brittell hike

Folks stroll along a trail in the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area.

LOOMIS – The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is marking National Trails Day with the annual Dave Brittell Memorial Hike fundraiser.

The hike, for which there is a participation charge, raises money for the Dave Brittell memorial scholarship fund, which helps students pursuing wildlife and conservation degrees.

Brittell was a department biologist who was instrumental in development and stewardship of the department’s 33 wildlife areas. He worked for the department for 38 years and died in February 2014, just months after his retirement.

The hike takes place in the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area between Conconully and Loomis. It will be followed by a dinner cooked by department Region 1 Director Steve Pozzanghera, who department officials say “puts together some amazing meals.”

Deadline for registering to participate in the hike is today, May 15. Registration information is available by emailing steve.pozzanghera@dfw.wa.gov. A Discover Pass or vehicle access permit is required to park in the wildlife area.

The 10-mile hike is on mostly flat ground, with one hill section. Shuttles are available in case people want to bail out of the hike early.

The Sinlahekin Wildlife Area is made up of 14,000 acres of mountains, lakes, shrub steppe habitat, conifer forests, wetlands and the Similkameen and Okanogan rivers. It was established in 1939 to protect winter range for mule deer. Other wildlife in the area include black bears, migratory birds, butterflies, cougars, bobcats, eagles, badgers and coyotes.

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