OUTDEAL – Big Hank and Bumblebee campgrounds on the Coeur d’Alene River Ranger District have been reopened for free fall camping through October on a trial basis.
“We’ve had requests to open the campgrounds in the fall to accommodate both hunters and people who enjoy fall camping,” said Deputy District Ranger Kimberly Johnson.
“This year we decided to experiment with an extended season to determine how much use these sites would receive after Labor Day.”
No camping fee is being charged in the extended trial season. No water or garbage service is offered, but outhouses will be open.
If campgrounds are used and visitors leave no garbage, other camps, including Kit Price and Devils Elbow, will be considered for fall opening.
Big Hank is 15 miles north of Prichard on Forest Road 208 along the North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River. Bumblebee is 2 miles west of Forest Highway 9 near the Little North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River on Forest Road 796.
Info: (208) 664-2318.
Running likely keyed fatal bear attack
WILDLIFE – Investigators say a fatal bear mauling in Yellowstone National Park was possibly triggered by the California victim and his wife screaming and yelling as they ran from an approaching grizzly mother with cubs.
Details in the July 6 mauling of 57-year-old Brian Matayoshi emerged this week as investigators released 911 recordings documents.
Hikers who reported the attack were recorded saying they heard screaming and animal noises. A short time later, a lone female voice was heard calling for help.
Geezer grizzly was oldest known male
WILDLIFE — Montana wildlife officials have euthanized what they say may be the oldest male grizzly bear to be captured in the North Continental Divide Ecosystem.
The bear was 24-27 years old. Grizzlies don’t often live past 22 or 23. Female grizzlies typically live longer.
The bear was captured last weekend after it broke into a barn near Augusta. It was euthanized Monday.
Its teeth had worn and decayed, making it difficult for the grizzly to fend for itself or forage. Age and poor health probably prompted the bear to leave its usual habitat in search of food, they said.
Lake PO changes waterkeepers
CONSERVATION — Shannon Williamson, a marine biologist with an extensive academic career, will step in as the new Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper based in Sandpoint on Monday.
Two pike contests to go in North Idaho
FISHING – Two tournaments in October will close the eight-contest 2011 schedule for The North Idaho Pike Assoc.
The group will hold its 10th annual tourney at Hayden Lake on Saturday and next Sunday based out of Honeysuckle Boat Launch.
The season will close with the Fall Classic, Oct. 29, at the south end of Lake Coeur d’Alene based from Rocky Point launch.
Officials kill moose in irrigation canal
WILDLIFE – Moose are finding new hazards in Washington as they stray from the northeast corner of the state and wander into the Columbia Basin.
A bull that slipped into the Esquatzel Diversion Channel near Pasco was shot by state officials Monday. The animal couldn’t get out of the water back up the concrete-lined banks, and officials couldn’t figure out how to rescue it alive.
The meat was donated to the Tri-City Union Gospel Mission.
Local conservation activities this week
• BIRDING – Distinguished wildlife photographer and author Paul Bannick will deliver a free multimedia presentation based on his book “The Owl and the Woodpecker,” Monday, 5 p.m., at Gonzaga University in the Jepson Center’s Wolff Auditorium.
• WETLANDS – Ducks Unlimited West Plains BBQ dinner and auction for wetland conservation, Oct. 6 at NorthernQuest Casino. Buy tickets by Saturday for special offer.
Info: Don Richter, 325-4608; Ducks.org/Washington
• TRAILS – International Mountain Biking Association will conduct a free Trail Building Class, Saturday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., at McLain Hall, North Idaho College followed by field session at Blue Creek Bay. Lunch provided. Experts train locals in techniques to help boost area trail systems, dress for a day of work in the woods and bring plenty of water and snacks.
Contact: Jon Totten: firstname.lastname@example.org (208) 769-7809 or Lake City Trail Builders: email@example.com.
• URBAN FORESTS – The Friends of the High Drive Bluff are organizing a public discussion on the proposed Fire Risk Reduction Plan for that popular South Hill recreation area on Thursday, 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m., at St. Stephens Episcopal Church, 5720 S. Perry St.
Contact: Diana Roberts, WSU Spokane County Extension, (509) 477-2167, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• WILDERNESS – “Wild Night for Wilderness” – a community celebration of the great outdoors, is being organized into an evening of music, slides and updates on the Selkirk and Cabinet mountains starting at 7 p.m. Friday at Evans Brother’s Coffee in Sandpoint.
Info: scotchmanpeaks.org; (208) 265-9565.
• SKI TRAILS – Join local nordic skiers to clear brush from Mount Spokane cross-country ski trails in work parties set for Oct. 2 and Oct. 15, starting at 9 a.m. at Selkirk Lodge.
Details: Art Bookstrom, 368-3119 days, 624-9667 evenings.