Thursday, February 25, 2010

See Hundreds of Tundra Swans

Photo courtesy Mdf, Creative Commons

Seeing and hearing just one tundra swan is enough to take your breath away. Imagine seeing and hearing hundreds of them. You can at Tundra Swan Day.

Tundra Swan Day – March 13

The Division of Wildlife Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will host Utah’s annual Tundra Swan Day on March 13. Admission is free.

Viewing will take place at three sites—the Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area west of Farmington, the Salt Creek WMA west of Corinne and the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge west of Brigham City.

Farmington Bay and Salt Creek

Viewing at the Farmington Bay and Salt Creek WMAs runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Spotting scopes will be available so you can get a close look at the swans.

Bear River

Viewing at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge runs from sunrise to sunset. You can watch swans from your vehicle as you drive along the refuge’s auto tour route.

Before heading to the refuge, stop by its Wildlife Education Center at 2155 W. Forest St. in Brigham City. The center has maps and more information about the refuge. The center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

To reach the center, exit I-15 at Exit 363. After you’ve exited the freeway, turn west. The center is about one block west of the freeway.

More information

You can also call the DWR’s Northern Region office at (801) 476-2740 or the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge at (435) 723-5887.

Watching swans on your own

If you can’t attend the March 13 event, you can still get out and watch swans on your own.

The Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is one of the best places to visit. You can see hundreds of swans along the refuge’s 12-mile auto tour loop.

As many as 35,000 swans are in Utah when the swan migration peaks in mid-March.

Disease Kills Bighorn Sheep in Northeastern Utah

Vernal -- Bacterial pneumonia, which has been raising havoc with bighorn sheep herds in other Western states, has found another set of victims on Goslin Mountain in northeastern Utah.
Recent surveys by Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) biologists have found most of the bighorns in the Goslin herd near the Green River in Daggett County are infected with the disease.

“We’ve noticed a decline in the Goslin population for a couple of years, but we weren’t able to identify the reason until recently,” says Charlie Greenwood, regional UDWR wildlife manager.

In mid February, Lowell Marthe, area wildlife biologist for Daggett County, saw a bighorn coughing. He then surveyed other animals in the area to determine if the coughing was an isolated event. Unfortunately, he found other bighorns coughing too. And some of the sheep were acting quite sick. Samples of lung tissue taken from several animals confirmed the animals had pneumonia.

The Goslin herd is relatively new. Bighorn sheep captured in Montana were reintroduced to the area in 2004 and 2007.

The population increased fairly rapidly after the 2004 release, which is normal for a new herd. That didn’t happen with the 2007 release, however. Lamb production and survival were poor and the total number of sheep started to decrease.

The population estimate dropped from 65 to 40 between 2008 and 2009.

Tough decisions

When a deadly disease infects a herd, wildlife managers have very few options. Native wild sheep have several things going against them: they’re very social animals, and they’ve evolved with few defenses or immunities against diseases. As a result, most diseases can be deadly to wild sheep. And those diseases can rapidly infect all the bighorns in an area.

Wildlife managers are left with two choices: watch the sheep die or try to keep the disease from spreading to other bighorns by severely culling (taking) animals from the herd.

“We’ve been watching similar events unfold in Montana, Washington and Nevada,” says Leslie McFarlane, UDWR wildlife disease coordinator. “There’s no known cure for pneumonia in bighorns. [The good news is that] it’s not hazardous to livestock or humans.

“Taking infected sheep is the only way to prevent the disease from spreading to other bighorns in the herd,” McFarlane says. “It’s also the most humane thing to do. When sheep get pneumonia, it’s almost always fatal. We want to end the suffering as quick as we can.”

As of Feb. 22, the UDWR had taken 26 bighorns from the Goslin herd. Biologists are closely monitoring another small band from this herd. Biologists haven’t noticed any coughing, but they’re concerned that these animals could also be infected.

Surveys of bighorns in nearby herds indicate that the animals in these herds are healthy.

“Our biggest concern is stopping the spread of the disease to the Bare Top, Carter Creek and Sheep Creek herds,” Greenwood says. “We are still trying to locate all of the animals in the Goslin unit. It’s not a pleasant task, but we know if we don’t get ahead of the disease, we could lose everything.”

Deadly legacy

Like many North American wild animals, ancestors of today’s wild sheep crossed the Bering Land Bridge from Asia. These sheep were isolated from their cousins in Asia, Europe and Africa by the great ice sheets that covered North America during the ice ages. They evolved into the bighorns (Ovis canadensis) and thinhorns (Ovis dalli) found today.

In addition to isolating the sheep, the ice sheets kept temperatures cold and dry. These conditions helped prevent diseases from spreading. As a result, North American wild sheep evolved few defenses or immunities against diseases.

In contrast, some of the sheep populations in Europe, Asia and Africa were domesticated. Great herds of domestic animals wandered the steppes and grasslands moving north or south as weather permitted. These great herds were breeding grounds for disease. Because they frequently encountered each other, the domestic sheep—exposed to a variety of diseases—developed strong defenses and immunities.

Wild sheep are highly social animals. They seek each other out and travel in small bands or larger herds. Individual bands will often mix with sheep from other herds. This mixing allows a disease to spread quickly from band to band and herd to herd.

When domestic sheep were introduced to the Americas, they brought their exotic diseases with them. These diseases proved deadly to native wild sheep and often eliminated entire populations. Bighorn sheep, once the most abundant large mammal in the mountainous areas of the West, were nearly driven to extinction by the early 1900s. Many factors, including competition for forage, habitat degradation and unregulated hunting all played their parts, but exotic diseases were the biggest factor.

Today’s bighorns are ancestors of isolated, remote bands that somehow escaped the exotic diseases rampaging through the herds as the Wild West was tamed. They still lack immunities to most diseases, and their survival depends mostly on remaining relatively isolated.

This deadly ice-age legacy—the lack of immunity to exotic diseases—is the biggest challenge still facing bighorns today.

Changes set for Camping Reservations at Utah State Parks

Salt Lake City – New this spring, the Utah State Parks Reservation Office has two new major policies affecting customers planning to make reservations for camping, pavilions or boat slips.

First, only major credit cards are accepted for camping and other types of reservations. Cash and checks are no longer accepted.

Second, all reservation customers are asked to set up a Utah State Parks camper profile by visiting and clicking on Internet Reservations. Establishing a profile provides faster and better service for future reservations, as well as providing information for Utah State Parks in the event of an emergency. All campers, including those who are planning to camp on a first-come, first-served basis, must create a profile.

For more information or to make a reservation, please call (801) 322-3770 within the Salt Lake calling area, toll-free (800) 322-3770, or visit .

National parks now subject to state and local firearms laws

WASHINGTON – A change in federal law effective Monday, February 22, allows firearms in many national parks. People who can legally possess firearms under federal and state law can now possess those firearms in the national parks in that state. The new law (Sec. 512 of P.L. 111-24) was passed by Congress and signed last May by the President.

Prior to February 22, firearms have generally been prohibited in national parks – except in some Alaska parks and those parks that allow hunting.

State and local firearms laws vary. Visitors who would like to bring a firearm with them to a national park need to understand and comply with the applicable laws. More than 30 national parks are located in more than one state, so visitors need to know where they are in those parks and which state’s law applies.

“For nearly 100 years, the mission of the National Park Service has been to protect and preserve the parks and to help all visitors enjoy them,”

National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis said. “We will administer this law as we do all others – fairly and consistently.”

Federal law continues to prohibit the possession of firearms in designated “federal facilities” in national parks, for example, visitor centers, offices, or maintenance buildings. These places are posted with “firearms prohibited” signs at public entrances. The new law also does not change prohibitions on the use of firearms in national parks and does not change hunting regulations

Park websites have been updated to include links to state firearms laws to help visitors understand the law and plan accordingly.

Volunteer Fishing Instructor training starts in March

Photo by Brent Stettler

Want to help a group of kids have one of the best experiences they'll have this spring? Then volunteer to help a youth fishing club!

The Division of Wildlife Resources is looking for volunteers to teach 6- to 13-year-olds about fish, the places fish live and how to catch them.

The Division of Wildlife Resources is looking for volunteers to teach 6- to 13-year-olds about fish, the places fish live and how to catch them.

Volunteers are needed in communities stretching from Brigham City to Washington City. To learn more about the clubs, and to volunteer to help, visit .

(You can also listen to a radio interview about the clubs at .)

Anyone can help

The number of kids who can participate in the clubs is tied directly to the number of adults who volunteer to help. If more adults volunteer to help, more children can participate.

"If you want to help, but you don't know much about fishing, that's OK," says Chris Penne, community fisheries biologist for the DWR. "If you're a positive person, you're patient and you have good communication skills, you have everything we're looking for.

"We'll teach you all of the other skills you'll need to have a great experience with these kids.


Most of the youth fishing clubs start in March and April. But a few begin as late as June.

Most of the clubs meet once a week for six weeks. Each club session lasts about two hours.

The children spend the first 30 minutes of each outing learning a new lesson or skill. After teaching the kids, adult volunteers take them down to the water and help the children use their skills to catch fish!

"The kids look up to their fishing mentors. You're their leader," Penne says. "If you'd like to volunteer, it's best if you can commit to being with your club every time it meets."

Two to three weeks before a club's first meeting, DWR personnel will provide a volunteer training seminar in the community where the fishing club meets. The training takes less than two hours to complete.

Also, all volunteers must consent to and pass a criminal background check. "The DWR and the various communities are committed to keeping the children in the clubs safe," Penne says.


Penne says a number of rewards await those who volunteer. "One of the biggest thrills you'll have is watching a young boy or girl reel in their first fish. Seeing that is priceless," he says.

"It's also rewarding to teach someone a skill they'll be able to use and enjoy the rest of their life. And knowing you're helping get these kids outside, so they can experience the natural world around them, is also very rewarding."

If you have questions, please e-mail Penne at .

A popular program

"We had a great turnout in 2009," Penne says. "About 1,500 kids and 300 volunteers participated. Many of the volunteers were folks who volunteered the year before. They had a great experience, and they wanted to help again."

Penne says many of the city recreation departments in Utah have added fishing to the list of sports they offer to kids. That's one of greatest reasons for the program's success. "For the first time, fishing has found its way into mainstream sports, right along with soccer, baseball and football," Penne says.

The number of children and communities involved in the program is growing. "We need volunteers more than ever before," Penne says.

3 California condors die in Arizona

Photo by Lynn Chamberlain

BOISE, IDAHO—After three years without a confirmed mortality from lead poisoning, three California condors have recently died from the biggest challenge to the species' recovery. The condors, including a female and her chick from the previous year, were recovered by The Peregrine Fund.

Condors are scavengers and research in the last five years has proven that they consume tiny fragments of lead in the remains of gunshot animals.

Necropsies to determine the cause of death were performed at the San Diego Zoo's Institute for Conservation Research. Testing confirmed the presence of lead fragments in the digestive tracts of all three birds. Lead shuts down the condors' digestive system, which leads to starvation, weakness and death.

"While the deaths of a breeding female and her wild-hatched chick are a significant loss, condor conservation has been gaining ground since lead poisoning was first identified as a leading cause of mortality and we began to educate hunters about the effects of spent lead on condors," said biologist Chris Parish, head of The Peregrine Fund's condor recovery operation in Arizona. "But, as the condor recovery program progresses, new challenges have been identified."

The three dead birds had been outfitted with tracking equipment that allowed field biologists to monitor daily movements. In recent years, that radio tracking data has identified increased use of southern Utah as a major foraging area for the flock.

"When we first reintroduced condors to northern Arizona in 1996, the birds primarily foraged closer to home," said Chris Parish. "Now that we have observed the condors expanding their range into Utah and foraging more frequently outside of the local release area, conservation partners are working with Utah and its hunters to reduce the amount of spent lead ammunition available to condors in gut piles and carcasses left in the field."

The Peregrine Fund tries to capture all condors twice yearly to test for lead exposure, the leading cause of condor death. Birds with high blood lead concentrations are treated with chelation therapy to reduce the lead in their system. Condors are scavengers and research in the last five years has proven that they consume tiny fragments of lead in the remains of gunshot animals.

To aid condor conservation, the Arizona Game and Fish Department started a non-lead ammunition outreach program in 2003 to hunters drawn for hunts in the condor's core range. Surveys show that 85 percent of hunters took voluntary measures in 2009 to reduce the amount of available spent lead ammunition in the condor's core range.

Now the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is implementing a similar program for hunters on the Zion unit in southwestern Utah.

"We've started educating our hunters about the effect that lead ammunition has on condors," said Jim Parrish, nongame avian coordinator for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. "The next thing we're going to do is give everyone who hunts on the Zion unit a coupon for a free box of non-lead ammunition."

"There's no reason to reinvent the wheel, so we're modeling the Utah program after Arizona's non-lead effort," continued Jim Parrish. "Utah's sportsmen are conservation-minded. We're confident they'll step up to the challenge and that our program, combined with the highly successful program in Arizona, will keep the condor population healthy and allow it to grow."

Condor conservation partners include The Peregrine Fund, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Utah Wildlife in Need, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Forest Service.

For more information on condor conservation and non-lead ammunition, visit  or .


•By 1982, just 22 California Condors remained on Earth. Captive breeding programs were established in the 1980s.

•California Condors now live in the wild in Arizona, Utah, California and Mexico.

•The condor is the largest flying land bird in North America. The birds can weigh up to 26 pounds and have a wingspan up to 9 feet.

•Condors reach maturity at about six years of age. They usually produce one egg every other year.

•Prior to reintroduction, the last wild condor in Arizona was sighted just south of the Grand Canyon in 1924.

•There are now 74 condors in Arizona and Utah.

•Visitors at the Grand Canyon and Vermilion Cliffs may be able to observe the birds, especially during the spring and summer.

Utah Shed Antler Hunting Courses now Available

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Photo

If you enjoy gathering antlers that deer, elk and moose shed in the winter, one of your favorite times of the year is almost here.

You'll need to complete the free shed antler-gathering course—and print a course completion certificate—before you gather shed antlers in Utah.

But before you head outdoors to gather antlers, you need to head to this Web page first:

At the page, you'll find a free shed antler-gathering course. You must complete the course—and print a course completion certificate—before you gather shed antlers in Utah.

"Make sure you carry your certificate with you," says Mike Fowlks, Law Enforcement Section chief for the Division of Wildlife Resources.

"By law, you must have your certificate with you while you're gathering shed antlers."

If you have young children, and you've completed the course, your children don't need to complete it. As long as you've completed the course, your certificate will cover your kids too.

You can gather antlers across Utah

Fowlks says if you complete the course, you can gather antlers across Utah. "Please remember, though, that many of the state's wildlife management areas are closed in the spring and the winter to protect wildlife," he says.

You must complete the course if you want to gather shed antlers before April 15. If you wait until April 15 or later to gather antlers, you don't need to complete the course.

Helping deer, elk and moose

The antlers of deer, elk and moose drop off their heads each winter. During the summer, the animals grow a new set of antlers.

"Gathering shed antlers is an activity that's grown in popularity across the country, including here in Utah," Fowlks says.

The challenge with shed-antler gathering is that it happens during the worst time of the year for the animals and the places the animals live in the winter.

"Two things are happening at the end of the winter," Fowlks says. "The animals are stressed, and the habitat they rely on in the winter is wet.

"Fortunately, you can have fun gathering shed antlers without stressing the animals and damaging their habitat. This online course will show you how."

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

Big game applications due by March 1, 2010

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Photo

If you're going to apply for a permit to hunt big game in Utah this fall, a wildlife official has some advice: Apply before the last day of the application period.

Time is running out to submit an application to hunt big game in Utah this fall. You must apply no later than 11 p.m. on March 1, 2010.

Applications will be accepted at until 11 p.m. on March 1.

"When you apply depends a lot on how much patience you have," says Judi Tutorow, wildlife licensing coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources. "If you apply before March 1, you should be able to get your application in fast.

"If you wait until March 1, it could take longer," she says. "Thousands of hunters wait until the last day to apply. Receiving that much traffic in a short period of time really slows our Web site down."

Tutorow says if you do wait until March 1 to apply, make sure you start applying before 11 p.m.

"Even if you haven't finished your application by 11 p.m., the system will let you complete your application as long as you don't log out before you've completed it," she says.

"If you log out after 11 p.m., and then you try and get back into the system, you'll be out of luck. Starting at 11:01, the only thing you can apply for is a bonus point or a preference point."

For more information, call the Utah Wildlife Administrative Services office at 1-800-221-0659, the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR's Salt Lake City office at 801-538-4700.

Ogden Nature Center¹s 17th Annual Birdhouse Contest and Exhibit is "For the Birds."

Start building! Nature lovers, craftspeople, artist, designers and others who give a hoot about birds are invited to enter their hand crafted birdhouses in the 17th Annual Birdhouse Competition and Exhibit. Entries will be received Monday, March 29 through Saturday, April 3 at the Ogden Nature Center. All ages are encouraged to enter up to two creations, and there is no entry fee.

Stoke you creativity and bring in your finest birdhouse ­ whimsical, beautiful, practical, functional, artistic or magical. Please be sure your birdhouse can last through the summer weather. The exhibit will be on display outdoors April 15 through August 31, 2010 so visitors to the Nature Center can enjoy and be inspired by these backyard habitats.

All birdhouses must be on a post and ready to "plant." Entries must be original works and will be judged by an interdisciplinary jury. Winners will receive cash awards at a reception and award presentation on Wednesday, April 14 at 5:30 pm.

The exhibit¹s main sponsors are the Utah Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Registration forms and full details are available online at  or at the Ogden Nature Center¹s Visitor Center, 966 W. 12th Street, Ogden, UT 84404.

For more information, please call the Ogden Nature Center at 801-621-7595.

Stream Bill Updates from the Stonefly Society

We wanted to share this update provided by the local Chapter of Trout Unlimited, provided by the Stonefly Society President, Jason Haslam. For the latest information visit

I just wanted to send an update to all our members regarding the stream access bills that most of us have been following the last month or so. As many of you know, HB80 was not passed by the House. This was the "good" bill that we supported. This is not good news unfortunately. And to add to the bad news, HB141, the "bad" bill has been voted through by the House and is now scheduled to be heard by committee on Thursday. We could see HB141 up for vote sometime next week.
PLEASE CONTACT YOUR SENATOR today and tell them to not support HB-141. Our grassroots efforts will be the only way to kill this bill.
Key Provisions of H.B. 141
It is a clear violation of separation of powers, making it in direct contrast to the Utah Constitution Article V Section I and the ideals of our founding fathers.
It was done in secret, and the substitute bill came out after it passed committee and was sprung on the House for a quick debate.
Approves a political and controversial process of adding waters to a list that can be access by the public and saying what waters can't be accessed by the public.
Negates over 100 years of water law in Utah.
Flies in the face of 3 Utah Supreme Court decisions separated by over 70 years declaring and defining the public's easement in State waters.
Refuses to balance two competing constitutional rights, but unconstitutionally disregards one in the favor of the other.
Abolishes Supreme Court's ruling that a public easement exists to access streambeds for recreational purposes.
Except by permission or quiet title, a person accessing a streambed on private property is trespassing.

Quiet Title: In order to access a streambed on private property, a person must file a lawsuit against the landowner claiming that a prescriptive easement exists. The bill requires that the stream on private property must have been open to public recreational use for at least 10 consecutive years after September 22, 1972 and that the use must have been (a) continuous, (b) open and notorious, (c) adverse [contrary to the landowner's interest] and (d) without interruption. If quiet title is obtained, recreational users can access the streambed and private property 3 feet above the bank. The quiet title action standards outlined in H.B. 141 make it very difficult, if not impossible, to obtain a quiet title.
Contains several declarations of policy, all designed to protect the bill against judicial intervention.

Please take 5 minutes of your time and look up your Senator's contact info. Send them an email or give them a call. Be professional and polite in your correspondence and let them know that their constituents opposes HB-141. Here are a few links to help you find your Senators as well as links to HB-141.  
Jason Haslam
Stonefly Society President

Sportsmen Urge Congress to Maintain Full Funding for Farm Bill Conservation Programs

Photo courtesy Brian Slobe

Agriculture Secretary defends proposed federal budget cuts to Farm Bill programs in House hearing

WASHINGTON – The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership today urged House lawmakers to reject reductions to Farm Bill programs that are critical to American private-lands conservation and hunting and fishing opportunities.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack defended the potential cuts in a hearing this morning before the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, which for the first time is reviewing the Obama administration’s fiscal year 2011 budget for the Agriculture Department.

The budget proposes funding decreases for programs such as the Conservation Reserve Program, Wetlands Reserve Program, Grasslands Reserve Program and Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program. The TRCP and other sportsmen-conservation groups have fought for and championed federal support of these and other Farm Bill programs, which include compensating farmers and other landowners for undertaking measures to conserve wetlands and farmland at risk from development.

“While we appreciate the administration’s desire to reduce unnecessary federal spending, the fact remains that these programs are crucial to our country’s ability to sustain private-lands fish and wildlife habitat – habitat that forms the bedrock of outdoor sporting traditions for millions of Americans,” said Tom Franklin, TRCP director of policy and government relations.

The TRCP expressed concern about the delay by the USDA’s Farm Service Agency in releasing regulations and funding for the Voluntary Access and Habitat Incentive Program, or “Open Fields,” which was authorized by Congress for the first time in the 2008 Farm Bill. Open Fields provides states $50 million in federal funds to create or enhance hunter-access programs on private lands and has been a flagship issue for the TRCP since the group’s inception.

“Open Fields was developed in part by the TRCP and our partner organizations, and sportsmen have an enormous stake in seeing it come to fruition,” said Franklin. “Congress can assure expanded public access to hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation activities by taking an active role in ensuring the speedy implementation of this important program.

“In the spirit in which our outdoor traditions were forged,” Franklin concluded, “we urge Congress to maintain funding levels agreed upon at the time of the current Farm Bill’s passage in 2008. In doing so, our leaders will assure that conservation activities by individual landowners and citizens remain a priority for our nation and our people.”

Read about the TRCP’s ongoing efforts to promote private-lands conservation via the Farm Bill.

Sneak Peek at the 2011 Sleds from Ski-Doo

One look at the 2011 Ski-Doo snowmobiles and you get the message: “We’re not stopping!” The line is full of meaningful innovations and additions. Just check out these highlights:

New Rotax E-TEC 800R engine: 155+ horsepower, 19 mpg (12.3 l/100 km), outstanding oil economy, virtually no smoke or smell, and an easy, linear throttle pull.

New Rotax 600 ACE engine: 60 hp EFI parallel twin four-stroke engine designed for maximum efficiency is the industry’s new fuel consumption king at 29 mpg (8 l/100 km).

Major upgrades to Summit sleds, including a new Freeride package and a completely new handling personality with the S-36 package.

MX Z TNT model: They merged the Adrenaline and TNT packages to deliver a legendary sled with a mid-height windshield, seat trunk and seven engine choices.

REV-XU Skandic WT: 31 pounds (14 kg) lighter and much more nimble than Yeti II-based WT.

Tundra Xtreme: For recreational riders who play off-trail in deeper snow, but not on the steeper slopes and higher elevations typical of Western mountain riding.

Learn more about the 2011 Ski-Doo snowmobiles from Ski-Doo

Elk viewing season ending early this year--Sleigh Rides End March 1

Hyrum -- If you’ve been thinking about taking a sleigh ride to see elk at Hardware Ranch, it’s now or never.

Dwindling snow has forced the Division of Wildlife Resources to close the sleigh rides at the popular wildlife management area early this year.

The sleigh rides will close at 5 p.m. on March 1. That’s about two weeks sooner than normal.

The Hardware Ranch WMA is at mile marker 22 on state Route 101 in Blacksmith Fork Canyon, about 17 miles east of Hyrum.

More than 300 elk are still on the meadow at the WMA. But Dan Christensen, the WMA’s superintendent, says south-facing slopes in the canyons that surround the WMA are quickly losing snow.

As the snow melts, more browse becomes available to the elk. And that means plenty of food will be available outside of the WMA soon.

“On warmer days, the elk leave the meadow or they drift to the far edge of the meadow,” Christensen says. “That makes it hard for us to get people as close to the elk as we usually can. We don’t want people to be disappointed when they come here.”

Christensen says the horse-drawn sleigh rides started in 1946, and they’ve been a favorite attraction at the WMA ever since. More than 30,000 visitors typically come to the WMA each winter. They’re treated to sleigh rides that take them through the middle of as many as 600 wild elk.

The elk are drawn to the WMA by a winter-feeding program. The program was started to prevent elk from raiding haystacks in Cache Valley by holding some of the elk at the top of Blacksmith Fork Canyon.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Central and Southeastern Utah Fishing Report

A tiger trout pulled through the ice at Scofield Reservoir.
Photo by Darek Elverud

Southeastern Region

JOES VALLEY RESERVOIR: (February 24) A party of Division biologists fished Joes Valley Reservoir over President's Day weekend. They fished in 20 to 90 feet of water, south of the dam beneath the rocky cliffs, and caught fish at all depths. They used jigs or spoons tipped with chub meat.

Two anglers brought along their portable sonar units and had particularly good luck, catching about 30 fish each. Most were splake in the 11- to 16-inch range, with a few 17-inch fish and one 18-inch tiger trout.

Fishing is fastest from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and again from 2:30 p.m. until 4 p.m.; although the bite is fairly consistent all day. Biologist Dan Keller recommends trying a chartreuse 1/8-ounce Road Runner jig tipped with chub meat. He suspended a silver attractor above the jighead, which seemed to draw in more fish.

Joes Valley Reservoir has special regulations. Please read the Utah Fishing Guidebook for more information.

SCOFIELD RESERVOIR: (February 24) Conservation Officer Ben Riley checked anglers over the Feb. 20–21 weekend. He reports good fishing at multiple locations across the reservoir. Ben recommended using white jigs tipped with chub meat.

Sergeant J. Shirley and his officers checked anglers over the holiday weekend and reported very good fishing across the entire reservoir. Anglers had success with a variety of different baits, including nightcrawlers, wax worms, jigs and PowerBait.

Shirley mentioned that a number of anglers did not comply with the special regulations. He cautions anglers to make sure they can identify the species of fish they catch and to become familiar with the regulations. Please read the Utah Fishing Guidebook for all of the details about Scofield Reservoir's special regulations.

Central Region

BURRASTON PONDS: (February 24) Anglers report slow to fair fishing. There are few anglers on the pond. You can open water fishing. Most anglers are using traditional baits and lures.

CANYON VIEW PARK POND: (February 24) Wait until spring to fish here.

DEER CREEK RESERVOIR: (February 24) Anglers report fair to good success this week, but the edges of the ice can get soft. Bring a plank to get on and off the ice, and make sure you check the ice thickness carefully. Try small, bait-tipped jigs for perch or bait-tipped traditional baits or jigs for trout. Please use caution.

GRANTSVILLE RESERVOIR: (February 24) Fish from shore only. The ice is not safe. Officer Troy Hammond reports that the reservoir has about 50 yards of open water around the perimeter. A few old-timers have caught nice browns but, of course, they won't say how.

HIGHLAND GLEN PARK: (February 24) There is open water and slow success.

JORDANELLE RESERVOIR: (February 24) Some anglers are braving the ice and having some success for perch and trout. However, there is a lot of open water on the reservoir and the edges can be weak. It's probably best to wait until ice off.

KIDNEY POND: (February 24) There is open water and slow success.

MIDAS POND: (February 24) There is open water and slow success.

MILL HOLLOW RESERVOIR: (February 24) According to the media, Highway 35 may be closed or unplowed this year. If you can access the reservoir, use caution and check the ice carefully. There are no new reports this week.

NINE MILE RESERVOIR: (February 24) Anglers report good success through the ice. Try using white jigs tipped with nightcrawlers or jig woolly bugger flies. The fish are usually good sized, 14 inches and up. Ice is about a foot thick.

PAYSON LAKE: (February 19) The canyon gate is closed for the season.

PROVO RIVER, LOWER: (February 24) Anglers report success with small (size 20 or smaller) midge imitations. Sow bugs should also be effective this time of year.

PROVO RIVER, MIDDLE: (February 24) Midges (size 20 or smaller), sow bugs and small, dark nymphs are working well. There are special regulations on much of the Provo River, so please read the Utah Fishing Guidebook.

SALEM POND: (February 24) Officer Shawn Bagley reports fair success with traditional baits.

SETTLEMENT CANYON RESERVOIR: (February 24) Officer Troy Hammond reports that the reservoir is 2/3 clear of ice. The remaining ice is not safe. Hammond estimates that the ice will be gone by next week, if not sooner. One angler, who caught two nice fish, said fishing is slow but the weather is perfect.

SPANISH OAKS RESERVOIR: (February 19) The gate to the reservoir is closed until March.

SPRING LAKE: (February 24) Officer Shawn Bagley reports that the ice is unsafe. Anglers report some success for trout in the open water.

STRAWBERRY RESERVOIR: (February 24) There is less slush this week and, according to angler Chuck, more than 20 inches of ice. There are still pockets of slush, however, so it's best not to take an ATV and to wear tall, waterproof boots. Several parking areas have been plowed, but you can't drive a vehicle past the Strawberry Marina turnoff. Bait tipped jigs are working well. If you're having slow success, try moving locations. There are special regulations for Strawberry, so please read the Utah Fishing Guidebook.

THISTLE CREEK: (February 24) Both Diamond Fork River and Thistle Creek rivers look great, but we have only seen one active angler. Expect fair success with flies or worms. There is still some snow along these waters, but there are several parking areas available. Bait is allowed on both waters but most anglers prefer flies.

TIBBLE FORK RESERVOIR: (February 24) Stay off the ice. The brown trout spawn is over and fishing success has slowed.

UTAH LAKE: (February 24) Anglers are reporting open water in some areas, so please stay off the ice. The water level limits Spanish Fork River fishing near the mouth. Officer Shawn Bagley wants to remind you that the tributaries close on March 1.

VERNON RESERVOIR: (February 24) Officer Troy Hammond reports that the reservoir is still iced over, but ice depth is uncertain. It could still be substantial enough to fish, but use extreme caution if you decide to venture out.

VIVIAN PARK POND: (February 24) Stay off the remaining ice. There are a few fish in the open water.

WILLOW POND: (February 24) Officer Roach reports that the pond was stocked last week. Anglers can expect fair fishing. The other Salt Lake County ponds are open and fishable, except Riverton pond which is closed until April 1. The Jordan River is running very high and is not fishable.

YUBA RESERVOIR & STATE PARK: (February 24) The edges are weak in warm weather. You should never go out on the ice alone. Visit for current conditions.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Turkey Hunting Permits go on Sale February 16

Photo courtesy of Wild Turkey Federation

General season permits on sale over-the-counter starting Feb. 16

If you didn't obtain a limited-entry permit to hunt wild turkeys in Utah this spring, don't put your shotgun away. Permits for Utah's first general statewide turkey hunt go on sale starting Feb. 16.

"We're excited," says Judi Tutorow, wildlife licensing coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources. "For the first time, every hunter who wants to hunt wild turkeys in Utah can hunt."

Because the general hunt is brand new, Tutorow says the DWR has received lots of questions from hunters. She provides the following information:

•You don't have to get a permit on Feb. 16. General turkey permits are not limited in number, so they won't run out. Permits will be available until the season ends on May 31.

•You can buy a general turkey permit and still keep all of your limited-entry turkey bonus points. You won't lose any of your bonus points if you buy a general turkey permit.

•If you buy a general turkey permit, you can hunt anywhere in Utah that's open to turkey hunting.

•If you obtained a limited-entry turkey permit, you can't obtain a general turkey permit. (You can have only one turkey permit each year.)

•You can buy a permit at starting Feb. 16. Permits will also be available at DWR offices and from more than 300 hunting license agents across Utah.

•Two general hunts will be held:

◦The first hunt is a special youth hunt. This hunt is for hunters who are 15 years of age or younger. It runs April 30–May 2.

To participate, young hunters must buy a general statewide hunting permit. Young hunters who drew a limited-entry permit can't participate in the youth hunt.

Youngsters who buy a permit for the youth hunt can also use the permit to hunt during Utah's general statewide hunt. That hunt opens May 3.

◦The second hunt is open to anyone who buys a statewide general turkey permit. The hunt runs May 3–31.

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

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Interest in Poisonous Snakes is Growing

Under the proposed rule change, the midget faded rattlesnake is one of two species that an individual could catch in the wild and breed in a home.
Photo courtesy of Ron Stewart

DWR proposes new safety rules
Did you know that the number of Utahns who want to catch and keep a poisonous snake in their home is growing?

To make sure this activity is done safely, the Division of Wildlife Resources is proposing several changes to the state law that governs it.

Utah’s five public Regional Advisory Councils want your thoughts about the DWR’s ideas. You can read the agency’s ideas at   on the Web.

“The desire to catch venomous snakes in the wild and then breed them in captivity is growing among herpetologists in Utah,” says Krissy Wilson, native aquatic species coordinator for the DWR.

(Herpetologists are people who enjoy catching and raising snakes.)

Wilson says six rattlesnake species live in Utah. The DWR is proposing that enthusiasts be allowed to catch and keep only the two most common rattlesnakes in the state—the midget faded rattlesnake and the Great Basin rattlesnake.

To keep those snakes, snake enthusiasts would have to follow a number of safety rules. “Public safety is our main concern,” Wilson says. “We don’t want a snake to escape from someone’s home.”

The requirements the DWR is proposing would also limit the number of snakes people could catch in the wild and the number of young the snakes could produce each year.

“Snake enthusiasts would also be required to follow all city or county laws related to keeping and raising poisonous snakes,” Wilson says.

Two ways to share your ideas
After reading the DWR’s ideas at , you can share your thoughts with your RAC chairman one of two ways.

(Your chairman will take the input he receives to the Utah Wildlife Board when it meets March 3 and 4 in Salt Lake City. Board members will use the input to help them set snake collection and possession rules in Utah.)

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

RAC meetings
Five Regional Advisory Council meetings will be held across Utah. You can participate and provide your input at any of the following meetings:

Southern Region
Feb. 9 at 7 p.m.
Hurricane High School
345 W. 100 S., Hurricane

Southeastern Region
Feb. 10 at 6:30 p.m.
John Wesley Powell Museum
1765 E. Main St., Green River

Northeastern Region
Feb. 11 at 6:30 p.m.
Uintah Basin Applied Technology College
450 N. 2000 W., Vernal

Central Region
Feb. 16 at 6:30 p.m.
Central Region Conference Center
1115 N. Main St., Springville

Northern Region
Feb. 17 at 6 p.m.
Student Union Building, Room 404A
Weber State University
3848 Harrison Blvd., Ogden

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

Goose Festival starts Feb. 19, 2010

Photo by Lynn Chamberlain

Delta — It's a sight you have to see to believe: thousands of pure white snow and Ross' geese lifting off Gunnison Bend Reservoir amid honks and the beating of wings.

Thousands of snow geese at Gunnison Bend Reservoir.

You can see this spectacle yourself on Feb. 19, 20 and 21 at the annual Utah Snow Goose Festival. The festival will be held at and near Gunnison Bend Reservoir, just west of Delta. Admission is free.

As many as 10,000 snow geese have been at the reservoir during past festivals. Except for the black tips on their wings, snow geese are pure white.

"We'll provide spotting scopes so you can get a close look at the geese," says Bob Walters, Watchable Wildlife coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources. "We'll also be available to answer any questions you have."

In addition to seeing the geese, you can learn more about wildlife at free seminars offered by the DWR. The seminars will be held on Saturday, Feb. 20.

The best times to see the geese
The areas where you'll see the geese vary according to the time of the day.
"If you arrive early in the morning, you can watch the geese feeding in fields that surround the reservoir. Then, at about 10:30 a.m., the geese take off and fly back to the reservoir. That's an exciting time to see and hear the geese," Walters says.

After landing on the reservoir, the geese usually spend the next few hours there. "Then, anywhere from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., they take off again and fly back to the fields," he says. "It's thrilling to be there when the geese do this."

DWR biologists will watch which fields the geese fly to. If you arrive after the geese have left the reservoir, the biologists will direct you to the fields where the geese are feeding.

Viewing tips
•Use binoculars or a spotting scope to view the geese. If you get too close to the geese, you could scare them away.

•If you pull off the road to view the geese, pull as far off the road as you can. And watch for cars.

•The weather could be cold and wet. Bring the proper clothes so you can stay warm and dry.

For more information about the 2010 Snow Goose Festival, call the Delta Area Chamber of Commerce at (435) 864-4316.

Upcoming Utah State Parks Events

Photo: Snowshoeing at Wasatch Mountain State Park

February 26 Wasatch Mountain State Park - Midway
Full Moon Snowshoe Hike- Join Friends of Wasatch Mountain at 7 p.m. for the annual snowshoe hike under the light of the full moon. Hikes are available for all ability levels. Cost is $5 per person. Snowshoe rentals are also available for $5/pair for non-members/free for members of Friends of Wasatch Mountain. Registration is required. (435) 654-6608

February 26 Snow Canyon State Park - Ivins
Under a Desert Moon- Expand your lunar knowledge and enjoy an evening of moon gazing beginning at 6:30 p.m. Space is limited and registration is required. (435) 628-2255

February 27 Antelope Island State Park – Syracuse
Utah’s Raptors - Join staff from Utah’s Hogle Zoo at 2 p.m., and be introduced to a few high-flying friends that live on Antelope Island. (801) 725-9263

February 27 Wasatch Mountain State Park - Midway
Birds in Winter- Join park staff from 10 a.m. to noon for a snowshoe bird walk. Learn how area birds live during the winter months and some amazing adaptations to survive the cold. Bring your own snowshoes, or rent some from the park. (435) 654-1791.

February 27 Jordanelle State Park - Heber
Moonlight Snowshoe Hike- Join park staff at the Hailstone Event Center for a moonlight snowshoe hike beginning at 7 p.m. Space is limited and registration is required. (435) 649-9540 or (435) 782-3030

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snowmobile Safety and Education Encouraged

Salt Lake City – With recent snowmobile-triggered avalanches in Utah, Utah State Parks rangers remind riders to check avalanche conditions and be prepared before heading out in the backcountry.

According to the Utah Avalanche Forecast Center, snowmobilers lead the list with twice the number of fatalities as any other backcountry users.

Follow these safety tips to ensure your next outing is safe:

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

- Check weather reports and avalanche advisories. Be prepared by wearing an avalanche beacon and carrying a shovel and probe.

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

- Never drink and drive.

- Watch your fuel supply carefully.

- Always wear an approved helmet designed for motorized use. It’s the law for anyone under 18 to wear a 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.

Utah law requires youth eight to 15 to complete the Utah State Parks Know Before You Go! online snowmobile education course before operating on public lands, roads or trails. Anyone 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. The course is $30 and is accessible through / .

Avalanche information is available by calling 1-800-OHV-RIDE or visiting Avalanche classes are also available through the Utah Avalanche Center. For more information, visit

Learn 2009 Big Game Drawing Odds

The odds of drawing a Utah big game hunting permit in 2009 are now available in a Division of Wildlife Resources report.

“The drawing odds usually don’t change much from year to year,”says Judi Tutorow, wildlife licensing coordinator for the DWR. “If you’re going to apply for a 2010 permit, you’ll probably be interested in knowing what the odds were that you’d draw that permit in 2009.

“And the best part is, you can view the report for free.” If you have access to the Internet, you can view and download the 2009 Bucks, Bulls & Once-in-a-Lifetime Bonus Point and Drawing Statistics report for free.

To find the report, visit the big game information page at . Once you’re there, scroll down to the big game statistics & drawing odds portion of the page.

Then click on 2009 bucks, bulls & once-in-a-lifetime bonus point and drawing statistics.

The report is also available at DWR offices. You can read the report for free or buy a copy for $28.

Must apply by March 1

Feb. 1 is the first day you can apply for a 2010 Utah big game permit.  Your application must be received through  no later than 11 p.m. on March 1 to be included in the draw for permits.

You can also apply over the phone at (801) 538-4700. Phone-in applications will be must be received no later than 6 p.m. on March 1.

For more information, call the Utah Wildlife Administrative Services office at 1-800-221-0659, the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR’s Salt Lake City office at (801) 538-4700.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Boat Slips available at Utah Lake State Park

Provo – Boat slips for the 2010 season are available beginning Saturday, February 13 at 8 a.m. All slips are on a first-come, first-served basis and must be applied for in person. Faxed and phoned-in requests are not accepted.
The contract for slip and trailer storage must be completed at the time the reservation is made and accompanied with a copy of boat and trailer registration. For more information, please contact Utah Lake State Park at (801) 375-0731.

Apply now for a Bear Hunting or Pursuit Permit

If you enjoy pursuing bears with dogs, a big change awaits you this year: if you want to pursue on the Book Cliffs, San Juan or La Sal units this summer, you’ll have to obtain a permit through a drawing.
The number of pursuit permits available for the three eastern Utah units this summer is limited. And the summer season has been split into an early season and a late season.

You can apply for a pursuit permit for the units starting Feb. 2 at . Starting Feb. 2, you can also apply for a black bear hunting permit for any bear unit in the state.

To be included in the draw for permits, your application must be received through the Web site no later than 11 p.m. on Feb. 25.

Results of the 2010 Utah Black Bear Draw will be available by March 11.

Applying for a bonus point

If you’re not going to hunt bears in 2010, you can still apply for a bonus point. Bonus points increase the chance that you’ll draw a bear permit in the future.

Applications for bonus points will also be accepted at  from Feb. 2 until 11 p.m. on Feb. 25.

2010 Black Bear Guidebook

Before you apply, you’ll need a copy of the 2010 Utah Black Bear Guidebook. The guidebook should be available at  by late January.

Reason for pursuit change

The Book Cliffs, San Juan and La Sal units are three of the most popular places in Utah to pursue bears with trained hounds. Unfortunately, that popularity has caused some problems.

“Last 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 Division of Wildlife Resources.

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

In addition to a limited number of permits, the number of hounds houndsmen can use to pursue bears on ANY unit in the state during the summer pursuit season will also be limited.

Houndsmen may not use more than eight hounds to pursue a single bear in the summer.

This change applies to the summer pursuit season only. The number of dogs houndsmen can use during the spring and fall pursuit and hunting seasons is not limited.

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

February Classes, Workshops and Lectures at the Ogden Nature Center

House Finch, Courtesy Judy Howle, Great Backyard Bird Count
Beginning Kundalini Yoga
Mondays through March 8 from 6:30 pm – 7:45 pm
$10 for drop-ins
Ages: adults

Invigorate your body and mind with a beginning course in Kundalini Yoga. Taught by certified yoga instructor, Bruce Fisk. Meet in the east classroom of the LS Peery Education Center at ONC. Wear loose comfortable clothing, bring a yoga mat and blanket. It’s best not to eat for two hours before class. If you must, eat lightly.

Wild Wednesdays – Winter Sleepers
Wednesday, February 3 at 3:30 pm
Free for ONC members
$2 children / $3 seniors / $4 adults
Ages: all

During the cold, snowy days of winter some animals choose to deal with the weather by sleeping. Meet a few animals that spend their winter days and nights in the dark. Find out how they hibernate and then take a trip to (and into) the Nature Center’s bear den. Please meet in the Visitor Center.

Images of Madagascar
Tuesday, February 9 at 7 pm
Free for ONC members
$2 children / $3 seniors / $4 adults
Ages: 8+

Madagascar is home to the world’s lemurs, an eclectic group of beautiful and unusual primates. Dr. Sam Zeveloff visited this island nation in the fall of 2008 with the Lemur Conservation Foundation. The group traveled extensively, exploring national parks and other nature reserves. In this presentation he will discuss the island’s history, its unique fauna and flora, and the hopes for survival of its biota. Please RSVP by Monday, February 8.

Wild Wednesdays – Wild Romance: Valentines Day
Wednesday, February 10 at 3:30 pm
Free for ONC members
$2 children / $3 seniors / $4 adults
Ages: all

Have you ever wondered if animals flirt with one another? Come find out during a special Valentine’s Day program. Meet some of the Nature Center’s resident birds and reptiles and discover the unique ways these animals attract partners. Then make your very own nature-themed Valentine. Meet in the Visitor Center.

Growing Up Wild Training for Teachers and Educators
Friday, February 12, 4 pm – 8:30 pm and Saturday, February 13, 8:30 am – 2:30 pm
Cost: $24 registration fee and an optional $30 for graduate credit through USU

Growing up Wild is an early childhood education program that builds on young children’s sense of wonder and nature and invites them to explore wildlife and the world around them. Through a wide range of activities and experiences, Growing Up Wild provides an early foundation for developing positive impressions about nature and lifelong social and academic skills. This workshop includes a Growing Up Wild Activity Guide and other supplemental materials. Participants should wear comfortable clothing, sturdy shoes and be prepared for some activities outside. Refreshments will be provided, but please bring your own lunch on Saturday. Registration is required. Please contact the Ogden Nature Center at 801-621-7595 for a registration form. For more information visit .

Great Backyard Bird Count
Saturday, February 13 anytime between 9 am – 3 pm
Free for ONC members
$2 children / $3 seniors / $4 adults
Ages: 8+

Join us at the Ogden Nature Center for a national birding event. A sheet with tips on how to identify birds and a bird list will be provided for all who intend to count for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s annual tally. Any count lasting at least 15 minutes is acceptable. A few sets of binoculars are available to borrow. All lists must be submitted to the Ogden Nature Center’s front desk by 3 pm that day to be included in the Center’s Cornell tally. No RSVP required. Upon arrival, please check in at the Visitor Center front desk.

Wild Wednesdays – Owl Tales
Wednesday, February 17 at 3:30 pm
Free for ONC members
$2 children / $3 seniors / $4 adults
Ages: all

Are owls really wise? Get the answer to that question and many others as we meet three different owls and decode the mysteries that surround these amazing birds. Meet in the Visitor Center.

Frozen Landscapes – Crystals, Scapes & Snowflakes
Preschool Discovery Days
Choose a time: Friday, February 19: 9:30 am, 11 am, or 1 pm
Cost: $4 per child / adult chaperones are free
Ages: 3-5

Preschoolers will discover the complicated patterns of crystals and snowflakes as they sip hot cocoa. Songs and stories will teach how plants and animals adapt to the Ogden Nature Center’s frozen landscapes. Dress for the weather. Space is limited Please call 801-621-7595 to pre-register.

Wild Wednesdays – Whooo Eats Whooom?
Wednesday, February 24 at 3:30 pm
Free for ONC members
$2 children / $3 seniors / $4 adults
Ages: all

Learn about predator prey relationships with Chitters the Great-horned Owl. Meet Chitters in person and get an up-close look at skulls, pelts, teeth, eyes and more. Discover the adaptations that help animals survive in the wild. Meet in the Visitor Center.

Snowshoe Owl Prowl
Friday, February 26 from 7 pm – 8 pm
Cost: $3 for members / $6 for non-members
Ages: 8+

What could be more fun than a night filled with hot chocolate and hooting owls? Join Ogden Nature Center education director, Stefanie Miller for nighttime snowshoe hike in search of the sights and sounds of the Great-horned Owl. February is nesting time for the Great-horned Owl and searching for nests is possible because of the bare, snow-covered trees. We’ll end the evening with a hot cup of cocoa and an up-close look at one of our smaller owl friends. Ogden Nature Center has snowshoes available by RSVP only or bring your own snowshoes and gear. Please RSVP by Wednesday, February 24 at 5 pm.

To register for classes and workshops, please call 801-621-7595. Some class sizes are limited to ensure a quality experience for participants and instructors. Call in your reservation and pay with VISA or Mastercard, or come in person to pay with cash or check. We cannot accept reservations through the mail or without payment. We reserve the right to change instructors or cancel classes due to circumstances beyond our control, including illness, inclement weather or low attendance.

The Ogden Nature Center is located at 966 W. 12th Street, Ogden, Utah. For more information, please call 801-621-7595 or visit .