Chronic Wasting Disease: Final Results Are In

Salt Lake City -- The Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Logan has finished testing more than 2,100 deer for chronic wasting disease. The deer were taken during Utah's 2005 fall hunting seasons.

Of the more than 2,100 deer tested, eight had the disease, the Division of Wildlife Resources announced Jan. 13.

Two of the eight deer were taken during last fall's muzzleloader season, and six were taken during the rifle hunt.

In addition to the deer that were tested, laboratory personnel are almost done testing about 300 elk taken this fall. So far, none of the elk have tested positive for the disease. CWD has never been found in elk in Utah.

"The disease appears to be staying within areas where we've already found it," said Leslie McFarlane, wildlife disease specialist for the DWR. "In central and northeastern Utah, we estimate that less than 1 percent of the buck population is affected by CWD. In the LaSal Mountains in southeastern Utah, we estimate about 2 percent of the buck deer have the disease."

McFarlane was surprised to find CWD in two deer taken in central Utah this past fall.

"A deer killed near Fountain Green in the summer of 2003 tested positive for the disease, and we were hoping that would be the only deer we would find in that part of the state," she said. "We tested more than 1,000 deer in that area in the fall of 2003 and 2004 and didn't find any other deer with the disease.

"The two deer that tested positive this year, however, confirms that we do have the disease in the central part of the state."

The two central Utah deer were taken about eight miles apart from each other near the Spencer Fork Wildlife Management Area, about 20 miles north of Fountain Green.

In addition to the two central Utah bucks, five deer taken in the LaSal Mountains this past fall had the disease. So did a yearling buck taken near the south end of Flaming Gorge Reservoir. That was the first CWD-positive deer found in that specific area, but other CWD-positive deer have been in the past near Vernal, just 20 miles to the south.

All of the hunters who took the deer have been notified that their animals tested positive for CWD.

CWD First Confirmed in Utah in 2003

Since the fall of 2002, almost 10,300 deer in Utah have been tested for CWD. A total of 26 of those deer had the disease.

Eighteen of the 26 deer came from the LaSal Mountains, four came from the Vernal area, one was taken near the south end of Flaming Gorge, one was killed near Fountain Green, and two were taken 20 miles north of Fountain Green.

CWD is fatal to deer and elk that contract it. However, according to the World Health Organization, "There is currently no evidence that CWD in cervidae (deer and elk) is transmitted to humans."

For more information about CWD, visit the DWR's Web site at

Get Extra Deer Hunting Opportunities - Join Dedicated Hunter Program

You can hunt all three general deer hunting seasons in your favorite region in Utah by joining the state's Dedicated Hunter program.

"Hunters who join the program are guaranteed a permit for the region of their choice. That's a big incentive to join," says Jill West, coordinator of volunteers for the Division of Wildlife Resources.

In 2005, all of the permits for the Central, Southeastern and Southern regions were taken in the big game draw, and Northeastern Region permits that weren't taken in the draw sold out three hours after they went on sale over-the-counter.

"Based on what happened last year, we anticipate that permits for all four regions will go in the draw this year," West said. "Dedicated hunters don't have to worry that they won't get a permit, though, because they're guaranteed a permit for the region of their choice."

In addition to receiving a guaranteed permit, those who join the program get a chance to help Utah's wildlife by working on wildlife conservation projects.

Must Join by Feb. 16

To join the three-year program, hunters must complete a Wildlife Conservation course and submit an application no later than Feb. 16.

After paying their program registration fees and completing some additional requirements, hunters will receive a deer hunting permit for the region of their choice and a chance to hunt all three general seasons in that region.

The Wildlife Conservation course can be taken online at the Dedicated Hunter Web site ( ). The online course takes about 45 minutes to complete.

One classroom course also will be offered in Springville. The course will be held Feb. 7, beginning at 7 p.m., at the DWR's Central Region office at 1115 N. Main St. in Springville.

Additional Requirements

After completing the Wildlife Conservation course, hunters must pay their program fee ($195 for most residents and $1,032 for most nonresidents) by Feb. 16. The fee includes a participant's deer hunting permits, for the region of their choice, during the three years they're in the program.

More information about the program is available on page 26 of the 2006 Utah Big Game Proclamation and at on the Web. Those with questions may also call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR's Salt Lake City office at (801) 538-4700.

"The program provides hunters extra deer hunting opportunities in the region they want to hunt and helps them give back to Utah's wildlife by working on wildlife conservation projects," West said. "Hunters who have been in the program have really enjoyed it."

Volunteers Needed to Teach Kids How to Fish

Adult volunteers are needed to teach six- to 13-year-olds about fish and fishing in communities stretching from Logan to Salem. Volunteers will be helping the Division of Wildlife Resources and the communities with their community fishing programs.

Youth fishing clubs have been established in Logan, Brigham City, Ogden, Roy, Syracuse, Clinton, Clearfield, Farmington, Bountiful, Murray, South Jordan, Orem, Spanish Fork and Salem in 2006, and each club needs volunteers to help.

Volunteer training will be held in each community in February. The training takes about one evening to complete. The clubs of about 40 to 80 children each will be formed by April and will meet for about eight weeks.

To volunteer, or for more information, call Andrew Cushing, community fisheries biologist for the DWR, at (801) 538-4774 or send an e-mail to him at

Anyone Can Help

While patience and good communication and teaching skills are needed, Cushing says adults don't need a lot of fishing experience to volunteer. "Regardless of the person's fishing skills, after the training I'm sure they'll feel completely comfortable getting together with their youth fishing club," he said.

After training, volunteers will spend about two hours once a week, through the spring and/or summer, teaching children about fish and fishing by fishing with them at a local water.

Cushing says many rewards await those who volunteer. "When they see the look on a kid's face, the first time that child catches a fish, it'll probably make their whole summer," he said.

Youth Fishing Clubs Growing in Popularity

Over the past five years, more than 5,000 kids have graduated from Utah's eight-week youth fishing program. And the number of kids who want to participate continues to grow.

Cushing says city recreation departments are starting to offer fishing as a sport, and that's the main reason for the clubs' growing popularity. "For the first time, fishing has found its way into mainstream sports, right along with soccer, baseball and football," he said.

Cushing says the popularity of the clubs has led to some challenges. "The number of kids who can participate is tied directly to the number of adults who volunteer to help," he said. "If we don't get enough volunteers, some of the kids who want to participate this year won't be able to."


Salt Lake -- Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. signs a proclamation January 12 declaring Snowmobile Safety Week January 14 through 21. For this eight-day observance, and throughout Utah's snowmobile season, Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Education Specialist Ann Evans is stressing helmets, safety, and education.

"Because of the recent snowstorms, thousands of Utahns are headed to the mountains," said Evans. "We want everyone to ride safely and know the laws and rules before they go. Be educated and be prepared." She encourages riders to check avalanche, trail and weather conditions, and share itineraries with family and friends.

Utah law requires children ages eight to 15 to complete the Utah State Parks and Recreation Know Before You Go! OHV education course before operating on public lands, roads or trails. Those 16 or older must have a valid Utah driver's license or a safety certificate to operate snowmobiles on public land. It is illegal for any child under age eight to operate an OHV on public land.

All youth under age 18 are required by law to wear helmets that are approved by the Department of Transportation while riding. Utah Department of Health (UDOH) and Utah State Parks strongly recommend that all riders wear helmets, especially parents who set the example for children and other riders.

UDOH data shows that every year, an average of 4,000 people are treated in Utah emergency rooms due to crashes on OHVs. In 2001, 182 OHV injury victims were four years old and younger, and nearly 1,400 were children ages five to17. Evans believes most of these injuries happen because operators are riding with a passenger, which is not only dangerous, but against manufacturer specifications.

In addition to helmets and education, Evans offers the following safety tips:

- Never ride alone. Always ride with a companion and let others know your plan.

- Watch your fuel supply carefully.

- Check the weather report and check avalanche advisories.

- Dress for changing weather conditions. Wear layered clothing to adjust for changing conditions.

- Never drink and drive.

- Always wear an approved helmet designed for motorized use. It's the law for anyone under 18 to wear their helmet at all times. Utah State Parks encourages everyone to wear a helmet.

- Know basic maintenance procedures. Carry spark plugs, drive belts, tool kit and a survival kit, which contains a map, compass, flashlight, extra food, extra clothing, sunglasses, first aid kit, pocket knife, waterproof matches, and candles or fire starters.

For registration materials or more information, call the OHV Information Center at 1-800-OHV-RIDE or 1-800-648-7433 from outside the Salt Lake area or 538-RIDE / 538-7433.


Logan Canyon
January 6 - Amazon
January 6 - Beaver Creek
Cottonwood - not enough snow
January 6 - Franklin Basin
January 8 - Garden City
Temple Canyon - not enough snow
January 6 - Tony Grove
January 8 - Sinks Trail
January 8 - Swan Flat

Hardware Ranch
Four feet of packed snow on the Sinks Trail, two feet on the Strawberry Trail, and two inches of packed snow at the trailhead.

January 6 - Strawberry to Mill Hollow, Elk Valley, south to the Gorge
January 8 - Strawberry , Elk Valley, Hodges Canyon, the Gorge, Saddleback, and Danish Dugway

Monte Cristo
54 inches of snow at Dry Bread Pond and 67 inches at Monte Cristo.

January 8 - Highway 39 to Woodruff Gate, snow cat breakdown
January 7 - Highway 39, Arbs Basin, Ant Flat to the Lazy S Ranch
January 6 - Highway 39 to Curtis Creek, Wasatch Ridge, very large snow drifts
January 5 - Curtis Creek Loop, quite a few fallen trees on trail were removed

Wasatch Mountain
January 4 - Snake Creek Canyon
January 3 - Cummings Parkway to Cascade Springs
January 4 - Pole Line Pass in American Fork Canyon
January 4 - Pine Canyon
January 4 - American Fork Canyon: stopped at Round Mountain due to too much snow
January 3 - Cascade Springs Road at Soldier Hollow

Mirror Lake / Mill Hollow
The trails are in great shape - no grooming report given

Bear River Service to Whitney
Received upwards of three to five feet of new snow over the last several days. Strong winds have created very large drifts and riders should be prepared for difficult conditions until all this new snow has a chance to settle. Grooming efforts have been focused on Whitney Road and Highway 150 to Ruth Lake over the holiday break.

Uintah Basin
Snow conditions are between three and 20 inches
January 5 - Dry Fork, Brownie Canyon, Hacking Lake, Red Cloud Loop to Taylor Mount Road
January 6 - Highway 191 to East Park, then to Trout Creek, back to Highway 191 following the Red Cloud Loop

Scofield/ Joe's Valley/ Skyline Drive
January 4 - North Skyline
January 4 - Fish Creek Ridge
January 4 - Tucker/Starvation/Pondtown
Be advised that Pondtown has some marked dangerous hazards about three miles from the trailhead
January 10 - White River
January 5 - Miller's Flat

Mt. Nebo
No new report

Ephraim/ Manti/ Twelve Mile
January 4 - Majors to Philadelphia
January 8 - Yerns Reservoir to Elderberry Fat

12-Mile/ Mayfield Canyon
January 4 - Twin Reservoir to 12-Mile campground

Fish Lake
For best New Year riding conditions on a groomed trail, head to Puffer Lake above Beaver. The Gooseberry Drainage, Fishlake,nd Mt. Terrill have also been groomed.

January 9 - One to four feet of good snow exists above 8,500 feet on Beaver, Fishlake and Monroe mountains. Below 8,500 feet, marginal snow with emerging bare spots exist. Many snowmobilers are staying on established roads to avoid potential hazards in traditional play areas.

January 6 - Gooseberry Drainage (east of Salina)

Cedar Mountain/ East Fork
No grooming yet

Strawberry Valley
January 6 - Co-op Creek to Lake Creek Summit and down Strawberry River
January 7 - Trail Hollow / Indian Creek back to the UDOT shed

Welcome Home, Stardust

Following more than 7 years in outer space, NASA's Stardust spacecraft is set to return to Earth near Dugway, Utah this coming Sunday morning at about 3:00 a.m. MST. The craft is carrying parts of a comet which it intercepted two years ago.

This will be the first time a spacecraft has returned parts of another world to Earth since the Moon flights of the 1960s and 70s.

According to NASA Solar System Ambassador Patrick Wiggins, the craft's reentry should be visible to observers across a large portion of the northwestern US with prime viewing predicted for those along a line running from Elko, Nevada to Wendover, Utah.

For those with the best views, Stardust's return home will look like a bright, fiery meteor streaking from northwest to southeast. Those along the Elko to Wendover line may also hear the spacecraft's sonic boom.

The view from the Wasatch Front is not expected to be good so some people from that area are planning an unofficial observing session at the Wendover airport. Other groups are said to be forming near Elko and Wells.

Wiggins has added a special Stardust Return section to his ambassador web site which contains information on when, where and how to view Stardust's return. The site is located at .


St. George, Utah - A summary report of information gathered throughout the initial scoping period for BLM's St. George Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) Plan is now available to the public.

In early 2005, BLM's St. George Field Office opened the scoping period for the proposed St. George OHV Plan Amendment and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The plan and EIS were to consider various alternatives for OHV route designations on public lands in Washington County, Utah.

Information was gathered from people at meetings, individual contacts, and through comments sent to the BLM from persons interested in the OHV Plan. The report summarizes the scoping process and information received from the public.

Those interested may obtain copies of the Scoping Report from the St. George Field Office or look at the report on the St. George BLM website at . For more information, contact Jim Crisp or Dawna Ferris-Rowley, St. George Field Office, 345 East Riverside Drive, St. George, Utah 84770.

At the end of March 2005, BLM's Utah State Director announced that funds would be shifted from the St. George Plan Amendment to meet the needs of higher priority BLM land use planning projects elsewhere in Utah.

Although the St. George planning contract has now been terminated, BLM continues to accept information from interested persons, governments, and organizations on the plan amendment while the agency seeks new funding sources to complete the project. In the months ahead, BLM will follow up on issues raised during scoping including assessment of travel routes and
refining planning criteria to be used when funds for the project are restored.

Greetings Action Alert Subscribers in Utah and Arizona,

Just a reminder, Arizona BLM has announced the release of the Draft Arizona Strip Resource Management Plan Revision and the Draft Management Plans for Grand Canyon-Parashant and Vermilion Cliffs National Monuments (Draft Plan/DEIS).

Many of you may have already received the printed and CD copies of the DEIS in the mail. It should have been available on the Arizona BLM Planning Website on Friday, November 25, 2005:

This is one of the first DEISs BLM released in Arizona and will be the first opportunity for the general public to see exactly how the BLM in Arizona will handle OHV and mountain bike route designations.

The BLM has announced a series of public meetings in January. Agency staff will be available to take comment or for questions and additional information. (See meeting schedule below)

If you have any questions or concerns please contact BRC.

Brian Hawthorne

Public Lands Director

BlueRibbon Coalition

208-237-1008 ext 102

All meetings will be from 4-7 pm local time.

Jan. 10, 2006 Dixie Center, 1835 S. Convention Center Drive, St. George, Utah

Jan. 11, 2006 Beaver Dam Elementary School, Beaver Dam, Arizona

Jan. 12, 2006 Cashman Center, 850 Las Vegas Blvd. North, Las Vegas, Nevada

Jan. 17, 2006 Marriott Courtyard Hotel, 600 Clubhouse Drive, Page, Arizona

Jan. 18, 2006 Kaibab Community Park Bldg, Kaibab Village (north of Pipe Spring), Arizona

Jan. 24, 2006 2006 Mohave Community College, Student Union, Room 200F, Kingman, Arizona

Jan. 25, 2006 Deer Valley Community Center, 2001 W. Wahalla Lane, Phoenix, Arizona

Jan. 26, 2006 DuBois Center, Pine Knoll Drive, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona


January 12 - May 10 Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum - Blanding
Canyon Spirits: Beauty and Power in the Ancestral Puebloan World: The photography of Colorado resident John Ninnemann. For more information, please call (435) 678-2238.

January 13 Snow Canyon State Park - Ivins
Sunset Hike: Admire the changing colors of early evening during a 1.5-mile round-trip sunset hike at 5 p.m. Space is limited and registration is required. For more information, please call (435) 628-2255.

January 13 Wasatch Mountain State Park - Midway
Friends of Wasatch Moonlight Snowshoe Hike: Join park staff for the annual adventure of snowshoeing under a beautiful full moon. With varying levels of difficulty, this is a great activity for beginner and experienced snowshoers alike. Meet at the visitor center at 7 p.m. Snowshoe rentals available. Registration is required by calling Lucille Tuttle at (435) 654- 5150.

January 14 Antelope Island State Park - Syracuse
Junior Ranger program: Join the park naturalist at 2 p.m., for a program on animal tracking. Participants are encouraged to bring water, sturdy shoes and be prepared for the weather conditions. Meet at the visitor center. While this activity is designed for children ages six to 12, everyone is invited to attend. For more information, please call (801) 773-2941.

January 14 Antelope Island State Park - Syracuse
Full Moon Hike: Join park staff at 6 p.m., for a full moon hike or snowshoeing. Participants are required to register and encouraged to bring water, sturdy shoes or snowshoes, and be prepared for the weather conditions. For more information and to register for this event, please call (801) 721-9569.

January 14 Rock Cliff Nature Center/ Jordanelle State Park - Francis
Track Me If You Can! Join the park naturalist from 10 a.m. to noon and learn basic tracking skills necessary to understanding local wildlife. Bring snowshoes or borrow a pair from the park. Pre-registration is required. Day-use fee is $7 per vehicle with up to eight people or free to Utah State Park pass holders. For more information, please call (435) 782-3030 or (435) 649-9540.

January 14 Wasatch Mountain State Park - Midway
Snowshoe with a Naturalist: Winter is a great time to explore the outdoors, and snowshoes are a great way to do it. Join the naturalist at 10 a.m. for a two-hour snowshoe hike along the Visitor Center Trail. Snowshoe rentals available. For more information, please call (435) 654-1791.

January 21 Great Salt Lake State Marina - Salt Lake
Polar Bear Plunge: Pay $20, bring a costume, and jump into the Great Salt Lake. All proceeds benefit the Special Olympics. To register or for more information, visit .

January 28 Great Salt Lake State Marina - Salt Lake
SLC Track Club 5K Race- To register, visit


Driver-ZED Helps Teens Navigate Dangerous Driving Situations

SALT LAKE CITY, January 11, 2006 - The statistics are grim: Every five days a teenage driver in Utah is involved in a fatal crash. In an effort to help teens cope with the dangers of the road, AAA Utah is launching Driver-ZED, a new computer program designed to teach teens lifesaving driving skills.

"Teen drivers are often inexperienced and overconfident," said Rolayne Fairclough, spokesperson for AAA Utah. "Driver-ZED is designed to help teens test their skills and prepare for potentially deadly driving situations before they face them for real on the road."

Driver-ZED is an interactive computer DVD-ROM that allows teen drivers to gain experience at recognizing dangerous driving situations in a safe virtual environment. The software offers teens more than 80 different live-action scenarios in a wide variety of driving venues - on highways, in towns and rural areas, and through roadwork zones.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a 16-year-old is four times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than a driver age 21 or older. Research by the Utah Highway Safety Office found that teenage drivers comprise only 7.7 percent of the state's drivers, but are involved in over 16 percent of its traffic fatalities. A teenage driver crash occurred every 35 minutes in Utah in 2004.

"Whether or not you're the parent of a teen, these numbers are cause for anxiety," said Fairclough. "Every motorist in Utah shares the roads with young and inexperienced drivers. It's in the best interest of all drivers to make sure that teens get the very best driver training available."

Copies of Driver-ZED can be ordered at . The software is free for members of AAA of Northern California, Nevada and Utah. The cost for non-members is $7. AAA is also donating copies to all high schools in Utah. More information about Driver-ZED will be featured in the March/April issue of AAA's Via magazine

AAA Utah offers a wide array of automotive, travel, insurance and financial services to more than 135,000 million 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


McLean, VA (January 12, 2006) -- Forget about how tired your legs used to get in deep powder, how those ski boots cramp your toes, or your frustrations in carving the perfect turn. By using the latest materials and construction techniques, today's skiing and snowboarding manufacturers are making everyone's day on the slopes more comfortable and more fun with exciting new technology.

Promising instant game improvement, all categories of snowsports equipment now utilize lighter and stronger materials combined with more convenient features to enhance the skiing and snowboarding experience. With boots that are as comfortable and warm as they are performance-driven, products geared specifically for women, and wider, easier turning skis and snowboards - the latest snowsports equipment establishes a new standard in recreational technology.

At the annual SIA SnowSports Trade Show in Las Vegas (held last January) the skiing and snowboard industry was given a preview to this season's latest advancements in equipment and now these products are available for anyone heading out on the mountain this year. We've outlined some of the highlights below:

Comfort is Key:
If your feet are uncomfortable, cramped or cold - you're not going to enjoy your day on the mountain and ski/snowboard boot manufacturers are addressing comfort issues with a variety of new features.

Ride's "Body Active Foam" provides an ultra-light, precise snowboard boot fit that forms to every detail of the foot after wearing the boot for a few days - no heating required. Once formed, the foam remains shaped to the foot, providing plenty of custom cushioning.

Atomic's BTech let's you ski longer and stay warmer with a roomier toe box for better circulation, snug ankle fit and customizable liners that are pre-wired for heaters.

Just for the Ladies:
Women will be pleasantly surprised by the wide variety of women-specific equipment offerings this season. Snowboard/ski companies have gotten wise and incorporated performance technology designed to work with a woman's physique and unique movements. Smart move, as SIA's research indicates over 35% of snowboard participants are women and nearly 43% of alpine ski participants are women.

K2's women-specific line features BioFlex, a breakthrough core technology that uses a combination of two distinctively different woods, fir and spruce, to provide the best of two desired traits in a woman's ski; stability and forgiveness.

Roxy - female surf company, Roxy, introduces its first line of skis and boots, featuring four all-mountain models made by Dynastar, that sport stylish polka dot and floral motifs.

Snowboarding companies are also catering to women - from little-girl beginner to pro freestyle rides.

Burton's Ginger- designed for beginner girls, this all-mountain board is engineered for girls' small boot size and low bodyweight.

Salomon's Radiant- a smooth easy rider that builds confidence in any terrain with its narrow waist width, lightweight Aspen core, and softened flex.

Instant Game Improvement:
Current ski technologies with radical shapes and reinforced cores make skiing easier and more intuitive for those trying to master the perfect turn. Advanced/expert skiers will also find plenty of new technology to enhance their day on the slopes.

Salomon's Equipe GC and Atomic's nano-enhanced Izor line offer improved grip on icy slopes, more predictable handling and easier, quicker turns.

Ski "Systems" are built to work together and many ski suppliers have introduced complete ski, boot, binding systems to enhance the performance characteristics of each component. While capable of working well on their own, put the entire system together and achieve total full flex, for better edge grip, more precise turning, and intuitive handling.

Ski on Olympic technology - the same skis that Bode Miller used to win the World Cup are also available to everyday consumers from companies like Atomic, Fischer, Rossignol, and Salomon.

Fatter freeride/freestyle - it's all about freedom of the mountains, and today's generation of wide body freeride skis have consumers seeking such liberty. Skis like Atomic's Big Daddy, K2's Seth Vicious, or Rossignol's Scratch BC push the envelope of ski design, as skiers continue to push the boundaries of the sport.

SCI Speaks Out on Yellowstone Grizzly Management

WASHINGTON D.C., Jan. 13, 2006 - On Jan. 10 in Cody, Wyoming, SCI acted as the voice of all hunters and for sound wildlife management in one of the United States' greatest national parks by testifying at the first public meeting for the proposed delisting of the Yellowstone grizzly bear population. SCI Assistant Legal Counsel Doug Burdin was on hand at the meeting, which was lead by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), to represent SCI, which supports Yellowstone grizzly delisting.

"SCI believes that delisting the Yellowstone grizzly bear is appropriate," said Mike Simpson, SCI President, "because it recognizes the recovery of a once threatened species and acknowledges hunting as a method of sustainable use conservation."

In a November 15, 2005 announcement, the USFWS stated that, "the Yellowstone Distinct Population Segment (DPS) is a recovered population no longer meeting the ESA's definition of threatened or endangered. This DPS has increased from estimates as low as 136 individuals when listed in 1975 to more than 580 animals as of 2004. This population has been increasing since the mid 1990s and is increasing at four to seven percent per year. The range of this population also has increased dramatically as evidenced by the 48 percent increase in occupied habitat since the 1970s. Yellowstone grizzly bears continue to increase their range and distribution annually and grizzly bears in the Yellowstone area now occupy habitats they have been absent from for decades."

SCI supports the USFWS proposal to designate the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Population of Grizzly Bears as a DPS and delist that population segment. This population is genetically and physically distinct from other populations due to genetic and behavioral traits as well as natural and manmade geographic barriers.

SCI also supports the use of regulated hunting by states as a grizzly management tool. Idaho, Montana and Wyoming each designate grizzly bears as a game species and expect to use hunting to help reduce unwanted human-grizzly interactions and to better manage the population.

The USFWS is still accepting public comments on Yellowstone grizzly delisting until Feb. 15, 2006. SCI encourages sportsmen and -women interested in submitting comments to do so by writing to Grizzly Bear Recovery Coordinator; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; University Hall 309, University of Montana; Missoula, Montana; 59812. Comments also can be sent via e-mail to .

For more about Yellowstone's grizzlies, go online to Information about grizzly recovery can be found at

Taking place Jan. 18-21, 2006, SCI's 34th Annual Hunters' Convention is expected to fill the Reno-Sparks Convention Center's more than 600,000 square feet of floor space, with some 1,100 exhibitors from the top companies in the outdoor and shooting sports industries and some 22,000 attendees, the most ever in SCI Convention history. To preview the over 1,100 sought-after auctions items including unique firearms, once-in-a-lifetime hunting trips, professional taxidermy, beautiful artwork, fine furniture and intricate jewelry to be sold during the four-day event, visit .

SCI-First For Hunters is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. SCI's 173 Chapters represent all 50 United States as well as 13 other countries. SCI's proactive leadership in a host of cooperative wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian programs, with the SCI Foundation and other conservation groups, research institutions and government agencies, empowers sportsmen to be contributing community members and participants in sound wildlife management and conservation. Visit or call 520-620-1220 for more information.

To attend SCI's 34th Annual Hunters' Convention, travel to the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, located 4590 S. Virginia Street in Reno, Nevada and register on-site. Professional journalists wishing to attend SCI's 34th Annual Hunters' Convention as members of the working media may also register on-site, in the SCI Convention Pressroom in the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, rooms E1-2

SCI's Expedition Safari Achieves Great First Season

TUCSON, Ariz. , Jan. 13, 2006 - SCI today celebrated the robust ratings earned by Expedition Safari, SCI's exciting new international big game hunting television series, currently in its premiere season.

"While we expected Expedition Safari's first season to be a success, we did not realize how many hunters would be drawn to watch so early in the series premiere," said SCI President Mike Simpson. "Reaching an average of more than 533,000 hunters per week, or approximately 2 million hunters per month, is a huge success for SCI and Expedition Safari is now the largest vehicle SCI has to communicate its mission to hunters across the country and soon, around the world. Expedition Safari's success is helping build awareness of SCI and its mission to protect the freedom to hunt and promote wildlife conservation worldwide in each and every episode as it depicts the values and story of SCI to millions of hunters. SCI gives special thanks to OLN, as well as our primary sponsors, Yamaha and Mossy Oak, and the many guides and outfitters who helped create this exciting, entertaining and unique outdoor television series."

In November, Expedition Safari averaged an impressive .70 weekly cume household rating, equaling 442,729 households or 533,353 viewers. The series continued to improve its ratings and reach each week. At the end of November, Expedition Safari saw its best weekly rating to date, as it achieved an awesome .96 cume household rating, equating to 607,753 households or 738,838 viewers.

Shot in High Definition and produced by Orion Multimedia with their Emmy Award-winning editors for exclusive telecast on OLN, Expedition Safari is sponsored by Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. and Mossy Oak Brand Camo. The first of 20 original episodes debuted on Sept. 29, 2005. Each episode follows host Mike Rogers and some of the world's foremost guides and outfitters as they pursue big game species around the world.

High Definition format helps Expedition Safari showcase the richness of our shared hunting heritage while educating the viewing public on sportsmen's longstanding role in wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian efforts.

First season episodes also feature guests ranging from celebrities such as actors Jameson Parker and Gerald McRaney and Professional Bull Riders (PBR) athletes Rob Smets and Justin McBride, to American heroes like retired U.S. Army Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf and U.S. Army Special Forces soldier Mike Bunch.

During SCI's 34th Annual Hunters' Convention in Reno, Nevada, SCI will honor Expedition Safari's first season hunt donors for helping make Expedition Safari's first season so successful. For more about Expedition Safari, visit or contact SCI Marketing and Communications Director Matt Anderson.

Taking place Jan. 18-21, 2006, SCI's 34th Annual Hunters' Convention is expected to fill the Reno-Sparks Convention Center's more than 600,000 square feet of floor space, with some 1,100 exhibitors from the top companies in the outdoor and shooting sports industries and some 22,000 attendees, the most ever in SCI Convention history. To preview the over 1,100 sought-after auctions items including unique firearms, once-in-a-lifetime hunting trips, professional taxidermy, beautiful artwork, fine furniture and intricate jewelry to be sold during the four-day event, visit .

SCI-First For Hunters is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. SCI's 173 Chapters represent all 50 United States as well as 13 other countries. SCI's proactive leadership in a host of cooperative wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian programs, with the SCI Foundation and other conservation groups, research institutions and government agencies, empowers sportsmen to be contributing community members and participants in sound wildlife management and conservation. Visit or call 520-620-1220 for more information.

To attend SCI's 34th Annual Hunters' Convention, travel to the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, located 4590 S. Virginia Street in Reno, Nevada and register on-site. Professional journalists wishing to attend SCI's 34th Annual Hunters' Convention as members of the working media may also register on-site, in the SCI Convention Pressroom in the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, rooms E1-2.

Fourth World Cup win marks Deer Valley repeat

DEER VALLEY, Utah (Jan. 13) - Ryan St. Onge (Steamboat Springs, CO) and Olympic silver medalist Joe Pack (Park City, UT) shrugged off any bad Friday the 13th karma to finish 1-2 in a World Cup aerials event, repeating their success of a year earlier at Deer Valley resort.

NBC will broadcast coverage of the Chevrolet Freestyle International competitions Sunday at 3 p.m. ET.

"Winning here is a marquee event for us," St. Onge said. He connected on two quad-twisting triples (four twists, three flips) - a full, double-full, full and a double-full, full, full. His winning score was 243.59 with Pack - whose jumps were a full, double-full, full and a triple-twisting, triple (three twists, three somersaults), a double-full, full - runnerup at 241.49. Defending World Cup champion Jeret "Speedy" Peterson (Boise, ID), who crashed on his final landing (with a five-twisting, triple-flip full, triple-full, full) in 11th.

It was the fourth World Cup win of his career for St. Onge, who said the comfort factor for U.S. aerialists at Deer Valley is high. "Each week is completely different. Last week [at Mont Gabriel, west of Montreal)], it took me three days to get used to the jump hill and this week it took me about one-and-a-half jumps."

He had qualified for the Olympics when he won the second event of the season in Australia last September and then clinched the deal Dec. 30 when he won the U.S. Ski Team Olympic Trials in his hometown. Still, St. Onge has been working to further upgrade his jumps "and working on my consistency. That's so important, to be consistent in my jumps...

"Even though I won today, I'm taking away things I want to fix before the Olympics," he said.

Pack, who has been a ski ambassador for DV for several years, echoed his teammate. "The conditions were perfect. I can't imagine them being better," he said.

Pack, who also has won at Deer Valley - in addition to his Olympic medal four years ago, said the atmosphere at the resort, which not only hosted the 2002 Olympic freestyle events and the 2003 World Championships, "is just the best. Big crowds who love our sport lots of excitement...really, it doesn't get any better."

Coach Matt Christensen said he was disappointed the U.S. women didn't have better results "but the guys really stepped up, and delivered when it counted. they threw big jumps and they landed 'em...and, yeah, it's nice to see this building as we head to the Olympics at the end of the month."

Earlier, Australian Lydia Ierodiaconou - in her first World Cup since tearing the ACL in her left knee in midsummer - won the women's contest with a double-full, full (three twists, two flips) and a full, double-full (also three twists and two flips). She received 196.51 points; Swiss Manuela Mueller was second (185.76). Jana Lindsey (Black Hawk, SD) had the top U.S. women's result, finishing 10th.

The Chevrolet Freestyle International, part of the 10 Weeks to Torino series of major Olympic qualifying events, concludes Saturday night with another aerials contest before the tour heads for Lake Placid, N.Y., and the Nature Valley Freestyle Cup with its two moguls events and one aerials meet.

Chevrolet Freestyle International
Deer Valley, UT - Jan. 13, 2006
Aerials (12 make finals)
1. Ryan St. Onge, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 243.59 points
2. Joe Pack, Park City, Utah, 241.49
3. Dmitri Dashinski, Belarus, 240.93
4. Ryan Blais, Canada, 240.32
5. Xiaotao Ou, China, 236.27
6. Dmitri Arkhipov, Russia, 233.63
7. Xiaopeng Han, China, 233.19
8. Anton Kushnir, Belarus, 231.64
9. Kyle Nissen, Canada, 223.68
10. Warren Shouldice, Canada, 218.13
11. Jeret Peterson, Boise, Idaho, 214.71
12. Vladimir Lebedev, Russia, 194.26
1. Lydia Ierodiaconou, Australia, 196.51
2. Manuela Mueller, Switzerland, 185.76
3. Nina Li, China, 183.65
4. Xinxin Guo, China, 182.38
5. Olga Volkova, Ukraine, 174.43
6. Liz Gardner, Australia, 173.59
7. Alisa Camplin, Australia, 171.97
8. Anna Zukal, Russia, 171.13
9. Evelyne Leu, Switzerland, 168.48
10. Jana Lindsey, Black Hawk, S.D., 156.65
11. Olga Koroleva, Russia, 154.78
12. Bree Munro, Australia, 143.46

For complete results: