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Out & About: Panhandle wildlife manager to focus on carnivores

OUTGOING – Jim Hayden, who’s been the Idaho Fish and Game Department’s Panhandle Region wildlife manager longer than any predecessor, has stepped aside to be the agency’s lead biologist for managing bears, cougars and wolves.

“Yeah, I know, isn’t this jumping out of the fire … into the bonfire?” he joked in an email.

Hayden joined Idaho Fish and Game in 1984, starting in Pocatello before moving to the Panhandle wildlife manager position 23 years ago.

“Bears, cougars, and wolves are all fascinating animals, and deserve respect,” Hayden said, noting that his goal is to get more data on wolves for informed management. 

He said wildlife management “is a field where conservation needs and consumptive desires meet – that’s the nexus where I like to work.”

Wayne Wakkinen, the state’s grizzly-caribou biologist in Boundary County, is the acting wildlife manager until a replacement is named.

Birding intro offered at Turnbull

OUTSEE – The Friends of Turnbull is collaborating with Spokane Audubon Society to offer “Beginning Bird Watching Classes” one Saturday each month starting this week into July for individuals and families with kids age 8 and older.

Other dates after this Saturday are April 5, May 3, June 7 and maybe July 12.

Sessions will run from 9 to 11 a.m. Cost: $5 per person or $10 per family. Preregistration is required. Info: 448-0659.

• The annual Wild Refuge Auction to benefit the environmental education program is set for March 29, 5:30 p.m., at the Wren Pierson Community Center in Cheney.

Schweitzer adds to season

OUTDO – Schweitzer Mountain says it will keep its lifts open through April 13, a week longer than usual.

Traditionally, the Sandpoint-area resort has closed at the end of the spring break for local schools.

“With help from recent snowfall, Schweitzer will operate for an additional week to accommodate spring breaks in Spokane school districts as well,” said Sean Briggs, resort spokesman. “The amount of terrain and lifts that will be open has not yet been determined.”

Discount ticket offers and special events are planned.

Geologists lead hike in Palouse

OUTROCK– Geologists with the Ice Age Floods Institute are organizing a rigorous eight-mile hike to explore the geology of the Palouse Canyon from Lyons Ferry State Park upstream to Palouse Falls on March 15.

Gene Kiver and Lloyd Stoess will lead the eight-mile hike near Washtucna emphasizing the impact of the great Missoula floods in shaping the landscape as well as the history of native Americans and settlements in the area.

Pre-register by email lindakl or call (509) 235-4251.

• A free lecture, “Geologic Crossroads in Central Washington,” will be presented by Nick Zentner, Central Washington University geology professor, March 18 at 7 p.m. at Spokane Community College Lair Auditorium.


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