CONSERVATION – Developing a parking area for the south-side access to the Big Rock conservation area near Tower Mountain is a top 2011 priority for the Dishman Hills Natural Area Association (dhnaa.org).
After three years of negotiations, the nonprofit group acquired the 80-acre parcel in Spokane Valley in 2009. Since 1994, it has acquired about 500 acres in the Tower Mountain-Big Rock area, association president Michael Hamilton said. The Big Rock-Rocks of Sharon area adjoins Spokane County’s 875-acre Iller Creek Conservation Futures Area, which extends uphill from the Ponderosa neighborhood west of Dishman-Mica Road.
The 2009 deal created about 1,300 acres of Dishman Hills association and county land dedicated to natural-area protection and public, nonmotorized recreation.
The group’s traditional Buttercup Hike through the Dishman Hills is set for April 2 followed by the second annual REI-sponsored service day for the natural area on April 9.
Info: Michael Hamilton, 747-8147.
Fly fisher to tell tough-day tactics
ANGLING – British Columbia fly fisher and fishing author and educator Phil Rowley will present a free Stillwater fishing program on “Tactics for Tough Days” (Wednesday, 7 p.m.) during the Spokane Fly Fishers meeting at St. Francis School, 1104 W. Heroy Ave.
• Silver Bow Fly Shop, 13210 E. Indiana Ave., is offering a beginner fly-tying class Monday and Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. There is an advanced class Feb. 15-16. The $75 fee for each class includes materials. Silver Bow also offers a free clinic by master fly tyer LeRoy Hyatt on Feb. 18 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Info: 924-9998.
Jim Shockey meet and greet
HUNTING – The Inland Empire Chapter of Safari Club International is sponsoring a “Youth Meet and Greet with Jim Shockey” on Saturday from 10 a.m.-noon. Shockey will sign free posters and will visit as time permits. Call Larry Maddux at 443-1474 to reserve a spot at the Mirabeau Park Hotel, as space is limited.
Hurricane Ridge accessible in winter
NATIONAL PARKS — Winter at Olympic National Park conjures up images of pounding surf on wilderness beaches. But many people don’t realize the Western Washington park also offers stunning winter alpine beauty served by the plowed road to Hurricane Ridge.
Bring your skis or snowshoes if you visit. The road is plowed and a shuttle bus services the area from Port Angeles, in case you don’t have the tire chains required in some conditions.
Nearby Mount Olympus receives about 200 inches of precipitation each year, mostly as snow. At 7,980 feet, Mount Olympus is the highest peak in Olympic National Park and has the third-largest glacial system in the contiguous U.S.