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Outdoors blog

Wed., Jan. 2, 2013, 9:04 a.m.

Outdoor milestones reached in 2012

Mark Beattie, assistant manager of Mountain Gear in Spokane, demonstrates the Backcountry Access avalanche airbag system used for backcountry skiing. (Dan Pelle)
Mark Beattie, assistant manager of Mountain Gear in Spokane, demonstrates the Backcountry Access avalanche airbag system used for backcountry skiing. (Dan Pelle)

My annual review of the year outdoors published Sunday chronicled a wide range of outdoor stories from 2012.

Here are a few milestones that were reached.

2012 Highlights from the field


  • 125, birth of Aldo Leopold, father of wildlife management.
  • 100, L.L. Bean, Maine.
  • 75, Bonneville Dam.
  • 75, Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, raises funds for fish and wildlife conservation programs through excise tax on sporting guns and ammunition.
  • 75, Ducks Unlimited.
  • 75, Timberline Lodge, Mount Hood.
  • 40, Clean Water Act.
  • 20, The Guide Shop, Orofino.
  • 20, Friends of Spokane River Centennial Trail.


  • Resigned: Mike Aho, 52, founder of Spokane Parks’ outdoor rec program.
  • Retired: Kaye Turner, 60, Friends of Spokane River Centennial Trail executive director.
  • Defunct: Northwest Maps, founded in 1985.
  • Bought out: Forest Capital Partners sells 1.88 million-acre timberland portfolio to Hancock Timber and Molpus Woodlands, including 276,000 acres in Idaho and 264,000 acres in Washington.
  • Re-named: Dishman Hills Conservation Area, Spokane County’s new name for Iller Creek, Rocks of Sharon, Glenrose and other nearby Conservation Futures acquisitions.
  • Renamed: Dishman Hills Conservancy, formerly Dishman Hills Natural Area Association, founded in 1966.
    Introduced: Perch found in Curlew Lake.


First wolf killed by Washington wildlife managers in response to livestock depredation.

First wolf pack eliminated by Washington wildlife managers.

New wolf packs confirmed in Washington, including two on the Colville Indian Reservation.

Rattlesnake bite in Dishman Hills Natural Area sends teen to hospital.

Idaho Wildlife Summit convenes in Boise and statewide on the Internet tackles issue of insufficient funding for wildlife management.

Constitutional amendment establishing rights to hunt, fish and trap approved by Idaho voters.

Stevens Creek Road parking site completed, ending public access issues for Rocks of Sharon conservation area.

Fat bikes allowed on some Methow Valley groomed nordic ski trails in trend being considered for other cross-country areas.

Pooches need passes on Methow Valley groomed ski trails this season.

Pheasant hunt in Washington set for seniors.

Mount Spokane ski area expansion proposal advances to permitting stage.

Military personnel in Oregon buy controlled deer, elk tags over-the-counter.

Antlerless elk hunting not allowed in Idaho Panhandle general elk seasons for first time in history; predation by wolves, cougars and bears cited as a major factor. Similarly, Washington, general-season elk hunters restricted to shooting only antlered bull elk throughout Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties.

Milltown Superfund site cleanup officially ends for $100 million Clark Fork River restoration project upstream from Missoula.

Avery Creek Cabin, a Forest Service accommodation near North Fork Coeur d'Alene River, becomes available for rent at

Elyse Saugstad becomes the first person reported to have survived a Northwest avalanche by deploying an airbag in a tragic event that killed three companions near Stevens Pass.

Waterfowl record of 48.6 million ducks estimated by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on North American breeding areas; Washington sets state record, too.

Boater safety education cards required for Washington boat operators 40 years old or younger in phased-in program. Requirement extends to boat drivers age 50 and under in 2013.

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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