Outdoor Woman Workshops scheduled

Several spots are still available for women to enhance their outdoor skills, in Utah's annual Becoming an Outdoors Woman workshop, Sept. 23-25th at Settlement Canyon's Camp Wapiti, located outside Tooele. The "Becoming an Outdoors-Woman" program, through the Division of Wildlife Resources, and the "Women in the Outdoors" program through the National Wild Turkey Federation are teaming up to host this ladies 3-day workshop in late September.

Beginning Friday afternoon and concluding Sunday afternoon, this promises to be both fun and educational for women that attend. Activities include ATV'ing, canoeing, kayaking, shotgunning and marksmenship. Other activities include GPS, map & compass, fly tying, fly-fishing, firearm safety, and horse handling. Participants may also choose from archery, bird house construction, handguns, kayaking, Dutch oven cooking and campfire cooking. Additional selections include knots, ropes and lashings, muzzleloader shooting, survival, turkey calling and hunting, animal tracks/stepping stones, and outdoor writing.

Cost for the 3 day workshop is $150 per person, and includes food, lodging, instruction, equipment, and course materials. Space is limited to 100 participants. Ladies18 years-of-age or older are eligible.

Since its start more than ten years ago, the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program has expanded to numerous seasonal activities and has become a great success. Christine Thomas, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, College of Natural Resources, started the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program in Wisconsin Sept. 1991.

For registration and more information, visit the DWR's website at http://www.wildlife.utah.gov , and click on "outreach", or contact Nancy Hoff at 801-560-9605 or NancyHoff@utah.gov

Oktoberfest Activities Scheduled

The aroma of bratwurst will fill the crisp autumn air as Snowbird announces their celebration of Oktoberfest every weekend until October 9. Music and fun await the entire family along with scenic tram rides to Hidden Peak. This popular event brings more than 70,000 visitors to Snowbird over the thirteen-day celebration, making Oktoberfest one of the largest festivals in the state of Utah.

Events are scheduled from noon until 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, with plenty of food, dancing, yodeling, and games to entertain the entire family. Oktoberfest National and local German polka bands along with yodelers will perform on the main stage, and visitors may enjoy the work of numerous local crafters and German food. In addition, the alpenhorns will also be played on top of Hidden Peak.

Children may ride a giant super slide, or have their faces painted, while adults enjoy bratwurst and sauerkraut, Bavarian nuts, or Pretzels. Crafters from around the region will offer goods for sale. Oktoberfest 2005 will feature the tastes of Bavaria and the Juhl Haus Polygamy Porter brats and Juhl Haus Provo Girl brats, developed in the state of Utah.

Fall colors are beginning to change again and this is a great way to enjoy this magnificent season. Admission is free and Snowbird can be reached by traveling a short ride up Little Cottonwood Canyon. For more information, contact Snowbird at (801)933-2110.

State Fair open for 150th Season

By Brian Brinkerhoff

Outdoors Correspondent

Utah's 150th State Fair has fun for all members of the family this year, as entertainment, contests, rides and exhibits await Sept 8th through Sun. Sept. 18th at the Utah State Fairpark, located 155 North 1000 West in Salt Lake City. Their theme is "All Your Wildest Dreams Will Come True."

Children can look forward to the improved "Little Hands on the Farm"exhibit, where youngsters learn where food comes from in a fun and interactive way. This tour takes little ones from the grain silo and chicken coops to apple orchards, the garden and barnyard to do simple chores on the farm. At each stop they collect items, including eggs, produce, milk, etc. and sell those goods at a farmers market, where they receive a State Fair dollar. This dollar is then spent at the store, as they purchase a tasty treat to enjoy for their labors. This award winning agriculture program promises to be one of the highlights of the Fair this year as youth begin to understand the agriculture connection from the farm to the grocery store.

Youth will also enjoy the free kids fishing pond behind the Division of Wildlife Resources Building, where they will have an opportunity to catch and release hungry bluegill after learning about proper fishing techniques and ethics.

Numerous cooking events are scheduled throughout the fair as participants have a chance at winning prizes up to $300. On Sept. 10, the Hidden Valley Ranch Family Friendly Food Contest, the Camp Chef Ultimate Dutch Oven Challenge Cook Off and Camp Chef Ultimate Turkey Challenge Cook Off are scheduled. The Governors Favorite Pie Contest awaits Sept. 12, while the Ghirardelli Chocolate Championship is Sept. 13 and "We want Wow Now Pork Recipe Rally" is Sept 14. Other cooking contests include the Chili Cook-Off and Salsa Competition on Sept. 15, and the Great American Dutch Oven Cook Off on Sept. 17th, and the American-Grown Lamb Cook Off on Sept 16th.

Family Fun Contests are also scheduled every day, where contestants try their skills at Keebler Kracker Stacking, Fast Food challenges, pie eating, Odor-Eaters Rotten Sneakers, cow races, look alike contests and more. Families are encouraged to come and have fun, since no preparation is required.

New this year are fireworks each night from Sept. 8-17th, the Utah Turkey Producers Turkey Feast Sept. 13, a high school dance in the Grandstand, Sept. 17 from 9-11 p.m. and a Ford Mustang display Sept. 18.

Cook's racing pigs are returning where spectators can have a stake in the pig races with free "betting". Everyone is offered a free colored numbered ticket. If their color pig wins either of the two races, they win a blue ribbon that says "My Pig Won". Nancy Kobert's Amazing World of Birds Shows are also scheduled throughout the fair.

Several free concerts will be offered throughout the fair, requiring a free seating ticket, available at Utah State Fair Grandstand Ticket office at noon the day of the show. Free concerts include Don Mclean, Fri., Sept. 9; Audio Adrenaline Sat., Sept. 10; Western Underground Mon., Sept. 12; and Dierks Bentley Fri., Sept.16. Hoobastank will perform Wed., Sept. 14 with tickets running $32 in advance and $37 day of show, while STYX & REO Speedwagon are scheduled Thurs., Sept. 15 with tickets that cost $34 in advance and $39 day of show. Concert tickets may be purchased by calling 1-800-888-TIXX or online at http://www.smithtix.com.

Fair hours run from 10 am-10 p.m., Sun. through Thurs., and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fri. and Sat.. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, 62 and older, $6 for children ages 6-16, and free for children 5 and under. Opening Day admission is $1.50 and discount tickets are available at Smith's Food and Drug Stores Checkout counters.

The state fair displays some of the finest arts, crafts, livestock, and produce around. In addition to the displays, are numerous commercial exhibits, carnival rides, and evening entertainment. For more information regarding events, contests, or other activities, call (801) 538-FAIR or check out their website at http://www.utah-state-fair.com

West Nile Virus Found in Emery County

West Nile virus has been recently found in a prairie falcon in Emery County, according to the Division of Wildlife Resources. It is the first detection of West Nile virus in Emery County.

In addition to the prairie falcon, West Nile virus also was found recently in a magpie in Utah County and a magpie in Grand County. Samples from the affected birds were submitted to the Utah Public Health Laboratory for testing, and all were positive for West Nile virus. Wild bird surveillance will continue throughout Utah as needed.

Wild birds continue to be important indicators of West Nile viral activity in local communities. Viral activity in birds is often detected before human illness. The Division of Wildlife Resources encourages the public to participate in Utah's Wild Bird Surveillance program. If you see an ill or dead bird in your area, please contact the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office.

Target species for testing in the 2005 season include birds of the Corvid family (ravens, crows, jays, etc.), raptors and other species that may be exhibiting neurologic symptoms.
It is important to note that not all birds may be suitable for testing. To determine if a bird is suitable for testing, please follow these guidelines:

*Is the bird a target species? (Is it a raven, crow, jay, bird of prey, or does the bird appear to be ill or dying?)

*Has the bird been dead less than 24 hours? (Birds that have been dead longer than 24 hours appear decayed and are not suitable for testing.)

*Is there no other obvious cause of death, such as a window strike, cat-kill or collision with a vehicle?

For those with access to the Internet, the Division of Wildlife Resources has provided an online submission form to make reporting dead birds more convenient. More information regarding wild bird surveillance, including a bird identification page and the online submission form, can be found at: http://www.wildlife.utah.gov/wnv/

The Division of Wildlife Resources has been working closely with other state and local agencies involved in West Nile virus surveillance and prevention including the Utah Department of Health, the Utah Mosquito Abatement Association and the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.

Since people may become infected with WNV through the bite of an infected mosquito, personal protection is key. West Nile virus can result in serious disease or death. It is important to follow these recommended guidelines:

* Use mosquito repellents with DEET or Picaridin, especially from dusk to dawn. Mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus are most active during this time.

* Make sure window screens and screened door are in good repair. Small holes will allow mosquitoes to enter.

* Change water regularly (every 2-3 days) in birdbaths, outdoor pet dishes, etc.

* Aerate ornamental ponds or contact your local mosquito abatement district regarding treatment options.

* Use mosquito repellent according to label instructions.

* Make sure window screens and screened doors are in good repair. Small holes will allow mosquitoes to enter.

* Eliminate standing water around your home in locations such as old tires, cans, poorly kept swimming pools, or any other source where stagnant water accumulates.

For more information on personal protection and minimizing mosquitoes around your home, visit: http://www.health.utah.gov

Fall Boating Conditions offered

Whether you're camping, boating, biking, or riding off-highway vehicles (OHVs), park rangers encourage visitors to be prepared for a safe fall season. Stay safe this fall by following these safety tips-

- Wear your lifejacket

- Children 12 to 17 must have the PWC Education course before operating personal watercraft and children eight to 15 must take the Know Before You Go! course before operating OHVs on public lands

- Always wear a safety-rated and properly fitted helmet, goggles, clothes which cover
arms and legs, and over-the-ankle boots

- Ride your OHV only in areas designated for their use. The best way to protect your riding privilege is to stay on the trail

- Carry tools and survival gear in the event of changing weather conditions and mechanical failure

- Always let someone know where you are going and when you will return

- Build fires in designated fire pits and extinguish thoroughly

Fall Boating Conditions offered

Recreationists going boating this weekend have several options awaiting with great water temperatures and fantastic water levels. Provided are current boating conditions:

Bear Lake State Park Marina: OPEN -72 degrees

Deer Creek State Park: OPEN - 70 degrees

East Canyon State Park: OPEN - 71 degrees

Wide Hollow at Escalante State Park: OPEN - 70 degrees

Great Salt Lake State Park Marina: OPEN - 78 degrees

Gunlock State Park: OPEN - 78 degrees

Huntington State Park: OPEN - 70 degrees

Hyrum Lake State Park: OPEN - 72 degrees

Jordanelle State Park: OPEN - 70 degrees

Millsite State Park: OPEN - 66 degrees

Otter Creek State Park: OPEN - 65 degrees

Palisade State Park: OPEN - 67 degrees - Electric motors are now allowed on lake.

Piute State Park: OPEN - 65 degrees

Quail Creek State Park: OPEN -79 degrees

Red Fleet State Park: OPEN - 70 degrees

Rockport State Park: OPEN - 71 degrees

Sand Hollow State Park: OPEN - 81 degrees

Scofield State Park: OPEN - 67 degrees

Starvation State Park: OPEN - 74 degrees

Steinaker State Park: OPEN - 73 degrees

Utah Lake State Park: OPEN - 72 degrees

Willard Bay State Park: OPEN - 80 degrees

Yuba State Park: OPEN - 70 degrees

Lake Powell: OPEN - 80 degrees

Strawberry: OPEN - 69 degrees

Flaming Gorge: OPEN - 68 degrees

Pineview: OPEN - 70 degrees