ATV Jamboree Registration Deadline awaits March 4

A spring adventure awaits for ATV enthusiasts as they are reminded of the Tri State Off Highway Vehicle Jamboree deadline March 4. This year's Tri-State OHV Jamboree originates in Hurricane, and will take participants through some of the west's most spectacular sights March 9-12.

Scheduled before the Desert Tortoise awakens from it's winter slumber, 12 different rides of varying ability levels are available before the desert becomes too warm for riders. Choices may include a visit to ghost towns, views of dinosaur tracks or petroglyphs, or will follow along other historic routes, including the Temple Trail or Honeymoon Trail.

Registration fees for the Jamboree are $80 per person. No late registration fees are available. Spots are filling up fast and are limited. Any club who brings 10 or more members will be given a club discount price of $50.00 per rider. Registrations and fees for all 10 (or more) riders must be sent together in the same envelope to qualify for the discount.

There will only be 25 riders per trail per day. The registration fees include a continental breakfast each morning, a welcome dinner Thurs. night, all necessary trail fees, live entertainment, a trail T-shirt, the guided tours and a chance to win prizes.

Utah State law requires Utah residents to have current, 2005 OHV registration. Utah State law also requires all Utah residents from ages 8 to 15 to be OHV certified to operate an OHV/ATV. Riders under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult 18 years old or over. Helmets are mandatory to age 18 and strongly advised for all riders. Interested parties are encouraged to visit the website at Answers also await by calling (435) 467-0063.

Wintertime pruning now underway

Just before spring gardening gets underway, now is the time for pruning trees, especially those that flower in the summer. Not only are trees dormant in the winter, but it also is easiest to see a tree's structure when no leaves are on the branches.

Jim Skiera, associate executive director of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), reported, "Proper pruning is vital to the health of trees and plants, in part because it helps relieve stress on trees and keeps them growing. Just be aware that each tree is different, and pruning at the wrong time or the wrong way can injure a tree or make it susceptible to disease."

Pruning helps keep surrounding areas safe for people and objects by removing frail branches. However, too much pruning can create more problems than it solves, Skiera added, advising homeowners to prune annually and lightly instead of all at once. When in doubt, consult a local ISA Certified Arborist for advice.

Deciding what and where to prune involves an understanding of basic tree biology, sharp tools, and an artful eye. Where you make the cut is as important as knowing what to remove. There are a few simple principles to understand before you prune: Always have a purpose in mind before you cut. Removing dead or diseased wood, providing clearance, or improving shape or structure, are most common.

Proper technique is essential. Poor pruning technique can cause long-term damage. Learn how to make proper cuts. Small cuts do less damage to the tree than large cuts. Unlike people, tree wounds don't heal, they close. Smaller cuts close quicker.

Other tips include making cuts just outside the branch collar for quick wound closure, avoiding leaving stubs, and keeping tools sharp and clean. For more information on proper pruning, visit .

Former Fairfield Students sought

As part of an upcoming celebration, Camp Floyd State Park staff is searching for former students, teachers, and photographs of the Fairfield Schoolhouse, a historic one-room schoolhouse located in Fairfield.

Park Manager, Mark Trotter, reports that former Fairfield Schoolhouse students and teachers will be recognized at a public open house Sat., April 16. Fairfield Schoolhouse was constructed in 1898, and is part of the Camp Floyd / Stagecoach Inn State Park and Museum. The schoolhouse was recently renovated and restored to provide today's students with a one-room schoolhouse living history experience.

Trotter would like to display photographs of the Fairfield Schoolhouse, former students, and teachers at an exhibit during the open house. Comments or stories about the school are also welcome. Those who have access to these items are encouraged to submit them for the exhibit. For more information or to submit names and photographs, contact Mark Trotter at (801) 768-8932 or via e-mail at .
Off Highway Classes available

Throughout the month of March, several off-highway vehicle classes will be available, covering snowmobile, motorcycle and ATV use. Classes are available in Utah and Salt Lake Counties. Children age eight to 16 must register one week prior to class. For registration materials, call 1-800-OHV-RIDE.
Presentations await at Antelope Island

Two great activities await at Antelope Island State Park March 12 including a 2 p.m. Junior Ranger Program, where participants will enjoy a wildlife management presentation at the visitor center. Bring sturdy shoes, water and jacket.

A star party follows that evening after dusk where park staff will discuss constellations at the visitor center. Participants may search for the meaning behind the constellation Orion the Hunter, who stalks his prey by night or examine a beautiful nebula contained within Orion's boundaries. Bring a jacket, and binoculars if available.

Day-use fee is $8 per vehicle up to eight people. For more information, call (801) 773-2941.
Ladies Overnight Pheasant Hunt

A ladies only overnight pheasant hunt awaits in Gunnison March 12 and 13 as part of the "Becoming an Outdoors Woman Outreach Program," sponsored by the Division of Wildlife Resources. This event will be a great opportunity for women to make new friends
with other women who share their interest in hunting small game and is expected to be an excellent weekend getaway.

On the evening of March 12, participants will enjoy a delicious dinner, comfortable lounge areas, a pool room and hot tub. Each room in the beautiful, rustic lodge has comfy down beds, comforters, flannel sheets and private bathrooms.

On March 13, the women will enjoy breakfast, lunch and a full day of guided pheasant hunting, which includes use of dogs, up to three harvested birds and field dressing of the birds taken. Previous shotgun experience and a Hunter's Education certificate are required. The fee to participate is $160, and space is limited.

To register, or for more information, call Nancy Hoff at (801) 5609605 or e-mail her at To check out other BOW events, please visit the program's Web page at and click on "Outreach."

Marketing Ideas for small Wood Products could mean Cash

Utah State Forester Joel Frandsen announced today that $135,000 in grants is available for community-based programs that use or market small wood products. Congress appropriated the one-time funds to address Economic Action and Community Planning programs in rural communities at risk from wildland fire, or communities affected by fires in 2000.

The cost-share grants will be used for community-based projects and other collaborative efforts that encourage long-term solutions for using small wood products generated during work to protect communities from wildland fire. Frandsen explained, "There's a tremendous effort to reduce fuel levels in our wildland-urban interface and in watersheds. The problem is what do we do with the plant material we remove, so we are looking for creative ways to use and

market what's removed."

Requests for Proposals are being solicited through local Economic Development Offices, Resource Conservation and Development Offices, Utah State University Extension Offices, local governments and others. Tribal and local governments, communities, businesses and non-profit organizations are encouraged to apply. For a copy of the Request for Proposal contact Ron Gropp at (801) 538- 5457, or visit .

Family Photos may be useful to Foresters

In an effort to document ecological conditions of Utah's forests and rangelands, Utah State University researchers, working with the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, are seeking old photographs from private collections taken in the Dixie National Forest and surrounding areas.

This project uses what is called repeat photography to compile a long-term perspective of ecological changes on the land. The concept is simple. First, find a historical photo and then rephotograph it today taken from the exact same place the original photographer stood. It's then easy to see how things have changed. Clint Reese, Area Forester with the Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, commented, "The trick is getting the right historical photographs to begin. To be useful, the photo should show general vegetation conditions and must contain known landmarks or other identifiable features so the original camera position can relocated."

It is preferred that photos be taken prior to 1930 and those taken during the late 1800s are even better. Original photos will not harmed and will be returned to owners within three or four weeks. Those who wish to participate in the Dixie Repeat-Photo project may contact the Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands at (435)586-4408, or Utah State University Extension at (435) 586-8132.

"A similar photo project conducted on the Fishlake National Forest resulted in 355 photosets," noted Chad Reid, Agricultural Agent with Utah State University. "The project found Utah's rangelands in generally better condition today than they were during the early 1900s." It also noted that, contrary to popular perception; coniferous trees and forests are more abundant today. Photos, as well as descriptive text, can be found on Utah State University's Extension web site at .

The repeat photography project is under the direction of Dr. Charles Kay, Adjunct Associate Professor of Political Science, at USU, and is being conducted with the cooperation of the U.S.D.A. Forest Service and the Dixie National Forest.

Slow Down for Eagles

Winter wildlife viewing opportunities may include eagles and other large birds of prey as you travel along the highways throughout the state. As your vehicle approaches these magnificent birds, Lynn Chamberlain, Southern Region Information and Education Manager, suggests that you exercise caution to protect them during the winter months.

Chamberlain reports, "Motorists are seeing eagles and other large birds of prey along roadways, feeding on road kill deer and rabbits. To avoid killing or injuring these birds, motorists are asked to slow down when they see them."

According to reports provided, Utah is home to hundreds of resident golden eagles, and hosts an estimated 1,000 to 1,200 migrant bald eagles during the winter. In past years, more than 30 eagles were hit by vehicles on southern Utah roadways, many during the harsh winter months. Most of these birds died. Additionally, at least 30 other hawks, falcons, and owls that had been hit by vehicles were retrieved and turned into the Division of Wildlife Resources.

Chamberlain explained, "Because of their large size (up to 15 pounds) and wingspans of up to eight feet, eagles are unable to quickly fly out of harm's way, especially if they have just gorged themselves with up to two pounds of food."

The most common injuries sustained are broken wings resulting from vehicles clipping a deceptively slow eagle as it attempts to fly off. Slowing down will provide birds additional time to escape, and may eliminate costly vehicle damage. One eagle-vehicle collision destroyed a minivan windshield valued at $450. Another eagle went through the windshield of a large truck.

Chamberlain suggests, "If you hit an eagle or hawk, or encounter injured or dead eagles, please notify the Division of Wildlife Resources or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, so personnel can retrieve the bird and, if possible, get medical attention for it. Dead eagles are sent to the National Feather Repository, then made available to Native Americans for ceremonial use."

Residents are reminded that without proper state and federal permits it is against state and federal laws to possess for personal use eagle and hawk feathers, talons, or other parts, regardless of how they were obtained.