Perhaps the editors should do a bit more research before so confidently declaring poison ivy an eastern-only species. Perhaps eastern poison ivy is found only in the Eastern United States, but I've seen poison ivy in the Yakima Canyon and at the top of Palouse Falls. Both books and websites I have searched have declared it is found in much of the U.S.
The suggestions for washing with soap are useful for anyone who gets out near water in the Mid-Columbia area. (I confidentially identified the Yakima River plant as "not poison oak" and the itching then taught me to identify poison ivy.)
Karen Edwards, Benton City
-- Editor's note: The writer is correct -- we were thinking of eastern poison ivy.