PUBLIC LANDS – A North Idaho mountain biking club has detoured from the general position of cyclists to endorse a proposed wilderness.
“North Idaho currently has no designated wilderness, and we believe the area is worthy of Congressional designation,” wrote Mike Murray, president of the Pend Oreille Pedalers, in a letter to Idaho Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho).
Sen. Risch introduced legislation to protect the 14,000 acres in Idaho as the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness last year.
The area is being managed as a “recommended wilderness” under the Idaho Panhandle National Forests land management plan and is, therefore, off-limits to “mechanical” equipment such as bikes.
“Even if the area weren’t recommended for wilderness, you wouldn’t see many mountain bikers in the Scotchman Peaks,” said Murray. “The area is simply too steep to ride.”
“We greatly appreciate the support of the Pend Oreille Pedalers,” said Phil Hough, executive director of the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness. “There are many great trails in the Panhandle National Forests where mountain biking is and should be allowed. In the Scotchman Peaks, we believe that wilderness is the highest and best use of the land.”
Montana criticizes Wyoming elk feeding
WILDLIFE – The Montana Senate has voted to tell Wyoming and federal wildlife officials to stop feeding elk outside Yellowstone National Park.
The resolution passed 50-0 on Friday over concerns the feeding grounds increase the transmission of diseases that can be spread north into Montana.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Wyoming wildlife officials provide hay and alfalfa during the winter at nearly two dozen feeding sites, including the National Elk Refuge.
Wyoming provides the supplemental feeding to keep elk from eating hay on private land and to keep the population high for hunting.
State Parks post season job openings
PARKS – Job openings have been announced for hundreds of seasonal park aides to help operate Washington State Parks during the 2017 summer season.
The parks employs 400 park aides and 45 senior park aides to work the busy summer season, which runs from May through September.
They help out in parks by tending trails, cleaning campgrounds and comfort stations and performing a variety of custodial maintenance chores. They also may staff park offices, interact with visitors and help with interpretive and educational programs.
The jobs pay between $11-$13.97 an hour. Info: parks.state.wa.us/jobs.
Solo paddler tells of long-distance trip
KAYAKING – Janet Breuer will present a free program, “Paddling through Lemons,” about her solo paddling journey on the Columbia and Missouri rivers, on Monday at 7 p.m. at Mountain Gear Corporate Headquarters, 6021 E. Mansfield in Spokane Valley.
Mountain bike club surveys interest
CYCLING – The Evergreen East mountain bike alliance is asking cyclists to compete an online survey to help members connect with local riders and learn how they can better serve the riding community.
The club also is sponsoring the premier of Klunkerz, a film about mountain biking history on Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Two Wheel Transit, 817 S. Perry St. Tickets are $15 and available at the shop or online at thebikehub.com.
See the cyclists survey at surveymonkey.com/r/S3QDZY6
Dinner, auction benefits Turnbull Refuge
WILDLIFE – The Wild Refuge Dinner and Auction to benefit Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge education programs will be on March 11 at the Wren Pierson Community Center, 615 4th St. in Cheney.
Advance tickets are $45. Sign up: fotnwr.org.
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