Field reports: Rare pygmy rabbits breeding in basin

SUNDAY, JULY 24, 2011

WILDLIFE – For the first time in a decade, the endangered Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit appears to have successfully bred in its historic range.

A litter of kits has been confirmed in a 6-acre enclosure at the Sagebrush Flat Wildlife Area in central Washington, where conservationists are slowly reintroducing the tiny rabbits to the wild.

So far, 93 pygmy rabbits have been reintroduced to the Sagebrush Flat area this spring and summer, and they appear to be breeding. Until this release, there were no Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits known to be left in the wild.

Associated Press

Work closes section of Pacific Crest Trail

BACKPACKING – The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail will be closed to all users at the I-90 North Trailhead Monday through Thursday to allow trail crew members to remove a large “log jam” from the trail.

The one-fourth mile of trail blocked by the downed trees is extremely difficult for hikers to pass through, according to Cle Elum Ranger District officials.

Info: Cle Elum Ranger Station, (509) 852-1100.

Rich Landers

State contest calling all waterfowl callers

HUNTING – A waterfowl calling contest coming up in the Tri-Cities will give the open division winner an all-expense-paid trip to the hallowed quacking grounds of the World Duck Calling Championships in Stuttgart, Ark.

The sanctioned Washington Duck Calling Championships are set for Aug. 6-7 at Wholesale Sports in Kennewick, sponsored by the Washington Waterfowl Association.

In addition to the Open Duck competition, the event has eight other contests and divisions for duck, goose, youth and two-person competition.

Info: Abel Cortina, (509) 786-9196, email abelcortina@gmail.com.

Rich Landers

Hunters on ATVs target of survey

HUNTING – Monday is the deadline to complete an Idaho survey on whether hunters with trophy big-game permits should have to comply with the same off-road vehicle rules as other hunters.

Go to fishandgame.idaho.gov/ for the one-click survey.

Rich Landers

Sportsmen help restore Calispell Creek area

CONSERVATION – The Backcountry Hunters & Anglers of Washington group is meeting in the Colville National Forest next weekend for its annual summer meeting and work party.

This year’s habitat projects focus on the Middle Fork of Calispell Creek, where the group plans to build split-rail fencing and repair ATV abuses in an area called Delaney Meadows. 

“This area is notorious for abuse, but enforcement has been cracking down here, bettering the chances our efforts will not be dashed nights later by more outlaw riders,” said Jeff Holmes, BHA member, adding that there also will be plenty of campfire discussion about fishing and big-game hunting.

Info: Jeff Holmes, washingtonstatebha@yahoo.com or Joe Mirasole, outlawoutfitters@hotmail.com.

Rich Landers

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