PUBLIC LANDS – Discounts on fees for popular North Idaho Bureau of Land Management recreation sites are available through May 15.
The first fee increase since 2005 will start May 16 at areas around Lake Coeur d’Alene to help maintain the facilities.
Daily rates will increase at Blackwell Island Recreation Area and the Mineral Ridge Launch area from $4 to $6 per day. Tent camping at Mica Bay Boater Park, Killarney Lake Recreation Site, Huckleberry Campground and Windy Bay Boater Park will be $10 per night, a $2 increase.
Trailer camping fees at Huckleberry Campground along the St. Joe River will rise to $18 per night.
Season passes for Blackwell Island and Mineral Ridge boat launches cost $30 at BLM’s office in Coeur d’Alene, but the fee will increase to $40 on May 16.
Most recreation sites are open with the exception of the Blackwell Island Recreation Site, which will open around May 23.
Hunting, fishing offered to disabled youths
OUTSTANDING – Disabilities don’t have necessarily to keep youngsters from getting outdoors to enjoy a hunting or fishing trip.
Youth Outdoors Unlimited (YOU), a nonprofit group based out of Moses Lake, helps youths have a hunting or fishing adventure.
On Saturday, YOU will team with St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute to put on a free barbecue and presentation from noon to 3 p.m. at Rocky Mountain Medical Office, 14 E. Mission Ave.
The presentation is open to anyone interested in YOU and the St. Luke’s outdoor recreation program.
Info: (509) 431-1604; www.youthoutdoorsu.org.>
Fishtrap poker ride set by Horsemen
TRAILS – The 18th annual Poker Ride for horse and mule riders is set for May 12 in a figure-8 pattern between Fishtrap and Hog lakes, 26 miles west of Spokane.
The event, which covers up to 15 miles, is sponsored by the Inland Empire Chapter of the Back Country Horsemen.
Idaho tries to avoid sage-grouse listing
WILDLIFE – A 16-member task force appointed by Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter is trying to figure out a way to dissuade the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from listing sage grouse as an endangered species. The group has until June 1 to turn in its recommendations to Otter.
In 2010, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined sage grouse deserved federal protection, but other species were higher priorities. A recent legal settlement now gives the agency until 2015 to decide the bird’s status – threatened or endangered or not in need of federal protection.
Task force members are from energy industries, agriculture and conservation groups. Public meetings are being held in Pocatello, Boise, Jerome and Idaho Falls.
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