Category Archives: Articles

Forest Service releases plan for Pacific Northwest Trail

T26-T3-PNT Intersection Sign, July 11, 2020 - W. K. Walker

T26-T3-PNT Intersection Sign, July 11, 2020 – W. K. Walker

This was a long time coming . . .

The U.S. Forest Service has released a comprehensive plan for the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail, marking a milestone for a route established in 2009 but used by hikers for decades prior. The Forest Service, through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, released the document mid-December, outlining a vision for the trail and providing management, protection and use guidance.

“It’s been quite an effort to get to this point,” said Jeff Kish, executive director of the Pacific Northwest Trail Association.

The trail has existed in some capacity and seen use by hikers since the 1970s, Kish said. It was officially designated by Congress as part of the National Trails System in 2009, providing opportunities for hiking and backpacking across the Northwest United States, including through Lincoln County. The comprehensive plan is the latest step in a years-long process and fulfills requirements mandated by federal legislation.

Continue reading . . .

It’s that time again: ticks are out in full force

Wood Tick

Wood Tick

Ticks are out and ready to greet early season hikers. We’ve linked to a good article by Chris Peterson of the Hungry Horse News but, first, the usual advice: Wear long sleeves, long pants and a hat — especially the hat. Also, light colored clothing makes it easier to spot ticks. Use insect repellent or, better yet, wear a set of clothes that you’ve pre-treated with permethrin.

[Please note: In the Flathead Forest’s Glacier View Ranger District, the south end of Demers Ridge Trail #266 starting at the Camas Road trailhead, is a very popular and accessible early season trail. It is also heavily infested with ticks.]

Here’s Chris’s article on the subject . . .

A lot of folks are out recreating in the woods during the novel coronavirus outbreak — even with Glacier National Park closed, there are still millions of acres to hike, fish, float, hunt and recreate on while keeping a safe distance.

But as the temperatures warm up there’s another concern out there and it’s far more dangerous than any bear encounter.

It’s wood ticks.

We went on a hike in the Whitefish Range last night and the ticks were out in full force. After the hike, my son and I had about a half-dozen ticks on our clothing and skin, and that was after just a short trip.

Read more . . .

Gah! How ticks dig in

Following up on our previous post, NPR has an article, with creepy video, explaining possibly way more than you want to know about how ticks grab on and dig in. It also has some useful advice on removing ticks . . .

Spring is here. Unfortunately for hikers and picnickers enjoying the warmer weather, the new season is prime time for ticks, which can transmit bacteria that cause Lyme disease.

How they latch on — and stay on — is a feat of engineering that scientists have been piecing together. Once you know how a tick’s mouth works, you understand why it’s impossible to simply flick a tick.

Tick's Mouth - Annette Chan-KQED

Tick’s Mouth – Annette Chan-KQED

The key to their success is a menacing mouth covered in hooks that they use to get under the surface of our skin and attach themselves for several days while they fatten up on our blood.

Read/watch  more (if you dare) . . .