Nineteen woodland caribou captured in British Columbia this month have been released in northeastern Washington as part of a continuing project to bolster the endangered species in its historic range.
Sixty Canadian caribou were relocated to the Selkirk Mountains of Idaho during three years beginning in 1987. This most recent transplant was the first in Washington.
Seven caribou were captured by helicopter east of Wells Gray Provincial Park and 12 from south of Prince George, from a herd of up to 800 woodland caribou.
Washington Fish and Wildlife Department employees transported the eight bulls and 11 cows in an 18-hour truck caravan to the release sites northeast of Sullivan Lake.
The first group was released on April 13. The group of 12 was released April 18, said Madonna Luers, department spokeswoman.
“All the caribou were equipped with radio telemetry,” she said. “They’re all still alive and in their original groups.”
If funding is available, Washington, in conjunction with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, plans to bring in another 40 caribou over the next two years, Luers said.
The federal government will spend $190,000 on this relocation mission, while another $20,000 has been charged to Washington’s nongame wildlife fund, Luers said.
New Turkey chapter
Spokane will be installed as Washington’s third chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation during a fund-raising banquet and auction on May 4.
Federation members have been instrumental in helping the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department bring in turkeys from other states for release in Washington, said Dave Murphy, chapter coorganizer.
“So far, the Davenport and Olympia areas have received a lot of the turkeys for release because they were the only areas with chapters,” Murphy said.
Chapter members found high demand for information about turkey hunting at a recent seminar conducted by chapter members.
“In the last 20 years, Washington’s turkey population has gone from a few hundred to as much as 11,000 birds,” Murphy said. “The federation’s goal is to have turkeys living in every habitat that will support them by the year 2000.”
Tickets for the banquet must be purchased by Friday. Contact Larry Walker, 467-5444, or Dan McKinley, 448-9679. Cost is $65 for couples and $50 for individuals.
The banquet is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. in Spokane Community College’s Lair.
Cabins, yurts planned
Campers at two Washington parks won’t need tents or RVs this summer, as the Parks and Recreation Commission has announced a plan to build cabins and yurts at Lake Chelan State Park and Fort Canby State Park.
The cabins and yurts will sleep up to six people and feature bunk beds, couches, electricity and skylights. Rental fees will be determined Friday at a commission meeting in Spokane.
The commission will also approve cooperative agreements with other agencies, private organizations and Indian tribes to provide interpretive staff at the Dry Falls, Ft. Okanogan and Sacajawea interpretive centers.
Idaho regulations available
Idaho big-game regulation books arrived at vendor outlets this week. Hunters must remember to apply for controlled hunts in May, a month earlier than the traditional deadline, Idaho Fish and Game officials say. The deadline applies to applications for elk, deer, black bear and antelope.
The department said the troubled Point-of-Sale Machines, or POS’M, will not used for controlled hunts.
The POS’M system was billed as a way to make it easier to buy licenses and permits statewide, as well as less of a hassle to vendors. So far, the network has not lived up to the agency’s hopes because of computer glitches.