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MONDAY, DEC. 6, 2010

Wolf study strains MSU ties with wildlife agency

ENDANGERED SPECIES -- An official with the state's wildlife agency has told Montana State University’s president that cooperation between the two entities could end due to one of the school’s scientists challenging the agency’s conclusions on how significantly a proposed wolf hunt would reduce wolf...

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This is one of the photos bowhunter Dave Bradt snapped of the fossilized neck vertebrae of what paleontologists think is a plesiosauer --  la ong-necked, four-finned aquatic reptile that once roamed the Charles M. Russell Wildlife Refuge when it was part of a vast inland sea -- the Cretaceous Seaway of North America -- roughly 75 million years ago. (Dave Bradt)

Elk elude hunter, but not dino fossil

PALEONTOLOGY -- Montana hunter Dave Bradt, 43, wasn’t able to tag the bull elk he wanted to shoot while bowhunting for elk in the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge in September. Instead, he found the fossilized remains of an ancient sea creature, according to...

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In this  May 21 photo, water pours over the spillway of the Elwha Dam west of Port Angeles, Wash. (Associated Press)

Revival of rivers begins in 2011

RIVER RESTORATION -- According to the conservation group American Rivers, 2011 will be the ‘year of the river’ because of the unprecedented number of major river restoration projects happening nationwide.After more than a decade of ground work, two of the world’s biggest river restoration projects...

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Columbia barbless hook rule scrapped

FISHING -- Washington salmon and steelhead fishermen will not be required to use barbless hooks in the Columbia River beginning Jan. 1, according to the Vancouver Columbian.Phil Anderson, state fish and wildlife director, said Friday he will issue an emergency rule rescinding the barbless hook...

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SUNDAY, DEC. 5, 2010

Scout, Rich Landers' English Setter, retrieves a Hungarian (gray) partridge. (Rich Landers)

Short hike plans fowled by bird dog

HUNTING -- I meant to take a relatively brief hike today from the Snake River up to the canyon rim and back. But I made the mistake of bringing my shotgun and following my English setter. I think we saw the whole freaking canyon, up-down...

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SATURDAY, DEC. 4, 2010

Brian and Ann Grow leave the groomed trails behind to enjoy some old-style skiing on skier-made tracks around Shadow Mountain on a brilliant Saturday at Mount Spokane State Park. (Rich Landers)

Mount Spokane nordic groomer finally up and running

NORDIC SKIING -- Whether on groomed trails or on the tracks skiers made themselves, the cross-country skiing at Mount Spokane State Park was stunning today.The large Bombardier snowcat grooming was finally running well enough to smooth the snow on cross-country ski trails at Mount Spokane...

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Eagle gathering grows at Lake CdA 

WILDLIFE -- At least four 65 bald eagles are gathered in the Wolf Lodge Bay area of Lake Coeur d'Alene for their annual feast of spawning kokanee. BLM wildlife biologist Carie Hugo counted 39 adults and 25 immature eagles on Friday.“I know I missed some...

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FRIDAY, DEC. 3, 2010


Snowmobile parking changes at Lookout Pass

WINTER SPORTS -- A new additional parking area has been designated for snowmobilers heading out to ride areas near Lookout Pass and Mullan, Idaho, the Idaho Panhandle National Forests announced today. The new parking area is along Mullan Road, behind the fish hatchery, approximately three...

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Video is tribute to ice climber

ICE CLIMBING -- A year ago this month, the world of ice climbing lost one of its premier figures near Bozeman, Mont.,to an avalanche that had nothing to do with the skills he plied on vertical walls of frozen water.Carve out 16 minutes to check...

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THURSDAY, DEC. 2, 2010

West Side poachers find fertile fields

WILDLIFE – Washington Fish and Wildlife officials say they’re struggling to keep up with reports of poaching and fishing violations in Cowlitz County because the department has no game wardens stationed there.Four game wardens are allocated to Cowlitz County, but two of the officers are...

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

Pinkminnow angler earns $81K

FISHING -- The 2010 Northern Pikeminnow bounty program on the Snake and Columbia Rivers paid $1.2 million to anglers who helped to reduce the numbers of a salmon-eating pest called the northern pikeminnow.One devoted angler cashed in on the deal, earning a record $81,000 during...

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Gabe Bancroft, 14, with a whitetail buck he bagged with a .50-caliber muzzleloader at 22 yards with the help of his dad,  Chris Bancroft. (Shawn O'Kert)

Young hunter pulls his weight

DEER HUNTING -- Gabe Bancroft, 14, enjoyed the complete package of being a successful deer hunter last weekend. Taking advantage of the late muzzleloader season that opens as the whitetail rut begins to ebb, he joined his uncle Shawn O'Kert to get in position where...

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A gray wolf.   (File Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

Hunting helps wolves long-term, experts say 

Should hunting be allowed for wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains? Here’s a summary of the answers given to me in interviews from leading wolf experts:• “You have to remove the bad apples.” Doug Smith , Yellowstone National Park wolf project leader • “Wolves are...

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WEDNESDAY, DEC. 1, 2010

Unstable snowpack triggers avalanche advisory

WINTER SPORTS -- Although weekly avalanche advisories won't begin until Dec. 17, Forests Service hydrologists with the Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center issued an advisory this afternoon warning snow travelers of unstable snow conditions likely to last at least for a day or two. Read on...

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Peak Adventures OK'd to start skiing

SNOWCAT SKIING -- A North Idaho snowcat skiing operation has be issued a temporary permit to continue operating their backcountry ski business out of Cataldo, the owners told S-R reporter Becky Kramer Tuesday.Peak Adventures, as the company has for years, soon will take advantage of...

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TUESDAY, NOV. 30, 2010


Van Bennett drives the groomer at Fourth of July Pass for the Panhandle Nordic club while Geoff Harvey is helping to plan new trails. 
 (Rich Landers / The Spokesman-Review)

Panhandle nordic areas ready to groom

NORDIC SKIING -- Fourth of July Pass cross-country ski trails should be in shape for skiing by the end of this week, according to Geoff Harvey of the Panhandle Nordic Club.Forest Service crews were out clearing blowdowns off the trails Monday and a groomer should...

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Winter fishing opens with a whimper

FISHING -- The Spokane area's two winter fishing trout lakes open on Wednesday. The fish are there, but the conditions are iffy.The waters are Fourth of July Lake just south of Sprague and Hog Canyon Lake off I-90's Fishtrap exit.Fourth of July's east end has...

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Rammell caught dragging illegal elk 

Rex Rammell, Idaho Falls, is under investigation in the illegal killing of an elk following a confrontation with an Idaho Fish and Game conservation officer. The officer was patrolling the Tex Creek Wildlife Management Area east of Idaho Falls late this morning where a late...

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A trumpeter swan, likely the die-hard resident dubbed Solo, takes off across a pond at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge last April. (File / The Spokesman-Review)

Birders asked to help track Turnbull trumpeters

WATERFOWL -- Ice-up has ushered the trumpeter swans out of Turnbull National Wildlife refuge to where ever they go during winter.Solo, the geriatric patriarch of his growing trumpeter family, departed the refuge with his mate and this year's crop of five cygnets during Thanksgiving week,...

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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.