Latest from The Spokesman-Review
OUTDOOR EDUCATION — A Senate committee will hold a hearing today, Feb. 11, at 1:30 p.m. on “No Child Left Inside,” a bipartisan bill (SB 5843) that provides $1.3 million for programs to get kids to away from their screens and back outdoors.
A media release from the bill’s introduction by Sens. Ranker (D-Orcas Island) and Parlette (R-Wenatchee) note's that Washington’s NCLI has inspired federal legislation of the same name.
Scheduled to testify at today's hearing are:
- Oak Rankin of Darrington, whose community was devastated by the Oso landslide in 2014. This bill would enable funding for programs such as the Darrington Youth Outdoor STEM Pilot Project which helps students learn about local natural resources.
- Joshua Brandon, a veteran and program manager for Project Cohort, a program designed to support veterans’ mental health, in part through outdoor activities. The legislation’s grant program encourages funding for programs that tap veterans for program implementation or administration.
- Courtney Aber who heads up YMCA’s BOLD & GOLD programs (Boys Outdoor Leadership Development & Girls Outdoor Leadership Development)
- Martin LeBlanc of IslandWood, the Bainbridge Island-based outdoor education organization
- Marc Berejka from REI
OUTGROUPS – Inland Northwest outdoors groups have drummed up some good stuff for their monthly free programs. Among this week’s offerings are:
• Trans-America touring and local bicycling programs will be discussed by three speakers, 6:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 10, at Riverview Retirement Center, 2117 E. North Crescent Ave., for Spokane Bicycle Club.
• Climate change impacts on Palouse Praire ecosystems, by Sanford Eigenbrode, professor in the University of Idaho's Plant, Soil and Entomological Sciences program, 7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 11, at Lutheran Church of the Master, 4800 N. Ramsey Road in Coeur d’Alene, for Coeur d’Alene Audubon.
• Fly Auction, anglers donate hand-tied fly patterns for auction to benefit local fishing education and fisheries conservation programs, 7 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 12, at St. Francis School, 1104 W. Heroy, for Spokane Fly Fishers.
• "Exploring South America — The Bird Continent", by Lucila Castro and Peter Morrison of the Pacific Biodiversity Institute, 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 12, at Riverview Retirement Center, for Spokane Audubon.
OUTTEACH – After a summer hiatus, Inland Northwest outdoors groups are reviving monthly free programs. Among this week’s offerings are:
- Bicycling Trans-Washington, 6:30 p.m., Monday, at Riverview Retirement Center, 2117 E. North Crescent Ave., for Spokane Bicycle Club.
- Audubon Adventures, birding and nature activities for kids grades 3-5, by Eula Hickam, 7 p.m., Tuesday, (Sept. 9) at Lutheran Church of the Master, 4800 N. Ramsey Road in Coeur d’Alene, for Coeur d’Alene Audubon.
- Fishing Local Lakes, by Jeff Voigt, 7 p.m., Wednesday, at St. Francis School, 1104 W. Heroy, for Spokane Fly Fishers.
- Washington Loons, by Ginger Gumm, 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, at Riverview Retirement Center, for Spokane Audubon.
See map and directions to Riverview Retirement Center auditorium, which is used by several groups for free monthly programs.
FISHING — Starting Sunday, the use of lead fishing tackle will be restricted in northern Washington at 13 lakes frequented by nesting common loons.
After a year of discussion and public meetings, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission voted to prohibit the use of lead weights and jigs that measure 1½ inches or less along the longest axis at 12 lakes.
The lakes in Eastern Washington include:
- Ferry County: Ferry and Swan;
- Okanogan County: Bonaparte, Blue and Lost;
- Pend Oreille County: Big Meadow, South Skookum and Yocum;
- Stevens County: Pierre Lake.
In addition, the commission banned the use of flies containing lead at Long Lake in Ferry County.
The restrictions are designed to protect loons from being poisoned by ingesting small lead fishing gear lost by anglers.
Information on loons and lead tackle has been compiled on the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department's website.
OLYMPIA — A bill has been introduced in the Washington Legislature that would, among other things, give loons and trumpeter swans some clout against a poacher's bank acount.
When a Newport-area man senselessly killed a common loon at Yocum Lake a few years ago, Washington Fish and Wildlife authorities could do little more than write him a ticket for just under $300.
Senate Bill 5201 would increase the fine to $2,000 for killing a loon, ferruginous hawk, bald eagle, peregrine falcon; tundra swan or trumpeter swan.
FISHING – Restrictions on use of lead fishing tackle at 13 lakes with nesting loons will be considered by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission when it meets Dec. 2-4 in Olympia.
The lead issue is on the agenda for Dec. 4.
Studies have shown that loons can die of lead poisoning by ingesting lead sinkers as they forage for fish.
The 13 lakes where loons breed in Washington include Ferry, Long and Swan lakes in Ferry County; Calligan and Hancock lakes in King County; Bonaparte, Blue and Lost lakes in Okanogan County; Big Meadow, South Skookum and Yocum lakes in Pend Oreille County; Pierre Lake in Stevens County; and Hozomeen Lake in Whatcom County.
Click here for more information on lead and loons: