Beezley Hills

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Beezley Hills
Beezley Hills is located in Washington (state)
Beezley Hills
Location of the Beezley Hills
Highest point
PeakMonument Hill
Elevation879.7 m (2,886 ft)
Coordinates47°19′13″N 119°48′04″W / 47.32028°N 119.80111°W / 47.32028; -119.80111
Geography
CountryUnited States
StateWashington
RegionEastern Washington
Range coordinates47°19′34″N 119°45′35″W / 47.32611°N 119.75972°W / 47.32611; -119.75972Coordinates: 47°19′34″N 119°45′35″W / 47.32611°N 119.75972°W / 47.32611; -119.75972
Parent rangeYakima Fold Belt
Geology
Type of rockMiocene Columbia River Basalt Group

The Beezley Hills are a range of hills, about 5 miles (8.0 km) north of Quincy in Grant County, Washington with a maximum elevation of 2,882 feet (878 m) or 2,886 feet (879.7 m).[1][notes 1][notes 2]

The city of Ephrata, Washington, at the east end of the hills, was originally called Beezley Springs, named after horse rancher Frank Beezley.[4][5]

Geography[edit]

The hills rise from the east bank of the Columbia River between Moses Coulee and Frenchman Gap.[1] They extend about 25 miles (40 km) to Ephrata and are part of the geological formation known as the Yakima Fold Belt, a group of anticlines.[6] The next member of the fold belt is the roughly parallel Frenchman Hills to the south. Between the two ridges, Interstate 90 and Washington State Route 28 run through the Quincy Basin (the latter less than 5 miles (8 km) south of the Beezley Hills), a rich agricultural and vinicultural area (see Quincy-Columbia Basin Irrigation District).[1]

Several springs occur on the lower slopes of the hills. In addition to Ephrata, formerly Beezley Springs (also spelled Beasley Springs), there are Baird Springs,[7] Two Springs,[8] and Willow Springs.[9] The Grant County courthouse in Ephrata is geothermally heated from a hot spring.[10]

Monument Hill is the highest point in the Beezley Hills[notes 3] and the second highest summit in Grant County at 2,882 feet (878 m) or 2,886 feet (879.7 m).[2][3] The high point of Grant County is a 2,899-foot (884 m) summit (47°22′56″N 119°48′45″W / 47.3822°N 119.8124°W / 47.3822; -119.8124) unofficially named Ulysses S. Peak, four miles north of Monument Hill and across Lynch Coulee from Monument Hill.[11][12][13]

Beezley Hills formed the northern barrier to the ice age Missoula Floods that poured out through Quincy Basin and over Babcock Ridge to reach the sea.[14]

Recreation areas and preserves[edit]

The Beezley Hills Recreation Area (47°19.103′N 119°33.734′W / 47.318383°N 119.562233°W / 47.318383; -119.562233, near Ephrata, Washington) has 20 miles (32 km) of trails and opened in 2012.[4] The Beezley Burn is an annual cross-country mountain bike competition that ran there for the eighth year in 2014.[15] It starts and ends in Ephrata, with a course that extends about 500 feet (150 m) up into the east end of the Beezley Hills.[16][17][18]

An earlier footrace in 2000 was also called the Beezley Burn and followed a similar course.[19][notes 4]

The 4,788-acre (1,938 ha) Beezley Hills Preserve is part of a larger, 30,000-acre (12,000 ha) Moses Coulee/Beezley Hills Nature Conservancy preserve.[20] They are all part of a 400,000-acre (1,600 km2) functional shrub-steppe ecoregion,[21] comparable in size to the island of Oahu.

Flora and fauna[edit]

Hedgehog cactus on Whiskey Dick Mountain near Beezley Hills

Beezley Hills Preserve lies in or adjacent to the Channeled Scablands desert; northern Grant County receives 10–15 inches (250–380 mm) of rain annually.[22] The preserve contains many arid climate species.

Cacti[edit]

Flora in the Beezley Hills include Pediocactus simpsonii (hedgehog cactus) and Opuntia polyacantha (prickly pear).[23][24] The latter was called "quite rare" in Washington by one author, who noted it was listed as nonexistent in the state by many authorities.[25]

Pygmy rabbit[edit]

The Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit, listed as an endangered species in the United States, is endemic to the Columbia Basin. An active conservation and endangered species recovery program is under way with participation from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife and The Nature Conservancy, with the Beezley Hills designated a "recovery emphasis area" by FWS.[26][27][28]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 2,882 ft (878 m)  NGVD 29[2]
  2. ^ 2,886 ft (879.7 m)  NAVD 88[3]
  3. ^ "The Beezley Hills rise from the foothills to an elevation of 2,882 feet at Monument Hill" in Federal Register 2012[1]
  4. ^ Spelled Beasley Hill at Othello Outlook 2000[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d United States Department of the Treasury Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (May 8, 2012), "Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley American Viticultural Area proposal, docket number TTB-2012-0003; notice number 128", Federal Register, United States Government Printing Office, 77 (89), p. 27003
  2. ^ a b Monument Hill quadrangle, United States Geological Survey
  3. ^ a b Benchmark SW1575 (Monument Hill "Baird") datasheet, United States National Geodetic Survey
  4. ^ a b Mark Amara (April 2013), "Coulee Corridor National Scenic Byway", COULEE CORRIDOR BYWAY BEAT, Coulee Corridor Consortium, 2 (2)
  5. ^ Reidel, Stephen P. (2004), Northwest Geological Society Field Trips in Pacific Northwest Geology: The Geologic Development of the Pasco Basin, South-Central Washington (PDF), Northwest Geological Society, p. 10, archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-10-06 figure 7 map
  6. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Baird Springs
  7. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Two Springs
  8. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Willow Springs
  9. ^ Kirk, Ruth; Alexander, Carmela (1995), Exploring Washington's Past: A Road Guide to History, University of Washington Press, p. 88, ISBN 9780295974439
  10. ^ Rattlesnake Springs quadrangle, United States Geological Survey
  11. ^ John Roper (April 5, 1994), Grant County high point report
  12. ^ John Roper (1998), The High Points of the 39 Counties of Washington
  13. ^ Alt, David D. (2001), "The Grand Emptying: Floodwater Exits the Quincy Basin", Glacial Lake Missoula: And Its Humongous Floods, Mountain Press, pp. 137–138, ISBN 9780878424153
  14. ^ Jeff Chew (April 1, 2014), "Nearly 180 participated in Ephrata's annual Beezley Burn bicycle race", iFiber.tv OneNews, Ephrata, Washington: iFiber Communications
  15. ^ Lynne Lynch (May 1, 2012), "Attendance up at Ephrata's Beezley Burn", Columbia Basin Herald, Moses Lake, Washington
  16. ^ Jake Maedke (c. March 2014), "Beezley Burn event info", Vicious Cycle event promotion Check date values in: |date= (help)
  17. ^ http://rideviciouscycle.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Kiosk-Trail-Map-revised-Jan14.pdf
  18. ^ a b Mark Grim, ed. (February 23, 2000), "The Beezley Burn, not just an ordinary race", The Othello Outlook, p. 10
  19. ^ Beezley Hills Preserve, Washington Trails Association
  20. ^ Moses Coulee/Beezley Hills Preserve, The Nature Conservancy
  21. ^ Washington State annual average precipitation map (PDF), Washington Department of Ecology, October 28, 2003
  22. ^ Nelson, Dan, "Beezley Hills Preserve", Best Desert Hikes: Washington, The Mountaineers Books, pp. 107–109, ISBN 9780898869293
  23. ^ Don Woodworth; Geoff Berg; Florence Caplow; Katie Beck (c. May 2007), Vascular Plant List, Beezley Hills (PDF), Washington Native Plant Society Check date values in: |date= (help)
  24. ^ Ian Barclay, "A primer on Washington native cacti", The Desert Northwest, Sequim, Washington
  25. ^ Recovery Outline for the Columbia Basin Distinct Population Segment of the Pygmy Rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis) (PDF), United States Fish and Wildlife Service, November 2004
  26. ^ Recovery Plan for the Columbia Basin Distinct Population Segment of the Pygmy Rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis) (PDF), Portland, Oregon: United States Fish and Wildlife Service Region 1
  27. ^ Wildlife Program newsletter (PDF), Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Week of November 18-24, 2013 Check date values in: |date= (help)

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]