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The Observer paper 04/29/16

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Elk die after gorging on winter wheat

Elk have a weakness for winter wheat.

“It is a bit addictive (for elk),’’ said Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist Mark Kirsch, who is based in Pendleton.

Unclaimed bison roam free in Wallowa County

ENTERPRISE (AP) — A herd of free-roaming bison graze on a south-facing slope near a craggy granite spine called Cougar Ridge, their shaggy presence a pleasant diversion for some Wallowa County residents, but worrisome to others.

Walk your way to good health

SUMMERVILLE STRIDERS enjoy the benefits of walking and socializing during their routine 3-mile walk on Craig Loop with their dogs. Left to right: Vicki Correll, Trudy Westfield, Diana Dominguez, Michele McCoy, Jennie Tucker, Becky Noll, Sharon Hamilton and Linda Birnbaum. Dave Yerges photo

SUMMERVILLE — The Greek physician Hippocrates believed that walking was man’s best medicine. Today, health care professionals can’t agree more. Its generous benefits can help improve one’s mental and physical health.

Late winter skiing has its rewards, hazards

Late winter skiing can be a jewel-like experience.

But it also presents serious potential hazards.

Mike Gooderham of La Grande, a member of the Anthony Lakes Ski Patrol since 1962, understands the pluses and minuses better than most.

Scouts’ abilities put to test at Klondike Derby

Boy Scouts push a sled across a field in a competition during the annual Klondike Derby at Anthony Lakes on Saturday. JOANNA BRADSHAW photo

Conquering the cold with snow.

Close to 50 Boy Scouts accomplished this seemingly paradoxical feat while proving their winter mettle at the annual Klondike Derby Feb. 25-26 at Anthony Lakes.

Disc golfers seek OK to build course at MERA

Brandon Wiggins participates in a disc golf event earlier in Union County. TRENT BRAY photo

Proposed public 18-hole course would encompass about 20 acres in Mount Emily Recreation Area

Avid birder makes rare sighting

Trent Bray of La Grande has identified 268 bird species in Union County since he moved here in 2001.

Rusty blackbird never recorded in Union County until photographed last month by Trent Bray

La Grande birder Trent Bray did not know if the digital photos he was snapping at Red Pepper Road and Gekeler Lane in early January were turning out.

The images did more than turn out, they helped add a new page to Union County birding history.

Shooting under the lights

Wayne Paxton, left, releases shooting clays Wednesday night for Terry Ambrose, center, and Larry Harrison. CHRIS BAXTER / The Observer

NIGHT TIME is again the right time to trapshoot in the La Grande area.

At least it is at the La Grande Gun Club.

Wednesday night lights are back at the club now that its annual winter trapshooting league is up and running.

Tiger trout to prowl Phillips Reservoir

Tigers will be introduced to Northeast Oregon later this year, but no protests from ranchers or hunters will be staged.

Look instead for inquisitive looks and large smiles from anglers.


Birders eye 87 species at annual Christmas count

TED SCHROEDER photo UNIQUE SIGHTING: This ferruginous hawk was the first one ever spotted during the Union County Christmas Bird Count.
A pesky bald eagle helped the 35th annual Union County Christmas Bird Count soar to new heights on New Year’s Day.

Counters spotted 87 species of birds, shattering the old record of 77 set a year ago.

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