UTAH STATE PARKS ANNOUNCES ONLINE GOLF TEE TIME RESERVATIONS
Heber -- Utah State Parks has made reserving golf tee times at three state park golf courses easier and more convenient. Golfers can book tee times online for Wasatch Mountain, Soldier Hollow, and Palisade golf courses. Electronic tee sheets for these golf facilities are also available. Access to this service is available by visiting http://www.stateparkgolf.utah.gov .
Tee times can be made for up to eight golfers, eight days in advance beginning at 9 p.m. Telephone reservations are accepted, and can be made seven days in advance May 1 to September 30 beginning at 6:15 a.m. Two tee times are allowed per call.
Experience the award-winning Lake and Mountain Wasatch courses, consistently rated by Golf Digest as Best Places to Play; the Silver and Gold courses at Soldier Hollow were named by Golf Digest as a Best New Public Courses in 2005 and site of the 2006 State Amateur; or Palisade Golf Course, the golfers best-kept secret with the signature par-three in Sterling. Green River Golf Course located on the banks of the Green River offers a challenging nine-hole course, pro shop, and family campground and will offer online reservations soon.
UTAH STATE PARKS BOATING SAFETY TIP OF THE WEEK
Salt Lake -- Sharing the fun and excitement of your boat with friends and family is part of an enjoyable boating experience. As the operator of the boat, you are responsible for ensuring your passengers understand basic safety practices. Before departure, you should have a safety discussion with your passengers on topics including:
- Importance of wearing a life jacket at all times
- Locations of critical safety equipment including life jackets, fire extinguishers, distress signals, bailing devices, first aid kit, and anchor
- Safety procedures if caught in rough weather, if someone falls overboard, the boat capsizes, or a fire erupts
- How to use the VHF marine band radio, make a MAYDAY call, and signal for help
- Alcohol and boats do not mix. It is illegal for the boat operator to consume alcohol. Passengers who consume alcohol are 10 times more likely to be injured on the boat than a non-drinking passenger
- As the operator of a motorboat, never leave the helm (steering wheel and throttle controls) with the engine(s) in gear, even to simply turn around and talk with your passengers
For more information, visit http://www.stateparks.utah.gov or call (801) 538-2628 within the Salt Lake calling area or 800-743-3792 from outside the Salt Lake calling area.
BROWN BAG SERIES AT IRON MISSION STATE PARK
Cedar City -- Iron Mission State Park and Museum staff announce a brown bag lecture series each Thursday beginning August 10 through September 7, from noon to 12:50 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring a lunch. At the end of each lecture, a business card drawing will be held for products from the museum gift shop.
The following is a schedule of brown bag lectures:
August 10 - Cedar Breaks National Monument: History, Attractions and Facilities by Park Ranger Anna Davis
August 17 - The Pioneer Handcart Rescue of 1856: 150th Anniversary by local author and historian Janet Seegmiller
August 24 - Stagecoaching in the Old West presented by Iron Mission State Park and Museum Historic Replicator Steve Olsen
August 31 - Wildlife of Southern Utah: A Photographic Exposition by Division of Wildlife Information and Education Manager Lynn Chamberlain
September 7 - Iron Mining in Iron County
The museum is located at 635 North Main in Cedar City. Museum hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, please call (435) 586-9290.
UPCOMING UTAH STATE PARKS EVENTS
August 11 Antelope Island State Park - Syracuse
Bat Netting Program: Join the park staff for an evening among the bats. Learn more about the world of bats while participating in a bat-netting project. Registration is required for this program. To register and for more information, please call (801) 721-9569.
August 11 Wasatch Mountain State Park - Midway
Campfire Program: Cowboy Poet Phil Kennington performs an array of fun and witty cowboy songs and poetry. Program begins at 7:30 p.m. at the campground amphitheater. For more information, please call (435) 654-1791.
August 11 - 13 Rockport State Park - Peoa
13th Annual Rockport Dam Jam: Bluegrass and acoustic jamming at the Old Church Campground below the dam at Rockport. Dry camping is available for tents and RVs. For more information, please call Steve Hewson at (435) 336-2025 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org .
August 12 Antelope Island State Park - Syracuse
Volunteer Day: Join park staff in an effort to improve and enhance the park through weed removal, fence repairs, building corrals, rock removal, and trash pickup. Participants are encouraged to bring water, hat, sunscreen, bug spray, gloves, and are welcome to bring rakes, shovels, hammers, and saws. Meet at park headquarters at 8 a.m. For more information and to register for this event, please call (801) 209-4678.
August 12 Rock Cliff Nature Center/ Jordanelle State Park - Heber
Junior Ranger Program: Wildlife Adventure - Children age six to 10 are invited to the Junior Ranger program from 11 a.m. to noon at the Nature Center to learn about interesting animals. Children will earn a badge and certificate. For more information, please call (435) 782-3030.
August 12 Wasatch Mountain State Park - Midway
Junior Ranger Program: Rocks and Minerals of the Mountains - Children between the ages of six and 12 can become a Junior Ranger by joining the naturalist for this one-hour program designed to get kids excited about nature. Program begins at 1 p.m. at Huber Grove. For more information call (435) 654-1791.
August 12 Wasatch Mountain State Park - Midway
Campfire Program: The Many Faces of Bats! How many species of bats are there? Are they helpful or harmful to humans? Learn the answers to these and many other bat myths during this program beginning at 9 p.m. at the campground amphitheater. For more information call (435) 654-1791.
August 12 - 19 Iron Mission State Park Museum - Cedar City
Two-day letterpress printing workshop with Sue Cotter from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Class is $75 per person and space is limited. To register or for more information, please call (435) 586-9290.
August 12 Antelope Island State Park - Syracuse
Join park staff for three great events: Great Salt Lake Slide Show - Join park staff for an inside look into the brine shrimp industry. Learn how this process takes place through a photo tour of a shrimping session. Participants should meet at the visitor center at 3 p.m. For more information, please call (801) 721-9569. Junior Ranger Program - Bison, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, coyote, mule deer and many other wild animals depend on the island's resources. Antelope Island State Park's wildlife manager must consider many things when providing adequate habitat for island wildlife. Participants should meet at the visitor center at noon. This activity is intended for children ages six to 12, however all ages are welcome. For more information, please call (801) 773-2941. Owling Walk - Who*who*who's that on the rocks? Join park staff for an evening owl prowl. Participants should bring plenty of water, sturdy shoes, bug spray and meet at the visitor center at dusk. Registration is required for this event. To register or for more information, please call (801) 721-9569.
August 14 Palisade State Park Golf Course - Sterling
Palisade Golf Course sponsors a Pro-Am golf tournament. Pre-registration is required for the 10 a.m. shotgun start. Course is open to the public as tee times are available. For registration or tee times, call (435) 835-4653.
August 14 Utah Lake State Park - Provo
Utah Jack Russell Fun Day - Activities start at 10 a.m. and include racing, go to ground, varmint hide and hunt. Cost is $25 per member/dog or $35 per non-member/dog. Contact Cari Anderson (801) 667-2006 or (801) 592-6306 for further details.
AAA Utah Offers Guidelines for Parents and Teens
SALT LAKE CITY, July 31, 2006 - To help parents and teens understand a new Utah law on teen driving that goes into effect August 1, AAA Utah is offering a new brochure about the state's Graduated Driver Licensing which explains the state's restrictions to protect young drivers.
The brochure is available for free at all AAA Utah offices and DLD offices throughout the state.
"Parents are the first line of defense in protecting their children as they start to drive," said Rolayne Fairclough, AAA Utah spokesperson. "Because the laws governing teen driving can be confusing, AAA Utah has printed a new brochure to help parents understand these laws. We hope parents will use the information in the brochure to guide their teen's early driving experience."
The new law, passed by the 2006 legislature, allows teens to get a learner's permit at age 15 and requires that the permit
be held for at least six months before a teen can apply for a driver's license. In addition, an individual will be required to
obtain a learner permit prior to participating in behind-the-wheel training through a driver education program. An
individual must be at least 16 to apply for a Utah driver license and must have completed a driver education course. If
under 18, they must also drive a minimum of 40 hours with a parent or guardian (10 of the hours during nighttime).
After teens receive their driver license they must comply with the existing passenger limitation and nighttime driving restrictions of the graduated driver licensing law. These laws state that a new driver may not drive between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. until they are 17 years of age. The passenger restriction portion states for the first six months a teen has their driver's license, they may drive alone or have family members in the vehicle. If they drive with teen passengers, a licensed driver at least 21 years of age must be in the front seat with the driver.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers, and government data show that 16-year-olds are involved in more than five times as many fatal crashes per mile driven as are adults in their 30s, 40s or 50s. Graduated driver licensing laws seek to reduce the crash risk for young drivers by providing novices with greater opportunities to practice under supervision as well as limiting their exposure to risky conditions and circumstances while they mature and gain experience. This is achieved by imposing restrictions, such as setting practice hours, limiting unsupervised driving at night or transporting teenage passengers.
"Teens who obey traffic rules and regulations, follow GDL regulations, and have actively involved parents are much less likely to crash," said Fairclough. "Just think how many young lives could be saved by adherence to the laws and parental involvement."
AAA Utah offers a wide array of automotive, travel, insurance and financial services to more than 135,000 members. AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers since it was founded more than 100 years ago.
NWRA Urges Refuge Funding Increase at Congressional Hearing
The National Wildlife Refuge Association (NWRA) testified before the Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries and Oceans in the House of Representatives at a July 20th hearing on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (FWS) growing operations crisis within the National Wildlife Refuge System, and specifically a proposal by FWS' Northeast region (Region 5) to place refuges in "Preservation Status." The region's restructuring proposal, which will de-staff some refuges, prompted the hearing.
Saying that de-staffing refuges is indicative of a crisis point in the Refuge System, NWRA Director of Government Affairs Michael Woodbridge urged Congress to take swift action to address critically-low refuge funding levels. Presently, the System suffers from an escalating operations and maintenance backlog of $3.1 billion. The organization voiced concerns about the detrimental effect on wildlife, law enforcement, FWS employees and volunteers working for the Refuge System, as well as the more than 40 million Americans who visit and appreciate national wildlife refuges each year. The NWRA also recommended that Congress ask the Administration to provide line-item budgets for refuges as a way of adding transparency to the budgeting process and a clearer representation of how limited funding has become for refuges across the country.
NWRA-Endorsed Bill Advances
As reported in the June issue of Capitol Flyer, the NWRA testified earlier this year at hearings before the House Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries and Oceans in support of legislation for existing refuge expansion and new refuge establishment. We are pleased to report that another one of these bills has advanced.
On July 24, the House of Representatives approved a measure sponsored by Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL) to double the size of Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). Cahaba River is considered to be the longest free-flowing river in Alabama and is known for its extraordinary biological diversity. The refuge encompasses 3,400 acres and 3.5 miles of the river. If approved in the Senate and signed by the President, the bill will add 3,600 acres and an additional 4 miles of the river to the refuge. Mussels, snails and 131 species of fish, some federally protected, inhabit Cahaba River NWR.
Neches River Approved as Refuge
The FWS recently announced the creation of Neches River National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Texas. More than 25,000 acres and 38 miles of the river will be included in the refuge when land acquisition is complete. Now the FWS is working on acquiring land for the refuge, which will hopefully be open to the public within a year.
In 1985, the area was deemed ecologically important. The various habitats of the river include wetlands and bottomland hardwoods that are frequented by waterfowl, such as mallards, dabbling, and wood ducks. The area is home to river otters, bobcats, and many species of fish, amphibians, and reptiles. Neches River NWR would help to protect the threatened American Alligator.
National Bison Range Agreement May Be Extended
The annual funding agreement (AFA) between the FWS and Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT), which transferred approximately half the refuge staff positions and budget at the National Bison Range in Montana to the tribes, went into effect March 15, 2005. The agreement runs through September 30, 2006, at which point the CSKT may sign another agreement with the FWS.
Recently, the FWS report on the tribe's performance for the first 12 months of the AFA, along with the tribe's rebuttal, were made available to the Refuge Association and others under the Freedom of Information Act. The FWS evaluation report outlines the CSKT's performance of refuge activities at the National Bison Range as very poor, with only 41% of activities being rated as "fully successful" and 37% rated "unsuccessful" or "needs improvement."
Initial talks are already beginning between the CSKT and FWS for a second AFA at the Bison Range. The NWRA continues be concerned about the agreement, citing high operating costs, management and performance problems and low employee morale. The Association continues to push for a substantially improved agreement and for the FWS to develop guidelines governing the creation and management of tribal AFAs at all refuges.
You can make your voice heard by utilizing the Refuge Action Network (RAN), a free, fast and easy way to respond to important national wildlife refuge alerts. Using the RAN system, you can send an e-mail or fax (even if you don't own a fax machine) to your elected officials with a click or two of your mouse.
Please visit the NWRA Web site or contact Michael Woodbridge, Director of Government Affairs, at 202.333.9073 or email@example.com for more information.
FREMONT INDIAN STATE PARK AND MUSEUM HOST NAMING CONTEST
Sevier--Fremont Indian State Park and Museum staff announce the opening of an art gallery and bookshop at the visitor center. To celebrate the opening of these two facilities, a room-naming contest is being held.
Contest entry forms are available at the visitor center now through October 6. People of all ages are welcome to submit as many ideas as they choose. The winners for each room receive a $50 prize package. The top five finalists for each room receive a $20 prize package. Winning names will be announced October 27.
The public is invited to a free reception Friday, August 4 from 6:30 to 8 p.m., celebrating the opening of a new art show featuring the work of southwest artist Eric Blonquist. The first 10 guests to the event receive a door prize. The gift shop will also offer a 10 percent discount during the reception. Light refreshments will be served.
Fremont Indian State Park and Museum is located 21 miles south of Richfield on I-70. The visitor center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, please call (435) 527-4631.
News from USA All
Next Tuesday August 8th is our annual Access Open golf tournament at Talons Cove in Saratoga Springs. Proceeds will be going to USA-ALL to help protect access to public land. It will be a blast! If you haven't signed up already there is still time but not much. Just go to our website http://www.usaall.org and see the tournament info halfway down on the main page. You can print the brochure with attached sign up form and mail or fax it in. If you are pretty sure you are going to attend please call our office immediately and let us know so we can have an accurate count for the breakfast and lunch. We will continue to sign up participants up to the morning of the event, but it will be much better for all if you sign up now. Please send in your sign up forms ASAP! For those who have signed up we will be calling you at the end of this week to confirm your participation. Call us if you have any questions.
We are doing a display booth at the 2006 Rocky Mountain Huntin' Show being held at the South Towne Expo Center this Friday August 4th; 10 am - 10 pm, Saturday August 6th; 9 am - 8 pm, and Sunday August 5th; 9 am - 9 pm. A BIG thank you to those who have signed up to help! We really need a few more to help us with more times especially Saturday Morning and Sunday, as well as a few other times. We will gladly take a couple of hours on any day if that's all the time you have. You will be helping us to talk to people about the importance of public land access, your love of the outdoors, responsible use, and of course encouraging them to join USA-ALL. We will provide the tickets for admission to the show and you can use them on other days if you choose. Bring your spouse or even your kids, we're all about families! This is a fun show and it will provide an opportunity for you to help spread our important message and further protect what we all love.
Hummer at the Outdoor Retailers Next Week:
Hummer will be allowing participants in the Summer Outdoor Retailer convention to do off road test drives of the new H2 and H3! This is especially interesting sine the operators of the outdoor retailers show aren't exactly friends of the off-roading community. We have been asked by Hummer to help provide a few people who can help with the driving at an outdoor driving course Hummer is building near Willard Bay. They need people with off-roading experience that can sit as right seat drivers and help out participants that will be doing the test drives. We are working with Tread Lightly and Hummer on this project and they have asked that our people also be able to discuss the importance of minimizing impacts and responsible use. I don't believe the course will be very technical but it will be fun. If you are interested please call our office ASAP so we can get things lined up. It will be a middle of the week thing Aug 8 and 9 (Next Tuesday & Wednesday) and Hummer has offered to pay $250 / day for your time. If you know someone who would be interested please forward this on to them.
Hunters Under 12 Can Hunt Small Game
It's official -- hunters under 12 years of age can buy a license to hunt small game in Utah this fall.
However, before buying a license, they must complete the state's Hunter Education course.
A legislative bill that removed the minimum age to hunt small game and wild turkey in Utah was passed by the Utah legislature and signed by Gov. Jon M. Huntsman Jr. earlier this year.
Aug. 1 was the first day hunters who passed a hunter education course offered or approved by the Division of Wildlife Resources could buy a license, regardless of their age.
Young Hunters Are Safe
"We're excited about this change," says Lenny Rees, hunter education coordinator for the DWR. "It gives young people a chance to connect with nature by getting outdoors and hunting with their parents at an earlier age."
Before the bill was introduced to state legislators, Rees surveyed the 11 Western states. He learned that Utah and Montana had the most restrictive regulations regarding when people can buy a small game hunting license.
"Eight of the states do not have a minimum age requirement, and Idaho allows young people to start hunting small game at the age of 10," he said. "Only Utah and Montana required hunters to wait until they were 12 years old before they could buy a license."
In seven of the states that do not have a minimum age requirement (data was not available for Washington) Rees found only one documented accident involving a hunter under the age of 12 in the past five years.
"Other states have found that younger hunters are safe hunters," Rees said.
Young Hunters Must Pass a Hunter Education Course
Hunters under the age of 12 must complete the state's entire Hunter Education course, including the shooting range portion of the course, before they can buy a license.
After they've obtained their license, they can't hunt unless they're accompanied by their parent, or a person 21 years of age or older who has been approved by their parent to take them hunting.
"Accompanied means the adult has to be close enough to the young hunter that they can talk with them without the use of electronic means," Rees said. "For example, the young hunter cannot be so far away that the adult needs a walkie-talkie to communicate with him or her.
"The hunter education requirements have not changed and the standards have not been lowered," Rees said. "These young hunters must pass all of the same requirements that hunters older than them must also pass. The responsibility to determine if their son or daughter is physically and mentally mature enough to hunt has now been given to the parents of each child."
Age Not Lowered for Big Game Hunting
House Bill 328, which eliminated the minimum age to hunt small game and wild turkey in Utah, was sponsored by Rep. Curtis Oda (R-Clearfield) in the Utah House of Representatives and Sen. Tom Hatch (R-Panguitch) in the Utah Senate.
"We appreciate Rep. Oda and Sen. Hatch sponsoring this bill," says Jim Karpowitz, director of the DWR. "Both of these legislators are doing a lot to help Utah's wildlife and the DWR. We also appreciate the help of many of the sportsmen groups in the state, who got behind the bill and supported it."
Rep. Oda and Sen. Hatch also sponsored House Bill 329, which would have lowered the minimum age to hunt big game in Utah from 14 years old to 12 years old.
H.B. 329 passed the House of Representatives, but the legislative session ended before the Senate could vote on it.
Archery Hunters Should See More Young Bucks
More young buck deer should be available to Utah's archery hunters this season, but seeing and bagging one of those bucks could be a challenge.
Utah's 2006 general archery buck deer hunt kicks off Aug. 19.
"Across most of Utah, the number of deer is continuing to climb at a slow but steady pace," says Craig McLaughlin, big game coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources.
Based on surveys conducted after Utah's rifle hunt ended last fall, DWR biologists estimate 296,000 deer were in Utah at the start of last winter. That's 7,000 more animals than the 289,000 deer estimated in the state after the 2004 rifle hunt ended.
"The main reason for the improvement is good weather," McLaughlin said. "The state has received good precipitation over the past two years. More moisture on the ground translates into more deer on the ground. The does are also in better shape and that allows them to care for their fawns better, which helps more fawns make it through the winter."
The Southern Region is the area where archers should see the most improvement in deer numbers. McLaughlin says deer numbers are also up in parts of the Central and Southeastern regions.
"Most of the state's general season hunting units have an average of 17 bucks per 100 does. That's the highest average we've seen since 2000," McLaughlin said. "During surveys this past March and April, our biologists also found an average of 70 fawns per 100 does across most of the state, so I think good numbers of young bucks will be available to archers this season."
Actually seeing and taking one of those bucks could be a challenge, however. McLaughlin says the rain that fell this spring and early summer left plenty of watering holes for the deer and lots of vegetation.
"Archery hunters need to look over areas carefully this year, because the deer are going to be well hidden," he said. "If the weather remains hot and dry, the vegetation will be dry too, and that will make it challenging for hunters to sneak up on deer."
McLaughlin says the deer also have plenty of watering holes. "Because of all the watering holes, the deer are going to be very scattered," he said. "Hunters need to spend time traveling over large areas and looking for deer in mid to high elevations."
McLaughlin says scouting before the hunt, and practicing your spotting and stalking skills, are the keys to finding success this season.
"Scouting before the opener will pay off because you'll learn the travel routes deer are taking in the area you'll be hunting," he said. "Also, practice your stalking skills. Work on them a little bit before the hunt, and you should do well."
As of Aug. 2, more than 3,200 general archery permits were still available for the hunt. Permits may be purchased at the DWR's Web site ( http://www.wildlife.utah.gov ), at DWR offices and from more than 340 hunting license agents in the state.
"Last year, archery permits sold out the day before the hunt started," says Judi Tutorow, wildlife licensing coordinator for the DWR. "They're selling at an even faster pace this year, so I'd encourage hunters to buy their permit as soon as possible."
Hunters who purchase a permit at the Web site are reminded that it will take about a week for their permit to arrive in the mail. They need to buy their permit far enough in advance that it will arrive before they leave for their hunt.
The following is a look at deer hunting prospects in three of the DWR's five regions:
Wildlife biologists in the Northern Region say success during this year's archery hunt should be similar to last year, with the exception of Northwestern Box Elder County.
Kirt Enright, the DWR's wildlife biologist in Box Elder County, is enthusiastic about the increase in deer numbers that he's seen in his district in the past four years. "This is the best year we've had for 20 years in northwest Box Elder County," Enright said. "Last winter's post-hunt deer classification had the best buck-to-doe ratio we've seen since the early 1980s."
Enright cautioned that the overall populations are still lower than they were in the 1980s, but he's happy with the progress he's seen. "Things look pretty rosy for the first time since 1999," he said. "Last year I talked to hunters who actually passed up smaller bucks because of the good numbers of larger bucks that they had seen."
Enright expects hunting to be slightly better this year "*with a decent component of two-, three- and four-year-old bucks in the population."
The Morgan and South Rich units in the Northern Region continue to have one of the best buck-to-doe ratios in the state, says wildlife biologist Scott McFarlane. Even with a slight decrease in the deer population, because of some winter loss last winter, McFarlane says the buck/doe ratio for these units is about 45 bucks to every 100 does.
McFarlane also manages the East Canyon Unit. He expects hunting to be similar to last year on all three units. "There is good vegetation and water up high," he said. "With the exception of a few deer near hay fields, there is almost nothing down low."
McFarlane cautions hunters to be aware of and to respect the large amount of private land in the Morgan, South Rich and East Canyon areas. He also encourages hunters to stay high and says the deer will probably be scattered unless the weather during the hunt is hot and dry, which could force the deer to concentrate on water sources.
Randy Wood is the biologist for the Chalk Creek (28 bucks per 100 does); Kamas (22 bucks for every 100 does); and North Slope of the Uintas areas (deer on the North Slope of the Uintas are not counted because they migrate out of the area prior to biologists conducting their annual surveys).
Wood says hunting conditions in these areas are similar to last year, with deer scattered throughout the high country.
The deer-hunting picture isn't as good on the Cache Unit. "The Cache deer herd continues to struggle, with a buck-to-doe ratio of about 11 bucks per 100 does," said Darren DeBloois, wildlife biologist in Cache County.
DeBloois has been actively working with a group of sportsmen, the Northern Regional Advisory Council and wildlife biologists to address the low deer populations on the Cache Unit.
He has also been busy directing habitat projects in the area, including the Hardware Ranch water project. In this project, the Mule Deer Foundation worked closely with DeBloois and others from the DWR to fund and install water troughs to provide water for wintering deer in Blacksmith Fork Canyon. The project also involved developing and expanding springs. DeBloois says these areas have been getting a lot of wildlife use since the projects were completed.
This year the DWR is excited to introduce eight new areas in the Northern Region where deer hunters can access private lands. This access was developed through the DWR's new Walk-In Access program.
Clint Bronson, the biologist in charge of developing the program, says the areas are listed on DWR's Web site ( http://www.wildlife.utah.gov/walkinaccess ) and that maps and rules for using these private lands are also available at the site.
"Using these areas is pretty simple; all the landowners ask is that hunters sign in and out when using their property," Bronson said.
For more information about hunting deer in the Northern Region, call the Northern Region office at (801) 476-2740.
Biologists say deer herds are rebounding in the Central Region, and hunters should see more younger bucks.
"The Central Region received decent amounts of precipitation this winter and spring," says Scott Root, Central Region conservation outreach manager. "Even with the extra snow this winter, biologists report excellent winter survival of deer. The deer are also in very good condition, which can be attributed to the abundant vegetation and water sources available in the region."
During surveys this spring, DWR biologists found excellent numbers of fawns on the mountainous eastern half of the region. The deer herd west of I-15 had good fawn production too. "The region's three-year buck-to-doe ratio is slightly under but is approaching the 15 bucks per 100 does management objective," Root said. "Biologists have seen many younger buck deer this year, which indicates lots of fawns born in 2005 made it through this past winter."
Root says deer will be widely scattered because of the plentiful food sources found throughout most of the region. "Even though water is plentiful this year, water sources are always a good place to start looking for deer," he said. "Scouting is crucial when deer are not tied to a single water source. Look for well-used game trails and invest time on pre-hunt scouting trips to learn the habits of the deer."
The western portion of the Central Region, west of I-15, is primarily desert terrain, and Root strongly encourages hunters to do some preseason scouting. "The western portion of the region has fewer deer, and pre-hunt scouting trips are strongly recommended," he said. "Stalking deer with archery equipment in the desert can be very difficult."
Root says most hunters concentrate on the Tintic, Deep Creek, Oquirrh and Stansbury mountain ranges, but pockets of deer can be found throughout the western portion of the region. "Higher mountain elevations in the desert, that have components of deer habitat, generally attract deer and are a good place to hunt," he said. "Above average precipitation has provided more watering sources in the desert areas, and the deer will be more scattered."
Root says the deer herd in the western portion of the region is rebuilding. "The current buck-to-doe ratio is below the management objective, but fawn production over the past two years is the best it's been in this area for several years," he said.
Root also provides Central Region hunters with the following reminders:
- The Vernon limited entry deer unit takes up a good portion of the western part of the region, and general deer season hunters need to stay out of these boundaries (a boundary description is available in the 2006 Utah Big Game Proclamation).
- Fire restrictions are in place in the western portion of the region. Archers are encouraged to contact the Bureau of Land Management or the U.S. Forest Service to learn the latest restrictions.
- Archers who would like to hunt the region's extended season archery areas are reminded that they must complete the DWR's Archery Ethics course before hunting. The course is available at http://www.wildlife.utah.gov/huntereducation/extended_archery on the Web.
Archers hunting along the Wasatch Front are also reminded about the importance of knowing local hunting restrictions, especially if they're hunting near Salt Lake City where restrictions exist for discharging archery equipment near homes and roads. Check with local law enforcement agencies for more information.
For more information about hunting deer in the Central Region, contact the Central Region office at (801) 491-5678.
Archery hunters will find more bucks in the Southeastern Region this year, says Bill Bates, Southeastern Region wildlife manager.
"Good fawn production in 2005 and 2006 and good survival this past winter have strengthened herds across the region," he said. "Most units show both short and long-term upward trends as far as the total number of deer in the herds."
While the number of deer is up in the region this year, all of southeastern Utah's deer herds are still under the management objective as far as the total number of deer. Bates says deer habitat in southeastern Utah faces a long road to recovery after years of drought, but aggressive habitat restoration work by the DWR and other agencies is beginning to pay off.
While precipitation has been near normal in the northern part of the region, southern areas in the region continue to suffer from drought. "If the weather returns to a normal pattern, the vegetation in the region will rebound and the deer herds should continue to grow," he said.
To improve your chances of bagging a buck, Bates suggests scouting your hunting area before the season begins. "Spend time observing deer in your prospective hunting area," he said. "Get to know where the animals feed, bed down and water. Develop a hunting strategy based on your observations. Try to anticipate changes in animal behavior due to hunter pressure and weather conditions."
Tips for a Safe and Successful Archery Hunt
By following a few, simple rules, Utah's archery hunters can enjoy a safe experience in the state's backcountry this season.
The state's general archery buck deer hunt begins Aug. 19, and the state's general archery elk hunt kicks off Aug. 24.
"There's been only one recorded death of an archery hunter in the state's history, so it's a very safe hunt that way, but every year we receive reports of archery hunters injuring themselves," says Lenny Rees, hunter education coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources.
Rees says most of the accidents happen because hunters are unsafe in tree stands, or they have arrows out of their quiver when they shouldn't. He provides the following advice to help hunters avoid these accidents:
1) Tree stands - before climbing a tree, make sure it's large enough to hold your weight. To avoid falling while climbing the tree, attach a hauling line to your bow, arrows and other equipment and leave them on the ground. After climbing into your tree stand, attach your safety line. Then use your hauling line to lift your gear to you.
Rees also recommends using a portable tree stand, rather than constructing a "permanent" one. "Permanent tree stands have a tendency to deteriorate and become unsafe," he said. "They're unsightly, too, and a person damages the tree by putting nails in it."
2) "Until you're ready to shoot, keep your arrows in a hooded quiver that covers the broadheads," Rees said. "Archers jabbing themselves or hunters walking close to them, while carrying arrows in their hand that should be in their quiver, is one of the most common accidents during the archery hunts."
State law requires that arrows be cased while the arrows are in or on a vehicle. When hunters are outside their vehicles, it's up to hunters to protect themselves.
Rees also provides archery hunters tips on getting prepared for the season, safety items to remember while in the field and tips on tracking animals and preserving meat.
1) Preparation -
a. equipment checks - make sure laminations are not flaking or separating, that the strings on your bow are not fraying and that the pulleys and cables on compound bows are in good working order. Also, be sure your equipment is matched, that your arrow's spline (the stiffness of the arrow's shaft) matches your bow's draw weight. If your bow's draw weight produces more force than your arrow is designed to handle, your arrow will probably fly off target when you shoot.
b. broadhead sharpening - be careful to not cut yourself while sharpening your broadheads. Your broadheads should be razor sharp, but don't cut yourself in the process.
c. practice your shooting as much as possible.
d. obtain written permission from private landowners before hunting on their property or using their property to access public land.
e. obtain a general statewide archery buck deer permit and/or a general archery elk permit, and know the boundaries of limited entry units and other restricted areas in the general season area you're hunting.
2) Never take a shot at a deer or elk that is beyond the maximum, effective range you're comfortable shooting at. Also, before releasing your arrow, be sure of your target and what's beyond it.
3) After the shot -
a. watch the animal and determine the direction it took. Then go to the spot where you last saw the animal and find your arrow. If there's blood on it, and if you have a compass, take a reading of the direction the animal went. Then wait 30 minutes before tracking it. Hunters who track an animal too soon can spook it into running. Most deer and elk that are shot will be found dead by the hunter at a reasonable distance, if the hunter waits 30 minutes before tracking it.
b. when tracking an animal, look for blood not only on the ground, but the brush too. If you begin to lose the animal's trail, tie a piece of biodegradable paper on the last blood spot you see and then search for the animal's trail, walking a circular pattern out from the paper. The paper will serve as a marker, letting you know where you started.
Also, tying paper at the locations of the last three or four spots you see, and then standing a distance away and looking at the paper trail, can help you visualize the direction the animal last took.
c. once you've located your animal, make sure it's dead by seeing if its eyes are open. If they're not, the animal probably isn't dead. If they are, touch one of the eyes with a long stick that will keep you out of harm's way. Once the animal is dead, field dress and cool the meat immediately. The warm weather that usually accompanies the archery hunt can cause meat to spoil quickly.
Rees also advises archery hunters on ways to reduce conflicts with homeowners and those who don't hunt:
1) Find and confirm access points to hunting areas well in advance.
2) If access requires crossing private land, you must obtain written permission from the landowner. If you can't obtain written permission, find another access point.
3) Make sure you're well beyond the required minimum distances from roads and dwellings before you start hunting. Those hunting in Salt Lake County are reminded that the county has more restrictive requirements than the rest of Utah. Read the 2006 Big Game Proclamation closely for more information.
4) Avoid hunting in high profile areas. When possible, heavily used trails should also be avoided.
"Most people in Utah choose not to hunt, but they support hunting and hunting-related activities as long as hunters are safe, legal and ethical while in the field," Rees said. "When that does not happen, public favor about hunting can take a turn for the worse."
Archery hunters who want to hunt the Wasatch Front, Ogden, Unitah Basin or Sanpete Valley extended archery areas need to remember the following:
1) Before hunting any of these areas, they must complete the Extended Archery Ethics Course. The free course is available online at the DWR's Web site ( http://www.wildlife.utah.gov ).
2) While hunting these areas, they must carry two items with them - their 2006 statewide general archery buck deer permit and their Extended Archery Ethics Course certificate. If the archer is a member of Utah's Dedicated Hunter program, they also must carry their Dedicated Hunter certificate of registration with them.
For more information, call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR's Salt Lake City office at (801) 538-4700.
Young Hunters: Get Your Application In for Special Upland Game Hunts
Hunters 15 years of age and younger can experience the thrill of hunting chukar partridge and ring-necked pheasants by signing up for special youth upland game hunts. The hunts will be held in Utah this fall.
Four new chukar hunts will be held this year, providing youth hunters with a total of five chukar hunts, and five pheasant hunts, to choose from.
"We're holding these hunts to increase the interest young people have in upland game hunting and wildlife conservation," says Dean Mitchell, upland game coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources. "The hunts are a lot of fun. The kids don't have to compete with older hunters for a bird, and the young hunters who have participated in the past have really enjoyed it."
Getting qualified to participate is easy. All recent Hunter Education course graduates 15 years of age and younger have to do is complete an application and write a one-paragraph essay on:
"I want to continue the Utah upland game hunting tradition because ... " or, "I would like to start my own upland game hunting tradition because ..."
Applications Due Soon
Completed applications and essays must be received through the DWR's Web site ( http://www.wildlife.utah.gov/uplandgame ) or the mail on or before Aug. 25 to be considered for the chukar hunt. Applications for one of the pheasant hunts are due by Sept. 8.
Hunters can apply online at the Web site. Hunters who would like to mail an application in can obtain one at the Web site; on page 25 of the 2006 - 2007 Utah Upland Game Hunting Guide; and at DWR offices and hunter education centers.
Five youth chukar hunts will be held in Utah this year. The hunts will be held Sept. 9 on five state wildlife management areas (WMAs). The WMAs will be closed to all other hunters that day.
Chukar hunts will be held at the Henefer-Echo WMA in Morgan and Summit counties, the Carr Fork WMA in Tooele County, the Book Cliffs-Willow Creek WMA in Duchesne County, the Gordon Creek WMA in Carbon County and the Pahvant WMA in Millard County.
The Henefer-Echo hunt is limited to 30 hunters, and the Carr Fork and Book Cliffs-Willow Creek hunts are limited to 50 hunters each. The remaining two hunts are limited to 60 hunters each.
Each youth who participates will be allowed to take five chukar partridge from a number of birds released on the WMA before the hunt.
The youth pheasant hunts will be held Nov. 11 on five state wildlife management areas. The WMAs will be closed to all other hunters on Nov. 11.
The hunts will be held at the Willard Bay WMA south of Willard Bay Reservoir; at the Carr Fork WMA, about 2 miles northeast of Tooele; at the Mallard Springs WMA, about 1½ miles southeast of Myton; at the Huntington WMA, about 2 miles north of Huntington; and at the Pahvant WMA, about 5 miles northwest of Fillmore.
The Willard Bay WMA hunt is limited to 90 youth hunters, the Mallard Springs WMA hunt is limited to 30 and the Huntington WMA hunt is limited to 75. The remaining two hunts are limited to 100 youth hunters each.
Each youth who participates will be allowed to take two pheasants from a number of birds released on the areas before the hunts.
Quail Forever Approaches First Year Anniversary
New Quail Conservation Organization Growing Faster than Projected
Saint Paul, Minn. - August 3, 2006 - Quail Forever (QF) will celebrate its one year anniversary on Thursday, August 10th.
Pheasants Forever (PF) launched QF last year to address the country's massive losses of quail habitat and the subsequent quail population plunge. During the first year, hunters and conservationists from 23 different states have formed 64 locally-based QF chapters, surpassing the organization's goal of starting 50 QF chapters in the first year.
"We have been overwhelmed with the positive reception Quail Forever has received from the conservation and hunting community. I believe that enthusiasm is in recognition to the great need that exists, a belief in our grassroots model, and our determination to help be a part of the solution," reported PF/QF President and Chief Executive Officer Howard Vincent. "We projected to have started 50 chapters in the first year. We hit 50 Quail Forever chapters in just six months.
And, on top of that, we started over 30 new Pheasants Forever chapters this year, which was the biggest chapter-start year for PF in decades."
Empowering Local People to be Conservation Leaders
QF applies the successful PF model of empowering local chapters with the responsibility to determine how 100 percent of their locally-raised conservation funds will be spent. QF and PF are the only national conservation organizations that operate through this truly grassroots structure. This local control allows members to see the fruits of their chapter efforts in their own communities, while belonging to a national organization with a voice on federal conservation policy in Washington D.C.
Since inception in 1982, PF's locally driven model has generated over $195 million in habitat and conservation education expenditures. In turn, those funds have completed more than 300,000 habitat projects, benefitting nearly 4 million acres for wildlife. PF is also rated a 4-star charity (the highest possible) by Charity Navigator, a non-profit charity watch dog.
"Our locally driven model resonates with conservation-minded folks across the country," explained QF's Director of Field Operations Jim Wooley. "In the Quail Forever chapter system, local people that work so hard to raise funds do have the ability to make a positive impact for wildlife in their own communities."
Providing a National Voice
Perhaps PF's most significant contribution to pheasant habitat conservation has been PF's efforts in Washington D.C. on the Federal Farm Bill. Specifically, PF has been a champion for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and its positive impact on wildlife populations. CRP is budgeted for 39.2 million acres nationwide and has been credited with doubling and even tripling pheasant populations in some regions. According to the Northern Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (a landscape-scale recovery plan for quail created by the Southeast Quail Study Group), America's agricultural
lands comprise over 70 percent of the acres targeted for habitat improvements to bring quail populations back to their 1980 levels.
In fact, PF has worked on behalf of quail in Washington D.C. prior to the launch of QF. In 2004, PF was instrumental in the creation of CRP's CP 33 practice. Commonly referred to as Bobwhite Buffers, CP 33 is a conservation practice available to landowner enrollment targeted at improving bobwhite quail habitat through the creation of habitat
buffers along row crops. There are 250,000 acres available for enrollment nationwide.
Just the Start of a Big Task
The U.S.'s quail populations are in trouble. Bobwhite population losses over the past 25 years range from 60 to 90 percent across the country. The reason for the quail population plunge is simple - massive losses of habitat suitable for quail. There are five major factors leading to the losses of quail habitat; intensified farming and forestry practices, succession of grassland ecosystems to forests, overwhelming presence of exotic grasses like fescue that
choke out wildlife, and urban sprawl.
"We are off to a great start with 64 chapters, but that's just the tip of the iceberg," added Wooley. "Turning the quail population
slide around will take decades, hundreds of chapters, and thousands of local grassroots habitat projects. But, it can be done and we are here for the long haul to be a part of the quail solution."
QF has aggressively added wildlife biologists to service all the new chapters. Sara Bales Lyda left the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation to join QF last September. Bales Lyda is now QF's regional biologist for Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico. PF biologist Andy Edwards moved back to his hometown of Pulaski,
Tennessee to be QF's regional biologist for Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi. PF biologist Tim Caughran moved from northern Illinois to southern Illinois where QF started 10 chapters.
Brian Grossman left the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources to cover Indiana and Kentucky for QF.
And, most recently, Elsa Gallagher left the Missouri Department of Conservation as their upland wildlife coordinator and
quail program leader to service QF chapters in Missouri and eastern Kansas.
Quail Forever is looking for conservation leaders across America's quail range. To learn more about starting a new Quail Forever chapter in your area, please contact Jim Wooley at (641)774-2238 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org . To become a Quail Forever member, please contact QF toll free at (866)457-8245, log onto http://www.QuailForever.org , or email email@example.com .
QF is a national non-profit conservation organization, comprised of local chapters, dedicated to the protection and enhancement of quail and other wildlife populations in North America. The QF mission is accomplished through habitat improvement, land management, public awareness, education, and conservation advocacy.
Hello Friends of Utah Rivers Council!
Utah Rivers Council has worked for nearly ten years to protect the gentle Bear River from proposed dams and diversions. Don't miss the opportunity to do your part to help protect the Bear - join the Council for the Bear River Cleanup on August 19. Read below for details!
Happenings at the Council:
S Bear River Cleanup: The hard-working Bear River floats kayaks, provides agricultural water, and creates vital habitat
for fish, waterfowl, and other wildlife. Do your part to help protect this Northern Utah river gem by joining the Council
for the Bear River Cleanup on August 19! Volunteers will meet at the Corinne, Utah access point of the Bear River. All
ages are welcome, and no RSVP is necessary but appreciated so we know how many to accommodate. For further
information and directions to the meeting location, visit http://www.utahrivers.org or call Lisa at 801-486-4776. See you
S Tell us what you do in and on Utah's rivers! Throughout the month of August, we are hosting small group discussions in our office to find out what rivers you are recreating on and how. The discussions will take less than an hour, and we'll provide tasty pizza and soda. Results of this discussion will be used to advocate for water quality standards that protect you from pollutants! Think you might be able to spare an hour? Contact Merritt at 801-486-4776 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and dates.
S Washington County Growth and Conservation bill update: On July 11, Senator Bob Bennett and Representative Jim Matheson introduced the Washington County Growth and Conservation Act into Congress. Friends List members may remember that the Council worked with other local groups to remove language in the bill that would have given away public lands to build a dam on Utah's unique Beaver Dam Wash in the Utah Mojave Desert. Though this language was indeed removed, many other portions of the bill that are a concern to environmental groups around the state remain unchanged.
Ski Utah Partners with Rossignol Upon the Winter Sports Company's Opening of Its Mountain Center Park City
SALT LAKE CITY - Ski Utah is pleased to announce that it has entered into a new sponsorship agreement with Rossignol. The winter sports company under the Quiksilver, Inc. umbrella, recently re-located its U.S. headquarters from Vermont to Park City, Utah.
"We're pleased that a snow sports industry leader such as Rossignol has recognized Utah as its logical new home. The company and its staff quickly demonstrated its enthusiasm for the local snow sports community by joining Ski Utah's valued family of sponsors," commented Ski Utah's president, Nathan Rafferty.
In addition to housing the North American headquarters for Rossignol, the Park City Mountain Center will contain various aspects of the company's existing snow brands, including Dynastar/Lange, Roxy, DC, Lib Tech and Gnu. This marks the first time that winter sports merchandising, product line management, sales and marketing, snowboard design, team management and customer service will be brought together in one location.
"There is an incredible level of energy in Park City, recognized as the heart of North America winter sports, makes this an ideal environment to base our organization," said Bernard Mariette, president of Quiksilver, Inc. "We're convinced the Mountain Center will enhance our brand and marketing efforts and create an even more focused and dynamic corporate culture."
Steve Dudley, vice president of communications and sports marketing for Rossignol, added, "As the promotion arm of Utah's ski industry, Ski Utah has made great strides in promoting the state's legendary ski experience. We believe that Rossignol creates the ideal equipment for skiers and riders to best enjoy Utah's slopes; therefore it makes perfect sense for our two organizations to collaborate to promote winter sports."
Ski Utah's other sponsors include Smith Optics, Hertz, Delta Air Lines, American Express, Coca Cola, Young Chevrolet, DaKine, Eider and Hot Chillys.
1,500 Youngsters Expected to Compete at World's Largest Shooting Competition
Grand American Kicks Off Tuesday at New Home in Sparta, Ill.
SPARTA, Ill.?The world's largest shooting competition is getting a whole lot younger.
Around 1,500 youngsters from 26 states will converge on the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta, Ill., Tuesday and Wednesday for the Scholastic Clay Target Program's (SCTP) National Trapshooting Championships.
The team competition will kick off the world's largest shooting competition, the 107th annual Grand American World Trapshooting Championships.
"This is the Super Bowl of youth trapshooting," said Zach Snow of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which developed and coordinates SCTP on the national level. "Teams have worked hard all year to get here, and this is their chance to show the rest of the country what they can do."
Last year, SCTP attracted a record 1,564 youths to Vandalia, Ohio, for the Grand, accounting for more than 25 percent of overall participation at the event.
SCTP, the nation's premier youth shotgun sports league, allows youths in elementary school through high school to compete as a team for national and state titles and for college scholarship money. Snow said the program "is designed to instill in participants safe firearms handling, commitment, responsibility, leadership and teamwork."
More than 8,000 youths from over 40 states are involved in SCTP. The program has experienced phenomenal growth over the past few years. Last year alone, the program saw a more than 50 percent increase in participation, not to mention an 84 percent increase in female competitors.
"Thanks to the hard work and commitment of volunteers around the country, SCTP's success and popularity continues to skyrocket," Snow said.
SCTP teams from Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington and Wisconsin will compete at next week's event.
This is the first year the Grand American will be held at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta, Ill., located 58 miles east of St. Louis. The competition had been held in Vandalia, Ohio, since 1924 and various other locations before that. The recently opened Sparta complex, one of the most sophisticated shooting facilities in the world, covers more than two square miles with more than three times the amount of trap fields in Vandalia.
CAMP FLOYD STATE PARK HOSTS ADVENTURE CAMP
Fairfield - Camp Floyd State Park and Museum staff host a Johnston's army adventure camp Friday, September 8 at 5 p.m. through Saturday, September 9 at 1 p.m. This two-day program includes an overnight stay with sleeping accommodations in recreated military tents. Participants will need to provide their own sleeping gear. Camp size is limited to 24 participants and reservations are required. Minimum age to participate is eight years. Children under the age of eighteen will need
to be accompanied by an adult.
Johnston's Army Adventure Camp offers an authentic and unique hands-on adventure for groups, families, and individuals. As a new enlisted private, participants will wear a uniform, shoulder a musket, and learn new activities. New recruits are processed, mustered into the army, issued uniforms and must leave modern possessions behind.
Activities include meeting costumed interpreters and learning about a soldier's equipment and camp life, rifle musket shooting, erect tents and live, work and play 19th century games.
Established in 1858, Camp Floyd housed the largest concentration of U.S. troops then in the United State. The troops were sent to Utah to suppress a rumored Mormon rebellion which never took place. The army was recalled back east in 1861 for the Civil War emergency.
Camp Floyd State Park is located in the town of Fairfield, 22 miles southwest of Lehi on State Highway 73. For more information or to request a registration application, please contact the park at (801) 768-8932.
Utah Tourism Office Releases "Life Elevated" Travel Guide
Guides Available at Tourism Offices in Utah
Salt Lake City - Copies of the new Utah Travel Guide are now available at the Utah Office of Tourism for out-of-state visitors and Utah residents. The new "Life Elevated" edition featuring the state's new brand includes year-round, statewide information on destinations, activities, events, lodging, guides and outfitters, as well as a map of Utah that can be pulled out.
"Nestled in the heart of America's Mountain West, Utah's white peaks and red valleys, deserts, and alpine meadows provide a great range of attractions for you than anywhere else on Earth," says Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. in his greeting on the first page of the 144-page travel guide. "Utah is Life Elevated."
"We're excited about this reformatted and expanded publication," says Leigh von der Esch, managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism. "Our additional funding from the legislature enabled us to create a publication that more than ever visually represents the beauty and diversity that Utah offers to the traveler."
The travel guide will be sent overseas. Copies have been shipped to a trade show for the Japanese market this week. Guides are also on their way to Germany for a sales mission and to Canada for a series of trade shows in August.
The new guide includes information on:
· Utah's national parks, national monuments, recreation areas, national forests, state parks, BLM lands, and scenic byways
· Olympic venues
· Winter activities
· Hiking and backcountry adventures
· Wildlife adventures
· Off-road adventures
· Arts and culture
The Utah Office of Tourism printed 200,000 travel guides that are being distributed to tourism offices and welcome centers around the state. Tourists can request a complimentary copy by contacting the state's tourism office at Council Hall, 300 N. State, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84114, (801) 538-1900, (800) 200-1160 or by visiting http://www.utah.travel .
New evening program schedule for August 25-28th weekend at Timpanogos National Monument.
Friday, August 25
"C'mon Everybody - Let's Go Fishing!" (Mile Rock Picnic Area - American Fork Canyon) Anglers, young and old, will get hooked on fishing while learning basic fishing techniques every person who wets a hook needs to know. Bring
your own poles or use one of ours to practice what you've learned with Ranger Brad. We'll have plenty of fish stories to tell when we're done.
Saturday, August 26
"National Parks: America's Second Great Idea" The National Park Service preserves some of the country's most
impressive treasures. Ranger Royce Shelley shares the history of the National Park Service and what it means to Americans and the world.
Monday, August 28
"Model T's and No Trails!" Come view the caves as they have not been seen for years, through historical photographs. Ranger BJ Cluff will relate stories and events while showing slides and photographs of the caves from the past, many
from before the caves were opened to the public.
News from the Utah Barbecue Association
As you may or may not know, there will be another KCBS Certified BBQ Judge class to be held Thursday, August 24th from 6pm to 10pm. I don't yet have a location, but we'll get one!
This class will be limited to 24 people, and seats are filling up already. If you are interested in taking this class and becoming a KCBS Certified BBQ Judge, or know someone who would be, don't wait - get your registrations in NOW.
You may download the registration form here:
Just complete the registration and mail it with your check to:
The Utah BBQ Association
10098 Countrywood Dr
Sandy, UT 84092
You may also pay for your registration with a credit card by using PayPal, however you will need to add $2 for processing/transaction fees. Send these payments to email@example.com , and mail in the registration form.
Volunteers are also needed for the State Championship cookoff on the 25th and 26th. If you can help out, email me.
Blue Sage Performs at Historic Weaponry Days
For those of you who are looking for someway to spend this coming saturday, consider joining us at the "Historic Weaponry Day" as one of the "Festivals of the Am West" held at the "American West Heritage Center" (Jensen Historic Farm) in Wellsville (Cache Valley).
Blue Sage will be be performing in concert with the band "Saddle Strings" beginning at 7:30 pm in the Opera House on Saturday, but you'll want to come up early in the day to participate in all of the activities planned for the day.
The pricing is more than reasonable this year (7.00 for adults and 5.00 for children with a coupon in the local papers for a free childrens admission with the purchase of an adult pass). For some reason the price is very hard to locate on their website, but the schedule and more information can be found here: http://www.americanwestcenter.org
Hope to see many of you there, they've scheduled all sorts of hands-on demonstrations for both adults and children. It should be a fun event this year!
Congress Expands Conservation Tax Incentives
Senate Joins House in Passing Expanded Deduction - Bill Headed to President's Desk
WASHINGTON - Strong new conservation tax incentives backed by millions of American hunters and anglers are included in a bill passed by the Senate last night. The important new incentives, and reforms affecting voluntary conservation donations including easements, were approved in the House of Representatives last week. The Pension Protection Act of 2006, which contains the new conservation tax incentives, is now headed to the White House for President Bush's signature.
Matt Connolly, President of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, which helped coordinate sportsmen's and wildlife conservation organizations' participation in a multi-year coalition effort aimed at supporting the conservation tax incentive approved by Congress, said today, "The inclusion of better conservation tax incentives in this legislation shows members of Congress and our federal policymakers got the message loud and clear from the millions of Americans who want to give more landowners options for carrying out better land stewardship."
Russ Shay of the Land Trust Alliance (LTA), who co-chairs TRCP's conservation tax incentive initiative observed, "By adding their collective voice, hunters and anglers played an important role in making this legislation a reality." The LTA has provided critical, sustained leadership for the past two years as this issue has been dealt with in Washington.
The Association of Fish and Wildlife's Gary Taylor, who also co-chairs TRCP's initiative on conservation tax incentives today said, "When you talk to the folks on the ground including state fish and wildlife managers who use tax incentives to protect large blocks of habitat, they'll tell you the incentives represent an invaluable conservation tool. This expansion of the tool's use dramatically expands the amount of land and water we can save."
Many of the nation's 40 million sportsmen are intimately familiar with the benefits of conservation tax incentives and the way the groups they belong to have used them to benefit fish and game species. Hunting- and fishing-oriented conservation groups like Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Trout Unlimited have used conservation tax incentives, including easements, to implement arrangements with landowners that benefit not only ducks, pheasants, elk, and trout, but a wide variety of other species. Land trusts belonging to the LTA throughout the country and organizations like the Nature Conservancy, the Conservation Fund and the Trust for Public Land have used easements to stabilize key habitat. In an era of tight budgets, state and federal agencies have found it difficult to conserve more land, but through conservation tax incentive deals, land is often donated to them to expand public areas or to create new areas.
The legislation passed by the House last week and by the Senate last night will expand the options for making the above arrangements by bringing in more moderate income family farmers and ranchers. These landowners will now be able to voluntarily opt for a significant tax benefit in exchange for donating a conservation easement that restricts future development of their land. Such easements keep more land in agriculture and conserve wildlife habitat and open space. The House and Senate approved language:
· Raises the maximum deduction a donor can take for donating a conservation easement from 30% of their adjusted gross income (AGI) in any year to 50%;
· Allows qualified farmers and ranchers to deduct up to 100% of their AGI; and
· Increases the number of years over which a donor can take deductions from 6 years to 16 years.
James L. Connaughton, Chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality stated today, "This new conservation easement law is another important step in realizing the President's vision for cooperative conservation. It helps fulfill the President's commitment to landowners, sportsmen, and conservationists to provide substantial new incentives to landowners who want to commit their land to open space while keeping our nation's working farms and ranches working."
For more details on the legislation expected to be signed into law soon by the president, please visit http://www.lta.org
Juvenile gets lesson on responsibility
VERNAL -- When a man goes into a jewelry store and purchases a necklace, he is considered a valued customer. If the man goes back to the store after hours and takes a necklace, he is no longer a valued customer; he is a thief or robber. The same holds with hunting and fishing. When a man purchases a tag and follows the regulations (hunts with the right equipment, during the correct hours and season dates, etc.) he is a hunter and a valued customer for the citizens of Utah and the Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR). If he goes back, after the season closes and takes an animal, he is considered a poacher. He has robbed from the other citizens of the State and law enforcement officers will do their best to catch him, the same way they would if he robbed a jewelry store.
In December 2005, Conservation Officer Dan Barnhurst received a tip that a juvenile was seen with a set of antlers that looked a bit new to have been taken during the fall hunting seasons. Barnhurst investigated and discovered the antlers were recently obtained and although the skull plate was broken, the antlers would have measured between 27 and 29 inches. This was enough to classify the buck as a trophy deer.
"When we get a report about a set of antlers that may have been taken from an animal illegally, we investigate," Barnhurst said. "A hunter is allowed to keep antlers from deer, elk and other big game they have taken legally. Shed antlers can also be found and kept legally but it is unlawful to possess antlers that have been sawed from or still attached to a skull or skull plate without the tag or permit to show it was a legal harvest."
Barnhurst said further investigation revealed the juvenile had purchased permits but had taken this deer out of season. He had shot it from the window of his truck, then took only the antlers and left the rest of the deer to rot. Later, he asked his buddies to lie about when, where and how the deer was taken.
"He made one serious mistake after another," Barnhurst said. "It's a tough lesson in responsibility. The court suspended some of his fines and jail time but he will still have to pay $8,000 for the wanton destruction of protected wildlife."
That's an expensive necklace.
If you know of someone who has or is planning to steal wildlife from the citizens of Utah, please call the Help Stop Poaching hotline: 801-662-DEER (3337). The DWR offers rewards up to $1,000 to those who provide information leading to a successful prosecution. The caller may remain anonymous.