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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Field reports: Dishman Hills Conservancy hosts annual Halloween event

Dishman Hills Conservancy is hosting the second annual Halloween Hike through the Enchanted Ravine.

This year’s edition will be a virtual event, launching Sunday and running through the end of October.

The event will feature photo opportunities, a costume contest with entry prizes, and a grand prize provided by our sponsors. Self-guided tour brochures of the Enchanted Ravine hike can be viewed, and/or downloaded for printing at

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s hike will look much different from last year’s.

Instead of a one-day gathering of large groups and guided hikes, this year’s event will be done virtually, with guided hikes and materials available online at DHC’s website. This modified format will provide a fun, safe, family-friendly Halloween activity while encouraging people to get outdoors and celebrate safely.

In 2019, the first Halloween Hike was the most popular event put on by DHC, with more than 1,000 registrants and hundreds of attendees of all ages who arrived with enthusiasm in festive costumes despite rainy conditions.

“Last year’s Halloween Hike was by far our most popular event, and we want to keep building that momentum in a way that is safe for all members of our community,” said Isobel Smith, DHC’s Outreach Director, “This year, we’ve partnered with the Lands Council and Inland Northwest Trading Company to offer a Halloween event that is safe, fun, family-friendly, and educational.”

You can view and download all the materials for the Halloween Hike at (or under the “Events” tab on the homepage at If your organization would like to partner with DHC or sponsor this event, contact Elijah Johnson, DHC’s Communications Director, at

LaRuffa will share tips for hiking with dogs

Hosted by Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness and Idaho Trails Association, long-distance hiker Whitney “Allgood” LaRuffa will share his experiences and tips for hiking with your furry friend. The event is Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. on Facebook Live ( or YouTube Live.

LaRuffa is a seasoned hiker with over 10,000 miles of long-distance hikes under his feet. He has a long history in the hiking world and has worked as a ridge runner on the Appalachian Trail, holds the honor of President Emeritus of the American Long Distance Hiking Association-West and is vice president of sales and marketing for Six Moon Designs, an ultralight gear company based in Oregon.

LaRuffa has hiked over 6,000 miles with his K-9 companions over the years. After finding a dog on the Appalachian Trail in 1996, his life was forever changed. He and his first dog Erwin, named for the trail town of Erwin, Tennessee, worked on the Appalachian Trail in the 1990s as ridge runners after their thru-hike, where they provided education and support to a variety of trail users.

WDFW wants comment on spring bear seasons

WDFW invites the public to submit written comment on a proposed spring black bear season rule change by Oct. 29.

The proposed rule modifies season dates, permit numbers in some areas, and removes two private timberland properties from the North Skagit hunt.

“We need your feedback on the proposed rule to better understand how the public feels about adjusting season dates and permit numbers in some areas,” said Anis Aoude, WDFW game division manager. “We’ll use this information to guide how we offer spring black bear opportunities in 2021.”

Follow the link to the survey ( to provide feedback. Submit written comments to: WDFW Rules Coordinator, PO Box 43200, Olympia, WA 98504-3200.

Lawsuit launched over wolverine protection

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Thursday denied protection to the rare and elusive wolverine under the Endangered Species Act, prompting a coalition of conservation groups to announce their intention to file a notice of intent to sue as soon as the final rule is published in the Federal Register.

“Recent scientific information makes clear that wolverines face threats from destruction of their snowy habitat due to climate change,” said Earthjustice attorney Timothy Preso. “We intend to take action to make sure that the administration’s disregard of the real impacts of climate change does not doom the wolverine to extinction in the lower-48 states.”

With fewer than 300 wolverines left in the contiguous United States, the group says there is no justification for the service’s decision to deny protection. Listing wolverines as threatened or endangered would trigger new, badly needed conservation efforts, the group says. Earthjustice is representing a coalition of conservation groups – the Center for Biological Diversity, Conservation Northwest, Defenders of Wildlife, Friends of the Clearwater, Idaho Conservation League, Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, Greater Yellowstone Coalition and Rocky Mountain Wild – in submitting a formal notice of intent to sue in 60 days.

IDFG limits nonresident disabled veteran tags

Idaho Fish and Game Commission on Thursday advanced new rules for 2021 Legislative approval, including a limit on the number of reduced-price deer and elk tags available for nonresident disabled American veterans. The new limit is 500 nonresident DAV deer tags and 300 nonresident DAV elk tags for over-the-counter deer and elk hunts, which was previously approved by the Commission as a temporary rule and takes effect Dec. 1.

Because the number of nonresident DAV reduced-price tags will be limited for over-the-counter hunts, they are expected to sell out quickly and will go on sale Dec. 1 at 9 a.m.

This change affects only nonresident DAV tags, so availability of resident DAV tags remains unchanged. If reduced-price nonresident DAV tags sell out, nonresident disabled American veteran hunters can still buy an adult nonresident tag at full price. They may also apply for controlled hunts, and if they draw, they can purchase the tag at the reduced price.

The new limit is part of an ongoing effort to reduce hunter congestion because crowding is affecting hunter satisfaction.

Idaho’s forest group brings on coordinator

More than 6 million acres of Idaho’s forestlands are designated as “high risk” for potential catastrophic wildfire and insect and disease outbreaks. This week, Ara Andrea becomes the new coordinator for the group effort known as “Shared Stewardship” to address these issues with federal, state, and private land managers.

Idaho’s Shared Stewardship Initiative efforts emerged as a result of collaboration between the state and the USDA Forest Service in 2018. The initiative analyzes how to best focus federal and state resources on critically needed treatments in at-risk forests across ownership boundaries.

Andrea was hired by the Idaho Department of Lands as the statewide coordinator of the initiative. For the past four years, Andrea has been IDL’s Forestry Assistance Bureau Chief. For three years prior, he was IDL’s Technical Services Bureau Chief.

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