Outdoors blog

MONDAY, JAN. 26, 2015

Boater registrations fund Idaho access sites

BOATING – Idaho boat registrations, which must be renewed starting Jan. 1, help fund county recreational boating services and marine law enforcement activities, the state Department of Parks and Recreation says. Idaho allows boaters to decide what counties receive their registration dollars. The annual registration...

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Sportsmen rally against public land transfers 

PUBLIC LANDS -- Sportsman's groups are organizing a voice against efforts in Western states to eliminate federal control of public land. Lawmakers in Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming are spending considerable money and effort in attempts to get state control of federal public lands within...

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SATURDAY, JAN. 24, 2015

Priest Lake Search and Rescue volunteers practice building emergency fires. (Rich Landers)

Priest Lake Search and Rescue learning some lessons

SURVIVAL -- Fairchild's Air Force survival instructors are schooling Priest Lake Search and Rescue in the art of survival this weekend. Everybody's a volunteer in this group, getting ready to help other outdoors folks out should they need it. By the way, everyone should practice...

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FRIDAY, JAN. 23, 2015

Raccoon tracks in fresh wet snow near downtown Spokane. (Rich Landers)

Fresh, wet snow perfect for tracking critters

WILDLIFE WATCHING -- I was late into the office this morning, delayed by urgent messages from a variety of critters. Last night's light, wet snow created a fresh page for wildlife to tell the stories of their early-morning lives for trackers to read. Conditions are...

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A bald eagle flies over Lake Pend Oreille in search of food.

Eagles still lingering at Wolf Lodge Bay

WILDLIFE WATCHING --Bald eagles at Lake Coeur d’Alene for their annual gathering to feed on spawning kokanee are dispersing, a U.S. Bureau of Land Management wildlife biologist says. Carrie Hugo, who has surveyed eagles in Wolf Lodge Bay almost weekly since early November, counted 28...

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THURSDAY, JAN. 22, 2015

Wolves were first targeted in an official regulated Idaho hunting season that opened Sept. 1, 2009. The state began authorizing wolf trapping seasons in 2011. (Associated Press)

Survey: Idaho well above federal quota for wolves 25 

PREDATORS -- Although fewer than half of Idaho's wolf packs have been surveyed this winter, state wildlife officials already have documented the number of breeding pairs exceeds federal requirements. After the 1995 re-introduction of wolves into Idaho, the species multiplied quickly, peaking around 2009. The...

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Winter tips for feeding birds 

WILDLIFE WATCHING -- Feeding wild birds is one of the most popular outdoor activities in the U.S. While a handout can help birds find the calories needed to survive the winter, improper feeding can spread disease or increase birds' exposure to predators. the Idaho Department...

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 21, 2015

Fat bike riders approach the historic concrete arched railroad bridge crossing near U.S. Highway 395 just south of Rosalia that's a key  part of the old Milwaukee Road rail line that is owned by Washington state and designated for trail development. It is part of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail. (Pat Sprute)

State Parks considers letting farmers use rail trails 

PARKS -- A proposal to allow farmers and ranchers to occasional use Washington rail trails will be considered by the State Parks and Recreation Commission at a regular meeting Jan. 29 in Tumwater. The policy proposal would permit certain limited non-recreational motorized use of state...

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The Lookout Pass Free Ski School started its 72nd year on Jan. 7, 2011, to a swarm of enthusiasm. More than 500 kids age 6-17 had been registered.  (Courtesy photo)

Skiers set visitation records at Lookout Pass

WINTERSPORTS -- Lookout Pass ski area has had some record-breaking skier visit days in January, according to owner Phil Edholm. The resort off I-90 at the Idaho-Montana state line posted these numbers: Saturday, Jan. 17, single day attendance record of 2, 243 skier visits. Saturday,...

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TUESDAY, JAN. 20, 2015

Ilah Hickman, 14, poses for a photo with a young Idaho giant salamander at the state Capitol in Boise on Monday. Idaho lawmakers worried that special recognition of the Idaho giant salamander could lead to federal protections, have rejected the eighth-grader’s request that it be named the state amphibian. (Betsy Z. Russell)

Salamander spotlights ignorance of Idaho lawmakers 

WILDLIFE -- Usually it's not earth-shaking stuff when school kids approach a legislative body with a campaign to name an official state something-or-other. But Monday's House State Affairs Committee hearing in Boise on a 14-year-old girl's request to name the Idaho giant salamander as the...

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Video: how to keep your dog out of a trap

TRAPS -- A new educational video – Avoiding Wildlife Traps While Walking your Dog -- is available on Idaho Fish and Game’s website. The 9-minute video shows the variety of traps and snares dog owners may encounter while hiking or walking their pets and how...

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Ski-skaters fly in the Methow Pursuit 30K cross-country race. (Methow Trails)

Methow Nordic Fest for skis, bikes, snowshoes

Friday, January 23 - Sunday, January 25, is the annual Methow Valley Nordic Festival in Winthrop, Washington: a three-day weekend dedicated to celebrating Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, fat biking and winter trail running. The ski and snow conditions have been incredible this year in the Methow...

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A Bell helicopter transports Canadian Mountain Holidays skier to fresh mountain powder in British Columbia. (Brad  White / CMH Heli-Skiing)

Ultimate heli-skiing holiday is rich experience

WINTERSPORTS -- Most doctors and lawyers can save their time and skip this notice, which is aimed at the truly rich people who love jet-set traveling, heli-skiing, gear, first-class food, accommodations and pampering. Canadian Mountain Holidays, the world’s largest heli-ski operator, is celebrating its 50th anniversary...

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MONDAY, JAN. 19, 2015

Canada lynx. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Canada lynx reviewed for endangered status 

ENDANGERED SPECIES — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is starting a review of federally protected Canada lynx at a time when the largest population of the cats in the Lower 48 appears to be poised for a decline, according to the Associated Press. The...

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SUNDAY, JAN. 18, 2015

Outdoors blog

Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column.

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