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Home arrow Wallowa Life

Population Boom

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Observer file The Zumwalt Prairie is home to 3,500 head of elk. The population has grown from 500 head of elk to the large number of today over 13 years.

The Nature Conservancy manages growing elk numbers on the Zumwalt Prairie 

ENTERPRISE — Over the last 13 years the elk population on the Zumwalt Prairie has ballooned from 500 head to 3,500. For the managers of The Nature Conservancy’s Zumwalt Prairie Preserve, keeping elk in balance with the rest of the ecosystem is a multi-level task.


Saving up yen for next adventure

My Great Uncle John used to ask me, “Do you have a yen to travel?” To which I would reply, “Yes, but no yens with which to travel.”


Memorial should serve as a reminder to dangers police face

Nearly 3,000 people, including law enforcement representatives from the Union County Sheriff’s Office and the La Grande Police Department, attended a memorial last Thursday in Portland to honor Oregon City Reserve Officer Robert Libke, who was fatally shot while on duty Nov. 3.


Fishing Report for November 15, 2013

Fishing Report for November 15, 2013

Hunting Report for November 15, 2013

Hunting Report for November 15, 2013

Counting Fish

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Jim Harbeck and Eric Showdell of the Nez Perce Tribe steady a bar as Montana Pagano pounds in a “duck bill” into the bed of Crazy Man Creek. Each passive integrated transponder needs eight duck bills to stabilize it. (KATY NESBITT/WesCom News Service)

Nez Perce Fisheries expands its research into Crazy Man Creek by insterting a new transponder 

IMNAHA — When it comes to fish recovery, being counted matters. This month Nez Perce Tribe Fisheries added one more instrument to the Imnaha River basin to see how many steelhead are making it to the upper tributaries to spawn in the spring. 


One person, or small group, can affect change in the world

Three interviews in two days revealed a constant theme upon which I stumble so often I wonder if it deserves mentioning.


Strange sighting

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A Red-bellied woodpecker takes flight from a telephone pole in La Grande. Birders from all over Oregon came to see the first documented sighting of the 9-inch bird in the state Oct. 31. (TRENT BRAY photo)

Local birders get to see first sighting of the Red-bellied woodpecker in Oregon 

If you sight it, they will come. 

That’s what Russ Morgan, a wildlife biologist for Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, found out this Halloween.


Wallowa-Whitman burns benefit elk population

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In 2012, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife counted 2,867 head of elk on the Zumwalt Prairie and 2,376 in the adjacent national forest. (PATRICIA JOHNSON photo)

Fall prescribed burns in Wallowa helping improve elk habitiat 

JOSEPH — There’s more to prescribed fire than meets the eye. During a fall burn in northern Wallowa County last month, improving elk habitat was one of the targets, with some help from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.


Cheering on cross-country's best

A source asked me recently how much any of our staff knew about a certain topic. I said, “I don’t know, our job is to write other people’s stories with accuracy.”


EOU has turned around what looked like lost year

Following a 73-20 loss to Southern Oregon University at Community Stadium on Sept. 21, it looked like the 2013 season might be a lost season for the Eastern Oregon University football team.


Love, it is in the air

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Shorter days in the fall stimulate the buck to prepare for the upcoming rut. When researchers put male deer in a windowless building, they discovered that, by condensing a year’s light cycle into six months with light timers, they could force the bucks into two rut cycles, whereby they grew two sets of antlers in one year. (JIM WARD photo)

Mule deer rut peaks in November, sending bucks into a frenzy 

For your average male Homo sapien to become smitten by the love bug, he’ll pick up on subtle cues from members of the opposite sex. 

Curves in all the right places, a little lipstick here and a little mascara there, will all heighten his arousal. 


Autumn’s elusive quarry

The various signs of autumn abound — from the turning of fall leaves to shop floors soaked in deer blood.

Preparing the slopes

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Anthony Lakes Ski Resort General Manager Peter Johnson said that prices for the 2013-14 season will remain the same as last season. (WesCom file)
 

Anthony Lakes Ski Resort gears up for another season 

Alice Trindle can discuss in detail the tangible things that make Anthony Lakes Ski Area special.


Helping out when we can

The other day I wandered into a local institution I hadn’t been to in months. Within seconds I was drawn in and asked a favor, to which, I couldn’t say no.


Cougar numbers leveling off

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State officials estimate there are about 5,700 cougars in Oregon today, compared with an estimated 3,000 before the dog ban was enacted in 1994. (Courtesy photo)
 

For a stealthy animal, the cougar used to make quite a racket in Northeastern Oregon. In the public arena, anyway. Then the wolves came.


Reintroduction of the eel

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From left, Marina Cawley, Tod Sween and Neal Espinosa electroshock in the Wallowa River looking for juvenile lamprey eels to see if reintroduced adults successfully spawned. (Katy Nesbitt/The Observer)
 

Lamprey eels show signs of successful spawning in Wallowa River 

MINAM — In a region where fish restoration affects everything from industry to recreation to tradition, collecting and analyzing data is crucial. This fall, Nez Perce Tribal Fisheries set out to see how well lamprey eel reintroduction is working in the Wallowa River.


Cougar numbers leveling off

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For a stealthy animal, the cougar used to make quite a racket in Northeastern Oregon.

In the public arena, anyway.

Then the wolves came. 


Reintroduction of the eel

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From left, Marina Cawley, Tod Sween and Neal Espinosa electroshock in the Wallowa River looking for juvenile lamprey eels to see if reintroduced adults successfully spawned. (KATY NESBITT/The Observer)

Lamprey eels show signs of successful spawning in Wallowa River 

MINAM — In a region where fish restoration affects everything from industry to recreation to tradition, collecting and analyzing data is crucial. This fall, Nez Perce Tribal Fisheries set out to see how well lamprey eel reintroduction is working in the Wallowa River.

In April of 2011, a team of biologists led by Elmer Crow of the Tribe’s Lapwai, Idaho, office released 40 adult lamprey at the confluence of the Wallowa and Minam rivers.


Maryland revisited

A young friend of mine went to the east coast this fall to attend college. A couple thousand years ago I, too, chose to leave Eastern Oregon for a college on the east coast. 


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