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Volunteers dig in at Dishman Hills

About 1,900 native trees were planted in burned areas of the Dishman Hills by volunteers. Photo by Joshua Hess (Photo by Joshua Hess)
About 1,900 native trees were planted in burned areas of the Dishman Hills by volunteers. Photo by Joshua Hess (Photo by Joshua Hess)

OUTSTANDING – About 280 volunteers turned out April 24 to build trails at Iller Creek Conservation Area and spruce up, or should we say “pine up,” the nearby Dishman Hills Natural Area.

They planted 1,900 ponderosa pine seedlings in the Spokane Valley natural area burned a couple of years ago by wildfires.

Under the direction of Department of Natural Resources forester Guy Gifford, the helpers also planted 260 Douglas firs, 20 western larch plus an assortment of native shrubs, including ninebark, ocean spray, wild rose and chokecherry.

Some areas were seeded with native grasses just in time to take advantage of rain that soaked the area later in the week.

A wide range of groups joined the effort, from Boy Scouts, Backcountry Horsemen and the Spokane Mountaineers to a dorm group from Gonzaga University.

Transient camps and fire rings were removed from the natural area. Washington Trails Association volunteers built or repaired 660 feet of trail at Iller Creek.

REI coordinated the effort, with help from Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, The Lands Council and other organizations.

Nets help research on northern pike

OUTSTUDY – Nets marked by buoys will be installed on the Pend Oreille River this week for research on the northern pike fishery that’s boomed in the river in recent years.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Kalispel Tribe’s biologists will be exploring pike abundance in Box Canyon Reservoir starting Monday and ending Friday, said Marc Divens, WDFW research biologist.

Nets will be on the river and adjacent sloughs from River Bend south to Pioneer Park.

5th-grader scores with parks essay

OUTWRITE – Fiona Beamis, a fifth-grader at Logan Elementary School, learned that words have the power to outfit her family for camping.

Beamis was named the winner of the National Parks Essay Contest, sponsored by KSPS, Mountain Gear and Marmot.

Her prize: a camping trip for four to Glacier National Park during its centennial celebration. The family will get $100 for fuel, free park entry, two nights of camping and a trunk-load of Marmot gear, including a tent plus four backpacks, sleeping bags, rain jackets and pants.

Whitewater rafting clinic offered cheap

What: Whitewater Rowing seminar in three sessions for beginners-intermediate rafters as a progression to running Class IV-plus rapids.

When: May 7, 14, 21, sessions start at 5 p.m.

Where: Various points on Spokane River.

Who: Conducted by Larry Johnson and supported by Northwest Whitewater Association.

Preregister: 928-3202, e-mail

Cost: Just $25.