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Land conservation plan stirs fight over Donald Trump’s restrictions

BILLINGS – Proposed land conservation purchases in dozens of states would preserve more natural areas within tourist destinations, U.S. officials announced Friday, as lawmakers from both parties pushed back on Trump administration restrictions on how the money can be spent.

Reader photo: Reaching for the last leaf

Reaching for the last leaf in autumn’s home stretch, the kinglet will soon need to conserve energy by puffing up and fluffing his feathers when sleeping. The birds subsist primarily on moth caterpillars found overwintering on trees. Smaller than a chickadee, the kinglets have four times more feather mass committed to insulation than to flying in the winter. “Almost too fast to see and keep up with but worth the wait,” writes Angela Marie, who took this photo in the Slavin Conservation Area in November.

Early snow, cold kills fall colors in Spokane, region

It’s been a drab fall in the Inland Northwest.Instead of a landscape replete with vibrant oranges, reds and yellows, our region’s trees are cloaked in a brown, desiccated coat of leaves. A coat that will likely persist through the winter.

Washington DNR releases 2020 Forest Action Plan

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources released its 2020 Forest Action Plan (https://www.dnr.wa.gov/ForestActionPlan) on Oct. 26 outlining more than 100 priority actions to improve and conserve forests across Washington, including goals that support fish and wildlife, rural economies, wildfire response, outdoor recreation, family forestry, urban trees, and clean air and water.

Inland Northwest Land Conservancy protects vital urban habitat for public benefit

The north Spokane recreation area commonly referred to as Waikiki Springs nearly doubles this fall as Inland Northwest Land Conservancy (INLC) announced the purchase of a 95-acre parcel of land adjacent to existing 114-acre Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife property along the Little Spokane River.

Idaho Invasive Species Program intercepts watercraft carrying live invasive mussels

Live zebra mussels were identified on a boat at the I-90 West “Cedars” watercraft inspection station east of Coeur d’Alene on Monday. The station, one of 20 operated statewide by the Idaho State Department of Agriculture, is operated cooperatively with the Kootenai-Shoshone Soil Water Conservation District.

Governors band together for salmon, orcas after federal plan falls flat

The governors of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana have announced a regional collaboration on salmon recovery in the Columbia River Basin that includes strategies for the states to engage with tribal nations and federal agencies and address the concerns of communities who depend on the river.