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

Field Reports: Grizzly bear spotted north of Salmon

From staff reports

From staff reports

A grizzly bear was seen wandering the mountains of central Idaho for the second time in three years.

The bear was caught on a game camera on May 23 up the North Fork of the Salmon River, near the Idaho-Montana border, according to a news release from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

Grizzlies are rare in the Salmon area.

Most grizzlies in Idaho live in the Panhandle or in the eastern part of the state, near Yellowstone National Park.

The most recent sighting near Salmon came in 2022.

Grizzly bears are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

Federal officials are working on an environmental analysis for restoring the bears in the Bitterroot Recovery Zone, which stretches from central Idaho north through western Montana.

Washington State Parks eyes change to camping stay limits

Park managers are considering retooling stay limits for campgrounds at Washington State Parks.

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission announced this week that it’s taking public comment on a proposal to set a 10-night camping limit at all campgrounds in state parks.

The limit would apply to stays at one park within a 30-day period. Campers would also not be allowed to exceed 90 nights of camping across all state parks within a calendar year.

Existing rules allow different stay durations depending on the time of year.

From April 1 to Sept. 30, the limit is between 10 and 14 days, depending on the park. From Oct. 1 to March 31, the limit is 20 days.

After reaching the limit, campers are required to leave the park for three days.

In a news release, state parks officials wrote that the change is meant to make the limits uniform, and to make the system more equitable for campers and accommodate more users.

If adopted, the new rule would go into effect on Aug. 18.

Public comment on the change will be open until July 12. Comments can be submitted online at the state parks website.

Volunteers sought for trailhead ambassador program in Methow Valley

Washington officials are looking for volunteers for the state’s trailhead ambassador program.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced this week that it’s looking for volunteers to help welcome visitors at popular access points at the Methow Wildlife Area and provide information about recreating responsibly.

WDFW launched the program in partnership with the Methow Valley Trails Collaborative and the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust. It began in April on the Methow Valley Wildlife Area at Pipestone, Lewis Butte and Big Valley.

In June, ambassadors will staff popular locations at wildlife areas near Ellensburg – Joe Watt Canyon on the L.T. Murray Wildlife Area and Manastash at the Wenas Wildlife Area. The program will run through September at Joe Watt Canyon and October at Manastash.

Trailhead ambassadors are present at select trailheads from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday while the program is running.

WDFW launched the ambassador program as part of its 10-year Recreation Strategy. In a news release, the agency noted that visitation has increased significantly at state-owned lands.

More information is available at the WDFW website. Those interested in volunteering at the Methow Valley Wildlife Area should visit the Methow Valley Trails Collaborative’s website. For opportunities at Joe Watt Canyon or Manastash, visit the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust website.