POACHING – Up to $5,000 in rewards is being offered for a tip that leads to the conviction of the culprits in the latest spree poaching case in Eastern Washington.
Five white-tailed deer, including two bucks and three does, were discovered in the Grand Coulee area of Lincoln County on Saturday with only the backstrap and hindquarters removed. The deer were shot and left to rot just a few feet from each other, and appeared to be fairly fresh kills.
This is the sixth multiple-deer poaching incident documented in Eastern Washington this winter, including two incidents in Spokane County.
Call the state Poaching Hotline, (877) 933-9847.
East Side meetings set on wolf-cattle conflicts
WILDLIFE – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has scheduled three public meetings in northeast Washington this month to discuss wolf-livestock conflict management.
The meetings will run from 6 to 8 p.m. as follows:
• Feb. 26 at the Cusick Community Center, 107 1st Ave.
• Feb. 27 at the Colville Ag Trade Center, 317 West Astor Ave.
• Feb. 28 at the Okanogan Public Utilities District, 1331 2nd Ave. N.
Livestock owners will have a chance to talk directly with wildlife managers about wolves and their impacts on ranching operations, and the assistance the state can provide them.
Sixteen livestock producers have signed cooperative cost-share agreements to date, Simek said.
Clearwater to merge with Nez Perce forest
PUBLIC LANDS – In the making for several years, the U.S. Forest Service has decided to consolidate the Nez Perce and Clearwater national forests into one administrative office and create a new headquarters for the merger in the small, timber town of Kamiah, Idaho.
U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell announced the decision Monday, culminating more than eight years of study and planning. Agency officials say the merger could save up to $2 million annually by combining administrative positions and ending duplication of services between the two forests.
Forest Supervisor Rick Brazell said despite the new headquarters in Kamiah, the agency would continue to have a presence in Grangeville and Orofino, cities that once served as home bases for the two forests.
$19M to improve busy UW bike trail
TRAILS – The University of Washington plans $19 million in improvements to the section of the Burke-Gilman Trail that runs through the Seattle campus.
UW transportation services director Josh Kavanagh said it’s gone from being a nice amenity to being critical infrastructure.
The UW says its 2-mile section of the 27-mile-long trail has the highest bicycle and pedestrian traffic of any shared-use path in the state: 500 bicyclist and 300 pedestrians an hour. About 9 percent of UW students and staff commute by bike.
Trail use is expected to grow with a light rail station opening in 2016 at Husky Stadium.
Work could start this fall.