Saturday, November 28, 2009

Holiday Festivities scheduled at Willard Bay

Willard- Willard Bay State Park hosts Fantasy at the Bay, a drive-through holiday light display November 24 through December 31.

Display hours are 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. nightly and admission is $7 per vehicle. Utah State Parks Annual Passes are not valid during light display hours.

The Cottonwood Campground is filled with animation, lighted trees, roadway lights and displays. Visitors may drive through the display or ride on a horse-drawn hay wagon at no additional cost. A concession service offers cocoa, hamburgers, chili, scones, s'mores and other items around a large campfire. To reach Willard Bay State Park, take Exit 357off I-15.

For more information, please call Fantasy at the Bay at (435) 734-9294 or (435) 237-9506 or Willard Bay State Park at (435) 734-9494.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Youth Snowmobile Educatioin Course now Online

Salt Lake City– The Utah State Parks Know Before You Go! youth snowmobile education course is now available online at

Utah law requires youth eight to 16 to complete the Utah State Parks Know Before You Go! Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Education Course before operating a machine on public lands, roads or trails. It is illegal for
any child under age eight to operate an OHV on public land.

The online course covers riding basics, safety, winter survival and Utah laws. Upon successful completion of the course, students print a temporary certificate valid for 60 days and later receive a permanent certificate by mail. Cost for the class is $30

Students are encouraged to study all materials prior to taking the test. Students who do not pass the course must pay a second registration fee and retake the test. “Safety is our number one concern. We want to reduce the number of accidents by educating youth to operate snowmobiles safely and emphasize the importance of wearing safety equipment, and following laws and rules,” stated OHV Education Coordinator Ann Evans. “Online courses provide easier access to education courses and allow students to learn at their own pace.”

Summer OHV and personal watercraft (PWC) education courses are also available online at .

For more information, visit or call (800) OHV-RIDE.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Big changes await hunters that apply for a Turkey Hunting Permit

Thanksgiving isn’t the only reason wild turkey hunters in Utah will be thinking about turkey over the next few weeks. The chance to apply for a permit to hunt turkeys next spring starts Dec. 10.

And some big changes await Utah’s turkey hunters in 2010—two new hunts have been added.

Limited-entry hunt

The first hunt—the limited-entry hunt—runs April 10 - 29. This is the hunt you can apply for starting Dec. 10.

There will be a big difference in the limited-entry hunt this spring—it will be held on a regional basis instead of on smaller, specific areas. The following number of permits will be available:

Region------------Number of permits
Northern--------- 400
Central -----------500
Northeastern----- 250
Southeastern -----250
Southern--------- 1,100

“This first hunt should be less crowded than the hunt in May because only 2,500 permits will be offered for it,” says Dave Olsen, upland game coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources. “There’s another difference, too—if you draw a permit for the April hunt, you won’t be limited to hunting one specific area like you have been in the past. Instead, you can hunt an entire region.”

Applications for the limited-entry hunt must be received at  no later than 11 p.m. on Dec. 28.

Two new hunts

If you don’t draw a limited-entry permit, don’t pack you gun away—you can still hunt turkeys this spring. Two new statewide hunts—a youth hunt and a general hunt—will be held.

And don’t worry about losing your wild turkey bonus points, either. If you buy a permit for the youth hunt or the general hunt, you’ll still be able to keep all of your bonus points!

Hunters who buy a general season statewide permit and are 15 years of age and younger can participate in the first of the two statewide hunts—the youth hunt—which runs April 30 – May 2.

The number of permits available for the youth hunt are unlimited in number. And young hunters can obtain the permits over the counter. Youth hunters can hunt anywhere in Utah that’s open to turkey hunting.

Youngsters who buy a permit for the youth hunt can also use the permit to hunt during Utah’s final hunt—the general statewide hunt.

The general statewide turkey hunt runs May 3 – 31. An unlimited number of permits will be available for the hunt.

Permits over-the-counter

Permits for the youth hunt and the general hunt will be available at and from DWR offices and hunting and fishing license agents across Utah starting Feb. 16.

Even though three hunts will be held, you can obtain only one permit. You must hunt during the hunt you obtain a permit for.

Also, if you buy a general permit, you won’t lose any wild turkey bonus points that you’ve earned.

2010 Turkey Guidebook

More information about Utah’s 2010 turkey hunting season is available in the 2010 Utah Turkey Guidebook. The guidebook is available at  and from DWR offices and hunting and fishing license agents across Utah.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Nevada sends Bighorn Sheep to Utah

Kanab -- Twenty bighorn sheep from Nevada have a new home in Utah.
Earlier this month, biologists with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) released 20 desert bighorn sheep into the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah.

The sheep were captured by Nevada Department of Wildlife biologists near Lake Mead in southern Nevada.

“We released a total of 19 ewes and one young ram into the desert near Croton and Little Valley on the Kaparowitz sheep unit,” says Teresa Bonzo, regional wildlife manager for the UDWR. “Several of the ewes are pregnant. Releasing these sheep will really bolster the population in this area over the next few years.”

Bonzo says the Kaparowitz bighorn sheep herd is doing well. The sheep that were added to the herd will help it do even better. “This transplant will ensure genetic stability in the herd,” she says. “And we’ve also brought more sheep into an area that can handle more animals.”


The sheep were captured in Nevada using nets fired from a helicopter. After the sheep became entangled in the nets, wildlife capture specialists placed the animals in slings and then transported them by helicopter to a staging area. After being gently lowered to the ground, biologists quickly checked the sheep for injuries and disease. Then the animals were loaded into horse trailers for their trip to Utah.

Once they arrived at the release site, UDWR biologists opened the doors to the trailer. The sheep leaped from the trailer and ran into the hills.

Bonzo says all of the sheep made the trip without injury, and they’re doing well in their new home.

Working together

Nevada and Utah have a long history of cooperating on various wildlife projects. Last year, several pronghorn were captured in Utah and sent to Nevada.

The Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, the Nevada Department of Wildlife, Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep and the UDWR worked together to make the recent Utah sheep transplant happen.

DWR recommends limiting the number of Dogs for Bear Hunts

Three areas that are popular places to pursue bears with dogs might be quieter next summer.

Division of Wildlife Resources biologists want to limit the number of people who pursue bears on the Book Cliffs, San Juan and LaSal units in summer 2010. All three units are in eastern Utah.

The biologists also want to limit the number of dogs that can be used to hunt or pursue bears on any unit in Utah.
Those changes—and more bear hunting permits in Utah—are among changes the DWR is recommending for Utah’s 2010 black bear pursuit and hunting seasons.

Learn more, share your ideas
You can review all of the DWR’s bear hunting and pursuit proposals at . Once you’ve read the proposals, you can share your thoughts and ideas one of two ways:

RAC meetings
Five Regional Advisory Council meetings will be held across Utah. Citizens representing the RACs will take the input received at the meetings to the Utah Wildlife Board. Board members will use the input to help them set rules for Utah’s 2010 bear hunt and pursuit seasons. They’ll set those rules at their Jan. 7 meeting in Salt Lake City.

You can participate and provide your input at any of the following meetings:

Southern Region
Dec. 8
7 p.m.
Cross Hollows Intermediate School
2215 W. Royal Hunte Dr.
Cedar City

Southeastern Region
Dec. 9
6:30 p.m.
John Wesley Powell Museum
1765 E. Main St.
Green River

Northeastern Region
Dec. 10
6:30 p.m.
Uintah Interagency Fire Center
355 N. Vernal Ave.

Central Region
Dec. 15
6:30 p.m.
Central Region Conference Center
1115 N. Main St.

Northern Region
Dec. 16
6 p.m.
Brigham City Community Center
24 N. 300 W.
Brigham City

You can also provide your comments to your RAC via e-mail. E-mail addresses for your RAC members are available at .

The group each RAC member represents (sportsman, non-consumptive, etc.) is listed under each person’s e-mail address. You should direct your e-mail to the people on the RAC who represent your interest.

Pursuit and hunting changes
The Book Cliffs, San Juan and LaSal units are among the most popular places in Utah to pursue bears with trained hounds. Unfortunately, that popularity has caused some problems.

“This past summer, we received more than 150 complaints from campers, hikers and others who were recreating in the area,” says Justin Dolling, game mammals coordinator for the DWR.

“Some of the houndsmen were using as many as 20 hounds to pursue a single bear,” Dolling says. “When hounds get on a bear’s track, they bark a lot, and they’re extremely noisy. The noise and the commotion the hounds and the houndsmen were causing bothered some of the people who were camping and hiking in the area.”

To quiet things down, DWR biologists are recommending two changes:

- Limit the number of permits offered to pursue bears on the Book Cliffs, San Juan and LaSal units in the summer. The DWR is recommending that the following number of pursuit permits be available for the summer pursuit season:

Unit            Resident   Nonresident
Book Cliffs   25----------3
San Juan       30----------3
LaSal           20------------2

- Limit the number of hounds houndsmen can use to pursue or hunt bears on any of the state’s bear units. Biologists are recommending that houndsmen not be allowed to use more than eight hounds to pursue a single bear.

More hunting permits

Biologists are also recommending that the number of hunting permits be increased for next year’s black bear hunts.

In 2009, a total of 319 permits were available. The DWR is recommending a total of 368 permits for 2010.

Based on an average success rate of just over 40 percent, the extra 49 permits should result in hunters taking about 21 additional bears in 2010.

In 2009, hunters took 147 bears in Utah.

For more information about the meetings, call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR’s Salt Lake City office at (801) 538-4700.

DWR starts Utah’s third confirmed Otter Population near Provo River

The odds you’ll see a river otter in Utah just got better.

On Nov. 25, biologists with the Division of Wildlife Resources released a northern river otter into the Provo River between Jordanelle and Deer Creek reservoirs. (This stretch of the river is commonly referred to as the “middle Provo.”)

The otter, a young adult female, is the first of as many as 10 to 15 otters the DWR hopes to place into the middle Provo River in the next few months. The otter released on Nov. 25 was trapped by DWR biologists on the Green River in northeastern Utah.

Three-year study

Releasing river otters into the middle Provo will provide Utah with another river otter population. It will also provide biologists with valuable information about the habits of river otters in the state.

“Releasing this otter marks the beginning of a three-year study to learn more about otters in Utah,” says Justin Dolling, game mammals coordinator for the DWR.

The day before the otter was released, a veterinarian at Brigham Young University placed a small transmitter in the otter’s abdomen, just under its skin. The transmitter will allow Casey Day to track the otter. Day is a graduate student at BYU.

Transmitters will also be placed in other otters that are released into the river.

“The types of food otters eat, the distances they travel and how successful they are at reproducing are among the things Day will learn,” Dolling says. “The information we gain from his study will guide us in other river otter reintroductions we do in the future.”

UWIN provides funding

Utah Wildlife in Need (UWIN)—a new charitable foundation in Utah—is providing all of the funding for the project.

So far, the foundation has raised $66,000 for the project. That’s half of what’s needed to see the project through to the end.

“If you want to help otters in Utah, this project gives you the perfect chance,” says Bob Hasenyager, UWIN director. “The ALSAM Foundation has provided $66,000 to get the otter project up and going. Now we need other folks to step up and provide the funding needed to see the project through to the end.”

You can learn more about UWIN—and make a donation to the otter project—at

Otters and trout

DWR biologists have heard from anglers who are concerned about the effect river otters will have on trout in the middle Provo River.

“Crayfish [also called crawdads] are an otter’s favorite food,” Dolling says. “But if they can’t find crayfish, they’ll turn to other sources, including frogs and fish. An adult otter eats about two to three pounds of food per day.”

Dolling says the middle Provo River has plenty of crayfish. But if the otters have any difficulty finding crayfish in the river, there are plenty of fish to eat. “Otters usually target slower-moving fish, such as sculpin, whitefish, carp and suckers,” he says. “Most of the fish they eat are between five and seven inches long.”

Dolling says the river otters will also eat trout. And that may not be a bad thing.

“This stretch of the river has an abundant trout population that’s dominated by brown trout,” says Roger Wilson, sport fish coordinator for the DWR. “Because there are so many fish in the river, the fish are having to compete with each other for food and space. The competition they’re having is reducing their growth rate and affecting their overall condition.

“Letting otters take some fish could actually improve fishing in the river,” Wilson says. “If otters take some fish, the fish that remain should grow to a larger size.”

Walt Donaldson, Aquatic Section chief for the DWR, says the middle Provo River is a blue ribbon fishery that’s known to anglers across the country. “We reintroduced otters into the Green River in 1989, and they’ve haven’t caused the fish in the river any problems,” he says. “After otters are placed in the Provo River, we’ll keep monitoring the fish population in the river. If we find the otters are causing the fish problems, we can take management actions to make sure fishing in the river doesn’t suffer.”

Those actions include stocking trout in the river and capturing and removing some of the otters.

Not only should the otters not cause problems for fish in the river, they might also add to the enjoyment anglers find while fishing.

“Many anglers who fish the Green River have enjoyed seeing the otters,” Donaldson says. “They say it’s a treat to watch a family of otters play while they’re fishing.”
Otter history

River otters were never abundant in Utah. But they were found in various parts of the state. Some of the biggest populations were in northern Utah.

River otters were doing fine until Utah was settled. Then over trapping started to take a toll. In 1899, the Utah Legislature closed the state to otter trapping.

Otters faced another challenge, though: the degradation of vegetation along steam banks, and agricultural and urban encroachment. Each of these factors affected water levels and water quality in the state. And that, in turn, that affected the otters’ food supply.

As their habitat and food supply declined, the number of otters declined too.

Bringing otters back

Management practices during the 1900s improved conditions along some of the state’s steam banks. That, in turn, improved water quality. By the 1980s, it was time to increase the number of river otters in Utah.

The DWR started expanding river otter populations in 1989 when biologists released nine otters from Nevada and Alaska into the Green River in northeastern Utah.

The DWR followed the 1989 release with several more otters releases in the area.

In 2005, Utah’s river otter population expanded more when three otters trapped by the DWR in ortheastern Utah were released into the Escalante River in southwestern Utah.

That release was also followed by several other releases in the river.

Learn more

More information about river otters and their future in Utah is available in the state’s River Otter Management Plan. The free plan is available at

Friday, November 13, 2009

Cougar Hunting Season starts Nov. 18

Photo by Lynn Chamberlain
Permits to hunt on harvest-objective units are now available.

Another cougar hunting season starts in Utah on Nov. 18. And even if you didn't obtain a limited-entry permit for the hunt, you can still participate.

Permits are now available to hunt on cougar harvest-objective units. Utah's cougar hunt starts Nov. 18.

What's a harvest-objective unit?

Judi Tutorow, wildlife licensing coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says there are three major differences between harvest-objective units and traditional limited-entry units.

"There is no limit on the number of permits we can sell for a harvest-objective unit. And you can buy harvest-objective permits on the Internet or over-the-counter," Tutorow says.

"The hunt on a harvest-objective unit can close before the season ends, however, if hunters take the number of cougars biologists want taken," she says. "For example, let's say the harvest objective on a unit is 10 cougars. The hunt on that unit will close when 10 cougars are taken, even if the date when the season is supposed to end hasn't arrived yet."

The chance a unit might close early shouldn't be a big challenge for you, though. Harvest-objective hunting is allowed on 38 units in Utah. If the unit you want to hunt closes, you can still hunt on any harvest-objective unit that's still open to hunting.


Utah's 2009–2010 cougar harvest-objective season begins Nov. 18, 2009 on some units and March 6, 2010 on others. "The dates for each unit are available on pages 24, 25 and 26 of the 2009–2010 Utah Cougar Guidebook," Tutorow says.

The guidebook is available at You can also get a copy at hunting and fishing license agent locations and DWR offices statewide.

Tutorow reminds you that you may not buy a harvest-objective permit if you've already obtained a limited-entry cougar permit for the 2009–2010 season.

Before each hunting trip, you must call 1-888-668-LION (5466), or visit the DWR's Web site, to verify that the unit you'd like to hunt the next day is still open to hunting. The phone line and the Web site are updated by noon with information for the following day.

For more information, call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR's Salt Lake City office at (801) 538-4700.

More than 23,000 Swans stopping in Utah

More than 23,000 tundra swans are in Utah's marshes right now, with more are on the way.

Photo by Phil Douglass

If you drew a permit to hunt tundra swans in Utah, you may want to grab your gun and head to the marsh. More than 23,000 tundra swans are in Utah's marshes right now, with more are on the way.

Tom Aldrich counted 23,606 swans in marshes along the eastern shore of the Great Salt Lake during his latest survey, flown on Nov. 3.

"Swans should continue to migrate into Utah this fall. But there are enough swans in the marshes now that it's great time to head into the marsh to see if you can take one," says Aldrich, migratory game bird coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources.

Where the swans are

Most of the swans Aldrich spotted on the morning of Nov. 3 were on Unit 1 at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge. He saw more than 16,000 swans on the unit.

The refuge is about 15 miles west of Brigham City.

"You can't hunt on Unit 1, but the swans that are on the unit may fly over units 2, 1A, 3A and 3B, which are open to hunting," Aldrich says.

The DWR usually flies its weekly swan surveys on Tuesday mornings. You can stay updated on where the swans are by logging onto the DWR's Web site at

Utah's swan hunting season ends Dec. 13. Only those who drew a swan hunting permit earlier this fall can hunt swans.

Hunting tips

If you're one of the 2,000 hunters who drew a permit, Aldrich says you should spend time watching the swans and learning their flight patterns. Tundra swans are very consistent in the times of day they fly and the routes they take. "If you learn these patterns, you'll increase your chance for success," Aldrich says.

Factors that can change a swan's flight pattern include hunting pressure, changes in the weather and the availability of food.

Ice-up is another thing to watch for. As the water starts to freeze, swans fly more in search of areas that still have open water. "Being in the marsh during this time can also increase your chance of taking a swan," Aldrich says.

Aldrich reminds hunters that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has closed all of the areas north of the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and north of Forest Street (the road leading from Brigham City to the refuge) to tundra swan hunting.

"The USFWS has restricted tundra swan hunting in this area to try and lessen the number of trumpeter swans that hunters take," Aldrich says. "Compared to tundra swans, trumpeter swans are much less abundant."

Swan hunting reminders

Swan hunters are reminded about requirements that are designed to help the DWR and the USFWS obtain an accurate count of the number of trumpeter swans that are accidentally taken by hunters.

Within 72 hours of taking a swan, you must take your bird to a DWR office, or the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, so it can be examined and measured. You must also return your harvest questionnaire no later than Jan. 11, 2010, even if you don't hunt swans or take a swan.

If you don't do these things, you'll have to do several things—including paying a $50 late fee and completing the swan orientation course again—before you can apply for a swan permit in 2010.

Volunteers needed at Frontier Homestead State Park Museum

Cedar City – Frontier Homestead State Park Museum is seeking volunteers who are interested in learning exciting and challenging hands-on activities and demonstrating these skills to park visitors. If you have the desire to present the many aspects of Western history, please become a volunteer and part of the living history experience.

Museum volunteers receive access to area history tours, invitations to special events and a 20% discount in the museum store.

Frontier Homestead State Park Museum is located at 635 North Main in Cedar City and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information, please contact the museum at (435) 586-9290.

Boating Safety Tip of the Week

Salt Lake City – Though water temperatures are dropping at Utah’s lakes and reservoirs statewide, there are still great boating opportunities in southern Utah.

Sand Hollow and Quail Creek state parks in Hurricane offer year-round boating. These two parks provide great winter boating opportunities with a mild winter climate. Sand Hollow State Park offers blue waters and red sandstone landscapes, while Quail Creek State Park boasts a red rock desert setting and great fishing.

“These two parks are an easy five-hour drive from the Salt Lake Valley and provide excellent opportunities to extend the boating season on Utah’s warmer waters,” commented Utah State Parks Assistant Boating Program Manager Chris Haller.

Haller reminds all boaters to follow these safety tips:

Always wear a life jacket!
File a float plan; inform someone of where you are going and when you will return.
Dress for changing weather conditions and layer your clothing.
Keep a ladder on board in case someone falls overboard.
Never boat alone!

For more information or to take a boating safety course, please visit  or call (801) 538-BOAT. Wear it Utah!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Provo's Fall Fiddlefest scheduled Saturday

On Saturday, Provo's Fall Fiddlefest will host almost 25 bands throughout the day and feature some of the best local folk and bluegrass music in the area.

The Fall Bluegrass Fiddle Fest provides musicians of all proficiency levels an opportunity to showcase their musical abilities in a performance setting.

Groups of all sizes and ability levels are invited to perform three tunes on stage. No entry fees are required, however you will need to reserve your spot by contacting Sheri Cluff at (801) 471-7008 or via email at

The Fall Fiddle Fest will be held in the auditorium of the Tahitian Noni Building at Riverwoods in Provo, Utah (333 West River Park Drive) on Saturday, November 14, 2009. Performances begin at 1:00 PM and continue throughout the day. Check the schedule for a complete listing of performers and times.

At 7:00 PM, an evening concert featuring bluegrass bands Firefly, Silver Rails, and Engines of Commotion will entertain the crowd.

Tickets will be sold at the door:
$1 for the afternoon performances
$5 per person or $25 per family for an all event pass, or the evening concert.

We invite everyone to join us for a full day of boot-stompin' good music. For more information, visit

Fall Fiddle Fest 2009 Schedule
1:00 Old Time Fiddlers
1:12 Gimpy and the Girls
1:24 Springville HS
1:36 Springville HS
1:48 Kaelei Corbridge
2:00 Lindsay Davis Fiddlers
2:12 Rocky Mountain Thunder
2:24 Mike Hinckley
2:36 Flying Nancy’s
2:48 Musicians Guild
3:00 Lucky Crickets
3:12 Dan Steinbagle
3:24 Klezmore
3:36 BYU Tour group
3:48 Stairwell migration
4.00 Celtic - MJ
4:12 Whistle pig
4:24 Bittersweet Bluegrass
4:36 Breanne Ackerman
4:48 Natalie’s Bluegrass Group
5:00 Holly Robbins
5:12 Robby Sorenson - Bluegrass group
5:24 O'Conaly's Fright
Evening Concert

7:00 Firefly
7:30 Silver Rails
8:10 Engines of Commotion


333 West River Park Driv
Provo, UT 84604

Driving Directions

From I-15 take the Orem Center Street exit.

Head east (towards the mountains) on Center Street all the way through Orem.

As Center Street drops down into Provo (just before the Shops at Riverwoods), you will turn left at the 300 West stop light.

Drive less than a block north and you will see the building.

Guest Artists

Engines of Commotion

The Engines of Commotion formed in 2009 after playing together in different Utah folk groups during the previous four years. Influenced by the revolutionary folk of the '60's, traditional Americana, and progressive acoustic music, the Engines smartly combine the American folk legacy with an energetic stage presence and a flair of originality to create a soulful and entertaining style.

Silver Rails

“Silver Rails” is one of Utah's newest up and coming Bluegrass groups. With State champions Dan Riggs on fiddle and Sarah Cluff on mandolin and guitar, they are joined by 1st place Old Time Fiddler Junior winner, Leah Cluff on fiddle, Sheri Cluff on guitar and banjo, Daniel Cluff on banjo, guitar and bass, and Emma Cluff on bass and percussion. The band enjoys playing many types of bluegrass music, adding their own unique style. From very traditional instrumentals and vocals to celtic pieces and originals, their variety sets them apart.


Firefly is a teenage band that performs a wide range of music: Celtic, American, and folk with a contemporary flavor. There are five members of Firefly: Abbi Mitchell, Alina Geslison, Isaac Geslison, Brianna Joy, and Grace Dayton. They range in age from 13 to 19.

Alina, Isaac, and Grace have competed in multiple state and national championships, having won numersous titles in these competitions. Alina and Grace are currently the 2009 National Old Time Fiddle Association Twin Fiddle champions. Each band member plays a variety of instruments.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Volunteers Help Wetlands Preserve Preserve bounce back

Moab -- On Oct. 24, a bunch of volunteers assembled behind the Archway Inn in Moab. The team was armed with shovels, water buckets and a lot of determination.

Their mission? Plant more than 2,000 native plants at the Scott M. Matheson Wetlands Preserve, which was ravaged by fire last fall.

The team focused its efforts on the north side of the preserve.

A successful day
The group’s determination and hard work paid off. Workers, both young and old, successfully planted 2,022 native plants. The plants included trees, shrubs and grasses.

The shovel brigade included a bunch of students from Kelly Wilson’s science class from Grand County Middle School. The students were especially helpful. The work party also included residents of Moab, personnel from The Nature Conservancy and the Division of Wildlife Resources, and people from towns as far away as Park City and Grand Junction.

Another planting project is scheduled for this Saturday, Nov. 7. This project will focus on the south side of the preserve. The Nature Conservancy hopes to attract scout groups, church groups and environmentally-minded people who care about the preserve and want to help rehabilitate it.

If you’d like to help, meet at the TNC parking lot on Kane Creek Boulevard in Moab at 9 a.m.

On Oct. 21 and 22, 2008, a fire charred more than 400 acres at the Matheson Wetlands Preserve. In addition to destroying vegetation, the fire destroyed trail systems, boardwalks and the preserve’s wildlife-viewing blind.

Formerly known as the Moab Sloughs, the preserve was established in 1990. It encompasses more than 895 acres. This unique system represents the largest intact wetlands on the Colorado River in Utah. The preserve is home to more than 200 species of birds, amphibians and mammals.

For more information, contact Linda Whitham with The Nature Conservancy at (435) 259-4629 or   .

Pheasant Preparation Tips from Camp Chef

Utah's Pheasant Opener begins on Saturday and when prepared properly, nothing beats it this time of year at the table.

Guy Perkins with Camp Chef provides the following tips to prepare a tasty meal.

Pheasant from the Field to the Table
By Guy Perkins, Camp Chef

The first thing you need to do to get a pheasant dinner is well...purchase some pheasant. We prefer to "purchase" them the old fashion way with a gun. (One cocky teenager chose to use his bow and yes he got from the air, kids)

The base is and cast iron are the key to this recipe. After that the seasoning is to your flavor.  I was surprised with the luck I had with the Log Cabin Grub seasoning.

After you clean and cut up your pheasant prepare a flour dredge with your seasoning blended in.

Cover the pheasant with the dredge

I like the solid Crisco vegetable oil and use about a cup of it in a 14 inch dutch oven to brown the pheasant pieces. The 14 inch dutch oven gives me a bit more surface to do more at one time. In this case I was using three pheasants. After all the pieces are brown I load the oven back up with the pheasant and then add a cup of diced onions spread on top. I cover the oven and put it on low low heat. I used the Dutch Oven Cover and in an hour it was fall from the bone time.

I unloaded the Pheasant and place it on a tray in the home oven to stay warm while I made flour gravy from the drippings in the oven. That also helped with oven clean up.

Mashed potatoes, garden peas, bakin powder biscuits topped it all of on the side...and then of course the family.

For more Outdoor Cooking Tips, stop by