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BLM changes sagebrush habitat management policies, likely won’t impact Washington

UPDATED: Sat., Jan. 6, 2018, 8:16 a.m.

FILE - In this May 9, 2008, file photo, male sage grouses fight for the attention of a female southwest of Rawlins, Wyo. The Bureau of Land management has changed sagebrush habit policy guidelines allowing some grazing and oil and gas leasing. (Jerret Raffety / AP)
The Bureau of Land management has changed sagebrush habit policy guidelines allowing some grazing and oil and gas leasing. The new policy reverses an Obama-era rule mandating that BLM offices prioritize placing drilling and grazing projects outside sage grouse habitat, according to a news release.

Bill Jennings: Silver Mountain offers nostalgic trip down the slopes

Fifty years ago this week Jackass Ski Bowl opened above Kellogg. It turned the intensity of skiing up a few notches in the Silver Valley. Silver Mountain is celebrating this golden anniversary Friday with Jackass Day. Expect a variety of special events along with $12 lift tickets – the price of admission in January 1968. The ski area’s steeper slopes, deeper vertical and perilous access were a stark contrast to the mellow aspect and convenient location 20 miles to the east at Lookout Pass. Ski patroller Roger Grovner, 66, was born and raised in Kellogg. He was at Jackass from the beginning.

Snow means go for a Yellowstone winter trip

Bison string out as they walk through the Lower Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park. (Brett French / Courtesy/Billings Gazette)
With its vast expanses of snowy meadows, steaming deep blue pools and spouting geysers, there’s no place quite like Yellowstone National Park in the winter. It’s otherworldly, an almost alien landscape.

Minnesota man dies in Montana avalanche

A Minnesota man died in an avalanche while he was snowmobiling about 19 miles (30 kilometers) north of West Yellowstone in Montana.

Best Hand Fun Ski event set for Saturday

WINTERSPORTS – The 27th annual Best Hand Fun Ski and Snowshoe Event is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 6. at the 4th of July Pass Recreation area in Idaho. Check-in time is between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. The event starts at 11:30 a.m. and prizes will be awarded at 1:30 p.m. The event is the Panhandle Nordic Cross Country Ski and Snowshoe Club’s annual fundraiser. Proceeds support trail grooming and maintenance at 4th of July Pass. Saturday is also the annual “Idaho Free Ski Day.” No parking pass is required.

100th annual Spokesman-Review trapshoot competition starting

UPDATED: Thu., Jan. 4, 2018, 10:53 a.m.

FILE - John Weber (right), 64, of Spokane, loses his hat in a strong gust of wind while taking practice shots at the Spokane Gun Club October 1, 2010, in Greenacres, Wash. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
SHOOTING – Shooters from across the northwest will start competing Sunday in the 100th Inland Northwest Trapshoot. The competition, which is sponsored by the Spokesman Review, is the oldest and largest shoot of its kind in the country. Competitors shoot every Sunday from Jan. 8 to Feb. 25. The competition is open to all gun clubs and other groups willing to shoot at recognized clubs. Individuals may also compete.

Coeur d’Alene eagle numbers down

UPDATED: Wed., Jan. 3, 2018, 8:47 p.m.

FILE - A bald eagle looks for fish along the shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene Friday, Dec. 8, 2017. The annual migration of bald eagles has begun, meaning that the south-bound birds are stopping in North Idaho where thousands of spawned-out kokanee provide a source of nutrition for the birds' long trip south. The birds will increase throughout December, peaking around New Year's Day. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
WILDLIFE – Bald eagle numbers in Coeur d’Alene have dropped this week as expected. Carrie Hugo, U.S. Bureau of Land Management wildlife biologist counted 179 eagles (141 adults and 38 juveniles). Hugo counted 372 bald eagles at the last full count on Dec. 7. That was a record number of eagles. The Coeur d’Alene eagle population usually peaks the third week of December.

Early bird Bloomsday registration opens

UPDATED: Wed., Jan. 3, 2018, 8:33 p.m.

FILE - The elite women start the 2017 Bloomsday race. (Eli Francovich / The Spokesman-Review)
RUNNING – Looking for some training motivation? Bloomsday has you covered and might even sweeten the deal with a prize. Early registration for the 42nd annual road race opened Tuesday. Register by Feb. 11 and you could win a 64 GB Apple iPhone 8 or a 64 GM Samsung Galaxy (winner’s choice). To register:

Reader photo: New year, new sun

UPDATED: Wed., Jan. 3, 2018, 12:34 p.m.

The sun rises on the first day of 2018. Ken Vanden Heuvel took this photo from the Jungle Hill trail in the Kettle River Range. (Ken Vanden Heuvel / Courtesy)
On New Year’s eve Ken Vanden Heuvel broke trail on the Jungle Hill trail in the Kettle River Range. After solo hiking about 4 miles he camped at 6,700 feet. And although he went to bed early, he still got to see fireworks.

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