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Out & About: ‘Paddle, Splash and Play’ set to launch

Stand up paddling is the latest rage to learn.
Stand up paddling is the latest rage to learn.

OUTDO – A boat-load of fun is awaiting youngsters during a new free event that will let them paddle canoes, whitewater kayaks, sea kayaks, inflatable kayaks and stand up paddle boards.

Paddle, Splash and Play is set for July 30, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., at Nine Mile Recreation Area in Riverside State Park down from Nine Mile Dam.

The equipment and assistance in using the boats will be provided by the Spokane Canoe & Kayak Club, Mountain Gear and Spokane Parks and Recreation.

Visitors who have life jackets are encouraged to bring them, as there could be a shortage at times.

Herbicides planned in Badger Lake

OUTCRY – The Washington Department of Ecology has issued a permit for a local applicator to use herbicides to kill native plants along about five acres of shoreline at Badger Lake this summer.

Several property owners say they are appealing the permit, which became effective Friday.

“We need to discuss this with our attorney before we say anything public about it,” DOE spokeswoman Janis Gilbert said Friday.

Thomas Wimpy of Inland Water Pest Control and Consulting, who’s been issued the permit to apply herbicides for one or more property owners, said the treatment has not been scheduled.

Wimpy declined to provide treatment details.

Washington Fish and Wildlife Department officials said they have no part in the permit process and could not comment on the impact to the lake’s fisheries or wildlife that might drink from the lake.

Rare drawdown set for Banks Lake

OUTFLOW – Anglers and campers will see more ground and less water at Banks Lake this summer.

Starting Aug. 1, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will begin lowering the lake 30 feet to complete  $2 million in upgrades at Dry Falls and North dams.

“It’s not as bad as it sounds,” said Stephanie Utter, at the Bureau of Reclamation’s Ephrata office. “It’s a pretty deep reservoir and it will still have a lot of water in it.”

The lake has had only a few major drawdowns: in the 1960s and later for milfoil control in the early to mid-1990s.

The drawdown will allow construction and upgrades for recreational facilities, too.

Plan on hang time in Cabinets

OUTRULE – The Kootenai National Forest, which manages the Cabinet Mountains of northwestern Montana and a portion of Idaho, has enacted stricter food storage rules to help prevent campers, hunters and cabin dwellers from luring bears into trouble.

Storing food in a vehicle satisfies the rule for most campers.  Campers without hard-sided RVs or vehicles must use approved bear-resistant storage techniques or containers.

Hanging food properly continues to be an option for backpackers and backcountry campers.

Storing food in a bear- resistant manner means:

• Hanging it 10 feet off the ground and 4 feet horizontally from a tree or other structure.

• Stowing in a hard-sided building, camper or vehicle.

• Surrounding with an electric fence.