Outdoors

Field reports: Bike Swap nets $30K for trail

TRAILS – The third annual  Spokane Bike Swap has provided a $30,000 boost for the  Friends of the Centennial Trail.

“Spokane Bike Swap has become the largest supporter of our Trail Builder’s Fund,” said Loreen McFaul, the friends group’s executive director. Proceeds from the April 12-13 swap at the Spokane Fair and Expo Center are designated for improvements to the popular trail along the Spokane River, she said.

About 3,000 people attended the 2014 swap, which featured 53 exhibitors and 750 used bikes. 

“We tripled the amount of used bikes sold from our first year in the bike corral, selling 549 bikes,” said LeAnn Yamamoto, event director. To boost cycling safety, 173 children age 14 and younger who bought a bike in the bike corral received a free Bell helmet and fitting, she said.

Tree removal closes Stagger Inn camp

FORESTS – Forest Service crews are removing hazardous trees at the Stagger Inn Campground on the Priest Lake Ranger District and work will continue through June 30, says Panhandle National Forests spokesman Jason Kirchner.

Stagger Inn and the adjacent Roosevelt Grove of Ancient Cedars and Granite Falls will remain closed during the project.

High winds on Aug. 25 damaged several trees in Stagger Inn Campground. A man was killed as a tree fell on his tent.

Escure Ranch road closed for season

PUBLIC LANDS – Motor vehicles are being blocked from driving the  Escure Ranch road to Towell Falls on Rock Creek south of Sprague starting this weekend, U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials say.

The annual summer closure begins when fire danger becomes high in the range land area south of Sprague, said Steve Smith, recreation manager for BLM’s Spokane District.

While the gate will be locked, hikers and mountain bikers are still free to travel on the roads, he said. 

Four-wheelers muck up meadow

OHVs – The Colville National Forest is investigating a “mudding” event in which four-wheel drive vehicles were used to trash a meadow between transmission line towers in the upper Cedar Creek area near Ione.

 “Mudding, or driving through meadows, moist areas and puddles is considered fun by some drivers,” said Gayne Sears, District Ranger for the Newport -Sullivan Lake Ranger Districts.  “But the damage they cause not only taints the image of all four-wheel drive enthusiasts, it is illegal and individuals responsible for causing damage to roads, property or forest land can be sited for malicious mischief and face costly charges for rehabilitating damage they cause.”

  Exposed soils can be infested with noxious weeds, she said.

Motorized vehicles are restricted to routes marked on the Colville Forest Motor Vehicle Use Map, available free at forest offices.

Little Spokane River trails improved

PARKS – Nearly 100 volunteers improved a trail near the Little Spokane River on June 1 for National Trails Day.

The popular Knothead Trail was rerouted off private property with the help of Riverside State Park staff while the Washington Trails Association has been dealing with the more technical sections, said Carol Christensen of REI, which has helped sponsor the effort.


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Rich Landers

Rich Landers

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