HOLIDAY FESTIVITIES AT WILLARD BAY
Willard - Willard Bay State Park hosts Fantasy at the Bay, a drive-through holiday light display November 18 through January 1. Display hours are 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Admission is $5 per vehicle. Utah State Park passes are not valid during light display hours.
The Cottonwood Campground is filled with animation, lighted trees, roadway lights, and displays. A concession service offers hot chocolate, hamburgers, chili, scones, s'mores and other items around a large campfire. Horse drawn hay wagon rides are available on selected nights for an additional cost. To reach Willard Bay State Park, take exit 357 off I-15. For more information, please call Willard Bay State Park at (435) 734-9494 or Fantasy at the Bay at (435) 734-9297.
UPCOMING UTAH STATE PARKS EVENTS
November 25 Antelope Island State Park - Syracuse
Moon Party: Join park staff for a look at Earth's closest celestial body, the moon. Participants should dress for the weather conditions and are encouraged to bring binoculars and a camp chair. Meet at the visitor center at 4 p.m. If you bring a flashlight, please make it a red-colored lens. For more information, please call (801) 773-2941.
November 25 Edge of the Cedars State Park - Blanding
Native Reign: Acoustic Holiday Concert- Join park staff at 6 p.m., for an evening of contemporary native music with Native Reign. The band, twice nominated for the Native American Music Awards, includes percussionist Travis Mose, guitarist Karl Kamenske, and lead vocalist/guitarist Joseph Spain. The band just returned from tour and a special engagement at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Cost is $3 per person. For more information, please call (435) 678-2238.
UTAH'S GAS PRICES DROP
SALT LAKE CITY, November 14, 2006 - Motorists are breathing easier as they see gasoline prices in Utah substantially drop over the past month. The latest report from AAA Utah shows double-digit decreases throughout Utah and most of the Intermountain West.
The average price for a gallon of regular, self-serve gasoline in Utah is currently $2.34. This is 26 cents lower than last month and the same price as a year ago. The current national average price is $2.23. This price is 3 cents lower than last month and 6 cents lower than a year ago.
Mild weather on the East Coast and strong OPEC inventories has sent crude oil below $60 per barrel. Barring any unforeseen events, including a cold weather snap back east, AAA anticipates that prices should remain near current levels for the near future.
"Gasoline prices have continued to drop following the price of crude oil which has stayed at or somewhat below the $60 per barrel range," said Rolayne Fairclough, AAA Utah spokesperson. "This is an encouraging sign, especially in light of OPEC's decision last month to reduce production by 1.2 million barrels per day."
All of the states in the Intermountain West continued to enjoy falling gasoline prices since AAA's last report on October 10. The current price for regular, self-serve gasoline in Idaho is $2.39. This is 19 cents lower than the price a month ago. Montana's average price dropped 16 cents to the current average, $2.31. Wyoming's current price, $2.28 is 17 cents lower than last month. Colorado's motorists welcomed a whopping 24-cent drop in their average gasoline price. The current price in Colorado is $2.21. Arizona's price dropped only 6 cents to the current average price of $2.23. Nevada's price, $2.49, is 15 cents lower than a month ago. California's average price is $2.48. This price is 12 cents lower than October's average.
Motorists in all of the Utah cities surveyed by AAA enjoyed double-digit savings at the gas pumps. Provo saw the largest drop in prices. The average price in Provo is currently $2.24. This is 36 cents lower than last month. Ogden recorded the next greatest drop, 29 cents, from last month. The current price in Ogden is $2.31. Logan's average price of $2.35 is 28 cents lower than last month. Salt Lake City motorists saw prices drop an average of 26 cents this past month. The current average price in Salt Lake for regular, self-serve gasoline is $2.26. The average price dropped 17 cents in both Saint George and Vernal this past month. The current average price in Vernal is $2.45. St. George's average price is $2.40. Moab's average price dropped 10 cents to the current price of $2.51.
As prices continue to drop motorists can find additional savings by shopping aggressively for the lowest price available. AAA's Fuel Finder located at http://www.aaa.com/gasprices has real time information on gas prices at more than 85,000 stations throughout the United States.
AAA's Fuel Gauge Report is the most comprehensive retail gasoline survey available, with over 85,000 self-serve stations surveyed everyday nationwide. Data is provided in cooperation with OPIS Energy Group and Wright Express, LLC.
SOLDIER HOLLOW - FORBES TRAVELER TOP TEN
Forbes Traveler has named Soldier Hollow to the top ten cross country ski areas in North America. Other areas earning a spot in the top ten include the legendary sites of Royal Gorge, CA, Trapp Family Lodge, VT, Telemark Lodge, WI, Sun Valley, ID, and Devil's Thumb, CO.
In compiling the "Top Ten list of North America's best - and perhaps most gnarly - cross country ski resorts", Forbes Traveler polled six members of the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team, including athletes Andy Newell, Torin Koos, Andrew Johnson, and Kris Freeman, coach Chris Grover, and team director Luke Bodensteiner.
According to Forbes Traveler, "the panel's picks, which ranged from mom-and-pop ski hills in Vermont to mega-resorts and Olympic venues in the Rocky Mountains, represent a geographic spread of epic destinations".
Soldier Hollow, the 2002 site of the Cross Country, Biathlon and Nordic Combined Olympic events, is managed by the Soldier Hollow Legacy Foundation in partnership with Wasatch Mountain State Park. Several new easy and gentle trails have been added since the Olympic Winter Games, providing skiing terrain for all ability levels. The facility also includes snowshoeing, tubing, and, in the summer, Soldier Hollow hosts the Heber Valley PowWow and the Soldier Hollow Classic International Sheepdog Championships, the largest annual sheep herding event in the world.
For more information contact Howard Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 435.654.2002.
SOUP AND SOLDIER HOLLOW FUNDRAISER NOV. 17
On Friday evening, November 17, Soldier Hollow hosts the 6th annual Soup and Soldier Hollow fundraiser to support Team Soldier Hollow and Soldier Hollow's low cost introductory youth programs.
Signature soups from Heber Valley's best restaurants are served, starting at 6 p.m. Restaurants represented include the Blue Boar Inn and Restaurant, Inn on the Creek, the Zermatt Hotel and Spa, the Homestead Resort, Dairy Keen - home of the Train, Mountain House Grill, and Kumbayah Kitchens.
Each year a new commemorative mug is available, which can be purchased for $20. This year's mug is sponsored by AmBank. Thanks to their support, the purchase price - in its entirety - supports Soldier Hollow's programs.
While enjoying a great variety of soups, guests can bid on numerous silent auction items. A live auction starts at 7:30 p.m.
Auction items include Rossignol ski equipment, ski merchandise from Rossignol, Swix, Toko, Burton and DaKine, lodging and golf packages, Sheepdog specialty items, Robert Duncan artwork, go kart racing, a night in a TeePee, Redmond Real Salt items, and Olympic memorabilia, including Olympic flags, Olympic Team clothing, and even "official" Olympic Christmas trees.
For more information, please call 435-654-2002.
TURKEY BOWLING CONTEST TAKES TO OLYMPIC OVAL ICE ON NOV. 17
With no aspirations of becoming an Olympic sport, turkey bowling is coming to Utah Olympic Oval on Nov. 17 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. Successful bowlers can win a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner.
The Turkey Bowling Contest will be divided into adults and youth under age 12. Each participant bowls a frozen turkey at varying distances on "The Fastest Ice On Earth," receiving points for pins knocked down. The Utah Olympic Oval is located at 5662 South 4800 West in Kearns. For more information on public skating at the Utah Olympic Oval, visit http://www.olyparks.com or call (801) 968-OVAL.
WORLD CUP LUGE RACING BACK ON TRACK IN PARK CITY
For the first time in almost three years, luge World Cup racing returns to Park City, Utah. The 2002 Olympic luge track, which last hosted a World Cup race in Dec. 2003, is slated to host the second stop of this season's nine-race tour.
The 1,316 meter-long, 17-cruve track has staged three World Cup events since Feb. 2001, as well as the Feb. 2005 38th World Luge Championships. "It's exciting to bring World Cup luge racing back to Park City," said Bulent Bulut, Utah Olympic Park sport services manager, regarding the Dec. 1-2 event. "Ever since Worlds, we have been diligently trying to bring back the world's top sliders to the world's fastest track."
"We are thankful for the Utah Sports Commission and our other sponsors for the support they have provided us and we look forward to putting on a world class event here in Utah," said RJ Shannon, Utah Olympic Park event manager.
December's race is expected to bring back seven medalists from the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, and all 12 medalists from February's Games in Torino, Italy, including Italy's Armin Zoeggeler, who won his first Olympic crown in Park City before becoming the first-ever slider to defend his Olympic title on his home track four years later.
"This race should serve as an excellent preview to what we could possibly see during the Vancouver Games in 2010," remarked USA Luge executive director, Ron Rossi. "The Park City track is a great high-speed course that all sliders enjoy. With the right ice, 90-miles-per-hour isn't out of the question. More importantly, anytime we can host high level events in the U.S., our athletes reap the benefits.
The Park City race is the first of two North American stops on the 2006-07 series tour. Following Park City, the series shifts to Calgary, Canada, Dec. 8-9.
"Having two races in North America this early into the season has everyone excited," mentioned USA Luge's Mark Grimmette (Muskegon, Mich.), who along with teammate Brian Martin (Palo Alto, Calif.), slid to Olympic silver in the 2002 doubles' event. "If we race well in Park City and Calgary, the momentum it generates will carry through the rest of the season."
In addition to Grimmette and Martin, the U.S. lineup should also feature Tony Benshoof (White Bear Lake, Minn.) and Courtney Zablocki (Highlands Ranch, Colo.). In Torino, Benshoof matched USA Luge's best-ever men's singles Olympic finish, fourth, while Zablocki established USA Luge's highest-ever women's singles Olympic mark, also fourth.
The teams and sliders will begin to arrive Sunday, Nov. 26, for Monday's opening day of training. Racing begins Friday, Dec. 1, with the Challenge Cup series opener, followed by the World Cup doubles event. The men and women's singles World Cup races are slated for Saturday.
For more information on the Fastest Sport on Ice®, log on to http://www.usaluge.org
Wild Turkeys Take Flight near Salt Lake City
SALT LAKE CITY -- In 1984, when the National Wild Turkey Federation started its first chapter in Utah, there were less than 1,000 wild turkeys in the state. More than 20 years later, Utah has more than 18,000 wild turkeys.
Residents of the Beehive State will get a chance to witness how wild turkey populations have been restored through an educational Thanksgiving wild turkey release near Salt Lake City, Thursday, Nov. 16, at 10 a.m.
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Kennecott Utah Copper Corporation, Kennecott Land Corporation and the NWTF are hosting the release to demonstrate the comeback of the wild turkey in North America and highlight how well wild turkeys and other wildlife respond to management on mining lands.
"Utah has one of the fastest growing wild turkey populations in the country," said Dean Mitchell, upland game coordinator for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. "Wild turkeys are doing really well here."
Part of the reason for the fast growth is an aggressive effort to trap and transplant turkeys. From 1998 through 2005, the UDWR and its partners set a national record by placing more than 7,700 turkeys into new homes in Utah. Many of these birds were brought in from outside the state. The remainder already lived in the state, but they were moved to new locations to start new populations or supplement existing ones.
"Wild turkeys are a huge wildlife success story in Utah," Mitchell said. "Hundreds of people across the state are hearing and seeing these birds during their trips in the outdoors, and more and more hunters are applying for a permit to hunt them."
The Nov. 16 release is a celebration of the contributions made by hunters across North America on behalf of wild turkey restoration and wildlife conservation. The NWTF and its partners have given wildlife agencies more than 139,000 wild turkey transport boxes, which have been used in the transport of more than 188,000 birds.
This event is the second time in five years KUCC has partnered with UDWR and NWTF in releasing wild turkeys. The first release was in a reclaimed mining area on private Kennecott property in Butterfield Canyon (southwest corner of the Salt Lake Valley).
"Kennecott Utah Copper has spent over $350 million in reclaiming historic mining wastes on our property," said Larry D. Bunkall, assistant director government and public affairs, Kennecott Utah Copper Corporation. "Old mine sites have been restored as beautiful mountain slopes and settings where natural wildlife is thriving. Following reclamation in Butterfield Canyon, wild turkeys were released and flocks are commonly sighted by visitors as they drive the canyon road today. Kennecott Utah Copper is committed to managing and protecting wildlife on our property."
A long-standing example of hunters' contributions to wildlife management is the Pittman-Robertson Act. Passed by the U.S. Congress at the requests of hunters in 1937, this excise tax established a dedicated revenue stream to aid states in wildlife restoration. A study commissioned by the NWTF in 2003 found that 78 percent of turkey hunters considered conservation projects, such as protecting or enhancing wildlife habitat, to be very important.
"People get involved in hunting and other outdoor activities for a number of reasons, but it's almost certain that once a person spends time in the woods or on the water, they begin to care about their natural resources and will likely become dedicated conservationists," said Rob Keck, CEO of the NWTF. "With the help of conservation-minded sportsmen, today there are more than 7 million wild turkeys throughout North America. That's why our hunting heritage is important, not only to hunters, but to all Americans."
Hunters also contribute millions of dollars to organizations like the NWTF that fund wildlife restoration and conservation projects throughout the country. These efforts not only benefit wildlife, but the sustainability of all natural resources.
According to data collected by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, sportsmen are among the most prominent and influential of all demographic groups. Sportsmen pour $70 billion annually into the economy and support more jobs nationwide than the number of people employed by Wal-Mart, the country's largest corporation.
For more information about the Salt Lake City wild turkey release or the NWTF, call Brian Dowler or Jonathan Harling at (803) 637-3106. For more information about the NWTF, call (800) THE-NWTF or go to http://www.nwtf.org .
NOVEMBER 2006 - MARCH 2007 UPCOMING EVENTS AT OLYMPIC PARKS
Nov. 14-17, FIBT/FIL International Training Week, Utah Olympic Park
Nov. 17, Turkey Bowling Public Skate, Utah Olympic Oval
Nov. 17, Soup and Soldier Hollow Fundraiser, Soldier Hollow
Nov. 27 - Dec. 2, Luge World Cup, Utah Olympic Park
Dec. 1, 5th Annual Holiday Festival, Utah Olympic Oval
Dec. 2-3, Long Track American Cup, Utah Olympic Oval
Dec. 4-9, Bobsled and Skeleton World Cup, Utah Olympic Park
Dec. 5, 114 Days: The Race To Save A Dream Screening, Utah Olympic Park
Dec. 6, 114 Days: The Race To Save A Dream Screening, Utah Olympic Park
Dec. 8, 2nd Annual World Record Skate, Utah Olympic Oval
Dec. 8-10, "Weekend Warrior" Long Track Speed Skating Camp, Utah Olympic Oval
Dec. 9, Community Skate Night, Utah Olympic Oval
Dec. 13-21, Bobsled and Skeleton America's Cup, Utah Olympic Park
Dec. 15-22, US Freestyle Team Selections, Utah Olympic Park
Dec. 15-16, Nordic Jumping World Cup B, Utah Olympic Park
Dec. 29-30, US National Bobsled and Skeleton Qualifying Races, Utah Olympic Park
Jan. 1-7, 2007, US National Bobsled and Skeleton Championships, Utah Olympic Park
Jan. 4, 2007, Freestyle Regional Competition, Utah Olympic Park
Jan. 12-13, 2007, Utah Winter Games - Nordic Jumping, Utah Olympic Park
Jan. 14, 2007, Utah Winter Games - Luge, Utah Olympic Park
Jan. 19, 2007, Freestyle Regional Competition, Utah Olympic Park
Jan. 27, 2007, Wasatch Luge Club Founders Race, Utah Olympic Park
Feb. 10, 2007, Ice Engineer's Open, Utah Olympic Park
Feb. 8-11, 2007, FIBT Invitational, Utah Olympic Park
Feb. 4-10, 2007, Deaflympic Winter Games, Soldier Hollow
Feb. 6-10, 2007, Freestyle NorAm, Utah Olympic Park
Feb. 6-11, 2007, USBSF Western Championships, Utah Olympic Park
Feb. 13-25, 2007, Luge Youth Nationals, Utah Olympic Park
Feb. 16-17, 2007, Nordic Jumping Junior Olympics Qualifier, Utah Olympic Park
Feb. 20-22, 2007, Freestyle Divisional Championships, Utah Olympic Park
Feb. 23-25, 2007, "Weekend Warrior" Long Track Speed Skating Camp, Utah Olympic Oval
Feb. 27-Mar. 3, 2007, Nordic Jumping Junior Olympics Championships, Utah Olympic Park
Mar. 2-5, 2007, Chevrolet Jumping/Nordic Combined Junior Olympics, Utah Olympic Park
Mar. 5-10, 2007, Chevrolet Cross Country Junior Olympics, Soldier Hollow
Mar. 8-11, 2007, 2007 World Single Distance Championships - Utah Olympic Oval
Mar. 15-17, 2007, Champions Challenge - Utah Olympic Oval
Lake Powell Fishing Report
Annual gill net sampling confirms what anglers have been telling us. Striper numbers are highest near the inflowing
tributaries and less at midlake. Numbers increase again near the dam. Physical condition decreases with fish size.
Healthiest fish are near the inflowing Colorado and San Juan rivers. All of this correlates to shad location and
abundance. Lake Powell has peaked in game fish population numbers and now must experience a population
downsizing before balance between predators and prey is regained.
Anglers can do there part by catching and keeping all striped bass. Striper schools are not hard to find as many fishing hotspots still remain. Fishing with anchovy bait is the best way to find fish
and keep them biting under the boat. Large schools of striped bass are holding in deep water just waiting for food. Toss a little chum, followed by a baited hook and catch as many stripers as you dare in a short time. A few of the southern hot spots include: the back of Warm Creek near Crosby Canyon, the mouth of Padre Canyon, the back of main Rock Creek near the gravel island. These fish will most likely be seen on the graph at 70 feet. After chumming and catching a few on bait, the school will rise off the bottom and come into visual range. When near the surface they can be caught on hard baits and even surface lures. When the school descends again they can be started once more with anchovy chum. One hundred fish per trip is common but adult fish are not in prime condition. Keep all fish but fillet the smaller ones.
In the northern lake the hot spot is between the mouth of White and Trachyte canyons (MM 134-135). More shad equates to more aggressive fish that can be taken by your choice of trolling, casting, spooning, or bait fishing. Start at the mouth of White canyon for best results. Fish size ranges from 1-2 pounds with some larger ones. Fish health here is excellent. Other good spots include Blue Notch/Red Canyon, and Cedar Canyon but these pale in comparison to White Canyon.
The San Juan features good numbers of striped bass that can be caught trolling along the walls of the great bend or on spoons and bait in the cuts and deep drops in the 50-70 foot range. The best fishing is in Neskahi and Cha bays and the cuts leading to the ends of canyons.
The lake midsection has some spots to avoid. The Rincon has almost unbelievable water clarity, which is beautiful but makes fishing tough. Stripers here are in very poor condition. At midlake make sure fishing is done in water with some color to increase chances of success. Avoid crystal clear water during the day.
Bass fishing at clear water locations could be successful during low light periods in deep water or by throwing very long casts.Bass in the main body of the lake still frequent grass beds which are
more numerous in the southern lake. Fish grassy flats at the 20 foot depth contour with plastic baits for best results.
Some walleye and crappie are being caught but these catches come incidentally while fishing for bass. Water temperature is still in the low 60's in mid November. Bass will remain active and aggressive until water temperature falls a few more degrees. It looks like bass will remain active through the entire month of November. That would be the prefect end to this most successful year of fishing and catching in recent memory.
ARE HYBRIDS MAKING A DIFFERENCE?
New AAA/UC Davis Study Examines Environmental Impact of Hybrid Vehicles
SALT LAKE CITY, November 15, 2006 - They've been on the road for nearly a decade, but the overall environmental impact of hybrid vehicles has remained largely a mystery until now. A new study from AAA Utah, finds that, while the immediate changes are relatively small, the potential oil savings and greenhouse gas reductions due to hybrids could have dramatic consequences.
The study, conducted by researchers at the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis, analyzes the current impact of hybrids on oil consumption and toxic emissions and projects their overall impact on the environment in real-world terms like tankers of oil saved and number of trees planted.
"We recognize that hybrids are only a small percentage of the 17 million cars and trucks sold in the U.S. each year," said AAA Utah spokesperson Rolayne Fairclough. "But sales are increasing, and AAA felt it was important to examine the impact of this growing trend."
On an individual basis, the impact of driving a hybrid car is significant. On average, the study found that a hybrid vehicle reduces lifecycle greenhouse gases by about 30 percent compared to a conventional vehicle. Fuel consumption drops even more significantly, by an average of 35 percent.
Using sales projections and trend analysis, the study finds that by 2010, hybrids will make up about 1.2 percent of the total miles driven in the U.S. each year. This means hybrids will reduce 0.4 percent of total oil consumed and greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. While that may not sound like much, it's the equivalent of 498 million gallons of gasoline per year, or about ten fewer tanker shipments from foreign oil suppliers.
The 0.4 percent reduction in greenhouse gases equates to an annual reduction of about 5.1 million metric tons. Since each conventional car emits about eight tons of carbon dioxide per year, reducing annual greenhouse gas emissions by 5.1 million metric tons is like removing 637,500 cars from the roads.
As more automakers and consumers embrace hybrid technology, there is reason to believe the market might expand even more rapidly. If hybrids were to make up 10 percent of the total miles driven in the U.S., the environmental impact would be much more significant.
Hybrids would save over five billion gallons of gasoline each year, or the equivalent of 119 large tanker ships. Greenhouse gas emissions would drop by 42.4 million metric tons. You would need to plant and grow to maturity 42 million trees to offset that amount of carbon dioxide emissions.
Other benefits of hybrids are not as easy to quantify. The introduction of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) has essentially created a new "green" market for automakers. Like the market for safety in vehicles, manufacturers were initially cautious about safety features like airbags and ABS brakes in their cars, believing that consumers would be unwilling to pay for the increased cost of these enhancements. Now, crash ratings and safety equipment are top concerns for car buyers and a standard part of marketing and improving vehicles. The same phenomenon is now happening with "green" vehicles like HEVs. Eventually, the emissions and efficiency of vehicles will become a normal aspect of car marketing.
"Think of hybrid cars as a gateway to other vehicle advancements," said Rusty Heffner, author of the UC Davis study. "By introducing a new kind of technology into the marketplace, HEVs have encouraged innovation in the market and have sparked interest in other developing technologies like plug-in hybrids, electric cars, and fuel cell vehicles."
The arrival of HEVs is already having an effect on consumers. Most research on hybrids assumes that consumers would purchase an equivalent conventional vehicle if a hybrid were not available. For example, someone purchasing a Honda Civic Hybrid would buy a regular Honda Civic, or someone buying a Toyota Prius would buy its closest equivalent, the Toyota Corolla.
Researchers at UC Davis have found that this assumption isn't necessarily accurate. When researchers interviewed Prius owners, none had even considered a Corolla. In fact, many had owned larger and more luxurious vehicles and the Prius was a purposeful attempt to reduce their use of gasoline and production of emissions. In the absence of a Prius, most would have bought something similar to their previous vehicle. Researchers further found that households with a hybrid and at least one other conventional vehicle tend to switch more of their driving to their hybrid car.
"While it will likely take decades before hybrids make up enough of the total auto market to achieve double digit oil and emission reductions, reductions in the projected 1-to-10 percent range are huge improvements," said Fairclough. "Most importantly, hybrids have raised the bar on fuel economy for all technologies, creating competition that will push improvements for conventional vehicles and energize the development of new options."
The study is part of AAA's Greenlight™ Initiative, AAA's program to promote the understanding and development of alternative fuels and vehicles. More information about the Greenlight Initiative is available at http://www.aaa.com/greenlight .
AAA Utah offers a wide array of automotive, travel, insurance and financial services to more than 150,000 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.