Lewis and Clark trails

SPOKANE -- The Upper Columbia Group of the Sierra Club has just released the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial editions of its hiking guides.

The two guides cover the Spokane area, the Northern Rockies, the Priest Lake area and many other state parks and trails in Idaho and Washington.

"Trail guide number one was first published in '88," says Rich Leon, who compiles and edits the handy books. "It covers one-mile hikes and longer trails, all within a couple of hours' drive from Spokane."

The idea to publish a guide came from the many requests the Sierra Club was getting from visitors to the area.

"People were coming up here from California and they were looking for easily recognizable places to hike," says Leon. "Our maps and facts are real easy to read for anyone, even people who don't have a lot of hiking experience."

The second trail guide was published for the first time in 1997 -- it covers Mount Spokane and North Idaho. Both guides can be purchased at local bookstores and outfitters, for the same price as always. "They are just $6 a piece; we never raised the price," says Leon.

The guides are part of the Sierra Club's effort to help people rediscover the beauty of the lands traveled by Lewis and Clark during the club's five-year Lewis and Clark bicentennial celebration. As part of that celebration, the Sierra Club also calls for the preservation of 56 million acres of wild lands originally traveled by Lewis and Clark, to protect the remaining bison, wolves, lynx and salmon in those areas.

New funds for MAC

SPOKANE -- The Washington Art Consortium (WAC) has just received a $2 million endowment from the Kreielsheimer Foundation and Seattle art patrons Virginia and Bagley Wright.

The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC) is one of the founding members of the WAC and stands to greatly benefit from this new funding.

"The Consortium provides an opportunity for us to do a better job of preserving the collections we already own," says Jane Johnson, CEO of the MAC and one of the vice presidents of the WAC. "We've also been encouraged to develop a list of Northwest artists who are doing really well, because there is now an opportunity to collectively purchase some of this art."

The WAC is a rather unique association of public and private museums in Washington, including the Seattle Art Museum, the Tacoma Art Museum and the Henry Gallery of the University of Washington. Founded in 1975, the museums have just recently begun to work together when acquiring art.

"I really believe this is the wave of the future," says Johnson. "Museums are beginning to work together more and more like this. This ensures the preservation and acquisition of major collections that we'll be able to show here as well."

The MAC's new exhibit hall opens on December 5 this year, and Johnson says she's certain the endowment will reach the east side of the state as well.

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