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  • July 29, 2011

    Nat. Park Revises Wildlife-Watching Guidelines After Recent Bear Attacks

    By Chad Love

    Officials at the Grand Teton National Park have revised their wildlife-watching guidelines in response to the spate of recent bear attacks in national parks and across the country.

    From this story in National Parks Traveler:
    "...The need for the revisions arose as more and more visitors took to the roofs of their vehicles to photograph bears and, in at least two instances, the bears took exception and charged the vehicles, according to park officials. While park guidelines long have said visitors should not approach within 100 yards of bears and wolves, or within 25 yards from other animals, including nesting birds, the updated regulation now specifies that "remaining, viewing, or engaging in any activity within 100 yards of bears or wolves" is against park regulations. With highly photogenic grizzly sows No. 399 and No. 610 -- and, this year, their five cubs -- regularly frequenting the park's front country, more and more photographers realized that they could get some great shots of them if they just waited long enough, Grand Teton spokeswoman Jackie Skaggs said Thursday.

  • July 29, 2011

    National Quail Hunting Forecast 2011 Released

    By Chad Love

    If you're a quail hunter wondering about the success of mid-summer nesting in the area or areas you're considering hunting this year, Quail Forever has just released its latest state-by-state nesting report. It's definitely worth a look, and as you might expect, it's a mixed-bag, even within the same region. Some of you will sing, while others will be crying into your strap vest. For example, in the wild bob strongholds of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, it appears that if you want to find birds this fall, you're going to have to follow the rain...
     
    From the report
    Kansas
    The majority of regions have felt below average temperatures and rainfall this spring, which has not allowed for much in the way of new growth of grasses or forbs, according to Quail Forever’s team of Kansas Farm Bill Wildlife Biologists. A few timely spring rainfalls across the state will likely help localized quail initiatives and lead to a successful nesting season. Throughout the landscape there are still plenty of areas providing decent nesting cover. These areas, coupled with fresh forb growth and wildflower enhanced CRP fields, are providing the necessary conditions for young broods to survive the summer months.

  • July 29, 2011

    Construction for Arkansas River Art Project to Begin Next Fall

    By Chad Love

    You may recall a few weeks ago, the almost universal comment panning that Field Notes readers gave a proposed art project over the Arkansas River. Alas, there obviously were no Field Notes readers in the "deciders" division of the Bureau of Land Management, because the BLM just approved artist Christo Vladimirov Javacheff's plan to cover around six miles of water on the Arkansas River with sheets of fabric that look like water. Because it's...art.
     
    From this story in the Pueblo (CO) Chieftain
    The U.S. Bureau of Land Management on Thursday released the final environmental impact statement for New York artist Christo's Over The River project, paving the way for the plan to proceed if final approval comes this fall. After 2 1/2 years of study, the approved form is much how Christo envisioned the grand-scale artwork. It will allow for the suspension of eight silvery, luminous fabric panel segments totaling 5.9 miles over portions of the Arkansas River between Salida and Canon City.

  • July 29, 2011

    Caption Contest: Write the Best, Win A Kawasaki Blower

    By Editors

    Here's your last chance to write a caption to win a great prize from Kawasaki Power Products. Someone has already won a string trimmer and the winner from last week's contest, who will be announced today on the Gun Nuts blog, gets a gas hedge trimmer.

    Have at it and good luck.

  • July 28, 2011

    EPA to Use Fish Bones to Reduce Lead Contamination in Soil

    By Chad Love

    Lead-contaminated soil remains one of the nation's most prevalent and costly environmental problems, but researchers have found a novel, cheap and easy way to mitigate lead's toxicity using...fish bones?

    From this story in the New York Times:
    Alaskan pollock is usually the faux stand-in for crab meat or the main ingredient in fast-food fish sandwiches. But now the flaky fish is moving into a new realm — as part of the solution to one of the nation’s longest-running toxic waste problems.
     
    "...The principle is straightforward, said Victor R. Johnson, an engineer with Civil & Environmental Consultants Inc. “The fish bones are full of calcium phosphate,” he said. “As they degrade, the phosphates migrate into the soil.” The lead in the soil, deposited by car exhaust from the decades when gasoline contained lead or from lead-based paint residue, binds with the phosphate and transforms into pyromorphite, a crystalline mineral that will not harm anyone even if consumed.

  • July 28, 2011

    An Emergency Shelter in a Cube

    By Editors

    As a natural pessimist who assumes everything could go south at any given moment, this video piqued my interest. Take a look at the LifeCube emergency shelter, a tent system with an integrated hard floor that serves as its own heavy plastic shipping container when not deployed. The cube has detachable hoop wheels so it can be moved over uneven terrain. Once the whole thing unfolds, it forms a raised 144-square-foot platform.

    Check out the video of it’s 5-minute deployment, and try to ignore the corny music if you can.

  • July 27, 2011

    Idaho Angler Lands Huge Rainbow Trout, New State Record

    By Online Editors

    The Idaho Department of Fish and Game says Mark Adams, a 41-year-old man from Pocatello, has landed a new Idaho state record rainbow trout.

    From this story on therepublic.com:
    Idaho Department of Fish and Game officials say a 41-year-old railroad engineer has shattered a state record with this 34.74-pound rainbow trout.

    Union Pacific Railroad locomotive engineer Mark Adams caught the lunker in American Falls Reservoir Monday morning. It took Adams 15 minutes to bring in the trout, which broke old state record by 14.72 pounds.

    Adams tells the Idaho State Journal that he and his fishing buddy first thought the fish was a carp because it didn't have a lot of color. Adams called another friend who advised him to get his catch to a certified scale.

  • July 27, 2011

    DNA Tracking Confirms Cougar Travelled 1,500 Miles from South Dakota to Conn.

    By David Maccar

    A mountain lion made an incredible 1,500 mile trek from South Dakota to Connecticut, only to be killed on a highway by an SUV.

    From this story on ABCnews.com:
    The mountain lion that met an untimely death on a Connecticut highway last month had walked 1,500 miles from South Dakota, environmental officials say -- an incredible journey tracked through DNA samples collected in the Midwest over the last two years.

    The 140-pound male cougar, whose age is estimated at between 2 and 5 years, almost certainly left its native habitat to look for mates but went in the wrong direction, according to Adrian Wydeven, mammal ecologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. "He was looking for love in all the wrong places," he said.

    The mountain lion was struck by an SUV on the Wilbur Cross Parkway in Milford, Conn., on June 11. The driver was unhurt, but the cougar died at the scene.

  • July 27, 2011

    New York State-Record Brook Trout Certified

    By David Maccar

    New York has a newly certified state record brook trout. Dan Germain hooked the fish on June 15, weighing in at 5 lbs 8 oz, beating the previous record by 3.5 oz.

    From this story on readmedia.com: 
    The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has certified Dan Germain from Forestport, Oneida County, is the new holder of the state record for brook trout. Mr. Germain reeled in the record-breaking fish on June 15 while fishing at South Lake in Herkimer County in the southwest corner of the Adirondack Park. The new record brook trout, caught on a Lake Clear Wabbler and worm, measured 22 inches and weighed in at 5 pounds, 8 ounces, surpassing the previous state record set in 2009 by 3.5 ounces.

  • July 26, 2011

    Injured Teens Recovering from Grizzly Attack in Alaska

    By Online Editors

    Four of the teens attacked by a grizzly in Alaska while participating in a surival skills course are recovering from their injuries and have given the Associated Press an account of their ordeal.

    From this story on nytimes.com:
    The teens had been advised to play dead if they encountered a grizzly during their excursion in the Alaska wilderness.

    But with the massive, snarling bear suddenly looming over them, 17-year-old Sam Gottsegen of Denver and the other participants of a backcountry survival course did what so many others would have done: They ran.

    The bear pounced on some of the students, including Gottsegen, who was among four seriously injured...

    Authorities believe the bear was aggressive because it was with its cub. Gottsegen said no one ever saw a cub.

    The group was hiking through bushes that got so thick they decided to wade through a river, walking in single file. Around a bend in the river, Joshua Berg, 17, of New City, N.Y., began yelling "Bear! Bear!"