Trail & Conservation News

Red, yellow, white, and purple wildflowers on the mountainside of the Pend Oreille River valley in northeast Washington.

The Trailhead: Trail Projects & Plans for May-June 2021

Welcome to The Trailhead — a new column that replaces “Hike of the Month” to serve as a round-up of interesting projects and plans for trails in the Inland Northwest.

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Group of volunteers for the Spokane River Clean-Up, holding a sign that says Spokane Riverkeeper, and nearly 20 huge plastic bags of trash, depicting how much debris and litter was cleaned up.

Help Clean Up Along the Spokane River

Three ways volunteers can help pick-up trash along the river in 2021: public clean-up events, DIY group events, and business/civic group events. Spokane Riverkeeper and the Spokane River Forum clean-up events are happening this spring and summer.

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Federal Court Halts Proposed Rock Creek Mine

Federal district court in Montana ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service violated the Endangered Species Act by ignoring the impacts of the Rock Creek Mine proposal on federally-protected grizzly bears and bull trout.

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Fly-fisherman holding a wild steelhead in the water.

Bold Proposal to Restore Snake River Salmon & Steelhead

Snake River wild salmon and steelhead population is drastically declining, and the solution is to remove the four lower Snake River dams to allow salmon easier access into the 5,000+ miles of pristine upstream river habitat. The Columbia Basin Fund initiative proposed by Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson (R) aims to do that. Citizens need to voice their support to Congress.

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Help Needed To Restore Habitat After Wildfire in Lincoln County

Spokane Audubon Society is raising funds for the planting of grasses and forbs on and near Swanson Lakes Wildlife Area in Lincoln County, which was damaged after the Whitney fire in September 2020. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) estimates $30,000 needed for forb restoration.

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Map of the Blue Mountains Trail in northeast Oregon.

Remapping a Lost Thru-Hike in Northeast Oregon

The Blue Mountains Trail, a work in progress for decades, has evolved into a 566-mile point-to-point long-distance trail with a spiral shape connecting its two ends, Wallowa Lake State Park near Joseph and John Day.

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Bikers along a windy dirty trail on the Saltese Uplands area in the city of Liberty Lake, Washington.

Funds Needed to Protect Saltese Uplands

Liberty Lake, Wash. When your boots crunch through the dirt, or your tires race over a technical section of trail, or you catch a glimpse …

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Forested area during the fall with a mountain in the background.

Land Conservancy Celebrates 30th Anniversary

Spokane, Wash. Since its founding, the Inland Northwest Land Conservancy has protected more than 22,000 acres in public and private areas throughout Spokane and Kootenai …

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The author steelhead fishing on the Columbia River_Photo Jeff Holmes.

A Path Forward for Inland NW Salmon

A proposal for a Columbia Basin Fund could keep salmon from extinction in the Snake River basin, which includes pristine rivers in Idaho, NE Oregon and SE Wash.

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Positive Recreation News: 5 Highlights from 2020

Many Inland Northwest outdoor institutions accomplished significant goals in 2020. Here is a brief summary of multiple benchmarks that vastly improved regional recreation.

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