The Lookout Pass Free Ski School will begin Jan. 12, a week later than normal because of an extended Christmas vacation for Silver Valley public schools.
The program will be held on Saturdays through March 15.
A clinic for potential first-time instructors will start at 9 a.m. Jan. 5.
The Free Ski School is a nonprofit, volunteer operation and a Lookout Pass tradition for more than 60 years. About 300 students ages 6-18 participated during the 2006-07 season.
Preregister online at www.skilookout.com or at Lookout’s lodge during the first three sessions.
Instructor candidates, call Bill Dire, (208) 752-1167.
Aerial surveys starting
Idaho Fish and Game Department biologists are taking to the skies for annual surveys of wild-game populations.
The agency tries to estimate game herds in most of Idaho’s wildlife zones at least every three or four years.
Officials say using a helicopter allows biologists to survey populations over a wide area in a short time while having little impact on the animals.
North Idaho’s first aerial moose survey since the mid-1990s started Dec. 10 near Bonners Ferry, said Jim Hayden, regional wildlife manager in Coeur d’Alene.
“Starting in February, we’ll be counting with a goal of surveying the entire Panhandle region in two years,” he said.
Heat turning up on wolves
Up to 130 wolves could be shot in Montana next year through permit hunting and livestock damage control if the animal is taken off the endangered species list as scheduled in February, according to a recommendation from the Montana Wolf Management Advisory Council.
The proposal calls for managing the state’s overall wolf population at about 400 animals.
Since they were reintroduced to the Northern Rockies in 1995, their numbers have increased by up to 30 percent a year.
About 1,545 wolves in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming will shift from federal to state management when the predators are removed from the endangered list. Idaho and Wyoming are still crafting wolf-hunting plans and no harvest numbers have been set.
Updates: www.fwp.mt.gov for tentative wolf-hunting quotas and seasons.
Staff and wire reports