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Sunday, August 25, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Outdoors blog Washington State Parks archive


Brian and Ann Grow leave the groomed trails behind to enjoy some old-style skiing on skier-made tracks around Shadow Mountain on a brilliant Saturday at Mount Spokane State Park. (Rich Landers)

Washington State Parks still plotting a future 

STATE PARKS -- Should the State Parks system operate more like an enterprise-based hospitality industry, a public conservation asset based mostly on grant and tax funding – or perhaps a system of parks freely standing as community non-profit entities? What do people love about their...

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THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2012

Riverside State Park Ranger Brian Frahm pauses at the Bowl and Pitcher, where Washington’s new Discover Pass will be required on vehicles beginning July 5. (Dan Pelle)

Spokane meetings focus on future of state parks

PARKS -- Washington State Parks officials have set meetings in Spokane to discuss potentially sweeping changes in management of facilities at Riverside and Mount Spokane. The meetings will be at Spokane Public Library Shadle Branch, 2111 W. Wellesley Ave. as follows: Saturday, 3:30-5 p.m., specific...

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FRIDAY, MAY 4, 2012

State Parks needs volunteer hosts

STATE PARKS --Volunteer hosts are being sought for some Washington State Parks, officials say. The hosts greet visitors, assist park staff and perform a variety of duties in return free camping and hookups. Host assignments range from 30-90 days. Details and host openings are online...

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FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012

Volunteers needed to score recreation grant requests

OUTDOOR RECREATION -- The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office is looking for nearly 70 volunteers to help determine how millions of dollars in state grants should be spent in Washington’s great outdoors. The volunteers will score grant applications submitted in two statewide programs: The...

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MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2012

Free admission to state parks March 18-19

PUBLIC LANDS -- This weekend will be a freebie at Washington state parks, which will be offering free admission four times this year. The first set of free days will be March 18-19 in honor of the park system’s 99th birthday on March 19. Other...

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MONDAY, FEB. 20, 2012

Patterned after hunter safety requirements in effect for decades, Washington’s boating safety law has been phasing in since 2005, when the Washington Legislature obliged most powerboat operators to pass a boater safety education course and carry a Washington State Boater Education Card. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

Milestone: 100,000 boaters complete safety course

BOATING -- The Washington State Boating Program reached a milestone in its mandatory boater education program last week, issuing card number 100,000. David Eckols of Seattle won tickets to a Seattle Seahawks game for being the 100,000th boater card recipient. See my recent column pointing...

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TUESDAY, JAN. 10, 2012

THURSDAY, DEC. 22, 2011

THURSDAY, DEC. 8, 2011


TUESDAY, OCT. 4, 2011

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 31, 2011

TUESDAY, AUG. 30, 2011

MONDAY, AUG. 29, 2011

Washington's Discover Pass inconvenience discussed 

STATE LANDS -- A bipartisan collection of 49 Washington state legislators is siding with state lands users who don't like the complexity of the new Discover Pass parking access requirements for state parks andother state lands. Two weeks ago, 35 representatives and 14 senators signed...

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THURSDAY, AUG. 25, 2011


FRIDAY, JULY 1, 2011


Julia Mathison, an Interpretive Assistant, talks about Gardner Cave at Crawford State Park near Metaline Falls. (Rajah Bose / The Spokesman-Review)

Two East Side parks won't open this season

STATE PARKS -- Rock climbers and people fascinated by caves will be among the first to feel the impact of the budget crisis facing Washington's State Parks. Two state parks in Eastern Washington – Crawford and Peshastin Pinnacles – will not open this season because...

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THURSDAY, JAN. 27, 2011

MONDAY, DEC. 20, 2010

State Parks confronts crisis management 

STATE PARKS -- With the governor's budget proposal leaving now General Fund money for Washington State Parks and Recreation, officials have called a special meeting for Wednesday, 10 a.m., at parks headquarters in Olympia.The agenda includes discussion of the plan to merge parks and rec...

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FRIDAY, NOV. 19, 2010

New WA State Parks director named

STATE PARKS -- After a four-month search and screening 170 applications from here to England, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission today named the head of the agency's southwest region as the state parks director. Starting Dec. 1, Don Hock, 53, will replace retiring...

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Mt. Spokane snowmobiling mileage questioned

STATE PARKS -- Today's story about Inland Empire Paper Co. closing its lands to snowmobiling said that leaves 40 miles of groomed trails available to snowmobilers at Mount Spokane. The mileage figure came from Spokane County Parks, which manages the grooming.However, Cris Currie of Friends...

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THURSDAY, NOV. 18, 2010

In 2004, Inland Empire Paper Company attempted to charge a fee for snowmobile access to their lands on Mount Spokane and educate riders about the need to stay on designated trails.  The program has failed to keep the riders from going off trail into clearcuts where they damage the tops of young trees. This winter, IEP is closing its lands to snowmobiling. A barricade fence will be set up at this access point to Linder Road near the cross-country ski trails. (Rich Landers)

IEP closes land to snowmobiling 

WINTER SPORTS -- Snowmobiling will be prohibited this winter on Inland Empire Paper Company lands at Mount Spokane as well as on the rest of the 116,000 acres the company manages in northeastern Washington and North Idaho.The decision to end the decades-old welcome comes this...

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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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