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Got this in my inbox yesterday, forwarded from the FIRC, purportedly from Spokane City Parks and Rec:

April 1, 2008

To: The citizens of Spokane;
RE Squirrel mating season

Thank you in advance for extending me the courtesy of writing you in the collective to make this note speedy and a big thank-you to our local running community in helping extend this advisory!

We will shortly post a copy of the advisory for the avoidance of running fast around squirrels in the area of Riverfront Park. As you are aware spring is in the air and with that comes Squirrel procreation. Squirrels mate in the late winter or very early spring. This time may vary with location, and the weather conditions. This year, with the heavy snowfall, we advise caution when running near squirrels. Remember that although the best time to see a squirrel’s acrobatic skill is, during the “mating chase” it is an ecological issue to allow human intervention into squirrel mating season, thus this advisory to run slow around squirrels this spring.

US EPA and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WADFW) Studies have shown the state squirrel health is jeopardized with rates of manual propulsion exceeding ten (10) minutes a mile. The advisory is to urge you to take it slow around potentially mating squirrels. We intend to move forward as quickly as possible on additional biota studies to be sure that the squirrel population is held at a safe volume.

This squirrel advisory as well as the data collected last year from the other small animals and plants will be discussed at a meeting this evening, April 1, 2008 at the Municipal Building. We encourage you to attend this session so we can address any concerns that you may have.

The examination of the biota in the Riverfront Park area is continuing. WAJlEP, and WADFW Conservation Officers collected several area squirrels during the first two weeks of January. Sperm samples from those squirrels are currently being analyzed.

Your safety and that of the local squirrel population is of utmost concern to us, and for that reason, we will be keeping you informed, as information becomes available to us. If you have any questions or concerns, please keep in touch (800-253-5647).

Mike B. Gone
Riverfront Park Office – Pavilion 456-4FUN
Director of Parks and Recreation: Michael B. Gone, CPRP (800-253-5647).