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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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High Drive makeover plans revealed by Spokane officials

A makeover of the South Hill’s scenic High Drive would feature about 100 parking spots, skinnier driving lanes, wide sidewalks along the bluff and bike lanes if a city plan unveiled Thursday night is adopted. The plan is the city’s second stab at finding the right blend to renovate one of Spokane’s signature streets. The first attempt met major opposition from the neighborhood.

Volunteers for South Hill bluff protection sought

Friends of the Bluff is looking for volunteers to help with its fire protection project on the bluff below High Drive on Saturday between 9 a.m. and noon. Volunteers should meet on High Drive just south of the intersection with 33rd Avenue near the Friends of the Bluff banner. Wear weather-appropriate work attire and bring gloves.

Crews improving High Drive Bluff

Down the steep High Drive Bluff, it smells like the holidays as forestry crews chip away at pine trees. The crew of seven has been working the bluff since October under a $50,000 grant from the Department of Natural Resources to the city’s Urban Forestry program to clear undergrowth and reduce the risk of intense fires along the South Hill’s recreational treasure.

High Drive Bluff group needs help finishing work

It’s been a long, dry fire season in the Inland Northwest, putting us at risk for a major fire event. The 1991 firestorm, our region’s worst urban fire event, occurred 21 years ago next week. In the past few years there has been a concerted effort around Spokane to do “firewise” planning. The Washington Department of Natural Resources, the Spokane Conservation District, various fire districts, neighborhoods and communities have teamed up to thin brush and trees around vulnerable areas so that fire won’t get a strong foothold when it does start. Yes, I said “when” not “if.”

High Drive Bluff group needs help finishing work

It’s been a long, dry fire season in the Inland Northwest, putting us at risk for a major fire event. The 1991 firestorm, our region’s worst urban fire event, occurred 21 years ago next week. In the past few years there has been a concerted effort around Spokane to do “firewise” planning. The Washington Department of Natural Resources, the Spokane Conservation District, various fire districts, neighborhoods and communities have teamed up to thin brush and trees around vulnerable areas so that fire won’t get a strong foothold when it does start. Yes, I said “when” not “if.”

Group works to maintain High Drive Bluff environment

Being part mountain goat is a great advantage when volunteering for Friends of the High Drive Bluff, but it’s not a requirement. Over the past couple of years, the group has gotten increasingly involved in maintaining the steep bluffs that dip off High Drive on the South Hill. The area is crisscrossed by trails and is a destination for dog walkers, runners and bikers – and the view, especially during sunset hours, is stunning.

Landers: Coyotes protecting den of pups

Coyotes defending a den of pups are not tolerating dogs coming through their territory between High Drive and Hangman Creek. Following a story in Saturday’s Spokesman-Review about two dogs being attacked by coyotes in the area, the paper learned of two other coyote attacks this week on dogs up to 80 pounds.

Project aims to reduce fire risk on South Hill bluff

Two dozen volunteers thinned ponderosa pine trees and trimmed branches on the South Hill bluff on Sunday in a demonstration project for reducing fire risk. “The idea is to manage the forest so a fire would be limited to burning grass and brush on the ground rather than blowing up into a crown fire that would destroy lots of trees and put neighborhood homes at risk,” said Erik Sjoquist, Washington State University-Spokane County Extension forester.

Community meeting tonight on plan for High Drive Bluff

Much has happened in the last few years to make Spokane’s signature slogan: Near Nature; Near Perfect really come to reality. The Centennial Trail is nearly complete. Several groups are working hard to clean up and create public access to the Spokane River. The Big Rocks area on Tower Mountain has been preserved expanding the Dishman Hills Natural Area. We aren’t done though. Last year, a group of citizens started tackling the High Drive Bluff. The group, the Friends of the High Drive Bluff, began working with the city of Spokane to look for ways to sustain recreation along the bluff. The bluff is a popular place for hiking, dog walking and running with spectacular views of the Latah Valley.

Volunteers have created wildly popular trail system on bluff

For more than two decades, a don’t-ask, don’t-tell volunteer trail-building effort has been wildly successful on the South Hill bluff below High Drive. Spokane has a premier neighborhood recreation area with more than 22 miles of routes heavily used by walkers, runners and mountain bikers. And the trails were developed at virtually no cost to the city.

Volunteers clean up, maintain steep area next to High Drive

The High Drive bluff is the rugged area slanting off High Drive down toward Highway 195. It’s crisscrossed by trails trampled by dog walkers and hikers over the years, but largely left ungroomed. “It’s actually a city park,” said Diana Roberts of the Washington State University extension office in Spokane. “There’s a little bit of private land in there, too.”