FILE — Bruce and Kim McDermott of Bellevue ride their bicycles on the Greenway trail along the Yakima River in Sarg Hubbard Park in Yakima, Wash., on Sunday, May 27, 2018.

Wildlife commission approves budget request

The Washington Fish and Wildlife commission voted to support the wildlife department's decision to request an additional $50.5 million from the state legislature.

A $24.5 million increase in operating funds would address a deficit threatening multiple services such as eight hatcheries including the one in Naches. Staff cuts and the elimination of hunting opportunities are among the other possibilities if the department can't cover its deficit.

The other $26 million to be requested during the 2020 state legislative supplemental session would go towards capital funds. For more information, go to

Smokey turns 75

Celebrate 75 years of Smokey Bear this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Olmstead Place Historical State Park.

The national wildfire prevention icon will be there with his friend, Bagley Beaver, for a family-friendly event. Guests can play games, get Smokey swag and eat cake in the heritage gardens.

For more information, call Laura Busby with Washington State Parks at 509-925-1943.

Nature camp adds extra week

The Yakima Area Arboretum added an extra week of its popular Nature Day Camp, to be held from Aug. 19-23.

Kids in grades 1-7 get to explore nature through science, observation, art, games and storytelling for $160/week or $150/week for Arboretum Fir level members and above. Scholarships are available. For more information and to register, go to

Campground closure

The popular Ahtanum Campground will be closed for the rest of this month.

The Department of Natural Resources will not allow camping at the campground west of Tampico through Aug. 31 while the bridge is replaced. For more information, visit


A visiting Italian biologist who is passionate about birding was thrilled to tally his first Yakima County birds. While visiting a residence along East Pomona Road he noted rock pigeon, Eurasian collared-dove, mourning dove, common nighthawk, Vaux's swift, killdeer, barn swallow, American robin and house finch.

Birding the Tieton State Airport Marsh was productive for another visiting birder from Idaho, who was able to find 21 species there in a little over an hour. His list included wood duck, mallard, green-winged teal, hairy woodpecker, a red-shafted northern flicker, western wood-pewee, Cassin's vireo, common raven, bushtit, red-breasted nuthatch, house wren, pine siskin and three sparrow species with chipping, white-crowned and Lincoln's sparrow, yellow-headed blackbird, red-winged blackbird, common yellowthroat, yellow warbler and an Audubon's yellow-rumped warbler.

Shore birding is starting to heat up along with the temperatures. This week Wenas Lake held semipalmated plover, killdeer, least sandpiper, semipalmated sandpiper, western sandpiper, spotted sandpiper and solitary sandpiper. We should be seeing more shorebirds reported in the next few weeks as the fall migration gets into full swing.

Please email your bird sightings to and be sure to like us on our Facebook page or visit


SATURDAY: The Yakima Greenway will offer opportunities for volunteers to paint, pull weeds, pick up litter and more at its monthly Second Saturday event from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Sarg Hubbard Park. Bring gloves and dress accordingly. Other supplies will be provided. For more information go to the Greenway's Facebook page.

SATURDAY: Suncadia Resort will host the first Conserve the Conservancy 10K to showcase more than 4,000 acres of nature west of Cle Elum.

The race on trails and roads through the forest on a beginner to intermediate level course begins at 8 a.m., with registration and check-in from 7-7:30. Tickets cost $40 per person and include a water bottle, race shirt, snacks and entrance to the after party.

Park at the Nelson Farm and bring an ID for day of registration. For more information and to register, go to

MONDAY: The Cascadian Camera Club will hold its monthly meeting at 7 p.m. at the Alliance Church, 902 South 36th Ave. Please go to the upstairs entrance on the south side of the building and bring five photos illustrating the theme “Shapes” plus 20 others for a total of 25 digital images on disc or thumb drive to share, or just come to enjoy great photography.


THURSDAY: The Cascadian Pathfinders will hike seven miles with 800 feet of elevation gain at Cramer Lake. Bring water, lunch and the 13 Essentials and drivers will need a Senior Pass or Northwest Forest Pass. Call Rudy at 509-248-7304 for meeting time and place.

MONDAY: Yakima Basin Velo hosts its Mellow Monday ride that starts at 5:30 p.m. at Wide Hollow Elementary School and goes for 20 miles on relatively flat roads at an often brisk pace with several stops to regroup before finishing back at the school.

TUESDAY: The Cascadian Free Spirits will go on two hikes near Leavenworth, where only eight people are allowed in each group according to wilderness area rules. One hike will go 8.5 miles with 2,200 feet of elevation gain at Colchuck Lake, Green Trails map 209S, and the other will go 7.2 miles with 1,472 feet of elevation gain at Eightmile Lake, Green Trails map 209S. Both groups will depart at 7:30 a.m. from the Chesterley Park parking lot or the 40th Ave. Bi-Mart parking lot north of McDonald's and drivers need a Northwest Forest Pass or Senior Pass. To reserve your spot, call Alison Nolz at 509-961-5432 for the Colchuck Lake hike and Mark and Midori Gibson at 509-594-9193 for the Eightmile Lake hike.

TUESDAY: The Cascadian Trekkers will hike approximately 14 miles with 2,500 feet of elevation gain from Tieton Pass to McCall Basin in the Goat Rocks, with departure at 7 a.m. from the Chesterley Park parking lot. This hike location is tentative, pending the opening of the Scatter Creek trailhead. Call Brittany Coonrod at 724-316-2610 with any questions.

ALSO TUESDAY: Bearded Monkey Cycling and Fitness will host its weekly road rides with various distances and paces for different skill levels. Meet at the store at 6 p.m. and be ready to roll out at 6:15 to ride until around 7.

WEDNESDAY: Yakima Basin Velo will host a 21-mile Naches Loop Ride from SunTides Golf Course. The ride starts at 5:30 p.m. and typically splits into different groups that meet up at the halfway point in Naches.

THURSDAY: The Pathfinders will hike about 4.5 miles round trip with about 1,000 feet of elevation gain to Mt. Beljica just outside Mount Rainier National Park. Hikers will find exceptional views of the glaciated west side of Mount Rainier and the group may break into two groups for a longer, harder hike up to Gobbler's Nob (11 miles round trip, 1,200 feet of elevation gain). Call Darrell at 509-955-3002 or Rita at 509-594-0543 for meeting time and place. The 13 Essentials are required.