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Out & About: Colfax-Pullman railway trail potential explored

OUTSTANDING – A series of public workshops to gather opinions on the future of the Colfax- Albion-Pullman rail corridor is scheduled in November and December.

The state-owned railway running 19 miles between Colfax and Pullman is slated for abandonment. Groups are scoping the possibilities of rail banking the right of way for a potential trail.

The route would be easily accessible by residents of the towns the railway has served as well as Washington State University, said trail advocate Rich Wesson of the Pullman Civic Trust.

It follows the South Fork of the Palouse River and is removed from the traffic of Highway 195.

The corridor is currently managed by the Washington Department of Transportation, which has determined that the corridor is no longer needed for rail purposes.

WSDOT is seeking public input on three possible options:

Abandon the corridor and dispose of the public right-of-way.

Railbank the corridor to preserve the option for future rail use, allowing another agency to assume responsibility for the corridor with the allowance of trail use in the interim.

Maintain state responsibility for the corridor, which would preserve the option for future rail use while prohibiting a trail or public use.

Public workshops are scheduled in:

    Pullman, Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall senior lounge.

    WSU, Thursday at 4 p.m. in the Center for Undergraduate Education 518.

    Colfax, Dec. 7 at 6 p.m. in The Center at 110 S. Main.

Fourth-grader perk

gets families out

OUTGOING –Your fourth-grader is the family’s free pass to the nation’s national parks, refuges and forests.

The federal government is giving annual passes to fourth-graders and their families, an effort to get kids into public lands to experience the outdoors and learn a little history and culture.

Families without a fourth-grader must pay $80 for the annual pass, unless the family includes a senior citizen or member of the military.

Go to everykid inapark.gov and have the fourth-grader answer a few fun questions about outdoor adventures. Then print out a pass and plan an adventure to, say, Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge south of Cheney for starters.

Writing contest

deadline looms

OUTWRITE – Nov. 11 is the deadline for entries in The Spokesman-Review’s 28th annual High School Outdoor Writing Contest, which is open to students in grades 9-12 from the newspaper’s circulation area.

Entries must be on the general topic of “outdoors.” This includes subjects such as hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, boating, nature and conservation. Any literary style – including humor, fiction, letters or poetry – is acceptable.

Email entries of no more than 1,000 words to richl@spokesman.com.

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