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Outdoors blog Rich Landers

TUESDAY, DEC. 14, 2010

Autumn is one of the best times to visit Glacier Natural Park. Crowds are down, and you get access to some of the most beautiful fall foliage around and very much worth the drive east from the Inland Northwest. (Donnie Sexton  / Montana Office of Tourism)

Glacier National Park records busiest year

PARKS -- Glacier National Park’s Centennial year has become its busiest.Even though November’s visitor count was down 14 percent compared to the same time last year, the 13,000 visitors last month were enough to push this year’s total visitation past the 1983 record year, according...

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This pair of moose  roamed around Hauser Lake on Sunday. Agencies are getting more complaints about wildlife munching on local gardens.
 (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

Moose in the yard? Chill

WILDLIFE -- Winter weather is tempting moose to wander into towns and neighborhoods to nibble tender landscaping plants. In most cases, Idaho Fish and Game Department officers recommend giving the moose a day or two to find its way back into the wild. "It found...

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MONDAY, DEC. 13, 2010


Red line shows the 2011 forecast return of Columbia River upriver spring chinook salmon in comparison with the actural returns from previous years. They are ranked in order of size. (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)

Spring chinook forecast looks good

FISHING -- The 2011 spring chinook salmon run into the Columbia river should be a good one, although not in the sensational range of the run that moved upstream this year.State and federal fisheries experts last week issued a preliminary forecast of 158,000 springers moving...

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Tonight: Free programs feature wilderness, exploring

PROGRAMS -- The Spokane Mountaineers are featuring two programs tonight featuring some excellent outdoor photography.Tim Coleman of Conservation Northwest will discuss the Columbia Highlands Initiative and proposals for wilderness areas in the Okanogan and Colville National Forests.Jon Jantz of WILDLIGHT Photography, a Washington climber, traveler,...

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A dog  watches over ewes at Lava Lake Land & Livestock near the North Fork of the Big Lost River near Ketchum, Idaho. The company uses dogs and other measures to protect its sheep from wolves. Associated Press
 (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

Other predators benefit from focus on wolves 

WILDLIFE -- While the Rocky Mountain reigon's wildlife control agents are forced to focus on wolves, coyotes, grizzly bears, black bears and mountain lions are making a killing on livestock."Our wildlife control people spend so much time with wolves that they’re being taken away from...

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A simple dome tent structure - a work in progress -  serves as a snowshoer's shelter on the Twisted Klister trail systemat Fourth of July Pass. It's maintained by the Panhandle Nordic Club

 (Panhandle Nordic Club)

Simple shelters go up for snowshoers

WINTER SPORTS -- You have to love the spirit of the Panhandle Nordic Club and the volunteers who have helped develop the Fourth of July Pass ski and snowshoe trails.They help maintain the trails. They bake cookies to give to the I-90 snowplow drivers as...

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SUNDAY, DEC. 12, 2010

Weather bleak at Mount Spokane nordic area

CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING -- The great skiing conditions of Saturday deteriorated today into a slushy slog at the Mount Spokane nordic ski trails.To add insult to injury, the power was lost to the Selkirk Lodge this morning. The trails couldn't be groomed Saturday night because of...

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SATURDAY, DEC. 11, 2010

Tim Wills gets some help from his 10-year-old son, Josh, to land a bright steelhead on Dec. 11, 2010, along the Snake River shoreline several miles upstream from Lower Granite Dam. (Rich Landers)

Snake River shores hot for steelhead

FISHING – A cold winter wind was blowing down the Snake River today, but the steelhead fishing was hot.With the able assistance of his 10-year-old son, Josh, shore angler Tim Wills landed this bright steelie around 1 p.m. near the Wawaiwai boat launch. The Wills...

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FRIDAY, DEC. 10, 2010

A snowy owl was photographed in Lincoln County on Dec. 10, 2010. The arctic visitors delight birdwatchers when they arrive in Eastern Washington each winter. (Buck Domitrovich)

Snowy owls make annual visit to region

BIRDING -- They come just a few at a time from their home in the arctic, but they stand out like NBA players on a grade-school tour bus when they arrive in Lincoln County each winter.Snowy owls are always welcome sights to Inland Northwest birdwatchers....

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Stevens County sets hearing on OHV laws

OFF-ROADING -- The controversial issue of making it legal to ride ATVs and other non-highway-suitable vehicles on more public roads is back on the front burner in Stevens County.Amendments to OHV Ordinance 06-2009 is set for discussion at a special Dec. 20 County Commissioners hearing,...

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Highway underpass a hit with critters

WILDLIFE -- A month after a wildlife underpass opened under Idaho Highway 21 east of Boise, the animals seem to be getting the hang of it, according to the Idaho Statesman.Boise River Wildlife Management Area manager Ed Bottum says the animals almost immediately began using...

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Wild turkeys are particularly conspicuous in winter, when they congregate in lowland flocks. Biologists say turkeys have been introduced to virtually every habitat niche in the state. 
 (File/ / The Spokesman-Review)

Turkeys gone, no shots fired

NUISANCE WILDLIFE -- I have a gift to offer the region's rural residents who are being besieged by wintering turkeys that are congregated in flocks and fouling barnyards.Just invite me to come out with my one remaining 2010 turkey tag and I can virtually elminate...

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THURSDAY, DEC. 9, 2010

After the new Barker Road Bridge was completed over the Spokane River in 2010, City of Spokane Valley patched the erosion caused by the new bridge project and rendered the site much more difficult for boat launching.

 (Spokane Riverkeeper)

Barker Bridge squanders river's potential

SPOKANE RIVER -- The City of Spokane Valley and the entire region apparently got short-changed in the $11 million Barker Road Bridge construction project. City officials turned their backs on citizens and agencies that tried to work from the beginning of the project to improve...

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WEDNESDAY, DEC. 8, 2010

The noses of these hounds or many other breeds of dog could help big-game hunters find wounded game if it weren't illegal in Washington.  (Associated Press)

Why not let dogs track wounded game?

HUNTING – While we don’t have good statistics on the number of big-game animals wounded and lost by hunters, no one would doubt that it’s significant. The number might even be staggering.So why do Washington and a few other states prohibit hunters from using trained...

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Idaho criticized for roiling OHVers

OFF-ROADING -- The supervisor of the Nez Perce National Forest has criticized the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, contending the state agency tried to rile up off-road vehicle riders over a proposed plan that could limit their access to the forest's trails.An e-mail exchange...

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Idaho suspends wolf management plan 24 

ENDANGERED SPECIES -- In a telephone conference today, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission suspended Idaho’s 2008-2012 species management plan for wolves.The 2002 Idaho Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, approved by the Idaho Legislature and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, remains in effect as...

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Anti-wolfer faces felony elk charges

HUNTING -- Tony Mayer of Twin Falls, Idaho, -- founder of the anti-wolf website SaveElk.com -- is charged with illegally killing a bull elk with antlers so large the crime qualifies as a felony.A judge on Tuesday ruled that Mayer must come back to Blaine...

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Larry Dowd ( back center ) and James Mittelstadt ( rear right ) of Rathdrum, Idaho learn about avalanche beacons in an Avalanche Awareness Class during a demonstration at the Fourth of July snowmobile area today.  (Christopher Anderson / The Spokesman-Review)

Early-season avalanches claiming victims

WINTER SPORTS -- The season's first big snow storms had barely blanketed the mountains before this year's first avalanche deaths were recorded in the West.Three people already have been killed.On Sunday, a Colorado backcountry skier died in a 15-foot avalanche in Clear Creek County between...

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TUESDAY, DEC. 7, 2010

Fish-Wildlife director hints at cuts

WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT -- None of Washington's state government agency heads is making any friends by suggesting possible program cuts in order to comply with voter wishes to reduce government -- and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlfie Director Phil Anderson is no exception.After the elections,...

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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