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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Outdoors blog archive for Jan. 1, 2011

FRIDAY, JAN. 21, 2011

Ski area rewards rainy-day patrons

WINTER SPORTS -- Mount Baker Ski Area took a beating over the Martin Luther King holiday weekend as rain pounded the ski area during a weekend that's critical in a resort's bottom line. How did the ski area respond to the hardy skiers who showed…

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Runners, photogs top grizzly targets

WILDLIFE ENCOUNTERS -- Runners are gaining ground on wildlife photographers as the most likely people to be mauled by a grizzly bear in the Northern Rockies. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s grizzly bear recovery coordinator says long-distance trail runners are approaching photographers as the…

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Highest tide of year on Washington Coast

BEACHCOMBING -- Washington beaches will see the highest tides of the year this weekend, peaking at 7:28 a.m. Sunday. Unfortunately, the peak comes a bit late for the razor clamming season that runs today and Saturday. The National Weather Service says the tide will measure…

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Avalanche danger 'considerable' in many areas

WINTER S PORTS -- The avalanche advisory issued by the Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center this morning warns of "considerable" danger on many areas of the Inland Northwest. Avalanche conditions for the Idaho Panhandle National Forest are rated as Considerable on wind loaded aspects above 5000…

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Hunting, fishing fee increase bill introduced

OLYLMPIA -- Legislation was introduced Thursday for the first across-the-board increase in Washington hunting and fishing license fees in 14 years, according to a report by Allen Thomas of the Vancouver Columbian. House Bill 1387 would result in an increase in revenue from hunting licenses…

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Surfers catch a massive wave, at Waimea Bay on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011 on Oahu, Hawaii North Shore. Organizers of the big wave surfing contest known as "The Eddie" say Waimea Bay's aren't consistently large enough to hold the event. The contest in memory of legendary Hawaiian surfer Eddie Aikau is only held when waves are at least 20 feet. It's only been put on eight times since it was founded in 1984.  (Jamm Aquino / Honolulu Star-Advertiser)

Big occasion for surfers in Hawaii

WATER SPORTS -- The waves are rising to the occasion of an almost-annual event in Hawaii. Surfers are catching massive waves this week on Oahu's North Shore. Organizers of the big wave surfing contest known as "The Eddie" say Waimea Bay's waves aren't consistently large…

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THURSDAY, JAN. 20, 2011

Kokanee at Lake Coeur d'Alene should reach a healthy 12 inches this year.
 (Rich Landers / The Spokesman-Review)

Gear up for CdA kokanee fishing

FISHING -- Take it from the record number of bald eagles that gathered to feast on spawning salmon this winter: The kokanee have made a comeback at Lake Coeur d'Alene. The turn-around has been dramatic, Idaho Fish and Game fisheries biologists say in a just-released…

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DNR warns of moth outbreak in area trees

FORESTS -- Inland Northwest landowners with woodlots are being warned to watch for signs of a tree-damaging caterpillar outbreak that's already affected at least 570 acres in eastern Spokane County and 8,500 acrees in North Idaho. Defoliation from the Douglas-fir tussock moth was found in…

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Avalanche workshops for all snowgoers

WINTER SPORTS -- The next free avalanche workshop in Sandpoint for all snowgoers is set for Feb. 9. The topic to be tackled by the team from the Forest Service technicians at the Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center: "What we can learn from 10 years of…

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 19, 2011

Let it flow, let it flow, let it flow!

RIVERS -- The huge runoff from recent thaw has prompted Avista Utilities to open all of its spill gats at Post Falls Dam, the utility announced moments ago. In response to rising Coeur d’Alene and St. Joe River flows and Coeur d’Alene Lake levels, the…

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Dogs killing deer is not a new problem in the Inland Northwest. Packs of two or more dogs roaming freely can take advantage of deer in deep snow or crusty snow that makes running difficult for hooved animals. Even house pets can revert to deadly predatory instincts when allowed to roam around deer that struggle to survive during winter. This deer was dragged down in a harrowing few minutes as at least three dogs bit chunks of flesh from its body before it finally succumbed. The 2004 incident prompted a story in The Spokesman-Review following a tip from a resident. (Rich Landers)

Wintering deer harassed by dogs 

WILDLIFE ENFORCEMENT -- Washington Fish and Wildlife Deparment agents in the Spokane Region spent an unusually large amount of time last week responding to complaints about free-roaming dogs harassing deer. At least five incidents showed up on the department's weekly report on enforcement officer activity.…

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TUESDAY, JAN. 18, 2011

Bill to extend hound hunting heard

LEGISLATING WILDLIFE – Washington lawmakers heard a mixed bag of testimony at a hearing today on continuing the pilot program that allows the use of hounds for hunting cougars. HB 1124 seeks to extend the program in a portion of Klickitat County as well as…

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Today's CdA bald eagle count: 64

WILDLIFE WATCHING -- Bald eagles are dispersing from their annual gathering to feast on kokanee at Lake Coeur d'Alene, but they're not gone by any means. Carrie Hugo, U.S. Bureau of Land Management wildlife biologist, just returned from her weekly survey of the the lake's…

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Pup sighting boosts Oregon wolf count

WILDLIFE -- Oregon's count of gray wolves is up to at least 21 in two packs after two previously unverified pups were documented recenty by air and on video. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife officials say aerial surveys documented 16 wolves in the…

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Felt waders could get the boot in Oregon

FISHING -- Felt-soled wading shoes — long used to give stream anglers traction on slippery river bottoms — could be off store shelves in Oregon next year and banned statewide in 2013, a casualty in the war against invasive aquatic species, according to the Mail…

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MONDAY, JAN. 17, 2011

A stock trailer holds a portion of some 100 antelope after they were captured in Nevada and tagged before being transported to Central Washington where they were released Jan. 15 and 16 on the Yakama Indian Reservation. The project was sponsored by Safari Club International with the cooperation of wildlife agencies from both states and the Yakamas. (Safari Club International)

Washington gets pronghorns from Nevada

WILDLIFE -- Pronghorns are back in Washington. After years of negotiations and miles of red tape, a herd of about 100 pronghorns (also known as antelope) from Nevada were released into Central Washington over the weekend, according to a just-filed Northwest Sportsman online report. The…

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A fisher is lured to a bait in the Selkirk Mountains by Idaho Fish and Game Department researchers for this photo, made by a motion-activated remote camera.  (Idaho Fish and Game)

Fisher gives rare photo op

WILDLIFE -- Idaho Fish and Game Department researchers used bait and a motion-activated remote camera to photograph the fisher shown above. Seeing these critters in the Inland Northwest is very rare without taking such lengthy measures. These large, quick members of the weasel family are…

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2010 a record-book year for climate

CLIMATE CHANGE-- Last year was a climatological wonder, with figures indicating that 2010 was not only the wettest since record keeping began in 1860, but the year also tied with 2005 for the hottest, according to a story in The New York Times.

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SUNDAY, JAN. 16, 2011

A badger excavates a den on Jan. 15, 2009 at the L.T. Murray Wildlife Area near Wenas, WA!
 (Alan Bauer)

Critters carry on during winter

WILDLIFE -- While some ground-dwelling creatures snoose away the winter, others are up for everything from hunting to major construction projects. Badgers, the middle linebackers of the weasel family, aren't timid about winter when bare ground is available. Badgers normally eat ground squirrels, gophers and…

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Join the avalanche warning team

WINTER SPORTS -- Anyone winter snow traveler who sees avalanche activity in North Idaho or the adjoining areas of Washington and Montana can boost the safety of other snowgoers by reporting their observations to the Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center in Sandpoint. "We would appreciate hearing…

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FRIDAY, JAN. 14, 2011

We survived another week

SURVIVAL -- It's been a rough week on the Outdoors beat, but I'm still holding my head high. How about you? Remember, the snow slopes are unstable as we head into the weekend. The ice is weakening on the lakes and the rivers are surging…

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Rich Landers writes and photographs stories and columns for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including Outdoors feature sections on Sunday and Thursday.

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