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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.

Pend Oreille County Water Trail Group Forming

From traditional sturgeon-nosed Kalispel canoes to steam-powered paddleboats and on to modern kayaks and fishing rigs, the Pend Oreille River remains a central travel corridor in our county.
This winter, a group is gathering to recognize and celebrate this function of the river by developing a “water trail.”
A water trail can be defined as a stretch of river, lake or shoreline that has been mapped out with the intent of creating an educational, scenic or challenging experience for recreational boaters. The goal is to collect and make available information about access points and campgrounds, natural features, wildlife, cultural assets and other attractions, including businesses catering to water trail users.

As well as serving as a form of economic development, water trail groups have a mission of environmental stewardship. They are composed of citizens who actively care for the landscape and educate others about ways to cherish it. Water trails
promote minimum-impact practices and a code of ethics that includes responsible use and enjoyment of the out-of-doors. Trail users are educated to be good caretakers, respecting the shoreline vegetation, wildlife habitat and water quality.

Who should be involved in planning a water trail? Boaters, hunters and fishers, summer camps and other outdoor organizations. Private property
owners, lake and river associations, tribal, state and local governments, electric utilities and
industry. Local businesses including boat rentals, sporting equipment stores, restaurants, convenience stores, hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts; museums, arts and culture
centers...and anyone else who is enthusiastic about water.

Our first step will be to inventory existing assets and attractions and then brainstorm ideas for future site development and publications. Interesting in being part of this effort? Contact Carol Mack cmack@wsu.edu or 447-2401 to become involved, or to receive
information by email.

Pend Oreille County “Mud Map” to be Distributed Soon

“Mud Map” is an Australian term for a crude map orienting a new-comer to a community.

It was common practice in the outback to draw a map in the mud showing visitors where to find water, shelter, food, residents, etc. Since it rains only during one time of the year in much of Australia, these maps would remain for a long time. The term became part of the vernacular referring to a map introducing a new-comer to a remote area. You can go to any visitor center in Australia (and nearly every community has one) and ask for a mud map. They will know exactly what you are asking for.

Mud maps created for Stevens County were apparently a great hit. Now Pend Oreille County will join the ranks thanks to a Title II grant from the Forest Service. Map Metrics is presently wrapping up the project and will have the “mud maps” available in the spring. Pads of 100 maps each (11”x17’’ format) will be distributed throughout the county. Information for a variety of interests will be included. And they will be free.

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