A May 2 auction to sell antlers elk shed this winter on the Oak Creek Wildlife Area in Yakima County raised $15,032, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife reported.
About 150 people attended the first-time event, purchasing about 1,275 pounds of antlers. The money, earmarked for winter elk feeding, will cover 18 percent of the hay cost for an average 80-day feeding season, said John McGowan, Oak Creek manager.
Antlers had been gathered by agency staff and volunteers over several years at Oak Creek and a few other sites.
The highest single sale, $550, bought an eight-point set of elk antlers from the Hanford area.
Closures on hold
A month ago, state parks officials were floating the possibility of closing up to 40 parks as the Washington Legislature wrestled with the massive budget shortfall.
However, the 2009-2011 state budget appears to have enough money to keep the parks open by tapping an expected $23 million in “opt-out” donations from motor vehicle registrations and money from boater and trail rider gasoline taxes.
People renewing their car or truck registrations will be charged a $5 donation toward state park operations unless they check a box to opt out.
Final decisions on specific parks and jobs may come at the State Parks Commission meeting May 19.
Bike events set
•Bike to Work Week kicks off today with a Bike Education Fair, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at River Park Square.
On Monday, registered participants are invited to a free pancake breakfast at Riverfront Park, 7 -9 a.m.
Check it out: www.biketoworkspokane.org .
•Bicycle maintenance clinic for women, Thursday, 7 p.m., at REI. Free.
•Bicycle Okanagan British Columbia Wine Tour, May 22-25, organized by Spokane Parks and Recreation.
Info: 625-6200 or go to www.spokaneparks.org .
Nature field trips
Top-notch local outdoor photographers will be leading a series of nature and wildlife photography field trips, starting Saturday, sponsored by the Inland Northwest Land Trust.
Group sizes limited.
Preregister: 328-2939; www.brownpapertickets.com/
No weeds in feed
Weed-free feed is being required this year for stock using 17 national forests, including the Colville, in an effort to battle the spread of noxious weeks.
Info: www.fs.fed.us/r6/weeds .
Time to apply
The deadline to file applications for special fall hunting permits is:
Washington, May 20.
Idaho, June 5.
Most recent column
Some upland bird hunters like their pheasants wild. Others don’t care where the rock-star game birds originate as long as they’re in the field and ready to fly when the Eastern Washington season opens on Saturday.
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