Out & About
Sea kayak events
seem to be sunk
OUTCRY – The West Coast Sea-Kayak Symposium appears to be a casualty of the economy.
For 26 years, paddlers have headed to Washington’s Fort Worden State Park in September to try out boats and absorb the latest refinements in skills and savvy from experts.
Hundreds of volunteers interacted with thousands of visitors to the annual symposium.
Sea Kayaking Magazine Online has posted a letter from organizers saying they no longer have “the cash or the revenue stream” to run the popular event.
“Hopefully a new group of paddlers will pick up the torch and put together an event that will continue to unite the sea kayaking community,” said representatives of the struggling Trade Association of Paddle Sports.
A three-year-old springtime symposium in Tacoma also was canceled this year.
Bargain time: The poor economy has a golden lining for paddlers in the market for guided trips.
Sea Kayak Adventures based in Coeur d’Alene is offering discounts up to $1,000 on some of its most popular trips from Baja to Alaska geared around seeing whales up close and personal.
Info: (800) 616-1943; www.seakayakadventures.com/
Upper Icicle Road
OUTDRIVE – The good news is that the Forest Service hopes to start fixing a flood-damaged section of the Icicle Road into the Wenatchee National Forest this fall.
The bad news is that it will be at least another year before the upper reaches of the road are reopened to the vehicles and access restored to recreation sites.
The road has been closed to vehicles since May 2008, when a landslide blocked Icicle Creek and flooded about a half-mile section of the road nine miles southwest of Leavenworth.
The closure prevents visitors from driving to three campgrounds and six trailheads in the hugely popular recreation area.
Washington to target
OUTREAD – Washington marine law enforcement agencies are joining a national effort next weekend to cite drunk boaters, the State Parks Commission says.
Why? Between 2004 and 2009, alcohol contributed to the deaths of at least 45 people in boating accidents in Washington.
U.S. Coast Guard statistics indicate that boating under the influence is the leading factor in fatal boating accidents, with 17 percent of boating fatalities a direct result of alcohol use by the operator.
Raccoons fair game
starting July 1
OUTSHOOT – Raccoons are going from game to pest in Idaho.
Starting July 1, the state is reclassifying raccoons as predatory wildlife, allowing them to be taken recreationally in any number – and at any time and manner not prohibited by other state or federal law.
In other words, it’s open season on the masked bandits: Year-round season, no bag limits, and they can be hunted at night — with an artificial light.
An Idaho hunting or trapping license is required.
But don’t take this to mean Idaho doesn’t have a heart. Another law that takes effect July 1 will allow raccoons, skunks and other predatory wildlife captured while causing property damage to be released on private lands – provided there’s written consent from the landowner.
The current law requires most of these animals to be killed.