NORDIC SKIING -- The snowmobiler's loss has been a gain for cross-country skiers at Mount Spokane.
Earlier this month, Inland Empire Paper Co. announced it was banning snowmobilers from its 116,000 acres in northeastern Washington and North Idaho, including the previously groomed snowmobile routes starting from Mount Spokane State Park.
However, on Wednesday the state park groomer packed a route leading from the nordic trails at Junction 1 and out on Linder Road, which had been groomed as a snowmobile route for years.
Having Linder Road groomed as a skating lane is a boon to nordic skiers looking for the rare opportunity on Mount Spokane for extended skiing on relatively flat terrain.
IEP said it had to close Linder Road and other areas to snowmobiling because rogue snowmobilers would leave the groomed trails to play in clearcuts where they would break the tops of small trees and reduce their commercial timber value.