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Dave Nichols: Back into the great outdoors

The author enjoys a brisk late-November morning from his deer stand in northern Virginia. (Dave Nichols / The Spokesman-Review)
The author enjoys a brisk late-November morning from his deer stand in northern Virginia. (Dave Nichols / The Spokesman-Review)

It’s hard for me to imagine, but I’m coming up on my six-year anniversary of working at The Spokesman-Review.

In that time, I’ve taken on a lot of roles. Over the past eight weeks, I’ve covered a state high school basketball tournament, wrote a story about how baby wipes clog sewer pipes and septic systems and interviewed the sitting governor of Idaho.

But I started six years ago as a part-time worker editing the outdoors section on Wednesday afternoons.

Same as it ever was.

With outdoors editor Eli Francovich off finding himself this summer (or whatever he might be doing on his sabbatical), I will be performing the duties of interim editor of the page again through August.

It’s opportune timing for my job security, I suppose, with the pandemic most likely robbing us of minor league baseball – my normal beat during the summer months.

Rest assured, when there is breaking news about the status of MiLB in general or the Spokane Indians specifically, I’ll jump back in with whatever information or opinion I can add to the subject.

And once we inch closer to the start of school in the fall, I’ll resume my primary beat as the high school sports editor. With good fortune, we’ll have some sense of normalcy by then and there will be games to cover again.

For now, I’ll be scouring the area for great stories about the great outdoors.

This is a responsibility I don’t take lightly. I know how important these stories and issues are to you, our loyal readers. The outdoors section and stories online are routinely the most read of any in our paper.

For roughly two years, I was the first person each week privileged to read the work of Rich Landers. I had the enviable but intimidating task of editing one of the most popular outdoors writers in the Pacific Northwest.

In that time, I learned a lot about outdoors writing – and writing and editing in general – from Landers. Following in his footsteps here is an honor.

I don’t train bird dogs or write definitive books about hiking as Landers does. I don’t climb mountains like Francovich does. Heck, I was really only a mediocre-at-best Boy Scout.

But I am an avid hunter, camper and occasional fisher, and I am an enthusiastic supporter of conservation and protection of natural resource efforts.

My father was a career parks and recreation manager with the National Park Service, and one of my brothers has worked all over the country as law enforcement ranger with the NPS.

So I have the outdoors in me, so to speak. And I’ll try to bring it to you to the best of my abilities for the next three months.

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