From staff reports
A land transfer in Spokane County and a proposal to extend the fishing season on Deer Lake are coming before the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission next week.
The nine-member panel that oversees the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is set to meet Thursday through Saturday.
Among the proposals on their agenda is a 530-acre acquisition along the southern shore of Chapman Lake, about 40 miles south of Spokane.
WDFW would acquire the land from the state Department of Natural Resources through the Trust Land Transfer program. Documents detailing the proposal say it would provide anglers access for kokanee salmon and both large and smallmouth bass fishing, along with opportunities for hiking and hunting.
In the future, WDFW might consider restoring boat access on the lake. The proposal says access was available through a private resort until it closed in 2011. WDFW has a planning grant to look at restoring that access.
Commissioners will also consider a petition from an angler who’s asking for year-round fishing opportunity at Deer Lake. Fishing at the lake north of Deer Park closed Nov. 30, and the petition argues that opening it year-round could offer good ice-fishing opportunities.
It also argues that anglers targeting lake trout or perch could help further WDFW’s conservation goals.
Commissioners are also scheduled to consider a petition from several environmental groups asking for the agency to write new rules for black bear and cougar hunting.
Feds seek input on climbing management
Two federal land management agencies are working on guidelines for managing rock and ice climbing on public lands.
The U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service are seeking public input on draft documents meant to guide land managers in dealing with climbers and climbing infrastructure in federally managed wilderness areas.
The two agencies have separate documents detailing their proposals. In a joint news release, officials wrote that the guidance “affirms that climbing is an appropriate use of public lands, including in wilderness areas, and should be managed in a manner that helps protect cultural and natural resources.”
The Forest Service guidance seeks to clarify management for the agency’s lands both inside and outside of designated wilderness areas. It will also give local officials direction on pointing climbers to the most appropriate locations and helping them recreate responsibly. The public can view and comment on the proposal at cara.fs2c.usda.gov/Public/CommentInput?project=ORMS-3524.
The National Park Service guidance is meant to help park officials make decisions on the placing of permanent climbing equipment like bolts and chains in wilderness areas. The agency’s proposal is available at parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?documentID=132387.
Flooding closes road on Idaho Panhandle National Forest
The Idaho Panhandle National Forest announced Thursday that it was closing the Lightning Creek Road after flooding caused washouts on it.
The Forest Service said the road would stay closed until flooding subsides and road repairs are complete.
Lightning Creek Road, also known as Road 419, is near Clark Fork, Idaho.
Photos the Forest Service posted to Facebook show water running over a portion of the road.
The closure came after heavy rains passed through the region.