HIKING — Today is the first day of the annual late-summer closure of several roads leading to prime recreation areas in the Sullivan Lake Ranger District of the Colville National Forest.
The closures were instituted in the 1980s to reduce human disturbance in prime grizzly bear habitat and berry areas when they are most attractive to bears, acccording to Mike Borysewicz, Forest Service wildlife biologist.
The gates were locked yesterday on two notable roads leading to trailheads:
I drove up both of these roads and hiked the trails last week to beat the closures. The areas area spectacular.
The huckleberries were green but the mosquitoes were at their peak.
I met Rick Moore, who was surveying dragonflies for the Forest Service. He said the mosquitoes were viscious at Watch Lake, but around the ridge, where violet-green swallows were swarming like bees — the mosquitoes were barely noticeable. A coincidence? Hmmm.
If you want to hear the buzz for yourself now that Road 200 is gated, you'll have to hike all of Crowell Ridge from the Sullivan Lake Lookout more than 8 miles one way to Gypsy Peak.