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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Outdoors blog archive for Jan. 1, 2011

SATURDAY, JAN. 8, 2011

A rough-legged hawk. (Terry Gray)

Search for rough-legged hawks

BIRDWATCHING -- The big rough-legged hawks Inland Northwest birders are used to seeing perched on power poles along roadways during winter seem to be in short supply this season. In some years it's been common to see a the eagle-like hawks on almost every other…

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FRIDAY, JAN. 7, 2011

Still plenty of eagles at CdA

WILDLIFE WATCHING -- BLM wildlife biologist Carrie Hugo just returned from her weekly winter survey of bald eagles at Coeur d'Alene's Wolf Lodge Bay. The count: 128 total, including 95 adult and 33 immature eagles. The number is down from the whopping record count of…

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BLM approves CdA citizen advisors

PUBLIC LANDS -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has announced new appointments or re-appointments of four members to the Bureau of Land Management Coeur d’Alene District’s citizen-based Resource Advisory Council. The 15-member panel, composed of members with diverse interests and backgrounds, advises the Bureau…

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Avalanche forecast a soggy mixed bag

WINTER SPORTS -- The weekend avalanche advisory is out for the Idaho Panhandle region and the word for the wise: Caution. While it rained in the valleys overnight, the precip was in the form of snow at higher elevations above 4,000 to 5,000 feet. But…

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Wind farms such as the one shown above at Altamont Pass in California are killing hundreds of thousands of birds each year, according to the American Bird Conservancy. Wind turbines -- depending on their size, location and speed of the blades -- have been identified as a lethal threat to birds and bats. (Photo: Mike Parr / American Bird Conservancy)

Recent bird kills tip of the iceberg

WILDLIFE -- While recent reports of 3,000 blackbirds falling to their deaths from the sky in Arkansas generated international publicity, that number is but a tiny fraction of the birds killed each year from human causes, according to American Bird Conservancy. Estimates from various studies…

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THURSDAY, JAN. 6, 2011

Oprah gives hunting positive ink

HUNTING MEDIA -- Stories about hunting are routine here in The Spokesman-Review's Outdoors coverage, but a hunting story in Oprah's O magazine is significant news. The December issue of O includes an article by Kimberly Hiss, who detailed her challenges and emotions in deciding to…

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Schweitzer offers free nordic lessons

WINTER SPORTS -- North Idaho cross-country skiers don't have to head to the annual Winterfest at 49 Degrees North this weekend to find free nordic skiing lessons. Schweitzer Mountain and the Sandpoint Nordic Club are offering free classic and skate-skiing lessons plus equipment demos on…

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Hunter makes grim impression on teen

HUNTING -- A Darby, Mont., man is going to court for illlegal hunting, but his worst offense might be leaving a teenage volunteer with a negative hunting memory she'll never forget. According to The Ravalli Republic, prosecutors say James E. Robinson, 58, told a high…

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Time to apply for master hunter program

HUNTING -- The Washington Fish and Wildlife Department's Master Hunter Program is accepting applications through Feb. 15. Applicants who complete the requirements and skill testing and demonstrate a commitment to ethical hunting practices qualify for special hunting privileges. The agency offers Master Hunters special big-game…

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A  grizzly bear sow and her cubs scratch around on a sandbar in Yellowstone National Park in April 2008. A federal judge ruled Monday, Sept. 22, 2009, that Yellowstone grizzlies should be returned to endangered status after being delisted in 2007. (Jean Arthur photo)

2010 a lethal year for grizzlies

WILDLIFE -- Grizzly bear deaths neared record levels for the region around Yellowstone National Park in 2010, but government biologists said the population remains robust enough to withstand the heavy losses. The Associated Press reports that an estimated 75 of the protected animals were killed…

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Winterfest has new events at 49 Degrees

WINTER SPORTS -- Paintball biathlon at the nordic ski trails joins the traditional telemark ski race, gear demos and other activities on the downhill slopes for the annual Winterfest events Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 49 Degrees North. Also new is the family snow-sculting contest.…

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Jackass Day a deal at Silver Mountain

WINTER SPORTS -- Friday is Jackass Day at Silver Mountain as they pay homage to the resort's humble beginnings and its less-than-delicate original name. The lift tickets are less, too: Only $9.45 plus tax, if there are any taxes left in Idaho. On Saturday, the…

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Food lures WA bears from hibernation

WILDLIFE -- Eastern Washington's arctic cold snap has had one advantage you might not have considered: It's kept the bears in their dens. In the milder climate of Western Washington, an unusually high number of bears are staying active into the winter and causing problems…

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Crystal Mountain gondola a hit

WINTER SPORTS -- People began lining up an hour before sunrise on Saturday to be among the first to ride the state’s first enclosed ski lift that takes skiers and sightseers to the top of the Crystal Mountain ski area. The new Mount Rainier Gondola…

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Silver Mountain ski instructor Diane LeBlanc, right, talks with Jim Gregory, second from right, of Cherry Hill, N.J., and Blaine Miller, third from right, of Maine, Thursday. 
 (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

Ski resorts offer deals for beginners

WINTER SPORTS -- Cheap “Learn to ski and snowboard” packages are being offered this month at Silver Mountain, 49 Degrees North, Mt. Spokane and Lookout Pass. Check out the EZ Ski and Ride 1-2-3 packages, which includes three lift tickets, three rentals, and three lessons.…

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Workers collect about 500 red-winged blackbirds and starlings on around that fell dead from the sky this week near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Associated Press)

Another large blackbird dieoff reported 

WILDLIFE -- After reports of thousands of dead red-winged blackbirds falling from the sky in Beebe, Arkansas on New Years Eve -- along with reports of a massive fish kill in the same area -- raised eyebrows across the nation, another bird kill is being…

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TUESDAY, JAN. 4, 2011

State agencies swap East Side land

PUBLIC LANDS -- The Washington departments of Natural Resources and Fish and Wildlife swapped thousands of acres in a deal signed today. Generally, the trade helps each agency consolidate lands. It gives DNR more land to put to work for the benefit of state schools…

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Error in new Idaho fishing regs

FISHING -- Idaho Fish and Game Department officials are trying to get word out about an error in the new 2011 state fishing regulations. It affects anglers who fish the Coeur d'Alene River. The published rule reads as follows: Coeur d’Alene River and Tributaries (to…

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MONDAY, JAN. 3, 2011

Marilyn Omler of Ponti Veterinary Clinic noticed what looked like burn marks on the pads of the immature bald eagle's large taloned feet.  It's possible the bird came in contact with powerlines, leading to its poor health.  (Tina Wynecoop)

Update on eagle rescued from river

WILDLIFE -- Much like some people you might have seen on New Year's Eve, the immature bald eagle was grounded, wings spread with its head face-down in the snow along the Little Spokane River. It was rescued after an ordeal and it's still alive Monday…

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Schweitzer Mountain Resort offers scenic views of several mountain ranges. This year, visitors can order their tickets in advance through their smart phones.  (Courtesy of Schweitzer Mountain Resort. )

Schweitzer reports hot start to season

WINTER SPORTS -- Maybe the outdoor economy isn't all doom and gloom. Schweitzer Mountain Resort today reported solid increases in visitation for December and the holidays that grace the early snow season. Overall visitation for the month of December was up 18.9 percent, while up…

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East Side fishing worth the trip

FISHING -- Sometimes it's healthy to assess our Eastern Washington bounty from the perspective of Western Washington anglers. Here's a few out-takes from the most recent fishing column by Wayne Kruse of the Daily (Everett) Herald: "It's too bad that winter tends to be so…

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A dead red-winged blackbird, one of nearly 2,000 found in Beebe, Ark., on Jan. 1, 2011. (Warren Watkins / The Daily Citizen)

Video report: Birds fall dead from sky

WILDLIFE -- The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said is still investigating why around 3,000 red-winged black birds fell from the sky and died in Beebe, Ark. The agency said its enforcement officers began receiving reports about the dead birds about 11:30 p.m. Friday. Lightning…

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Outdoors blog

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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