Posts tagged: oregon
OUTDOORS TRAVEL — If you're looking for an outdoors-related road trip, complete with opportunities for hiking, fishing and wildlife watching, consider the drive to Oregon's Steens Mountain.
Zach Urness, outdoor writer for the Statesman Journal, notes that it's been called the most spectacular drive in Oregon.
The Steens Mountain Loop Road departs the tiny, historic town of Frenchglen and climbs Oregon’s eighth-tallest mountain on a tour of massive gorges, vast panoramas and one of the most spectacular lakes in the Pacific Northwest.
The 52-mile loop is the state’s highest road and found in its southeastern corner, rising above the high desert like an alpine island, he says.
Last year, Urness wrote a story about backpacking and hiking into the gorges of Steens Mountain.
This year, he's written a detailed report focusing on the family-friendly highlights that can be enjoyed right along the road.
FORESTS – Longstanding proposals to protect rivers and forests in Oregon as wilderness areas have been reintroduced in Congress by Oregon’s two senators.
The bills would expand the Oregon Caves National Monument and Wild Rogue Wilderness in southwestern Oregon, create new wilderness along the John Day River in Central Oregon, and create the Devil’s Staircase Wilderness to protect old growth forest in the Coast Range on the Siuslaw National Forest. They also would elevate Wild and Scenic Rivers Act protections for the Chetco River in southwestern Oregon, and the Molalla River south of Portland.
Some of the areas were first proposed for wilderness 30 years ago.
Read on for more details on the current legislation as reported by the Associated Press.
HUNTING — Giving up the chance to apply for big-game hunting permits is one of the many sacrifices military personnel make for their service.
Oregon is trying to change that.
Oregon soldiers like U.S. Marine Corps 1st Lt. James Nash can't plan a trip home to hunt because the randomness of their leave schedules mean they can't apply in advance for most big-game tags, says Mark Freeman, outdoor writer for the Medford Mail Tribune.
But starting this year, they'll have a chance to hit the woods should they find themselves visiting home in the fall, thanks to Nash.
“After a year's prodding from Nash and his father, Enterprise rancher Todd Nash, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has created a new program that allows Oregon service men and women the ability to get controlled deer and elk tags over the counter should they find themselves home during hunting season,” Freeman writes.
Call it the Nash Rule, and it's likely the first program of its kind in the nation to grant exceptions for deployed soldiers on leave.
Read on for the rest of Freeman's story.
OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHY — Many of Oregon's iconic natural features are captured in this soothing production of time-lapse photography.
It's called “Finding Oregon, by Uncage the Soul Productions.
WILDLIFE – Three hunting groups are supporting the state of Oregon in a lawsuit trying to overturn state authority to shoot wolves that attack livestock, the Associated Press reports.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the Oregon Hunters Association, and the Oregon chapter of the North American Wild Sheep Foundation have all asked the Oregon Court of Appeals to allow them to file friend of the court briefs supporting the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Conservation groups are trying to overturn a department order to kill two wolves from the Imnaha pack that have been blamed for livestock attacks in northeastern Oregon.
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation says in a statement that elk herds are struggling to survive in places wolves have been reintroduced.
Conservation groups counter climate change and habitat are more likely causes than wolves.
ENDANGERED SPECIES — The first wolf confirmed in western Oregon in 65 years has been roaming Douglas County for a week as wildlife official track its exploration in the high Cascades by satellite.
Born in Oregon in 2009 and collared last February, this wolf was part of the Imnaha pack in Wallowa County and split from that pack Sept. 10 in what biologists called dispersing, the wolf's version of leaving the nest, Freeman writes.So far, it has traveled more than 250 miles on its journey and there was no way to guess when or where this wolf will end up, biologists have said.
ENDANGERED SPECIES — Oregon's newest confirmed wolf pack is roaming the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area and Wilderness along the Snake River bordering Idaho.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife used hunter reports and remote cameras to help them document at leat five wolves in the pack last week, including at least one pup.
The Snake River wolf pack is the fourth to be confirmed in Oregon since the mid-2000s, when wolves began filtering into the state from Idaho.
Earlier this month, ODFW radio-collared its first wolf (female pup) from the Walla Walla pack in Umatilla County, a pack first documented in January 2011. It roams along the Oregon-Washington border.
The current minimum known number of wolves ODFW can account for in Oregon is 23: the Imnaha pack (four), Walla Walla pack (six), Snake River pack (five), Wenaha pack (four), northern Umatilla County wolves (two) plus two dispersers from the Imnaha pack that remain in Oregon.
Officials say it's likely that more than 23 wolves exist in Oregon, where they are still protected by the state Endangered Species Act along with the federal ESA in areas west of Highways 395-78-95.
ENDANGERED SPECIES — Even though only about a dozen wolves roam in the state, the Oregon Senate gave unanimous approval today for a bill authorizing a comprehensive livestock compensation and wolf coexistence program.
Gov. Kitzhaber is expected to sign the legislation, which passed the House earlier this week 60-0.
Key feature of the legislation:
“Oregon’s Livestock Compensation and Wolf Coexistence bill will create one of the most innovative livestock loss compensation and prevention programs in the country,” said Suzanne Stone, Northern Rockies representative for Defenders of Wildlife. Stone helped lead the effort for wolf advocates involved in the negotiations.
“Ranchers who take proactive steps to minimize potential conflicts between wolves and their livestock will remain eligible to receive compensation for losses. The bill also dedicates at least a third of allocated funds to implementing effective nonlethal deterrents to help ranchers prevent losses to wolves. This ensures that livestock producers are doing their part to protect their animals while giving Oregon’s wolves a real chance of survival.”
RARE SPECIES — Five days after discovering the first documented wolverine tracks in the Wallowa Mountains of Northeast Oregon, researcher Audrey Magoun has downloaded photos of two wolverines from a bait station camera.
“They are clearly photos of two different individuals,” Magoun said.
The photos were taken on April 2 and 13 at a bait station in the Eagle Cap Wilderness and downloaded on Friday.
The set of tracks discovered on April 17 was the first confirmation of a wolverine in Wallowa County.
Read on for more details.