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In brief: St. Helens restricts snowmobilers

Gifford Pinchot National Forest officials have established a non-motorized wedge on the south side of Mount St. Helens, bordered by the Monitor Ridge and Worm Flows climbing routes.

Climbers and skiers had complained about the noise from snowmobiles using the same part of the mountain, said Peter Frenzen, of the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.

Forest Service officials were also concerned about snowmobile safety, he said.

The area closed to snowmobiles is relatively steep and tricky for even expert snowmobilers, he said.

Most snowmobilers who head for the summit use less steep routes, where they’re still allowed, Frenzen said.

Snowmobilers need a permit to travel above 4,800 feet on the volcano. Previously, only climbers and skiers needed the permit.

Free permits for snowmobilers and climbers are available Nov. 1-March 31, at the Marble Mountain Sno-Park on Road 83 and at the Climber’s Register at the Lone Fir Resort in Cougar.

Associated Press


Eagles flock to hot spots

West Coast bald eagles have begun their annual migrations to congregating areas.

Hot spots include:

Oregon’s Lower Klamath River National Wildlife Refuge, where 600-800 eagles typically winter in late January and early February, and up to about 1,000 birds in some years. Eagles are attracted to this area to feed on dead or weakened waterfowl.

Washington’s Skagit River in Western Washington attracts about 350 eagles near Rockport in the 8,000-acre Skagit River Bald Eagle Natural Area overseen by the Nature Conservancy. The record is 580. The gathering starts in November and ends in February.

Meanwhile, eagles in the Inland Northwest are finding little reason to leave. A winter of record snow is leaving a bounty of road-killed deer for the eagles’ dining enjoyment.

Rich Landers


Washington seeks volunteer advisers

Washington’s Recreation and Conservation Office is looking for 17 volunteers to fill vacancies on four advisory committees for parks, trails, and firearm and archery ranges.

The advisory committees make recommendations to the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board on project funding and policy issues. The board is the largest provider of grants for Washington parks.

Applicants will be selected to represent a range of interests, including motorized and non-motorized recreation groups, equestrians, government agencies and various shooting groups, including archery and hunter education.

Deadline to apply: Feb. 13.

Info: (360) 902-1996, /adv_cmte_recruit_forms.htm.

Rich Landers