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Private land closures

Local timberland companies have closed throughout the region due to high fire danger. All company-owned lands in Klickitat, Skamania, Yakima, Hood River and Wasco Counties are closed until further notice. The closure affects all lands owned or managed by: Brought Lumber Company, Hancock Forest Management, Western Pacific Timber, Stevenson Land Company (SDS), Kreps Ranch, and Kreps Family LLC.

ODFW offers advice on avoiding bears

Wildlife managers urge residents in the John Day area to take steps to avoid bear conflicts this fall. Secure garbage and food waste, clean up fallen fruit around trees and don’t leave pet food outside.

2017 sportfishing regulations are set

SALEM — The Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted 2017 sportfishing regulations at its meeting in Salem recently. The majority of the changes are housekeeping corrections building on last year’s effort to simplify the regulations.

Signups open for free youth pheasant hunt

ODFW program being offered in Tygh Valley on Sept. 17-18

SALEM – Registration is now open for ODFW’s free pheasant hunts for youth (age 17 and under) happening around the state in September. The events are being held in Baker City, Central Point, Corvallis, Eugene, Hermiston, John Day, Klamath Falls, La Grande, Madras, Portland, The Dalles (Tygh Valley).

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Northwest ATV: Check conditions before riding forest trails

August is nearly here, and at the time of this writing the Rock Creek Riding Area is open for motorcycle and ATV riding.

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Plenty of pelicans

Growing crowds of large white birds on rocks by The Dalles Dam have drawn plenty of notice this year. They’re American white pelicans, and they were first spotted locally a few years ago by wildlife officials, but this summer, the population has just exploded.

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Fire brings benefits to forest

A woman once wrote a letter to the editor with her ideas about how to stop all wildfires in our forest. Her first idea was to construct agriculture water sprinklers in all 745 million acres of our national forests. Her second, to prohibit all campfires and cooking in those same forests.

Summer camp “Animal habitats of the gorge” offered

What would it be like to be a bear, a fox, a raccoon, or an eagle? Kids ages 5 to 9 years old can explore “Animal Habitats of the Gorge” during a day camp Aug. 1-4, 9 a.m. to noon at Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, 5000 Discovery Drive. Children will get to choose a favorite wild animal, then learn about each animal’s habitat.

Hooks and Horns

The Dalles Chronicle invites hunters and fishers to send in stories and photos for “Hooks & Horns: An Adventure Guide to the Outdoors,” that will publish in late August.

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Friend of the forest

If you ever come upon a clean campsite in the woods, you might have “Billy Yoté” to thank. Yoté spent the day after Memorial Day scouring six campsites, a passel of large garbage bags in tow. He filled about four of them full of trash, from dirty diapers to pizza boxes. One of the six sites was clean. “Yoté” isn’t Yote’s real name: He’s a lifelong resident of Wasco County who loves the woods but doesn’t think much of publicity. He merely made the mistake of chatting with a reporter Tuesday and sharing his day’s activities.

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Reduce your exposure to summer ticks

Like it or not, warm weather has arrived in North Central Oregon, and with the hot temperatures of summer comes comes the increased likelihood that you will come in contact with ticks. Reducing exposure to ticks is the best defense against Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and other tick-borne infections: DEET, showers, and tick checks can help stop ticks.

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Pikeminnow fishery opens

The northern pikeminnow bounty fishery got underway in a big way this year, with 7,523 fish caught in The Dalles area during the first full week of fishing, according to data provided by the Bonneville Power Administration. In the John Day Dam area, 823 fish were caught in the same time period.

Hunt deadline is on Sunday

SALEM — Controlled hunts or one of Oregon’s new Premium Hunts have a deadline set by Sunday, May 15. Apply online, at a license sales agent or ODFW office that sells licenses, or by mail/fax order. The cost is $8 per application and hunters need a 2016 annual hunting license to apply. Last year, more than half of the 407,402 applications were submitted in the last week before the deadline, including nearly 66,000 on deadline day. “The deadline falls on a Sunday this year, which is a good reason to get your application in early,” said Deanna Erickson, ODFW license sales manager. ‘ ODFW offices will be closed on May 15 and license sale agents may also be open fewer hours or closed on a Sunday.” Hunters can also apply online until 11:59 p.m. PT on Sunday, May 15. Erickson also urged hunters to avoid common mistakes on applications on other aspects of hunting certifications “Double check your hunt number against the 2016 Big Game Regulations, and make sure your party leader number is correct,” she said. “And before you walk out of the store or ODFW office, check your application to be sure it’s correct.” ODFW limits the number of tags for some hunts (all rifle deer and most rifle elk hunting in eastern Oregon, plus all pronghorn, Rocky Mtn goat and bighorn sheep hunting) to fairly distribute tags and control hunting pressure. Hunters who apply for a deer, elk or pronghorn tag and don’t draw their first choice receive a preference point for that hunt series, which increases chances the next year. Call Michelle Dennehy at 503-947-6022 for info.

Chinook season extended through weekend

CLACKAMAS – Salmon fishermen will get an additional two days of spring Chinook fishing in the Columbia River upstream of Bonneville Dam. Fishery managers today extended the current spring Chinook season through Sunday, May 8, after reviewing catch to-date indicating an estimated 300 upriver fish remain on the harvest guideline for the Columbia above Bonneville.

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Memaloose Hills a favorite hike

The Memaloose Hills have become one of Janet’s and my favorite places to enjoy nature’s wonderful wildflower shows. The hiking trails are user friendly, never too crowded and the variety of flowers almost endless. And to add another plumb to the pudding the forest service has mapped out a 6.5 miles loop hike that starts at Memaloose rest stop on the east bound lane of I-84; just three miles east of Mosier, Oregon.

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