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Spokane area state parks digging out of windstorm debris

Cris Currie of the Friends of Mount Spokane works to clear blowdown trees off Trail 140 at Mount Spokane State Park after the Nov. 17, 2015, windstorm that hammered the region. (Holly Weiler)
Cris Currie of the Friends of Mount Spokane works to clear blowdown trees off Trail 140 at Mount Spokane State Park after the Nov. 17, 2015, windstorm that hammered the region. (Holly Weiler)

PARKS -- Riverside and Mount Spokane state parks are still working to clear blowdown trees from routes and public use areas following the Nov. 17 windstorm that hammered the region with gusts to 70 mph.

The Riverside State Park Foundation announced Thursday that the annual Winter Wonderland, set for Dec. 11-13 at Riverside State Park, has been cancelled because of damage in the Bowl & Pitcher and surrounding areas. Cleanup is continuing with heavy equipment.

The windstorm is a costly event for the parks, and a blow to the annual fundraiser that has has raised more than $30,000 in three years to support the park. 

At Mount Spokane, park staff and volunteers have cleared most of the hundreds of trees that littered the cross-country trail system. They've also been working to clear snowmobile routes, single-track trails and emergency response routes to the mountain area.

  • Washington Sno-Park Permits are now required for hikers, nordic skiers, snowshoers and other visitors parking at the trailheads for trails and at Selkirk Lodge. Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park is not yet open. Customers of the downhill resort do not need a Sno-Park permit in their vehicle when the resort is open.

"Over the past two weeks since the storm hit 59 volunteers came out with their chain saws and spent 481 hours clearing the trails so the snow groomer and skiers could return again this winter," reports Todd Dunfield of Spokane Nordic Skiing Association

"We owe these generous community members a great deal of thanks for giving of their time and resources to help re-open the trails."




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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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