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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Glacier lecture focuses on wilderness protection

Douglas W. Scott, policy director, Campaign for America's Wilderness, will give a lecture on "The Wilderness Act: Preserving Our Wilderness" at noon, Thursday, June 26, in the Community Building, Glacier National Park Headquarters.

Learn how to identify medicinal plants

Elaine Sheff, owner of Meadowsweet Herbs, will show participants how to identify native and naturalized medicinal plants, Saturday, June 28, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at the Montana Natural History Center, 120 Hickory St. Cost is $20 for MNHC members and $25 for nonmembers. Registration is required. Call 327-0405.

Come look for a rock wren on Saturday field trip

Larry Weeks will lead a half-day field trip Saturday to locate a rock wren on the Line's property near Dean Stone Mountain. Meet at the top of Whitaker Drive (about four blocks above Ben Hogan Drive) at 8 a.m. and be prepared for a moderate four-mile hike to Moose Can Gully. Call Weeks, 549-5632, for more information.

Flathead Audubon plans two field trips Saturday

Flathead Audubon has two field trips planned Saturday. A birding trip into Glacier National Park will leave from the West Glacier Post Office at 7 a.m. Park entrance fee or pass is required. Call Bruce Tannehill or Gail Cleveland at 862-4548 to sign up.

At 8 a.m. a group will leave from the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks office, 490 N. Meridian Road, in Kalispell for a tour of area lakes to observe common loons. To sign up for this trip call 751-4580.

Gun safety course slated for July 12

Gun Safety for Concealed Weapon Permits will be hosted in Missoula by the Montana Shooting Sports Association on Saturday, July 12. This one-day course will focus on safe handling, storage and use of handguns suitable for personal protection, selecting a personal firearm, issues of personal protection, allowable use of lethal force, concealed weapon permits, and shooting skills. Both classroom and shooting range exercises are included.

Graduates will receive a credential qualifying them to apply for a Montana concealed weapon permit. The course runs from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Class size is limited to the first 20 registrants and preregistration and pre-class study are required. Students must be 16 years old or older. For further information or to register, call Gary Marbut, 549-1252.

Kids, come learn how to cast at Tremper's

Big Sky Bassers will host a Bassmaster CastingKids competition at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Tremper's Shopping Center. The free event is open for girls and boys in two age groups: 7-10 and 11-14. No experience is necessary. After the kids are taught the basics of flipping, pitching and casting, they will aim for a target. Winners from the local competition will advance to the state contest. A parent or guardian must accompany the child.

Fly fishers to convene at Whitefish conclave

WHITEFISH - Fly fishers from around the globe will gather July 22-26 for the Federation of Fly Fishers 43rd annual International Fly Fishing Show and Conclave at Whitefish High School. The event features more than 75 workshops and 150 fly-tying demonstrations, youth and women's programs, free casting clinics, a fly fishing show featuring exhibits from manufacturers and outfitters and a live auction that includes fishing trips to Chile, Argentina and Alaska plus artwork and fishing gear. All proceeds benefit the Federation of Fly Fishers to further its mission of education, conservation and restoration.

Pre-registration for workshops closes Friday, June 27. After that, people can register on site. Day passes are $5 per person and include the free clinics, demonstrations and fly-fishing show. Workshop costs are separate and vary.

FWP seeks comments on seasons and quotas

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking public comment on tentative bison and furbearer seasons and quotas and the proposed wolf quotas adopted by the FWP Commission at its June 12 meeting.

For details on these tentative seasons and quotas, go to the FWP Web site at fwp.mt.gov on the Hunting page and click on the red links. The deadline to comment is July 18. Comments may be mailed to FWP-Wildlife Division, Attn: Public Comment, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701; or on the FWP Web site. For more information call (406) 444-2612.

Campus Rec offers kayak clinic, river cleanup

For more information on the following programs offered by Campus Recreation at the University of Montana, call 243-5172:

• Kayak Roll Clinic - July 15, 17 and 22 at Griz Pool from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. This class is focused primarily on the "Eskimo roll." Must have previous kayaking experience. Cost is $65. Register by July 11.

• Blackfoot River Cleanup - Spend a day cleaning up the river July 26. The trip is free for volunteers and transportation is provided. Open to UM community only. Register by July 18.

Volunteers sought for licensing council

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking a volunteer from the sporting public to join the Variable Priced Licensing Council. The council, which represents big-game hunters and licensed big-game hunting outfitters, determines the criteria used in setting the market value of FWP's outfitter-sponsored license and recommends a license fee to the FWP Commission for their approval. Volunteers generally meet for one day annually in early August.

The deadline to volunteer is July 18. Volunteers may apply by submitting a letter describing their interest and experience in big-game hunting, and if applicable, hunting outfitting, to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks License Bureau, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701. For details, call Hank Worsech at (406) 444-2663.

Fly-fishing workshops offered in August

The Watershed Education Network is once again offering fly-fishing workshops for participants age 14 and older in western Montana. Two separate weeklong sessions will be held Aug. 4-8 and Aug. 11-15. Activities will include fly tying, stream restoration, river ecology and field journaling. Local author David James Duncan will participate in each session. The cost is $300 with limited scholarships available. To apply or to contribute toward scholarships, go to www.montanawatershed.org; or e-mail water@montanawatershed.org or call 541-9287.

Learn what you can do about poachers

BANNACK - This Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Group Use area at Bannack State Park Brian Shinn, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks TIP-MONT Coordinator, will present his program "Turn In Poachers".

The program features many trophy wildlife mounts all taken illegally. The exhibit includes deer, elk, moose, bear, antelope, and a mountain goat that were wantonly destroyed. A call to 1-800-TIP-MONT, the state's "Turn in Poachers" hotline, helped to uncover the hunter who outfitted illegally, killed game animals without licenses, hunted closed seasons, and killed game animals at night and over bait.

Lecture and education programs are offered at 2 p.m. and the entertainment programs are scheduled for 7 p.m. Park hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day. For more information call the park at (406) 834-3413.

Half-marathon to celebrate the Swan

Celebrate the Swan - The Race for a Place takes place Saturday, July 1. The half-marathon race begins at 9 a.m. and the mile, 5K and 10K at 10 a.m. Children's games will follow the races. The starting line is at the south end of the airstrip near mile marker 43 in Condon. For race applications call the Swan Ecosystem Center, (406) 754-3137, check out the Web site at swanecosystemcenter.com or

e-mail swanec4@blackfoot.net. Pre-register by mail or e-mail by June 27.

State welcomes comments on wildlife management

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking public comment on an environmental assessment and proposed commercial use management plan for wildlife management areas. The FWP Commission adopted commercial use rules in 2006 on FWP lands, including WMAs, and required that a plan be in place before such uses can be authorized. The commercial activities identified include: walks and hiking tours, trail rides by horse or bicycles, trail rides on ATVs or trail bikes, eco-tours by van or bus, photography, and commercial hunting-dog training.

The complete text of the EA and the statewide commercial use management plan for WMAs can be found on the FWP Web site at fwp.mt.gov under Public Notices. Print copies are available by calling (406) 444-2612. The public must comment by July 14 by e-mail to: fwpwld@mt.gov or by mail to: Montana FWP, Attn: Steve Knapp, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620.

Tour features edible and medicinal plants

Saturday Discovery Day at the Montana Natural History Center, 120 Hickory St., will feature an edible and medicinal plant walk with Elaine Sheff, owner of Meadowsweet Herbs, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. The cost is $20 for members or $25 for nonmembers. The tour is geared for adults. Call 327-0405 for exceptions and to register.

Last fire refresher class scheduled for Saturday

The last scheduled Wildland Fire Refresher class for the 2008 fire season conducted by Blackbull Wildfire Services will be in Missoula at Ruby's Reserve Street Inn and Conference Center on Saturday, June 28, at 8 a.m. No pre-registration is required; the cost is $75. For more information, call 543-0013.

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