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Steve Rumsey, of North Columbia Monthly, sends us this advisory:

Spring Mushroom Hike at the Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge

Mycologist Jim Groth will lead a one-day mushroom foray on Saturday, May 17, on the Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge. Emphasis will be on collecting morels for the table, but also included will be identification and ecology of all fleshy fungi encountered.

Participants should meet at the Refuge headquarters at 9:30 a.m. To get there, follow the brown Refuge signs as you head east out of Colville on Highway 20. Bring a bag lunch, water, collecting bag (no plastic) or basket, and rain gear, and wear long pants. Also bring binoculars if you wish — birds and plants will be included for those interested. We should be finished collecting by 3:30 p.m., followed by mushroom preparation and cooking demonstrations by members of the Slow Food Upper Columbia organization.

Please RSVP by calling Jim or Jo Ann (509-684-1379) if you intend to participate. The mushroom hike is sponsored by the Friends of the LPO.

The Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge is located 13 miles southeast of Colville and provides habitat for migratory birds and wildlife. Established in 1939, the Refuge includes six types of forest habitat from meadows and wetlands, to Ponderosa pine forests to subalpine fir forests, and is the largest refuge in the state. The public is welcome to visit the LPO to enjoy the wildlife and scenery, to hike, mountain bike, horseback ride, and cross country ski in the winter, and to hunt and fish. The LPO is a great place to learn more about the natural history of the area, and offers outdoor photographers unique opportunities for capturing images of native plants and animals as well. Visitors are encouraged to tread lightly, of course, both to preserve the habitat for wildlife and to improve their chances of seeing deer, bobcat or wild birds.
For more information or to get on the LPO newsletter mailing list, contact the refuge by phone at 509-684-8384 or by mail at Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge, 1310 Bear Creek Road, Colville, WA 99114. The website is www.fws.gov/littlependoreille/.

The Friends of the Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the conservation of native fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats on the LPO, providing educational opportunities, and fostering understanding and appreciation of the refuge. For more information, or to join the Friends of the LPO, see the website at www.refugefriends.com.