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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Field reports: Spokane County Parks seeks E-bike survey responses

Dani Demmons rides an electrically assisted mountain bike on July 16, 2018.  (Eli Francovich)
Staff and wire reports

Over the past several years, electric-assisted bicycle (e-bike) use has grown significantly on Spokane County-owned and -managed parkland where mountain biking is popular.

E-bike use is prohibited on all Spokane County owned and managed natural surface trails because use of e-bikes was minimal when the rules were written to safely manage natural surface trail use.

The parks department is seeking guidance from the public on how to manage e-bikes on natural surface trails through a survey.

Spokane County Parks hopes to get significant input from a broad range of its trail users – whether avid mountain bikers, hikers, horseback riders or nature seekers – to help shape e-bike rules on natural surface trails owned and managed by in Spokane County. The department wants to make sure it creates guidelines that make sense for Spokane County trail users that carefully consider compatibility with wildlife and other trail users to insure a positive natural surface trail experience for everyone.

The survey can be found at: Organizations are encouraged to share with their members.

Pile burning in Idaho Panhandle National Forests

Districts across the Idaho Panhandle National Forests will be conducting pile burning in the coming weeks. Cool, wet conditions and impending winter weather in the mountains have prompted managers to start burning piles .

Machine and hand-piled slash will be burned to reduce hazardous fuels on the landscape and to prepare for under burning and planting next year.

Slash piles are associated with timber harvest, fuel break construction during wildfires, and unit prep for landscape-scale prescribed fire.

Activity will begin with the Coeur d Alene River Ranger District burning landing piles in the vicinities of Deception Creek and Beaver Creek, with work progressing across the forest so long as weather and smoke dispersion are conducive to burning. In some cases, firefighting personnel will be working behind gates and on closed roads.

This burning activity should have minimal, localized smoke impacts, and will not interfere with visitors traveling on open motorized National Forest System roads and trails.

For questions on proposed activities in your area, contact the local ranger station –

Umtanum Recreation Area temporarily closed

The Bureau of Land Management Wenatchee Field Office is scheduled to close the Umtanum recreation site Monday through May 14 for construction on the suspension bridge and parking lot.

Crews will perform much-needed repairs on the historic bridge, including deck and railing replacement, realignment of suspension towers, new support beams, and bracing and tensioning of the support structure.

All planned restoration is in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Rehabilitation and Restoration Standards, to ensure the historic character of the structure suffers no adverse effect. To avoid additional closure, the lower parking lot and access road to the recreation site will be paved and striped at the same time.

Those who want to visit the west side of the river in the Yakima River Canyon will need to cross at the Ellensburg and Selah ends or by boat.

For more information, contact the BLM Wenatchee Field Office at (509) 665-2100.