SUNDAY, JUNE 15, 2014

Groups highlight trail projects past and future

PUBLIC LANDS – Volunteer trail projects past and future will be highlighted in a program by the Spokane Mountaineers and Washington Trails Association on Monday, June 17, at 7 p.m., at the Mountain Gear Headquarters, 6021 E. Mansfield. “The Mountaineers have a long history of...

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 15, 2014

Comment requested on proposed wildlife land acquisitions

PUBLIC LANDS -- More than 700 acres along the Kettle River in Ferry County is among 13 proposed land acquisition areas for fish, wildlife and related recreation the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is considering in the next three years. The agency has posted...

SUNDAY, DEC. 22, 2013

Clearwater over-snow travel maps out in January

WINTER SPORTS -- Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests plan to have the Clearwater Over Snow Vehicle Use Maps (OSVUMs) available to the public by mid-January. At that, forest officials plan implementation road and area closures that will be spelled out on the map. OSVUMs are the...

THURSDAY, NOV. 14, 2013

It was a 65ish day on Scotchman Peak

HIKING -- Jim Mellen, a hyperactive North Idaho member of the Friends of the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness, celebrated his 65th birthday on Wednesday by hiking Forest Service Trail 65 for the 7-mile roundtrip -- to the top of Scotchman Peak. He snowboarded down and posted...

MONDAY, SEPT. 30, 2013

Teanaway purchase becomes Washington’s first state forest

PUBLIC LANDS -- The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), and Forterra today announced the purchase of 50,272 acres in the headwaters of the Yakima Basin watershed. The area, with benefits ranging from the watershed's importance to...

FRIDAY, AUG. 9, 2013

Hunters, birders eye forest herbicide use in NE Washington

FORESTS – A Stimson Lumber Co. application to spray herbicides on forest land in Pend Oreille County is drawing concern from wildlife enthusiasts. Timber companies have been getting permits from the Washington Department of Natural Resources for aerial spraying for years to kill brush that...

TUESDAY, AUG. 6, 2013

Hikers, berry pickers sharing woods with hunters this month

HUNTING/HIKING -- August is a prime month for backpacking in the Inland Northwest and it's also the month in which some hunting seasons open, luring sportsmen with bows or rifles into the same mountains. Danger levels are very low, but safety-minded hikers wear some bright...


GAO report: 3 of 4 Forest Service trails below standards

HIKING -- A new federal report says only one-quarter of U.S. Forest Service trails meet the agency’s own standards as it attempts to catch up with a $524 million maintenance deficit. The is the latest news, coming out after my recent localized story: Budget cuts...

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013

Recent outdoors stories in the Spokesman-Review

Blizzard of beargrass brightens mountain slopes Idaho boat inspection stations on the lookout for invasives Resort still a Pit stop at Enaville Out & About: Raising a stink over goose poop... Idaho parks loaning gear to new campers... Geocaching featured at Washington State Parks... Sekiu...

MONDAY, JULY 1, 2013

What to know before you go to forests for holiday

PUBLIC LANDS -- Fireworks are prohibited year-around on national forests, BLM lands, state wildlife lands and most other public lands. That's the first rule to know before heading out for the Fourth of July holiday. Here are more considerations from the Idaho Panhandle National Forests:...

FRIDAY, MAY 24, 2013

Check road, trail conditions before you go

FORESTS -- A trail closure notice just issued by the Colville National Forest is a reminder that roads, trails and campgrounds are subject to the whims of nature, even on a holiday weekend. Call ahead to forest offices to check on any last-minute closures that...


Wilderness films make case for Scotchmans

p> PUBLIC LANDS -- Two short documentaries about the grassroots effort to secure wilderness status for the Scotchman Peaks northeast of Lake Pend Oreille will be presented Thursday (April 25) at Gonzaga University. The films and a presentation by the Friends of the Scotchman Peaks...

FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013

Umatilla requires permits for serious mushroomers

PUBLIC LANDS -- Mushrooms are pushing their way up through the warming spring soil in forests around the region, and pickers are heading out to greet them. National forests generally allow people to pick mushrooms freely, but if you're harvesting more than a few gallons...


Wildlife benefits of prescribed burns easy to see

WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT -- Sinlahekin Wildlife Area manager Dale Swedberg doesn't just preach the gospel of rejuvenating wildlife habitat with controlled prescribed fires -- he'll let you see for yourself. A website with an eye-opening collection of photos compares historic photos of the Sinlanhekin Wildlife Area...


Film documents grassroots effort for Scotchman Peaks wilderness

PUBLIC LANDS -- The local effort to designate a Scotchman Peaks Wilderness northeast of Lake Pend Oreille has been a classy act from the beginning -- starting with the founding of the Friends of the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness in 2005. This week, the effort will...


Fires planned to boost wildlife habitat

WILDLIFE -- Starting as early as Monday, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife plans to ignite controlled burns on parts of two wildlife areas in northeast Washington to reduce wildfire risks and enhance wildlife habitat. Depending on weather conditions, controlled burns are set for...


Oregon wilderness bills reintroduced in Senate

FORESTS – Longstanding proposals to protect rivers and forests in Oregon as wilderness areas have been reintroduced in Congress by Oregon’s two senators. The bills would expand the Oregon Caves National Monument and Wild Rogue Wilderness in southwestern Oregon, create new wilderness along the John...


Trails group recruiting volunteers for summer trail projects

OUTDO – The Washington Trails Association is recruiting volunteers for an ambitious lineup of trail-building and maintenance projects in far Eastern Washington this season. Every year as the budgets for parks and forests dwindle, volunteers become more important, said Jane Baker, local WTA trail crew...

THURSDAY, DEC. 20, 2012

Climate change impacting Western forests, scientists say

Quote of the day: "If trends continue, baseline tree mortality rates in western forests are projected to double every 17 to 29 years." From the report, "Impacts of Climate Change on Biodiversity, Ecoystems and Ecosystem Services," released Tuesday that said climate change is already affecting...

THURSDAY, SEPT. 13, 2012

Good news, bad news about forest beetle infestations

PUBLIC LANDS -- A pine beetle outbreak that has left many Western states with vast stands of dead and dying trees has eased for the second consecutive year, the U.S. Forest Service says. That's the good news. The bad news is that more trees are...

Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog

Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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