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2010 Highlights from the field

Sun., Jan. 2, 2011, 7:03 a.m.

The Elcan DigitalHunter is a rifle scope that records video of what the hunter sees as he aims and shoots. It’s being used in a pioneering “shoot-and-release” whitetail deer competition in which hunters fire blanks and are scored for what the judges see in the video after the hunt. Pictured is Carl Chism, former rodeo bare-bronc riding champ and Whitetail Pro Series contestant from Oklahoma.
Cody Hoseth, 16, of Mead, demonstrates to his stepbrother, Joey Zemke, 13, and Zack Sawchuk, 12, behind Zemke, how difficult a shot it would be if waterfowl landed to the right of their hunting blind at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge. (Dan Pelle)


100, Boy Scouts of America

100, Glacier National Park

100, Big Burn of 1910

90, Chapman Lake Resort

75, The Wilderness Society

50, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

50, Inland Northwest Wildlife Council

50, The Nature Conservancy

40, Earth Day

30, Mount St. Helens eruption

15, Gray wolf reintroduction to Yellowstone National Park

10, Hanford Reach National Monument


Hired: Dan Matiatos, 47, Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge manager, after 20 years with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Hired: Steve Pozzanghera, 49, Washington Fish and Wildlife Department Spokane region manager, transferred from Olympia headquarters.

Hired: Jerry Cline, 52, Little Pend Oreille Wildlife Refuge manager, after 13 years with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Hired: Laura Jo West, 51, Colville National Forest supervisor, 20-year agency veteran, formerly district ranger in Arizona.

Hired: Bart Mihailovich, 27, point man for the privately funded Spokane Riverkeeper Project.

Died: Arne Backstrom, 29, Northwest free-style skier, after 1,300-foot fall in Peru.

Died: Walkin’ Jim Stolz, 57, folksinger, backcountry hiker and conservationist.

Died: Joe Puryear, globetrotting mountaineer and former Mount Rainier climbing ranger, after fall on remote mountain in Tibet.

Reclassified: Gray wolf returns to endangered species status because of legal technicalities.

Reclassified: Raccoons in Idaho, from game to pest.

Debut: Washington Waterfowlers Association Spokane Chapter.

Defunct: KXLY TV Outdoor Story Teller program.

Defunct: Smelt fishing and dip-netting in Washington, due to low smelt numbers.

Defunct: West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium for lack of sponsors.

Defunct: Women’s Bassmaster Tour, for lack of sponsors.

Destroyed: Forest Service Wallowa Mountains Visitor Center in Enterprise, Ore., by July 12 fire.


Turnbull Wildlife Refuge allowed limited elk hunting as well as a two-day youth waterfowl hunt, the first hunting permitted since the 17,000-acre refuge was established in 1937.

Birding trail maps published for far-Eastern Washington.

Twelve fishers released into Olympic National Park; 77 of the weasel-family members released in the park’s reintroduction program since 2008.

Shoot-and-release Whitetail Pro Series hunting contest debuted with 40 of the nation’s top hunters competing with video-scopes and blank cartridges. Event was filmed and scheduled for showing on the Outdoor Channel in 2011.

John and Melva Dawson become the first northeastern Washington ranchers to work out conservation easements to prevent development of their land. In North Idaho, Forest Capital Partners signed a conservation easement that will bar development of 3,943 acres near McArthur Lake.

A massive land deal for 41,000 acres in the Fish Creek drainage south of Alberton, Mont., produced Montana’s second largest state park. Cost: $14 million.

Deer were trapped in the towns of Republic and Fernan to reduce complaints about conflicts and property damage.

The Colville Confederated Tribes and Grant County Public Utility District agreed to build a $43 million Chief Joseph Hatchery on the north bank of the Columbia River near Chief Joseph Dam.

Hunter privacy was protected by the Idaho Legislature, which authorized removing names of hunters and trappers from public record after wolf hunters were harassed by animal advocates.

Loaded guns became legal to carry in some national parks, including Yellowstone, after Reagan-era firearms restrictions were abolished by Congress.

Lead fishing tackle restrictions were approved for 13 Washington lakes where loons are known to nest. However, the EPA rejected a petition to restrict lead sinkers and small tackle nationwide.

Multiple categories for various big-game hunting permits debuted, giving hunter more options to draw tags, and giving the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department more ways to make money.

Spokane River Centennial Trail was designated a National Recreation Trail by the U.S. Department of Interior.

Montana voters approved an initiative to abolish guaranteed hunting licenses and jack up fees for out-of-state clients of professional outfitters.

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