Outdoors briefs: State puts up wolf signs to warn hunters

TWISP -- Hunters in the Methow Valley this year will be greeted by new signs warning that federally protected wolves may be in the area and should not be killed.

The signs show the differences between coyotes -- open to hunting throughout the year -- and gray wolves, an endangered species in Washington.

The signs are in reaction to the state's first confirmed pack of wolves near Twisp. This summer, howling surveys indicated multiple wolves were living in the foothills southeast of Twisp. In July, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife captured and released a male and female wolf after fitting them with radio collars. A DNA test determined they are purebred wolves.

Adults and at least six pups were captured on film.

Last week, an aerial survey located them in the Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness area, said Madonna Luers, state Department of Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman.

Big game hunters can also hunt for coyotes without getting an additional permit, she said, so the state wants to be sure hunters are well informed of the differences between the two canine species.

Lift ticket prices going up at biggest resorts

TACOMA -- Like the ski lifts themselves, prices for lift tickets are going up at Washington's biggest resorts this season.

A survey by The (Tacoma) News Tribune finds the average cost of a lift ticket at the state's six biggest resorts will be $53.50, compared with $48.35 last season.

Crystal Mountain is charging $60 and a weekend pass at Stevens Pass will cost about $61 with tax.

Still, prices are even higher in some other locales. The prices charged or estimated elsewhere include $90 at Colorado's Aspen Snowmass, and $80 at Sun Valley in Idaho.