RESCUE – Two Bear Air, the Whitefish-based free helicopter rescue serviced that’s saved a lot of grief for the region’s outdoorsmen, will put on a demonstration for an Idaho Trails Association gathering on May 13 in Sagle, Idaho.
ITA is organizing a thank-you party for volunteers who have helped or are interested in helping with its trail improvement projects in the Panhandle, said co-organizer Tom Dabrowski. He noted that last year, 222 volunteers logged 3,796 hours working trails throughout the state.
The public is invited to the first part of the gathering to learn information about search and rescue that could be important to them when they’re out hiking, he said.
Other presentations will include bear safety, special trail tools, new hiking gear and a talk by Priest Lake Search and Rescue on what to do if you need to be rescued while hiking or camping.
Presentations start at 2 p.m. at 877 Heath Lake Rd. in Sagle.
“People who sign up ahead of time can purchase dinner for $15 and stay for the rest of the program to learn more about ITA and how we can all help to keep our hiking trails open,” Dabrowski said.
Sign up for the Northern Idaho Appreciation Party on the ITA website, www.idahotrailsassociation.org.
Nine ITA trail projects are scheduled this year. The next one is May 20 on the Mickinnick Trail near Sandpoint.
South Hill bluff restoration meeting set
PARKS – Plans are being made to restore the illegal road built last month into the South Hill bluff above Hangman Creek.
On April 26, Avista, which is taking the lead on the restoration, hosted a meeting with the representatives from neighborhoods, environmental groups and local government, said Leroy Eadie, City of Spokane Parks and Recreation director.
“The goal was to quickly get focused on restoration and develop a draft plan that can be presented in a public meeting.”
The meeting is at 6 p.m. on Monday at Sacajawea Middle School cafeteria to discuss the restoration efforts and go over the draft plan. “Stakeholders and any interested parties are welcomed to attend,” Eadie said.
Field work should begin the week of May 15, he said.
Trumpeter swans net at Turnbull Refuge
WILDLIFE – Two and possibly three pairs of trumpeter swans are among the wildlife making babies at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge this spring.
Mike Rule, refuge wildlife biologist, said nesting activity has been occurring at Middle Pine, Cheever and McDowell ponds.
Holden Mine cleanup clearing the water
ENVIRONMENT – The $500 million cleanup of the former Holden Mine above Lake Chelan is producing major results, as the mine site at an entrance to the Glacier Peak Wilderness is no longer polluting the scenic central Washington lake.
Forest Service officials say that for the first time in nearly 60 years, clean water is once again flowing in Railroad Creek, which flows into Lake Chelan.
The Holden Mine was abandoned in 1957. But it continued to contaminate the environment with toxic metals including aluminum, cadmium, copper, iron and zinc.
Those heavy metals washed downstream, polluting water in Railroad Creek.
The cleanup took five years and was entirely paid for by Rio Tinto, the mining company that inherited the mess from a predecessor.
The cleanup work delivered an estimated $240 million dollars into the economies of Chelan and Douglas counties.
Guest Services at Holden Village, a church camp with services to wilderness backpackers, is scheduled to resume this season. Initial season-opening volunteer work parties are underway this week.
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