A new law allowing loaded guns in national parks and wildlife refuges will take effect in 2010, the Obama administration says.
President Barack Obama signed the gun law without comment May 22 as part of a measure creating new rules for the credit card industry. The law goes into effect in February.
Until then, rules adopted under the Reagan administration will remain in place, requiring that guns be locked or stored in a glove compartment or trunk.
Some Congressmen pledged to try to implement the newly approved rules sooner.
In national parks, the current policy says carrying a loaded gun in plain sight is probable cause for a ranger to stop someone as a possible poacher. Under the new law, rangers will have to catch poachers in the act.
In parks such as Yellowstone, which cover a multistate region, jurisdictional issues between each state will have to be ironed out.
Staff and wire reports
Check out new vessels
Two upcoming opportunities to check out new boats include:
Hayden Boat Show and Water Sports Expo, Friday through next Sunday at Honeysuckle Beach on Hayden Lake.
The free event will feature motorboats, sailboats, kayaks, jet skis, water sports equipment and accessories.
Hours are Friday noon to 8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
See demonstrations in scuba, kayaking, sailing, wakeboarding and fishing. Boat test rides also available.
Info: Hayden Chamber of Commerce, (208) 819-1835.
REI Paddling Demos, June 14, Fish Lake County Park, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Test kayaks and canoes; get paddling tips from staff and vendors. Wear appropriate clothing and bring a change.
Wind turbines impact grouse
In the high-stakes game of preserving sage grouse, biologists say they’re still figuring out how the birds will react to the influx of wind turbines rising up from the wide-open sagebrush plains where the birds evolved.
In Wyoming, home to more than half the species’ population, Gov. Dave Freudenthal is trying to ensure protection of sage grouse habitat. His goal is to avert federal listing as an endangered species, which could have a stultifying affect on the state’s lucrative oil-and-gas industry and other economic development.
Growing interest in Wyoming wind development has prompted a new study.
Biologists say very little research has been done on how wind turbines affect sage grouse, but the birds are likely affected.
Canoe Classic back on the river
After a hiatus to flatwater last year, the Spokane River Canoe Classic will return to the upper river on Father’s Day weekend.
The annual downriver event, set for June 21, offers a 6-mile citizens’ course and a 13-mile marathon course, including Sullivan Rapids, starting from Corbin Park in Post Falls.
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