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Mountain High

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In the Mountain High Situation Room this week, the theme’s been appreciation. The Trout Conservancy started it all off with their announcement that trout are important to people here in Montana. One statistic revealed that 90 percent of us have fished for trout, or know someone who has. For more insight into the relevance of the fish, visit montanatrout.org/publications.html.

Concern for our hoofed neighbors is also on the rise, as the Buffalo Field Campaign reminds us that just this year, one-third of the Yellowstone bison herd has been destroyed—1,422 dead—in pursuit of faulty management goals. The group urges concerned Earthlings to read and sign an emergency petition to prevent the Park Service from killing more bison inside park boundaries this year: buffalofieldcampaign.org/stoptheslaughter.html.

Finally, our appreciation extends to the plant kingdom, to the oxygen-granting trees that provide shade and wood for our comfort and convenience. The Arbor Day Foundation alerts us to the fact that Fri., April 25, is National Arbor Day, when we should all make our xylem-love official and plant some trees. In fact, if you join the foundation with a $10 contribution by April 30, you’ll receive 10 shade trees—from red oak to weeping willow to silver maple and more—just in time to get them into the ground. Visit arborday.org.

Now, in terms of enjoying the planet’s recreational bounty, the Audubon Society leads the pack, hosting a field trip to Brown’s Lake on Sat., April 26. Jim Brown—no relation—hopes you’ll bring a lunch and your binoculars when you meet him at 8 AM in the UM Adams Center parking lot. Call 549-8052.

A handy way to take care of space-gobbling yesterware and ease the chemical burden on the Earth is to bring your technological garbage to E-Waste Day from 9 AM–2 PM on Sat., April 26, at the Western Montana Fairgrounds. The first five items— computers, VCRs, TVs, cell phones, etc.—are free, and the cost is a reasonable $1 a piece thereafter. Call 543-3747.

If your eco-conscience needs more of a scrub down, consider one of these projects, both of which begin at 9 AM on Sat., April 26: Feed that wetlands restoration jones when you shore up shoreline vegetation at the Children’s Fish Pond—call 240-1260—or indulge the Ed Abbey within when you take snips to barbed wire on Mount Jumbo. Call 369-1169 for the latter. 

Concurrently—and at the same time—a work party to pull weeds and plant natives in the Bugbee Nature Area near Missoula Avenue begins at 9 AM on Sat., April 26. You’ll need gloves and tools, you’ll get lunch and a barbecue afterward. Call 728-5898.

Enough with the altruism: You want to have some fun in the fresh air while there’s still some left. Missoulians on Bicycles (MOB) shares the sentiment as they embark on the 33rd annual Cheeseburger Boogie to Stevensville at 9 AM on Sat., April 26, from the 4-Bs on Brooks St. The 55-mile round trip includes lunch—see event name—and a possible side trek into the Lee Metcalf Refuge. Call 543-7704. 

The April 24 registration deadline has pretty much passed, but online tomfoolery or begging by phone may still get you successfully signed up for the YMCA Riverbank Run, which also begins at 9 AM on Sat., April 26, at the corner of Broadway and Higgins Avenue. Even if you don’t run, it’s worth being there to see 4,000 people flood the streets. Call 721-9622 or visit ymcamissoula.org. 

Gearheads are just like Prince’s mother—they’re never satisfied. Switch up your collection of toys when Silver Moon Kayaks hosts a used kayak and kayaking gear swap at 9 AM on Sat., April 26, at 1215 N. Somers Road in Kalispell. Call 752-3794 for more of the scoop.

That chain gang we know as MOB presents a second ride, this one devoid of cheeseburgers, at 10 AM on Sat., April 26: The Deer Creek Sneak is suited more for the mountain biker within you, and leaves from the Eastgate shopping center. Call 543-6274.

Slow down and smell the fruiting bodies, just don’t eat the ones with Smurfs living inside: Mushroom Man Larry Evans reveals a bit of his knowledge and guides the pack toward both the edible and the emetic during the Spring Mushroom Walk at 10 AM on Sat., April 26, at the Montana Natural History Center. $25/$20 members. Call 327-0405.

Man—Sat., April 26, was like the Bermuda Triangle or something. Anyway, the 30th annual Peaks to Prairie Adventure Race begins at 8 AM on Sun., April 27, and while Red Lodge is a bit of a commute, this triathlon—which this year also boasts a duathlon and family events—is worth the trip for at least one of you readers. Call 690-4123 or visit peakstoprairie.org.

Or, join the MOB again for the Rock Creek Ramble at 10 AM on Sun., April 27, as they leave from Eastgate shopping center and complete a wonderful 52-mile round trip with the option of a delightful pancake gut-bomb right in the middle. Call 549-4177.

And the Rocky Mountaineers resurface just in time to announce two trips on Sun., April 27: A summit attempt upon nearby Mount Dean Stone—call 721-4686—and a leisurely day of rock climbing up Kootenai Creek, for which you’ll meet at 10 AM in the Big Lots lot and call 543-0898.

And now it’s your turn—bust loose and start appreciating…

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