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Join the group for hikes to area’s wild spots

TRAILS — Conservation groups throughout the region are scheduling guided group hikes to introduce outdoor enthusiasts to choice wild areas throughout the region. Following are some of the upcoming options with links to see the many hikes on each group’s summer schedule.

Columbia Highlands

  • June 23: Grassy Top-Hall Mountain hike, 8 strenous miles near Sullivan Lake.
  • June 30: Clackamas Mountain hike, 10 moderate miles.

Info: Kettle Range Conservation Group.

Scotchman Peaks

  • June 30: Spar Lake archeological hike, 8 miles, with expert on Native American foraging.
  • July 7: Grouse Lake, easy hike with Native Plant Society leader.

Info: Friends of the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness.

Dishman Hills

  • July 11: Dishman Hills Natural Area, five-mile hike including portions of area burned by 2008 wildfire.

Info: Dishman Hills Natural Area Association.

Idaho Conservation League

  • June 23: Maiden Rock, Selkirk Mountains.
  • July 7: Chilco Mountain north Of Coeur d’Alene.

Info: Idaho Conservation League Sandpoint office, (208) 265-9565.

Groups leading trips to choice wild areas from town to wilderness

TRAILS — Conservation groups throughout the region are scheduling guided group hikes to introduce outdoor enthusiasts to choice wild areas throughout the region. Following are some of the upcoming options with links to see the many hikes on each group’s summer schedule.

Columbia Highlands

  • June 8: Fir Mountain day hike, 4 miles, to viewpoints over the Sanpoil River Valley.
  • June 16: Work party to restore historic Big Lick Trail.

Info: Kettle Range Conservation Group.

Scotchman Peaks

  • June 30: Spar Lake archeological hike, 8 miles, with expert on Native American foraging.

Info: Friends of the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness.

Dishman Hills

  • June 9: Pond ecology hike to West Ponds in the Spokane Valley natural area, led by a Gonzaga University biology professor.
  • June 13: Rocks of Sharon, six-mile hike up through the Iller Creek Conservation Area to Big Rock.

Info: Dishman Hills Natural Area Association.

Idaho Conservation League

  • June 16: Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail, Family Fun Hike.
  • June 23: Maiden Rock, Selkirk Mountains.

Info: ICL Sandpoint Office, (208) 265-9565.

Wilderness advocates present case for Columbia Highlands at REI

CONSERVATION — Exploring Northwest Washington's Columbia Highlands, a multi-media program, will be presented Wednesday, 7 p.m., at the Spokane REI store by Conservation Northwest and several related groups.

Explore portions of the Colville National Forest that make up some of the most wildlife rich and uncrowded recreational destinations in the state, and learn why some groups are working to protect them as wilderness.

Sign-up online to reserve a seat in the limited space available for this free presentation.

Conservation Northwest plans for next year

Photobucket Thinking ahead, Conservation Northwest has named it’s top priorities for 2009, hoping to connect and protect old growth and other wild areas across the state. Without further adieu: —-We will introduce and pass a management plan including wilderness designation for the Colville National Forest in the Columbia Highlands. —-We will help pass legislation to protect old-growth forests on public lands in the Northwest. —-We will help reverse eleventh-hour Bush administration regulations that are dangerous to wildlife and wildlands. —-We will continue to protect endangered wildlife, keeping thoughtful watch on issues of importance to animals from lynx to wolverine and working for state funding to support management of Washington’s wolves and recovery of the North Cascades grizzly bear.