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Out & About

SUNDAY, AUG. 22, 2010

Lynn Smith, left, and Randy LaBeff bundle stalks of rush skeleton weed they cut along the South Hill Bluff trails off High Drive.  (Rich Landers)
Lynn Smith, left, and Randy LaBeff bundle stalks of rush skeleton weed they cut along the South Hill Bluff trails off High Drive. (Rich Landers)

Hunting seasons opening in the Inland Northwest

OUTFIELD – Another group is joining the hikers, huckleberry pickers, anglers and various groups enjoying the great outdoors this summer, making bright-colored clothing a wise option.

Hunters are taking aim at black bears and a few other critters starting this month.

Black bear seasons opened in some Washington hunting units as early as Aug. 1. All of the state’s bear hunting areas will be open starting Sept. 1 along with archery deer hunts.

Idaho Panhandle seasons for black bear, archery big-game and mountain grouse open on Aug. 30.

Yes, grouse hunting opens two days earlier than in past Idaho seasons so big-game hunters can bag camp meat if they choose to.

OUTWIT – A dozen volunteers made a test run Monday at controlling rush skeleton weed that’s overrunning the South Hill Bluff trails.

They cut weeds that had galls on their buds, indicating the plants were already harboring bio-control mites. Then they hiked and stashed sprigs of the mite-carrying weeds among stands of healthy weeds that were getting ready to flower.

The effort should help the mites further curtail weed seed production.

WSU Extension agronomist Diana Roberts said a single rush skeleton weed can produce about 10,000 seeds. She plans to monitor the test to see if the practice works well enough to continue the effort. The test isn’t meant to eradicate weeds, but rather to slow the spread until the tide can be changed, she said.

Incorporating mites, beetles and other bio controls along with volunteer help could eventually allow the wildflowers and bunchgrasses to gain back a foothold on the landscape.

Volunteers sign up, dig in on variety of trail projects

OUTDO – Donating a little muscle power to the trails we all enjoy is no longer a lonesome activity. While Spokane Mountaineers are rerouting a nifty trail at Mount Spokane today, volunteers can join other groups to help with numerous regional projects in the upcoming weeks.

• Contact Washington Trails Association (, (206) 625-1367) for the following scheduled work parties:

Aug. 28-29 – Salmo-Priest Wilderness.

Sept. 2 – Liberty Lake.

Sept. 11, 12, 25, 26 – Iller Creek.

Oct. 9, 10 – Liberty Lake.

• Contact Jack Benedetto of Spokane Nordic, 475-2896, for work parties to clear cross-country ski trails at Mount Spokane on:

Sept. 11, 26 and Oct. 9, 24.

Gold medalist sells altitude tent

OUTPERFORM – Kristin Armstrong, 37, who won gold in the 2008 Beijing Games before retiring from pro cycling last year, wants to sell her altitude tent for $4,000.

The Boise resident slept in the tent to simulate altitudes of up to 12,000 feet above sea level before her victorious ride in China.

Armstrong says the tent fits a king-sized bed with room to spare for a TV, table and lamp.

The tent’s maker says altitude training – even while snoozing – is the only legal way to get a physiological edge on the competition.


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