Recreation budgets are shrinking so fast, federal agencies are struggling to provide basic services such as garbage removal, road maintenance and trail clearing on popular public lands in the Inland Northwest.
WENATCHEE — Steadily, salmon are moving past sweltering downtown Wenatchee, swimming silently deep in the currents resolute in reaching their home tributary to breed and finish their life’s journey. As temperatures heat the streets, the serious angler plans for the hour when he might battle a king into his boat.
Last summer I was still using the whitewater kayak on the Wenatchee River as late as July 28. Last year, however, the winter and spring snowpacks were abnormally plump, and regional rivers ran well above historic averages throughout the summer.
The Grande Ronde River in June offers the rare pleasure of hot fishing and no crowds — a treat that’s savored as much by a fishing guide as it is by the average angler. “This is the most relaxing guiding I do all year,” said Clarkston-based outfitter Toby Wyatt as he stashed an arsenal of spinning and fly-fishing rods along the gunnels of his drift boat.
With memories fading of cold spring rains, bicyclists have little to dampen their spirits for a plethora of organized cycling events scheduled throughout the summer. The list includes low-key local rides such as the Spokane Summer Parkways event on Spokane’s South Hill on June 19.
It’s happening earlier than normal this summer. We’re receiving word at WenatcheeOutdoors.org from mountain bikers riding near Lake Wenatchee and from hikers visiting the Squilchuck Basin that the vampires are emerging. I’m not talking “Twilight;” I’m talking about those pesky blood suckers that have you posing testy questions like, ”Why did God create mosquitoes?” Answer: Some mosquitoes are pollinators; many are food for amphibians, reptiles, other insects and migratory birds; and some fish feast on mosquito eggs. The other common question: How do I keep these fiends from feasting on ...
EAST WENATCHEE — The East Wenatchee Rotary Club will hold the 21st Annual Pikeminnow Derby this weekend. There is over $10,000 in prizes given out to participants. Fishing will be held on the Columbia River between Rock Island Dam and Wells Dam. The cost is $20 for adults; children 14 and younger are free with a paying adult. Tickets are available at Hooked on Toys and Bi-mart. Brochures that cover all rules and regulations are available at both locations.
In a perfect Olympia, state lawmakers would give the same consideration to funding Eastern Washington programs as they do for those on the West Side. Native wildlife habitat protection would be evaluated on par with developing soccer fields.
CASHMERE — Chad McBride had plenty to deal with Saturday in the Red Devil Challenge 25K Trail Run. He maneuvered through some muddy patches, went up hill to the tune of about 3,800 feet, and crossed two streams not once but twice. But it wasn’t what lay before him in the Wenatchee National Forest that caused the most concern. It was what was behind him.
In my “Culture of Conservation” column, I will focus on the Wenatchee foothills as a learning lab and introduce you to some of our valley’s remarkable native plants and animals. I hope to inspire you to get out into the foothills and to notice for yourself the natural history stories unfolding on the landscape. You can take the first steps toward becoming a naturalist by opening your eyes, looking carefully, and recording what you see with a photo, a sketch, or field notes.
Any hunting dog with gift for finding birds also has a nose for trouble. It’s in the contract you accept when a pup joins your world. That’s why I’m always prepared for the day my bird dog sniffs the business end of a skunk.
“Wolves are the most challenging wildlife issue on the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department’s plate this year, bar none,” says Nate Pamplin, assistant director. “And we don’t want to be alone in it.” Wolves also pose the most divisive wildlife issues, he said in a presentation to sportsmen in Spokane last week.
Some of the National ________ (fill-in the blank) Days border on the ridiculous. Who really cares about National Cotton Candy Day or National Stink-Bug Day? One day worth caring about, however, is National Bike to Work Day (May 17). If everyone biked to work and got hooked on the concept, it would change society. While this may never happen, for a moment, imagine all benefits that individuals and society would enjoy if the large majority of Americans did bike to work.