Field reports: Bike to Work events in Spokane, CdA
CYCLING – Bike to Work Week, a May celebration of getting around on two wheels, is expanding to the larger umbrella of “Spokane Bikes” to help promote all things bicycling.
The group is encouraging businesses to organize teams for Bike to Work Week’s commuting competition.
Organizers are eligible for prizes by signing up before Saturday.
Dates to remember after registering for Bike to Work Week ( spokanebikes.org) include:
Sunday-May 31: Commute Challenge – Win prizes by inspiring the most people to ride bikes.
May 16: Bike to Work Week kickoff breakfast, Riverfront Park.
May 18: Morning Energizer Stations.
May 18: Ride of Silence, 6 p.m.
May 20: Bike to Work end party.
• Coeur d’Alene Bicycle Commuter Challenge starts Sunday. Bike riders get cards stamped at three businesses through the season to qualify for prizes.
Info in CdA: Bicycle Sales, 667-8969; Terra, 765-5446; Vertical Earth, 667-5503.
Legislature approves fee for state land access
STATE LANDS – Driven by the need to fund state parks, the Washington Legislature Thursday approved a new Discover Pass, which visitors will need to drive into state parks, state DNR lands and state wildlife areas.
The $30 annual pass and $10 day pass would raise about $64 million, with $54 million going to state parks and the rest divided between two other agencies that manage state lands, the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Hunters, fishermen, boaters and snowmobilers who already pay to use state lands through license fees would not be required to have the pass, except for access to most state parks. Also, parks would be required to designate some free-access days.
Bill supporters say people who use recreation sites need to help pay for them. Critics say fees discourage attendance.
Staff and wire reports
Black bear killed on The Dalles Dam
WILDLIFE – A black bear swimming in the high water of the Columbia River on Monday crawled out on a spillway gate at The Dalles Dam.
In front of the bear was a 75-foot drop into the downstream concrete. Behind it were the swirling reservoir waters in the dangerous boat-restricted zone.
Wildlife officials determined there was no option but to dispatch the bruin.
See photos: tinyurl.com/DallesBear.
Group modifies fences for pronghorns
WILDLIFE –A volunteer organization that works to improve and protect the nation’s national parks is trying to help Yellowstone Park pronghorns by altering fences.
The National Parks Conservation Association wants to remove or modify fences in the Gardiner Basin to restore traditional migration routes.
The northern park herd is down to about 200. Low fences prevent pronghorn from migrating, cutting them off from winter range.
The group is working with ranchers to assure the lowest strand on a fence is at least 18 inches above ground.
Wolverine in Wallowas
WILDLIFE – An Oregon state researcher this week confirmed wolverine tracks in the Eagle Cap Wilderness, the first documentation of the species in Wallowa County.
Forest burns planned
HABITAT – Crews will be setting small, controlled fires in portions of the region’s national forests in the next six weeks to rejuvenate wildlife habitat and reduce woody debris that can cause major burns during summer.