Today is Thursday, Jul. 30, 2015

NEWS
Warm waters may lead to fishing restrictions in local streams, rivers

Warm waters may lead to fishing restrictions in local streams, rivers

With water temperatures in Methow Valley streams and rivers warming to levels that are harmful for fish, local biologists are monitoring conditions to determine if restrictions on fishing may be needed. “We’ve narrowly avoided implementing a hoot-owl fishery,” said Ryan Fortier, district fisheries biologist for Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) in Okanogan County.
Rattlesnake encounters bring a buzz to the valley

Rattlesnake encounters bring a buzz to the valley

The northern Pacific rattlesnake, Crotalis oreganus, has been turning up in the Methow Valley this summer in numbers sufficient to give some outdoor enthusiasts and their animal companions a new and unnerving definition of “up close and personal.” Wolves, moose, wolverines and the occasional bear all do their part to infuse the valley with a...
Wings over Twisp: Sawtooth Soaring hosts the first Methow Valley glider competition

Wings over Twisp: Sawtooth Soaring hosts the first Methow Valley glider competition

Thirteen gliders — also known as sailplanes — and assorted pilots and support crews began gathering at the Twisp Municipal Airport last Friday (July 24) for a “friendly soaring competition” that continued through today (July 29). While glider pilots have been coming to the Methow Valley for years, this was the first soaring competition based in Twisp, and …
USFS preps for review of Army’s proposed heli training

USFS preps for review of Army’s proposed heli training

In evaluating a U.S. Army proposal to train combat helicopters in the North Cascades, U.S. Forest Service analysts will make sure the Army’s environmental analysis covers all the potential impacts to the national forest. “They’ll do NEPA [National Environmental Policy Act] the Forest Service way — all our species, our bugs, bunnies and ferns,” said Sara White,...
Widespread drought spells disaster for farmers, fish, people across the state

Widespread drought spells disaster for farmers, fish, people across the state

Officials who oversee water supplies, agriculture and fish don’t have to exaggerate to convey the grim conditions facing Washington as a result of a prolonged drought. Almost 99 percent of the state is classified as being in a “severe drought.” Eighty sturgeon, from 5 to 7 feet long — including breeding females — have been found dead along the...
Marshal’s resignation leaves Winthrop looking for options

Marshal’s resignation leaves Winthrop looking for options

The resignation of Winthrop Marshal Rikki Schwab, which again leaves the town with only one law enforcement officer, is prompting another discussion about whether the Twisp and Winthrop police departments should merge their operations. Schwab, who became marshal in May 2014, confirmed at last week’s Town Council meeting that she is resigning effective Friday (July 24)....
Valley native named to district court seat

Valley native named to district court seat

Methow Valley native Robert Grim has been appointed to fill a vacancy on the Okanogan County District Court. Grim, who is the son of Renda Grim and Robert M. Grim, was sworn in on July 10. He succeeds Heidi Smith, who resigned the position, and joins Judge Charles Short on the District Court bench. Grim...
Twisp council tweaks excessive water loss ordinance

Twisp council tweaks excessive water loss ordinance

A revised Twisp town ordinance means that property owners who permit excessive water loss due to leaky faucets, toilets or other plumbing fixtures will only be eligible for a reduction in their billing if the malfunction happens during winter, when water meters are not regularly read. Town water customers are required to repair problems in...
Four Methow Valley roads get lower speed limits

Four Methow Valley roads get lower speed limits

Speed limits on four Methow Valley Roads — about 5 miles total — will be lowered to 35 miles per hour (mph) by the end of next week, after Okanogan County Public Works installs new signs, according to county engineer Josh Thomson. The Okanogan County commissioners approved the changes by a vote of 2-to-1 at their meeting on July 14....
State grants a big boost to Methow Valley recreation and conservation projects

State grants a big boost to Methow Valley recreation and conservation projects

Twisp, ranger district are big benefitors of the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board grants Several Okanogan County projects and programs, including two in Twisp and several in the Methow Valley Ranger District, have been awarded grants from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board, it was announced this week. The Town of Twisp...