Kootenai Wildlife Refuge tour road opens for spring

Print Article

  • Photo by MANDI BATEMAN A great blue heron comes in for a landing in Myrtle Creek this week at the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge. The popular auto tour road opened Monday for the spring season.

  • 1

    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN The Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge opened the auto tour road on April 1.

  • 2

    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN Lingering signs of winter dot the Wildlife Refuge amongst all the signs of spring.

  • Photo by MANDI BATEMAN A great blue heron comes in for a landing in Myrtle Creek this week at the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge. The popular auto tour road opened Monday for the spring season.

  • 1

    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN The Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge opened the auto tour road on April 1.

  • 2

    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN Lingering signs of winter dot the Wildlife Refuge amongst all the signs of spring.

BONNERS FERRY — For outdoor enthusiasts in Boundary County, one awaited sign of spring arrived Monday, April 1. The gates opened to the auto tour road that threads its way through the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge, and it was quickly filled with people in cars, on bikes, and on foot.

The day was welcomely warm and the sun lit up the landscape as it shook off the last vestiges of winter, dotted with the occasional stubborn sheet of ice clinging to the edge of a water way, or a patch of snow in shady areas.

The opening of the road was delayed this year due to our unusual, late, lingering winter, and the people have been eagerly awaiting. With spring making its grand entrance, it has brought with it many of the seasonal feathered friends.

“There are some swans out there today, so that is kind of neat and there has been a snow goose around,” said Talina Richards, Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge administrative support assistant. “There were probably over a thousand pintail ducks sitting in the shallow waters right off the county road and there was a Eurasian wigeon, which is a little bit unusual for this area.”

The red-winged blackbirds are scattered around the fields of the refuge, singing their spring songs, along with the usual Canada geese in and around the water.

“I expect in a couple weeks our hummingbirds will be here,” said Richards, who always puts her hummingbird feeders out on Earth Day, which is April 22.

Refuge enthusiasts and visitors will need to take advantage of the tour road while they can, as it will be closed down during the heart of summer.

“Expect it to be closed July and August,” explained Richards. “We are going to be replacing the Myrtle Creek pump and to do that, we have to break into the tour road to replace pipes, so we are completely closing it to all traffic — no cars, no bikes, no people.”

There are upcoming events for people to take advantage of the treasures that the refuge offers, including monthly Bird Walks. Interested people can meet at the refuge office at 9 a.m., rain or shine. They suggest bringing binoculars or scope, field guide if you have one, snacks and good hiking shoes. The walks last from one to two hours and the first one begins on April 20.

The Friends of the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge are also putting on an event on April 19 at the Ed Barn, from 7-8:30 p.m., called Kootenai Valley after the Glaciers. The event will feature a slide presentation by Carla Burnside, a Zone Archaeologist for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, and will explore how the Kootenai Valley has changed since the end of the Pleistocene, about 12,000 years ago.

With winter doldrums behind, the auto tour road through the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge is an ideal place to watch spring emerge. For more information or events: www.fws.gov/refuge/Kootenai

Print Article

Read More Local News

BFHS artists featured at recent Art Walk event

June 13, 2019 at 6:00 am | Bonners Ferry Herald BONNERS FERRY — On May 21, local artists and businesses came together for the Art Walk. Art students were asked to create a body of work to show and choose at least five from the collection to sho...

Comments

Read More

Agencies team up to locate missing child

June 13, 2019 at 6:00 am | Bonners Ferry Herald BONNERS FERRY — On the evening of June 10, a 14-year old autistic child went missing from her house in Bonners Ferry. Bonners Ferry Police Sergeant Willie Cowell requested aid from Boundary County ...

Comments

Read More

Local artist Cason Neal recognized by governor

June 13, 2019 at 6:00 am | Bonners Ferry Herald BONNERS FERRY — During the Capital for a Day event, local artist Cason Neal was recognized with his artwork of the Idaho State bird, the Mountain Bluebird, with the Sawtooth Mountains in the backgrou...

Comments

Read More

Bicycle Rodeo teaches students summer safety

June 13, 2019 at 6:00 am | Bonners Ferry Herald BONNERS FERRY — On June 10 at Valley View Elementary School, students just beginning their summer break had the chance to learn about safety at the Bicycle Rodeo. The first 25 attendees received a ...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 267-5521
Po Box 539
Bonners Ferry, Id 83805

©2019 Bonners Ferry Herald Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X