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Outdoors blog archive for Jan. 1, 2010

FRIDAY, NOV. 19, 2010

Mt. Spokane snowmobiling mileage questioned

STATE PARKS -- Today's story about Inland Empire Paper Co. closing its lands to snowmobiling said that leaves 40 miles of groomed trails available to snowmobilers at Mount Spokane. The mileage figure came from Spokane County Parks, which manages the grooming.However, Cris Currie of Friends...

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Heather Salo, Phil Bridgers and Banff Films host Paul Price met today at Northern Lights Brewery for the difficult task of chosing the line-up of films for the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, which begins its three-day run in Spokane tonight at The Bing Crosby Theater.  Each film was listed on a card along with details about its topic, awards it had won -- whether it had a lot of vulgar language -- and length.  They shuffled the cards around until they felt they had the best mix for each of the three nights.

Banff films lineup for Spokane revealed

ADVENTURE -- For the first time, I'm able to reveal the lineup of films for the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, which starts its three-day run tonight, 7 p.m., at The Bing.I just returned from the meeting as Mountain Gear staff made the difficult...

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Climbers feeling the squeeze 

CLIMBING -- Rock climbers are feeling the pinch and the need to get involved in agency decisions.Smith Rocks State Park, a prized rock climbing area near Portland, Ore., is closing camping at the area during winter. Climbers are trying to work with officials for a...

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Crystal joins Lookout in ski opener

SKIING -- Lookout Pass isn’t the only ski area with enough snow to open the season this weekend.Crystal Mountain resort near Mount Rainier opened today, but running just two chair lifts. Mount Baker will have seven lifts in operation starting Saturday, the Seattle Times reports....

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Cheney High School freshman Andrew Graham used a lot of practice to win four junior titles in duck- and goose-calling competitions. (Rich Landers)

Cheney teen excels in goose call contest

HUNTING -- Andrew Graham, 15, a freshman at Cheney High School, recently returned from Easton, Md., where he attracted plenty of attention in the venerable World Goose Calling Championship. Surrounded by and judged by such goose-calling notables as Tim Grounds and Fred Zink, Graham took...

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THURSDAY, NOV. 18, 2010

Judge rules for Wyoming in wolf case 

WILDLIFE -- A federal judge says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was wrong to refuse to turn management of gray wolves over to the state of Wyoming.Judge Alan B. Johnson of Cheyenne today ordered the federal agency to consider again whether Wyoming's wolf management...

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In 2004, Inland Empire Paper Company attempted to charge a fee for snowmobile access to their lands on Mount Spokane and educate riders about the need to stay on designated trails.  The program has failed to keep the riders from going off trail into clearcuts where they damage the tops of young trees. This winter, IEP is closing its lands to snowmobiling. A barricade fence will be set up at this access point to Linder Road near the cross-country ski trails. (Rich Landers)

IEP closes land to snowmobiling 

WINTER SPORTS -- Snowmobiling will be prohibited this winter on Inland Empire Paper Company lands at Mount Spokane as well as on the rest of the 116,000 acres the company manages in northeastern Washington and North Idaho.The decision to end the decades-old welcome comes this...

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Zebra mussel threat lingers

WATERWAYS -- Inconclusive test results showing signs of invasive mussels in Flathead Lake still have downstream interests on edge."Part of me still stands strong and thinking positive that it's going to be OK," said Erin Mader of the Pend Oreille Basin Commission in Sandpoint.Results from...

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Groomers work Thursday on Lookout Pass slopes for Friday's ski area opening. (Lookout Pass)

Lookout Pass skiing opens Friday

SKIING -- Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area is opening its lifts Friday to take advantage of 8 inches of fresh snow on a base up to 20 inches deep, Phil Edholm, ski area president announced minutes ago."The majority of the front side of the...

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Fred Beckey iclimbing n Yosemite National Park. (Fred Beckey photo)

Fred Beckey still on the rocks

CLIMBING -- Northwest climbing legend Fred Beckey might be close to 80 -- no one seems to know, including Fred -- but he's still globetrotting to climbing venues. Is the pioneer of first ascents in the Cascades and Canada keeping up with the trend toward...

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WEDNESDAY, NOV. 17, 2010

Choose your hunting dog wisely

HUNTING -- The cold snap forecast for the weekend has waterfowl hunters packing their gear for the duck blinds and goose pits to intercept northern flights soon to be on their way.Meantime, if you're in the market for a good hunting dog, be selective when...

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Sno-Parks stay status quo

WINTER SPORTS -- Disregard the previous post about Washington reconsidering Sno-Park permit reciprocity with Oregon. In fact, disregard a lot of proposed rule changes in state government for the time being.The Governor's office issued an order today to suspend non-critical rule development through 2011. For...

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WA-OR study Sno-Park reciprocity

WINTER SPORTS -- Washington state parks commissioners will consider on Friday ending the 30-year reciprocity agreement to honor Oregon sno-park permits at winter recreation spots in this state including Mount St. Helens, Wind River and Mount Adams, according to the Vancouver Columbian. Wayne McLaughlin of...

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A scene from the Warren Miller film "Wintervention." (Warren Miller Films)

'Wintervention' showing at NIC

WINTER SPORTS -- If you missed the show in Spokane and the wintery weather forecast finally has you in the mood for the slopes, North Idaho College is presenting Warren Miller’s ski and snowboard film ‘Wintervention’ Nov. 21 at 6:30 p.m. in Boswell Hall Schuler...

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Are you sure this is an eagle?  Take the birding ID quiz to find out. (Greg Gillson)

Try this birding ID quiz

BIRDING -- Eagle-eyed birdwatchers can test their bird identification skills with this online photo quiz. It focuses on situations in which individual birds sometimes don't match the descriptions depicted in field guides.

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A big whitetail buck peeks out of the cover, where he's hidden successfully from hunters for several years.  (Rich Landers)

Buck rattling technique refined

HUNTING -- It's down to the wire for Eastern Washington rifle hunters trying to put their crosshairs on a whitetail buck. The late season ends Friday. Idaho hunters have through Dec. 1 in some areas. But while time's waning, you have one thing on your...

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B.A.S.S. is changing guard

PRO FISHING -- The Florida-based fishing tournament group founded 40 years ago as the Bass Angler Sportsman Society became known simply as as BASS purchased and reconfigured by ESPN in 2001. Last week, BASS was acquired by three businessmen who vow to make it "a...

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TUESDAY, NOV. 16, 2010

1 year, 2 million vertical feet for skier

SKIING -- Starting Jan. 1 and hitting slopes on both sides of the equator, Greg Hill of Revelstoke, British Columbia is 80 percent through his goal to climb and ski 2 million vertical feet in one year -- all self-propelled.To put this in perspective, powering...

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LaFawn Sutton, 12, bagged this record-book whitetail buck in velvet during the September early bowhunting season near her Mount Spokane area home.  (Jim Sutton)

Teen skewers record-book buck

A whitetail buck bagged by an almost-teenage bowhunter from the Spokane area qualifies for the record books, according to official Pope & Young measurer Larry Carey.LaFawn Sutton, 12, arrowed the buck near her Mount Spokane home in September when it was still in velvet.The buck...

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Marlow Stevens releases Nevarre, a peregrine/gyr falcon hybrid, who will hover 800 feet in the air waiting for a pheasant or Hungarian partrige to flush from a ravine west of Churchill, Mont.

United Nations salutes falconry

HUNTING -- The ancient sport of falconry received a tip of the hat and a vote of confidence from the United Nations today.The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage -- pause here and inhale...

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Poachers rival hunters in total kill

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife believes poachers kill as many mule deer as legal hunters. That’s one reason the mule deer population in the state has dropped to 216,000 animals from historic peaks of more than 300,000. State biologists discovered...

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MONDAY, NOV. 15, 2010

This zebra mussels on this boat indicte why state officials are concerned about spread of the exotic species in northwest waterways. In this case, a Florida man trailered his boat across the country before being stopped at State Line by Washington State Patrol officers. The mussels can spread wildly when reintroduced to other waters.

Signs of exotic mussels found at Flathead Lake 

FISHING – Signs of exotic mussels have been found in a routine plankton sample taken in July from the northern end of Flathead Lake, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department officials announced this afternoon.Verification testing is still under way. Test results from independent labs in...

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Buck white-tailed deer are famous for remaining hidden during fall until the mating season lures them out of the brush.  (Associated Press)

It's prime time for deer hunters

HUNTING --This is the week many white-tailed deer hunters have been anticipating. It's the last week of the late season and we're nearing the peak of the rut, when even the biggest bucks lose some of their wariness to be around receptive does.If you're not...

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Rich Landers writes and photographs stories and columns for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including Outdoors feature sections on Sunday and Thursday.




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