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WSU/Pend Oreille Extension introduced the Sense of Place series in 1999, with a focus on place-based stewardship education. Since 2001, a partnership with the Kalispel Tribe of Indians Natural Resources Department (KNRD) has supported this newsletter and allowed us to expand class offerings through EPA funding. Further staff support comes through Renewable Resources Extension Act (RREA). Many thanks to our partners and to you, our readers, for your continued enthusiasm for "digging" into the natural history and culture of this part of the world.

Grab a Paddle


by Susan Harris • for the Water Trail Steering Committee

A water trail is a boat route along a stretch of river, shoreline or lake conneced throughsigns, maps and access points, providing an educational and scenic recreation experience. Water trails connect people to places while enriching and protecting both.

Grab a paddle! The Pend Oreille River Water Trail is about to become REAL!

Guided by the National Park Service River Trails and Conservation Assistance program, the Water Trail Steering Committee completed the Concept Plan in 2011. The Concept Plan identified a vision and frame work for developing and managing the Water Trail.

We're ready to implement. We received a grant from the National Park Service to help this happen. This project will enhance public information by creating:

Many water access sites are already operational, established, and function independently as locations for boat launching. However, signage and public informational outreach material will aid in weaving these sites into a cohesive Water Trail. The improvements will allow the paddler to navigate the waterway and learn the story of this region's rich history.

We expect to be concluding the project this summer and fall. Waterside signage will begin to be installed on August 11 with volunteer help from the Spokane Canoe and Kayak Club. Roadside signs will be installed during summer and early fall, 2012.

High school participants in the newly-created kayak rental microenterprise (www.bearnakedadventures.com) will be filming YouTube video for extensive use on the website and mobile phone. Our goal - long term - is to establish similar microenterprise kayak rental opportunities in the central and northern reaches of the county.

Hope to see you on the water!

River Miles and the Water Trail

In the United States, a River Mile (RM) is a measure of distance in miles along a river from its mouth. River mile numbers begin at zero and increase further upstream. They are analogous to vehicle roadway mile markers, except that river miles are rarely marked on the physical river; instead they are marked on maps and used to describe river locations. River left and right are determined by facing downstream. The Pend Oreille River Water Trail begins near RM88 river right (Oldtown boat launch), and ends near RM17 river left (Boundary Dam boat launch).

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