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Hungate Canyon, Moses Coulee, Columbia River Plateau

Hungate Canyon, Moses Coulee, Columbia River Plateau

About 15,000 years ago, an ice dam holding in a glacial lake repeatedly failed, causing immense flooding across Oregon and Washington.

One of the dramatic features carved out by the ice age Missoula Floods: Moses Coulee in the Columbia River Plateau.

In central Washington, above the Moses Coulee valley floor, the BLM manages a beautiful landscape of rolling hills, steep basalt cliffs and the vital sagebrush steppe.

Evidence of the ancient Lake Missoula flooding is still visible in the canyon where there are giant ripple marks and extensive gravel bars.

“A trip between the coulee’s steep walls is like poking around in the basement of time,” wrote Ron Judd, a nature columnist for the Seattle Times.

The desert canyon habitat supports a variety of wildlife, including mule deer, coyote, skunks, badgers, mice and bats.

Hungate Canyon's creek sustains a number of plants not usually found in the sage steppe environment, including Carex praegracilis W. Boot. The University of Washington's Burke Museum curates a specimen of this species -- a sedge or grasslike herb -- discovered in Hungate Canyon in 1995.

The Moses Coulee in present-day Douglas County is accessible via Highway 2, about 15 miles south of Wenatchee, Washington.

Specific instructions can be obtained via the BLM office in Wenatchee:
915 N. Walla Walla
Wenatchee, WA 98801
509-665-2100
Hours: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Photos by Toshio Suzuki, BLM, May 11, 2016

(plus d'infos...)

Photo prise le 11 mai 2016 (© BLMOregon / Flickr)

Voir aussi :
 moses, coulee, columbia, river, washington state, pacific northwest, ice, age, canyon, bureau of land management, blm
 

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