The Big Horn Outdoor Adventure Show has been canceled for the second year in a row.
The Inland Northwest Wildlife Council runs the show. In past years, more than 20,000 people have perused the displays of the show’s 200 or more vendors at the Spokane County Fair & Expo Center. It was canceled last year as COVID-19 spread throughout the country and state. It was the first time the show had been canceled in its 59-year history.
“It breaks our heart because we know a lot of our vendors don’t have a retail location necessarily, so that’s how they reach the public,” said Marie Neumiller, the council’s executive director.
The decision was made at Tuesday’s board meeting.
“Our understanding from the governor’s current restrictions is that fairgrounds aren’t open yet,” Neumiller said. “So we wanted to give vendors time to find other options.”
The show is the main moneymaker for the Spokane-based conservation, hunting and fishing club, bringing in between 80-90% of its annual revenue.
Neumiller said the club will weather back-to-back cancellations.
“We will make it to the 2022 show,” she said.
Volunteers hustled to clean up Nordic trails after storm
Volunteers cleared more than 100 trees from Mount Spokane’s Nordic ski trails after last week’s wind storm.
Trail committee member Tim Ray said the Nordic groomer was running again by Friday.
There were so many people cross country skiing Saturday that the Selkirk Lodge parking lot was full.
“It’s been grooming ever since,” he said. “And of course, you had a lot of debris on the trails. But it was still pretty good. When they groomed, they were able to harvest snow off the side.”
While the storm did damage, it could have been much worse, according to a Spokane Nordic Ski Association Facebook post.
“We got lucky with the higher temps and torrential rains, which I know sounds weird to say, but leading up to this the trees were extremely top heavy and iced up, kind of like upright popsicles,” stated the post. “The canopy was just overloaded and bringing down big healthy trees. Had the high winds come and the canopy still frozen like it was on Monday, it would have been a complete disaster with many more trees down.”
Nearby, at the Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park, general manager Jim van Loben Sels said the resort lost power for about one day, but there was no structural damage.
“Power was off for just over 24 hours, which forced us to close for the day,” he said in an email. “It gave us time to get after some of the trees that came down on the runs.”
New target-shooting rules instituted on WDFW lands
New rules for target shooting went into effect on Monday for all Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife-owned lands.
The rules, which were approved by the WDFW commission in October, require shooters to have some sort of backstop and prohibit exploding targets, tracers or incendiary ammunition among other things.
For more information visit wdfw.wa.gov and search “Target shooting on WDFW lands.”
WDFW invites feedback on land acquisition proposals
WDFW is asking for public feedback on six land acquisition proposals that would help promote fish and wildlife conservation and public access .
The department is interested in acquiring 9,600 acres of the Centralia Mine property owned by TransAlta in Thurston and Lewis counties to provide public access for recreation and benefit fish and wildlife conservation.
For more details about this opportunity for a new wildlife area, visit WDFW’s blog.
Other land acquisition proposals include connecting two adjacent wildlife area units in Douglas County to provide shrub-steppe habitat connectivity and recreation opportunities, as well as ensuring public boating and fishing access to the Grande Ronde River in Asotin County.
Descriptions of proposed land acquisition projects are available on the department’s land acquisition webpage.
“We want to hear from people in this early stage of our land acquisition process,” said Cynthia Wilkerson, WDFW lands division manager. “Our mission is to protect land and water for people and wildlife in Washington, and this is one tool we use to determine which properties will best meet our conservation goals and recreational priorities.”
The department will accept written comments through Feb. 5. Comments can be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Real Estate Services, PO Box 43158, Olympia 98504.
State of Washington rejects Kalama methanol refinery
The Washington Department of Ecology denied permits on Tuesday for a fracked gas-to-methanol Kalama Methanol Refinery.
The department nixed the fossil fuel processing and export proposal after deciding it would have a significant negative impact on the climate, Washington’s shorelines and the public interest.
The state’s disapproval of the Shoreline Management Act permits means that Northwest Innovation Works and the Port of Kalama may not construct the methanol refinery, the export dock or any related infrastructure.
“Without the necessary state and federal permits, this climate-wrecking proposal is going nowhere,” said Brett VandenHeuvel, executive director with Columbia Riverkeeper. “Ecology’s decision is cause for celebration for people across the Northwest who value bold leadership to tackle the climate crisis. We applaud Gov. Inslee and Director Watson’s decision to follow the science and the law.”
Northwest Innovation Works sought to build methanol refineries at Kalama and Port Westward, Oregon, to take advantage of the region’s cheap fracked gas (methane), electricity and water.
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