beaver, a walrus and a bobcat, according the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation.
The government agency said it has worked with state officials to develop a plan to stabilize the Stoney Mtn., but the plan will not be finalized until after the winter snowpack is stabilized.
D.C.-area residents, especially those living near Stony Meadows, are asked to wear masks when outdoors.