New online map identifies public lands

SUNDAY, AUG. 3, 2014

OUTBOUND – A new online, interactive map of Washington featuring natural resource and recreation lands owned by government agencies has been created by the state Recreation and Conservation Office.

The statewide map, located at publiclands.smartmine.com, allows people to click on a location and learn which agency owns the land, the number of acres, the main use of the land and the cost of acquisition and sources of grants if acquired within the past 10 years.

Information is provided on land owned by cities, counties, the federal government and state agencies.

The public can search government-owned parcels by owner and principal land use.

“This map will be very useful to people who want to see what’s happening in their communities and to government agencies for planning purposes,” said Kaleen Cottingham, RCO director. “It takes the mystery out of government land purchases and puts them on the Web for all to see and use.”

In the past, these public land inventories were printed documents.

Colville forest tours lead to high spots

OUTDO – Hikes and other free activities are being organized by the Colville National Forest this summer to celebrate Smokey Bear’s 70th birthday and the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act.

The remaining lineup of NatureWatch events includes:

 Aug. 9: Auto-tour to Salmo Mountain Fire Lookout with forest safety manager Sandy Mosconi. Meet at the Sullivan Lake Ranger Station at 9 a.m. The group will drive about 20 miles along Sullivan Creek. Parts of this road are high clearance, narrow and have switchbacks.

Aug 9: Hike about 4 miles round-trip on Crowell Ridge into the Salmo-Priest wilderness with Newport-Sullivan Lake District Ranger Gayne Sears. Meet at the Sullivan Lake Ranger Station at 9 a.m. for a rough, 60-minute drive to the Sullivan Mountain Lookout.

This is a high-clearance vehicle road for about 4 miles.

Group size is limited to 12 in wilderness. Pre-register with the Sullivan Lake Ranger Station, (509) 446-7500.

For all activities, visitors should bring plenty of water, lunch and a pack with clothes for the weather.

Fly fishers angle for disabled vets

OUTCASTProject Healing Waters has reached out through fly fishing to help several dozen Spokane-area disabled veterans since the Spokane-area chapter was founded two years ago.

Members of the Spokane Fly Fishers joined the 140 other volunteer organizations organized with PHW and dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and veterans. The emphasis is on healing through fly fishing, fly tying education and outings.

The group continues to seek donors of money and good-quality fly fishing equipment for use by the vets as well as volunteers interested in helping outings and clinics.

Contact Norm Scott, (509) 315-8867,

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