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Outdoors blog

FRIDAY, DEC. 10, 2010


Wild turkeys are particularly conspicuous in winter, when they congregate in lowland flocks. Biologists say turkeys have been introduced to virtually every habitat niche in the state. 
 (File/ / The Spokesman-Review)

Turkeys gone, no shots fired

NUISANCE WILDLIFE -- I have a gift to offer the region's rural residents who are being besieged by wintering turkeys that are congregated in flocks and fouling barnyards.Just invite me to come out with my one remaining 2010 turkey tag and I can virtually elminate...

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THURSDAY, DEC. 9, 2010

After the new Barker Road Bridge was completed over the Spokane River in 2010, City of Spokane Valley patched the erosion caused by the new bridge project and rendered the site much more difficult for boat launching.

 (Spokane Riverkeeper)

Barker Bridge squanders river's potential

SPOKANE RIVER -- The City of Spokane Valley and the entire region apparently got short-changed in the $11 million Barker Road Bridge construction project. City officials turned their backs on citizens and agencies that tried to work from the beginning of the project to improve...

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WEDNESDAY, DEC. 8, 2010

The noses of these hounds or many other breeds of dog could help big-game hunters find wounded game if it weren't illegal in Washington.  (Associated Press)

Why not let dogs track wounded game?

HUNTING – While we don’t have good statistics on the number of big-game animals wounded and lost by hunters, no one would doubt that it’s significant. The number might even be staggering.So why do Washington and a few other states prohibit hunters from using trained...

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Idaho criticized for roiling OHVers

OFF-ROADING -- The supervisor of the Nez Perce National Forest has criticized the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, contending the state agency tried to rile up off-road vehicle riders over a proposed plan that could limit their access to the forest's trails.An e-mail exchange...

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Idaho suspends wolf management plan 24 

ENDANGERED SPECIES -- In a telephone conference today, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission suspended Idaho’s 2008-2012 species management plan for wolves.The 2002 Idaho Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, approved by the Idaho Legislature and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, remains in effect as...

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Anti-wolfer faces felony elk charges

HUNTING -- Tony Mayer of Twin Falls, Idaho, -- founder of the anti-wolf website SaveElk.com -- is charged with illegally killing a bull elk with antlers so large the crime qualifies as a felony.A judge on Tuesday ruled that Mayer must come back to Blaine...

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Larry Dowd ( back center ) and James Mittelstadt ( rear right ) of Rathdrum, Idaho learn about avalanche beacons in an Avalanche Awareness Class during a demonstration at the Fourth of July snowmobile area today.  (Christopher Anderson / The Spokesman-Review)

Early-season avalanches claiming victims

WINTER SPORTS -- The season's first big snow storms had barely blanketed the mountains before this year's first avalanche deaths were recorded in the West.Three people already have been killed.On Sunday, a Colorado backcountry skier died in a 15-foot avalanche in Clear Creek County between...

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Winter sport clinics and films in Sandpoint

WINTER SPORTS -- The Friends of the Scotchman Peaks and Idaho Conservation League are sponsoring a winter backcountry film festival Friday and winter outdoor skills workshops on Saturday in Sandpoint.Winter backcountry films will be shown at the Panida Theater Friday starting at 7 p.m.On Saturday,...

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TUESDAY, DEC. 7, 2010

Operator sought for Stehekin resort

NATIONAL PARKS -- Managing a 21-room lodge can't be easy anywhere, but would it be be more enjoyable in paradise?Check out this story on the National Park Service search for someone to run the Stehekin resort at the wilderness end of Lake Chelan in North...

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Fish-Wildlife director hints at cuts

WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT -- None of Washington's state government agency heads is making any friends by suggesting possible program cuts in order to comply with voter wishes to reduce government -- and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlfie Director Phil Anderson is no exception.After the elections,...

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An Animal Tracks Casting Kit from imaginechildhood.com (Imaginechildhood.com)

Gifts greenies are giving their kids

WILDLIFE EDUCATION -- Here's a list of cool educational stuff to consider getting a kid 4-9 years old for a holiday gift, regardless of whether you're an environmentalist or someone who's afraid of that title but still loves the outdoors.The list that comes from imaginechildhood.com...

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County Commission ready to review Conservation Futures picks

CONSERVATION — At 9:30 this morning, the Spokane County Commissioners will hear the final recommendations in this round of nominations for Conservation Futures acquisitions.The 36 nominations for Spokane County Conservation Futures land acquisitions have been winnowed to a top-10 list.The commission plans to review the...

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Deer season's over; it's time to feast!

HUNTING -- Nothing celebrates a successful hunting season more than putting the meat on the table. Hunters work hard for their game, and they pay respect to their effort and their animal when they take care to serve it with a flair."Venison is the crowning...

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Hunters must file season-end reports

HUNTING -- Washington Fish and Wildlife officials adding incentive to get hunters to file their manadatory post-hunt report forms by phone or online.Hunters who file reports will avoid hassles when they try to buy a license next year -- and they'll have a chance to...

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MONDAY, DEC. 6, 2010

The Obama administration wants to set aside more than 200,000 square miles in Alaska for polar bears habitat.  (File Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

187,000 acres designated for polar bears

ENDANGERED SPECIES -- The Obama administration is setting aside 187,000 square miles in Alaska as a "critical habitat" for polar bears, an action that could add restrictions to future offshore drilling for oil and gas. The total, which includes large areas of sea ice off...

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Northern pikeminnows are targeted in a BPA program to reduce predation on endangered salmon.
 (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

Spokane pikeminnow angler earns 22K

FISHING -- Spokane-area angler Ed Williams earned $22,374 in this year's Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Program, according to information just received from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.This is an update from last week's blog post revealing that the Bonneville Power Administration paid out...

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Multi-mountain ski passes almost gone

ALPINE SKIING -- Only 20 of the multi-mountain ski passes being offered by Ski the NW Rockies are still available, the group says this afternoon.The pass offers 25 lift tickets for $750 (plus tax). That's $30 a ticket.The lift tickets can be used one at...

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Off-roader fined for mudding

FOUR-WHEELING -- A 22-year-old Ellensburg man who was outed by disgruntled off-road vehicle enthusiasts was ordered last week to pay $2,000 to help restore a Reecer Creek meadow that he extensively damaged with his pickup.Jose Mora Villanueva, 22, was charged in U.S. District Court in...

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Lake Coeur d'Alene attracts one of the largest concentrations of nesting osprey in North America.  However, the birds leave the area in fall to winter in far-flung warmer destinations.
 (File / The Spokesman-Review)

Lingering osprey gets taste of winter

BIRDING -- Snow buntings and a late-lingering osprey were in the birder buzz this weekend.One person in the Inland Northwest Birders group reported counting 160 snow buntings during a cruise through Lincoln County. These are the small birds -- grey-brown backs, white fronts and black...

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Poachers keep wildlife officers busy

HUNTING/FISHING -- Spokane-area wildlife enforcement officers are still in high gear even though most big-game hunting seasons area winding down.Here are a few highlights from the past week's officer reports:An anonymous tip led officers to a man who had five deer hanging in his south...

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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.