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Field reports: Skiers dedicate hut at Palouse Divide

About 50 people, many members of the Palouse Divide Nordic Ski Club, packed up their skis last weekend and met at the Palouse Divide Park-n-Ski area in the St. Joe National Forest to celebrate a new warming hut.

The wood-stove-heated hut was dedicated to John Crock, who donated $10,000 to build the hut before he died in 2014 from melanoma.

Crock was a longtime member of the group and owned Hyperspud Sports in Moscow.

Laurene Sorensen, Crock’s widow, said when Crock found out he was sick, he decided to give half of his assets to grass-roots nonprofits related to the outdoors.

“That was the first thing he knew he wanted to do,” Sorensen said.

“When you’re out skiing it’s a place to gather, grab lunch and get warm,” said Pete Minard, a ski club member who grooms the trails for the group.

Trapshoot results posted

SHOOTING – Results from first week of competition in the 97th year of The Spokesman-Review Trapshoot have been posted at

Participants from around the region shoot at their clubs on eight consecutive winter Sundays. The newspaper compiles the scores and standings and provides trophies awarded in spring.

Public lands rally set

ACCESS – In response to the militant takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, rallies in support of federal public lands are being planned in several Northwest cities, including Spokane.

A rally involving several environmental and outdoor recreation groups plan a short demonstration for noon on Tuesday at the Federal Building, 920 W. Riverside Ave.

Rally organizers say they want to “show that the grand majority of the public supports keeping America’s parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands in public hands.”

Ladies event set

FLY FISHING – A casual event to acquaint women interested in fly fishing is set for Jan. 25 at 5 p.m. at Silver Bow Fly Shop in Spokane Valley.

Organized by Spokane Women on the Fly, the free event will include short presentations on fly fishing, where to fly fish around Spokane and tips on essential gear. Info: (509) 924-9998.

CdA eagles linger

BIRDING – A survey of bald eagles at Lake Coeur d’Alene on Thursday found 24 birds still hanging out in the Wolf Lodge Bay area.

The annual eagle gathering to feast on spawning kokanee starts in November and peaks in December.

On Dec. 10, U.S. Bureau of Land Management biologist Carrie Hugo counted a total of 126 bald eagles in the northeast area of the lake. Her weekly surveys in December were hampered by cold weather and snow that lingered in the trees and made it difficult to count the adult birds perched in trees.

“You miss a lot of adult eagles when their white heads blend into the snowy background,” she said.

The eagles provide a popular wildlife-viewing attraction each year.

As the kokanee spawning fades out for the season, the eagles have been dispersing.

It’s not uncommon to see bald eagles far from their main diet of fish during winter as they feed on the fairly bountiful buffet of vehicle-killed deer and other animals along the region’s roadways.

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4 favorite Gonzaga basketball teams

The basketball court at the McCarthey Athletic Center is photographed before an NCAA college basketball game between Gonzaga and BYU, Feb. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Young Kwak) (Young Kwak / AP Photo)

While we look ahead to future seasons of Gonzaga Bulldog basketball , it’s fun to look at highlights from past years.