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Fireline class, test Saturday in Corvallis

The Bitterroot Wildfire Contractors Association will offer a fireline safety class and pack test at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at the Corvallis Grange Hall.

The pack test will take place at 1:45 p.m. at the Corvallis High School track. The cost of the class and the arduous/moderate pack test is $80. Participants must provide a 45-pound pack for the test.

For more information and a list of scheduled classes, call 523-7887 or visit www.bitterrootwildfire.com.

Ski, listen for owls during Lolo Pass trip

Join Five Valleys Audubon on Saturday for a cross-country ski outing at Lolo Pass to listen for owls.

Meet at the west end of the Rosauer’s parking lot on South Reserve Street and South Avenue West at 4 p.m. to carpool to Lolo Pass, then ski into Packer Meadows in the twilight and listen for owls on the return trip.

Dress warmly and bring a head lamp, lunch and cross-country skis. For more information, call Larry Weeks at 549-5632.

Class to teach owners to free trapped pets

Footloose Montana will hold a trapped pet release workshop on Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. at the North Valley Public Library, 208 Main St., Stevensville. The program is free and for all ages.

For more information call Anja Heister at (406) 274-7878 or visit www.footloosemontana.org.

Flathead Audubon plans Freezout visit

The annual Flathead Audubon trip to see the snow geese at the Freezout Lake Wildlife Management Area south of Choteau is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, March 27-28.

Participants will meet at the west end of the Super One parking lot on First Avenue East in downtown Kalispell at 10 a.m. Saturday and carpool to Choteau to be at Freezout in time for the afternoon “fly-out” of the geese.

After a night in Choteau, participants will head out before daybreak Sunday to again watch the geese. Participants may wish leave shortly before noon in order to arrive back in Kalispell by 5 p.m.

Participants are responsible for their own lodging arrangements in Choteau. Trip leader Dan Casey will provide a suggested schedule and route and will lead the group, but attendees can choose to follow the geese as much or as little as the weather – cold and windy – and the birds allow.

For more information, contact Dan Casey at (406) 857-3143 or Daniel-casey55@gmail.com.

Bamboo rod event Tuesday in Kalispell

The Flathead Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited will host a program titled “Fishing Bamboo with Sweetgrass Rods” at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the public meeting room at the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks office in Kalispell, 490 N. Meridian Road.

Presenting the program on building and fishing with bamboo rods will be Jerry Kustich of Sweetgrass Rods in Twin Bridges.

For more information, call Chris Schustrom at (406) 260-1198.

MNHC schedules outing to Freezout

Spend an inspiring day watching thousands of migrating snow geese and other birds at the Freezout Lake Wildlife Management Area south of Choteau on Sunday, March 21.

The group will leave at 7 a.m. from the Montana Natural History Center, 120 Hickory St., and return at 6 p.m. Leading the trip will be Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks volunteer Mike Schwitters. The cost is $30 for MNHC members and $40 for nonmembers. Call 327-0405 to register; space is limited.

The center’s Saturday Kids’ Activity on March 20 is titled “Springtime Eggstravaganza.” Kids ages 5 and older will get a chance to see native bird nests and eggs and complete a nest art project. The program starts at 2 p.m. and children must be accompanied by an adult. Admission is $2 per child; it’s free for members.

Parks and Rec offers snowshoeing, more

Call Missoula Parks and Recreation at 721-PARK to register for the following programs, or register in person at Currents Aquatics Center in McCormick Park. For more information, visit www.missoulaparks.org.

• Snowshoe Adventures at Marshall Mountain, March 20, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. No snowshoe experience necessary. Covers snowshoe travel, avalanche awareness, gear and clothing, navigation and snow shelter building. Snowshoes provided by Pipestone Mountaineering. Class is for ages 12 and older. Register by March 18.

• Fly-tying class, March 18, 7-8:30 p.m., Missoulian Angler. For ages 12 and older. Fee is $7.

• Map and Compass Skills, March 24, 6-8 p.m., Currents Aquatics Center. The course uses the Brunton Navigation Educational program, which covers degrees, declination and orienting a map. Class is designed for beginners (ages 12 and older), but all experience levels are welcome. Fee is $10.

• River Rescue Class, April 9, 7-9 p.m., and April 10, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Designed for rafters, canoeists, kayakers and anglers, the class covers reading water, recognizing and avoiding hazards, quick rescue techniques, entrapments and a day of practice on the Blackfoot River. For ages 14 to adult. Fee is $89.

Wilderness meeting is April 30-May 2

The 2010 convention of the Montana Wilderness Association will be held April 30-May 2 at Grouse Mountain Lodge in Whitefish.

Saturday activities will include a panel discussion following the convention theme, “Wilderness on our Horizon,” and a keynote address from Chris Wood, president and CEO of Trout Unlimited.

Outdoor activities such as trail maintenance projects, a horse-packing demonstration, hiking and mountain biking also are planned. The Belton Blues Band will perform Friday night.

Lodging and day care are available, and volunteers are needed. For more information or to register, call (406) 443-7350, Ext. 110, or visit www.wildmontana.org.

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