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Out & About: Stream of potential in Spokane River

Sun., Aug. 11, 2013, midnight

OUTFLOW – Like the water flowing through town, efforts are steadily and quietly progressing to improve the Spokane River corridor.

A new river access at the state line being developed by multiple agencies could be finished by November, says Andy Dunau of the Spokane River Forum. It will provide a 3.5-mile float for anglers to Harvard Road.

The Spokane Conservation District and Trout Unlimited are boosting native redband rainbow trout near Starr Road. Large woody debris structures are being installed to provide habitat for juvenile trout.

S-R columnist Shawn Vestal on Wednesday pointed out  several exciting trail projects and possibilities from Riverfront Park downstream that are beginning to realize the untapped potential of the river gorge.

Program: Dunau will reveal how to find groups connected with the Spokane River and demonstrate a  new Spokane River Water Trail website mapping resource for detailed information about the river’s flows, access points, paddling routes and much more in a free program Wednesday at 7 p.m. at REI. Sign up online:

Volunteer: Spokane River Centennial Trail work parties are set for today and Aug. 17, 25 and 31 to spruce up trailheads with painting, litter pickup, weeding and other light work organized by Friends of the Centennial Trail. Info: 795-4609. 

Forest herbicide use watched

OUTWATCH – A Stimson Lumber Co. application to spray herbicides on forest land in Pend Oreille County is drawing concern from wildlife enthusiasts.

Timber companies have obtained permits from the Washington Department of Natural Resources for aerial spraying for years to kill brush that competes in harvested areas with newly planted trees.

But birding groups and some hunters are concerned about the toll the herbicides are taking on native plants and the birds and wildlife that depend on them, especially moose.

The Stimson application is for prime moose habitat in the Skookum Lake-Half Moon Lake area as well as around North Baldy and Pelke Divide.

Douglas exhibit leaving MAC

OUTFIELD – An exhibition featuring the pioneering naturalist who collected and cataloged Northwest flora and fauna is ending its run at the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture in Spokane.

“David Douglas: A Naturalist at Work” will close Aug. 25 so it can be shipped to the Washington State Historical Museum in Tacoma.

Douglas, a Scottish naturalist, traveled the Columbia River and interior Northwest (1825-1833), identifying and collecting more than 200 species of plants, animals, and birds previously unknown to science, such as the Douglas fir.



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