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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Field reports: Fishtrap Lake trail project needs helpers

The 350-acre fire on BLM land  near Fishtrap Lake Resort in 2012  burned up to the Farmer Landing trailhead west of Fishtrap Lake.  Another blaze, the Watermelon Hill Fire, burned even more of the area in 2014.
 (Rich Landers)
The 350-acre fire on BLM land near Fishtrap Lake Resort in 2012 burned up to the Farmer Landing trailhead west of Fishtrap Lake. Another blaze, the Watermelon Hill Fire, burned even more of the area in 2014. (Rich Landers)

TRAILS – A new 8-mile loop trail planned near Fishtrap Lake by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is the target of a National Public Lands Day volunteer effort on Sept. 26 to get the job started.

The Spokane Mountaineers and Washington Trails Association have committed members to working on the non-motorized trail, said Lynn Smith, a trails project coordinator for both groups.

Workers will assemble at 8:30 a.m. at BLM’s Folsom Farm area and break into groups for work on the trail between Fishtrap Road south to Farmer’s Landing.

Participants should bring gloves, water and hand tools such as a pulaski, ho-dad, pick, shovel, hoe and wheelbarrow.

T-shirts and public-lands access passes also may be given out to registered helpers.

The trail will provide scenic as well as geological and historic values, said Steve Smith, BLM’s outdoor recreation planner.

Planning for the trail started in 2013 with help from hiking, mountain biking and horse groups, Smith said, noting that the trail likely won’t be completed until next fall. The loop will be made from new and existing single- and double-track trails.

First-phase trail improvements will include tread construction, vegetation removal and installation of trail markers and signs.

The July 2014 Watermelon Hill Fire killed a high percentage of the trees along portions of the proposed trail route, especially along the lake’s southern end, Smith said. But much of the landscape is rebounding, a process that will be speeded if the drought breaks.

“The public is still welcome to hike or ride horses or mountain bikes anywhere within the Fishtrap (BLM) area prior to completion of the trail,” Smith said.

Sign up for the project in advance to be counted in for snacks, lunch and beverages by emailing Smith, sasmith@blm.gov.

Outdoor groups revive monthly programs

CLASSES – After a summer hiatus, Inland Northwest outdoors groups are reviving monthly free programs. Among this week’s offerings are:

• Hobby Beekeeping, by Ken Crawley, 7 p.m., Tuesday, at Lutheran Church of the Master, 4800 N. Ramsey Road in Coeur d’Alene, for Coeur d’Alene Audubon.

• Secrets of the Clark Fork, by Steve Temple, 7 p.m., Wednesday, at St. Francis School, 1104 W. Heroy, for Spokane Fly Fishers.

• Birds and Beasts of the Kalahari, by Ron Force, 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, at Riverview Retirement Center, 2117 E. North Crescent Ave., for Spokane Audubon.

Climbers to clean up Q’emiln on Saturday

PARKS – The annual Adopt a Crag climbing area cleanup at Q’emiln Park in Post Falls is set for 8 a.m.-noon on Saturday, organized by North Idaho College’s Outdoor Pursuits.

Volunteers plan to remove trash, control invasive weeds, maintain trails and pick up trash. Adopt a Crag Day, a nationwide day of natural resource stewardship focused on climbing areas and founded by The Access Fund.

Info: (208) 769-7809.

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