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Outdoors blog

THURSDAY, DEC. 23, 2010

America's Great Outdoors Act foiled

PUBLIC LANDS -- A last-ditch attempt to get a package of wilderness measures and public lands bills through Congress died this week on a single vote cast by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). "These bills were bi-partisan, non-controversial, and critical for all regions of the country,"...

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 A humorous attempt to categorize the various types of Labrador retrievers.  You may have chased birds with one of these four types of hunting dogs. (Anonymous)

Which hunting dog do you have?

HUNTING -- I went out chasing pheasants through the countryside this week with a buddy who has a Labrador retriever -- about 100 pounds of brute force. Pheasants, Angus bulls and taut barbed-wire fences all fear this dog. Maybe you can pick him out of...

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WEDNESDAY, DEC. 22, 2010

Trees near the top of the mountain are rimmed with snow Tuesday at Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park.  (Jesse Tinsley)

Birder applies binoculars to Mount Spokane

BIRDING -- Most people visiting Mount Spokane this month are focused on frolicking in the snow, whether it's on skis, snowshoes, inner tubes or snowmobiles. But there's a lot more life in the winter mountain forest than most visitors realize -- unless you head up...

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Bats taking a beating from fungal disease

WILDLIFE -- It hasn't been detected yet in the West, but a flesh-eating fungus known as white-nose syndrome is devastating bat populations in the eastern half of the United States. In the past four years, more than one million bats from at least seven species...

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Barbed hooks allowed on Columbia River

FISHING -- Starting Jan. 1, anglers will be allowed to use barbed hooks for fishing for Salmon and steelhead on the Columbia River, from the mouth to McNary Dam. Washington is putting the rule into effect to avoid confusion with Oregon's rule. But let's be...

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TUESDAY, DEC. 21, 2010

In this undated photo provided by Eddie Bauer First Ascent, South African kayaker Hendri Coetzee, center, paddles on the Lukuga River in Congo with local villagers. On Dec. 7, 2010, Coetze was ripped from his kayak, never to be seen again, on the same river on an expedition with two Americans.  (Chris Korbulic / Eddie Bauer First Ascent)

Kayakers detail crocodile tragedy

PADDLING -- The three world-class kayakers were in the middle of Lukuga River in Congo on Dec. 7. The remote stretch was about 100 feet wide, and the two Americans were paddling so close to South African guide Hendri Coetzee their blades would touch if...

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Forest plan sweetens Lochsa land swap deal

NATIONAL FORESTS -- Officials with the Clearwater National Forest are floating a plan to buy a big chunk of private timber land in the upper Lochsa River basin as one way to curry public favor for a land exchange with a private company. The proposed...

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Jeff Corkill (#171), a top masters runner from Spokane, puts his fitness to the test on skinny skis with 193 other participants in the soggy 2007 Langlauf 10-kilometer race at Mount Spokane. 
 (File / The Spokesman-Review)

Selkirk Nordic Series tests skiers

CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING – Cross-country skiers can test their performance over the course of the season and take a stab at winning cool prizes by entering the three-race Selkirk Nordic Series. First event is Jan. 22 – the 5- or 10-kilometer Cougar Gulch event at Schweitzer....

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A worker monitors the unleashing of Montana's Clark Fork River into its restored channel near the old site of Milltown Dam. (The Missoulian)

Clark Fork River back in its channel

RIVERS – Milltown Dam was breached in March 2008, allowing Montana’s Clark Fork River to flow free just above Missoula for the first time in a century. But it wasn’t allowed to run freely in its restored channel until last week. As The Missoulian story...

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Outdoors making most of shortest day

HUNTING -- I've endured some long days in the field this season with little to show for hours of follownig Scout, my English Setter, through the Palouse. But today, the shortest day of the year, was the best of the season: Scout tallied 18 points...

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MONDAY, DEC. 20, 2010

State Parks confronts crisis management 

STATE PARKS -- With the governor's budget proposal leaving now General Fund money for Washington State Parks and Recreation, officials have called a special meeting for Wednesday, 10 a.m., at parks headquarters in Olympia.The agenda includes discussion of the plan to merge parks and rec...

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Bill Pirami photographed this duck with a stainless steel blowgun dart in its head. This was one of five ducks documented as being shot with blowgun darts in Billings' Riverfront Park. (Bill Pirami)

Jerks use wildlife as blowgun fodder

WILDLIFE -- Last week I shared a photo of a wild turkey feeding and gettng along somehow in North Spokane, even though it had been skewered with an arrow by a less-than-worthy archer.Today we get an even grimmer report from Billings, where wildlife photographers have...

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Biologist sheds light on wolf behavior

WILDLIFE -- Wolves are not bloodless killers, but they can appear to be, according to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist Russ Morgan.Wolf kills can appear perplexing because often they barely have a scratch. The state's wolf program coordinator explained why -- and much...

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Eagle-killers sentenced in Yakima

WILDLIFE CRIMES -- Two Yakama Nation tribal members have been sentenced to six months in federal prison for killing and selling more than 100 bald and golden eagles.Alfred L. Hawk and William R. Wahsise, both in their 20s, pleaded guilty to taking, selling or transporting...

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Priest Lake's resident blogger Pecky Cox used her every-ready camera to capture this whitetail buck against the moon beams reflecting off the water. The photo is posted on her "As the Lake Churns" website. (Pecky Cox)

Buck by moonlight at Priest Lake

WILDLIFE -- Priest Lake's resident blogger Pecky Cox used her every-ready camera to capture this whitetail buck against the moon beams reflecting off the water. The photo is posted on her "As the Lake Churns" website.

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Some poachers can't be overlooked

WILDLIFE ENFORCEMENT – While patrolling the Horseshoe Lake area, Washington Fish and Wildlife Department Officer Paul Mosman had one of those rare “game warden moments.”“It started when he pulled in behind a likely looking truck parked at an access gate and just happened to notice...

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An airplane passes in front of a darkening moon as it becomes a total lunar eclipse on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2008 in Seattle. (Joshua Trujillo / Associated Press)

O say can you see: lunar eclipse tonight

SKYWATCHING – On the fat chance that the clouds will disappear, the heavens will giving us a reason to stay up late tonight.A lunar eclipse is set to begin about 10:30 p.m., when the Earth¹s shadow begins to pass over the surface of the moon,...

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SUNDAY, DEC. 19, 2010

SATURDAY, DEC. 18, 2010

FRIDAY, DEC. 17, 2010

George Orr leaving Wildlife Commission

WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT -- George Orr, the always quotable Washington Wildlife Commissioner from Spokane, announced today that he will be leaving the commission when his term expires next year.Orr, a retired fireman and former state legislator, made the announcement during a commission conference all meeting called...

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Ski-joring North Idaho style: Giddyap

SKIING -- Photos of a skier getting air -- water-skier-style -- behind a horse was the Huckleberrys parting shot for Thursday, and it's a soaring wintery start to the outdoors blog for Friday.Get the scoop -- (does the skier need a clean-up shovel?) -- and...

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Video: Into a black bear's winter den

WILDLIFE WATCHING -- Bring any kids in the house over to watch this entertaining video of a Canadian TV humorist joining bear biologists as they crawl into a winter den to put a radio collar on an almost hibernating black bear. Hint: They find three...

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Outdoors blog

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