Field reports: Governor’s task force on outdoor recreation comes to Spokane

RECREATION – Gov. Jay Inslee’s  Task Force on Parks and Outdoor Recreation will meet Tuesday in Spokane as part of a summer-long effort to develop a plan for encouraging outdoor recreation and boosting related jobs and businesses.

The session runs 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the Nursing Building, WSU Riverpoint Campus, 103 E. Spokane Falls Blvd.

Public input will be taken at 11:50 a.m., but ideas can be submitted online throughout the summer.

Inslee said he’s spotlighting outdoor recreation because it directly supports 227,000 jobs in Washington and generates more than $22 billion in annual spending on things such as equipment, lodging and apparel.

The 28-member task force, which has been meeting since April, plans to complete its work by Sept. 19.

Meeting topics include future recreational needs, getting people outdoors, economic development and the state’s role in outdoor recreation.

The public is asked to participate in weekly polls on outdoor recreation topics.

Info: rco.wa.gov.

Wenatchee spring chinook fishing resumes

FISHING – A spring chinook fishing season opened Friday on portions of the Wenatchee River for the first time in nearly two decades.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced the opener on Thursday after forecasting that nearly 10,000 hatchery chinook will return to the river. Reducing the big surge of hatchery fish will boost spawning of the endangered wild stocks, fish managers say.

 Regulations for the new fishing season are detailed on the agency’s website, wdfw.wa.gov/ fishing/regulations.

Idaho taking comments on wolverine plan

WILDLIFE – Monday is the deadline to comment on the  Idaho Wolverine Conservation Plan proposed by the state Fish and Game Department’s. The document was released May 19 for a 21-day public review.

The plan includes statewide wolverine status and distribution, factors affecting population and habitat, priority areas for conservation and actions to benefit wolverines. 

Elk group donates to Idaho projects

HUNTING – Shoshone County is one of 10 Idaho counties that will be sharing a $276,584 Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation grant for wildlife habitat projects on nearly 76,000 acres in the state. 

Shoshone’s portion will be used in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service to burn 1,200 acres to improve big-game forage, stand conditions and reduce natural fuels on elk summer range within the Heller Creek and Wisdom Creek drainages on the Idaho Panhandle National Forests.  

The project is part of a larger plan for prescribed burning in subsequent years in the Lost Creek area.

The grant also will help fund research in areas where elk are declining, especially in the Clearwater region.

Event for landowners with small forests

HABITAT – Landowners with 5 to 500 acres of forest in Eastern Washington and North Idaho are invited to an “out-in-the-woods” educational event on June 21, sponsored the Washington State University Extension.

Info: forestry.wsu.edu.

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