OUTHONOR – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Department this week rededicated its Eastern Region headquarters in Spokane in the name of Fred Shiosaki, a former state Fish and Wildlife Commissioner who lives in Spokane Valley.
In addition to his service to fish and wildlife, Shiosaki last fall received the Congressional Gold Medal in a ceremony honoring the Nisei Soldiers of World War II.
Shiosaki was instrumental in getting the new Fish and Wildlife facilities completed in Spokane in 2009.
Choose pals wisely for Canada trip
OUTLAW – Going to Canada for a hiking or fishing trip? Be wary of what to bring – as well as whom to leave home
You’ll need a passport or enhanced drivers license for each person.
If you bring minors but one parent stays home, you’ll need a signed letter and contact information from the parent at home giving permission for the kid to go across the international boundary.
And choose your companions wisely, regardless of their age. A fishing buddy with a DUI on his record will be turned back by Canadian Customs.
Mount Spokane helpers tackle nordic trails
OUTDO – Spokane Nordic members are recruiting volunteers to help trim branches and clear the sprawling cross-country ski trail system at Mount Spokane before the snow flies.
The first of the club’s annual Trail Days is scheduled for Saturday .
Others Trail Day efforts are set for Aug. 12, Sept. 8, Sept. 16, Oct. 6 and Oct. 21.
Volunteers meet at the Selkirk Lodge at 9 a.m. dressed in work clothes and equipped with gloves, lunch and other tools.
Details: Art Bookstrom at 624-9667.
Turnbull program focuses on bats
OUTCLASS – Turnbull Wildlife Refuge biologists will present a program and lead an evening walk on Wednesday to highlight bats, the important critters of the night skies.
“Bats of the World and the Channeled Scablands” starts at 7:30 p.m. at the refuge headquarters south of Cheney.
The talk will be followed by a walk. Special sound detectors will be demonstrated and a few bats may be caught for identification and examination.
Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, a sweater or jacket, and bring a flashlight.
A donation of $5 to the Friends of Turnbull is suggested.
Info: Louise O’Leary 235-4531 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Oregon approves trapping restrictions
TRAPPING – The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission has created Oregon’s first no-trapping zones on public land.
The recent decision prohibits animal traps within 50 feet of a public trail and 300 feet of a trailhead. The ban follows a petition by animal-welfare groups that want tougher restrictions on a practice some call inhumane.
Commissioners did not vote on the full menu of restrictions sought by conservationists, including requirements that trappers check their equipment daily and post warning signs.
Animal advocates say they’ll consider taking their fight to the Legislature or directly to voters.
Trappers say tough restrictions would make it hard for them to earn a living. They had the support of farmers, ranchers and sporting groups.
Study counting griz in Cabinets
WILDLIFE – Researchers are starting a “hair of the bear” study of grizzlies along the Montana-Idaho border using bits of fur snagged on barbed-wire traps to collect DNA on the animals.
The 2,600-square mile Cabinet-Yaak area of northwestern Montana and northern Idaho has an estimated 40 bears.
U.S. Geological Survey scientists said Wednesday that the summer hair study will provide new information on where those bears live and help researchers craft a more accurate population estimate. More than 800 hair-collection traps will be used.
A similar technique was used in 2008 to tally 765 bears in the Northern Continental Divide area, which includes Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness. That population, now estimated at about 1,000 bears, is targeted for removal from federal threatened species protections by 2015.
BACKCOUNTRY -- Here's the source of most of the area's smoke woes -- the fires in the Glacier Peak Wilderness. Here's a shot I made today as I hiked south ...