"Let your walks now be a little more adventurous."
- Henry David Thoreau
Our state now has a second Disease Management Area that has been set up in an attempt to stop the dreaded Chronic Wasting Disease. This disease was found in tree hunter-killed Pennsylvania deer in the past year. Carl G. Roe, who is the Game Commission's director, established this new area to the southwest of the Susquehanna Valley, including parts of Bedford, Blair, Cambria and Huntingdon counties. The first area was established in Adams and York counties last fall. Within these two designated areas, special restrictions have been put into place to minimize the risk of spreading Chronic Wasting Disease. These restrictions include: It's now illegal to remove or export deer heads, spines or spleens from the area; all deer killed in the area are subject to testing by the game commission; deer in the area are not be rehabilitated; the use or possession of urine-based attractants is prohibited in the areas; and direct or indirect feeding of wild, free-ranging deer is illegal in the management areas. The actual order that regulates the areas states that "all cervids" are covered. Cervids is a classification of mammals that includes deer and other antlered animals. For more information, please visit the Game Commission's website at: www.pgc.state.pa.us.
n Weekend hikes
The Sierra Club is offering a near-by hikes and a further-off hike for you to consider taking this weekend. This Saturday morning, you and your family may join in on an easy, 2-mile loop hike on the Dale's Ridge Trail in Union County. Roy Fontaine (570-220-4707) is the leader for this hike that starts at 9:30 a.m. Also on Saturday, you can hike where Rip Van Winkle used to stroll in the Catskill Mountains with Richard Sahn (email@example.com). Carpools will head out at 6 a.m. from the Williamsport area and travel to Hunter Mountain for a moderate up-and-down type hike with lots of great vistas of the Hudson valley. On Sunday morning, there will be an easy-to-moderate morning hike at the Rider Park in Lycoming County that will be great for beginners. Roy Fontaine is also leading this hike, so just give him a call for details.
n Fly fishing museum
While the waters are still nice and cool, this weekend would be a great time to travel down to the Pennsylvania Fly Fishing Museum that's located at the Allenberry Resort Inn and Playhouse in Boiling Springs. The museum recently unveiled an expanded display of the historic artifacts that the association members have collected over the past 14 years. New space in the museum's Meadow Lodge has resulted in a huge show room that allows these fly fishers, historians and conservationists to display what has made our state's world-renowned fly-fishing tradition. Make sure to take along your fishing gear because there's great fishing in the museum's backyard.
n Susquehanna River cleanup and concert
There will be a big cleanup along banks of the river this Saturday. For the second year in a row, crews will pick up litter and debris from the Chillisquaque Access Area the whole way down to the Sunbury waterfront. The crews will head out from the Sunbury Amphitheater at 9:30 a.m. Boats and lunch are being provided so it's important to pre-register at: www.susquehannacleanup.com. At the conclusion of the cleanup, around 1 p.m., there will be a family-friendly concert along the Sunbury waterfront.
n Audubon Free Field Trip
Everyone is welcome to join the Seven Mountains Audubon members on a free, local field trip this Saturday starting at 7:30 a.m. Please meet in the CVS parking lot on Route 192 in Lewisburg to tag along.
n Controlled burn
If you're in the State College area today and see lots of smoke, it may be the controlled burn on the Scotia Barrens of State Game Land #176. The burn is being conducted by the Game Commission to improve habitat conditions. The purpose of these types of burns is to restore the pitch pine/scrub oak ecosystem on the unique Scotia Barrens. Controlled burns also are used to improve plant and wildlife habitats, along with reducing the chance of wildfires.