Get a wild pheasant update at preserve
WASHINGTONVILLE - Several years ago, the state Game Commission introduced wild pheasant from the Dakotas into suitable habitat in northcentral Pennsylvania in an effort to establish a reproducing wild population. From 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, learn the latest news about how the efforts are going and what is happening with the wild birds.
The free program will take place at the Environmental Education Center. For directions, visit www.pplpreserves.com and click on "Montour." For more information, contact the preserve at 437-3131 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TU: Protect your favorite stream by fishing it
The Susquehanna Chapter of Trout Unlimited is looking for public participation in a state Fish and Boat Commission pilot program to prioritize which streams will be studied this summer as part of the Unassessed Waters Initiative.
Commission staff will be at the chapter's monthly meeting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the First Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall at the rear of East Third and Mulberry streets. They will display maps and list which streams in Lycoming and Sullivan counties need to be sampled.
Under the program, anglers will pick a stream to go out and fish and then report back on what they caught or observed, using a form supplied by the commission. The information then will be used by the commission to prioritize sampling efforts
The meeting is open to the public, and trout anglers, watershed groups and others who would like to assist in the program are encouraged to attend.
Learn about owls, astronomy in same night
LEWISBURG - The Merrill W. Linn Land & Waterways Conservancy will hold an owl prowl and astronomy night at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The walk will be followed by the sky-viewing session.
Meet at the Dale/Engle/Walker House's parking lot for the walk and at the house for the stargazing.
For more information, call the conservancy at 524-8666.
Fish commission sets quarterly meeting
HARRISBURG - The state Fish and Boat Commission will hold its quarterly business meeting on April 15-16 at its headquarters, 1601 Elmerton Ave.
Committees will meet beginning at 10:10 a.m. on April 15 and again at 8:15 a.m. April 16. Formal consideration of the agenda by the full commission will begin at about 10:20 a.m. April 16. All committee meetings and the formal meeting are open to the public.
A complete copy of the meeting schedule and the full agenda for the meeting can be found at www.fishandboat.com/minutes.htm.
Aleutian island birds topic of meeting
The Lycoming Audubon Society will hold a public meeting at 6 p.m. April 24 in the Lowry Room of the James V. Brown Library.
At 6:30, Frank and Barb Hass will give a presentation called "The Birds of Adak, Alaska." The Hasses have visited Adak, an Aleutian island in the Pacific Ocean, at least 10 times. Adak attracts visiting birders from North America hoping to observe exotic Asian birds that regularly visit the island, such as smew, Laysan albatross, Terek sandpiper, whiskered auklet, Siberian rubythroat and many more.
Frank is a former park superintendent at Shikellamy State Park. Together, they once held the record for the most species of birds seen in Pennsylvania.
For more information, visit www.lycoming.org/audubon.
Conservancy plans annual meeting
April 24 is the last day to register for the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy's annual membership meeting, which will be held May 1 at the Holiday Inn in downtown Williamsport.
Social hour will begin at 6 p.m., with dinner at 6:30. A fee applies.
Directors will be elected during the meeting
To make reservations, call 323-6222.
Create something beautiful and floral
MIFFLINBURG - Country Farm and Home, 7801 Old Turnpike Road, has announced several Make and Take Classes, through June 26. A fee applies for each course.
April 24 - Floral Globe, 7 p.m. Create a spectacular flowering globe to hang on a shepherd's hook or on a branch of your favorite tree.
May 1 - Hypertufa Planter, 7 p.m. This is a two-night class. Make the planter May and plant it on May 15.
May 8 - Patio Planter, 7 p.m. Learn Keith's secrets for successful container gardening while planting a beautiful container full of the top performing thriller, filler and spiller annuals on the market.
May 22 - Butterfly Garden Planter, 7 p.m. Learn what is needed to entice butterflies to your garden while planting a butterfly garden, filled with host and nectar plants, in a beautiful planter.
June 5 - Living Wall, 7 p.m. - Graphically arrange a collection of plants in the Living Wall Planter System. Instructors will help you frame your creations, so once you get the wall home, you can mount it on a vertical surface, giving you a whole new world in which to express your creativity.
June 12 - Everlasting Butterfly Pitcher, 7 p.m. Fill a beautiful pitcher with everlasting summer flowers and butterflies.
June 26 - Gypsy Garden, 6 p.m. Create a unique fairy garden. This will be the final class and guests are asked to bring a salad to share. A meal will be held prior to the class.
Call 966-4030 to register or for more information.
Birding, flower walk set at park
WARRENSVILLE - A general birding and early wildflower walk will be held at 8 a.m. April 27 at Rider Park. It is sponsored by park officials and member of the Lycoming Audubon Society.
Participants will explore the beautiful upland forest and fields of Rider Park in hopes of seeing various resident and migrating birds and beautiful early spring wildflowers.
Meet Joe Yoder and Ron Beach at the Rider Park pavilion. For more information, call Yoder at 323-5716 or Beach at 368-2921.
Club plans fishing derby
PICTURE ROCKS - The Consolidated Sportsmen of Muncy Creeks will hold its annual Dick Harner Memorial Children's Fishing Derby on May 5 at Van Renselar Park.
For more details, call Art Fry at 368-1245.
Conference for private forestland owners set
ALTOONA - The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will co-sponsor a two-day conference for landowners focused on conserving and managing privately owned woodlands.
The "2013 Private Forest Landowner Conference: The Future of Penn's Woods," will be held May 10-11 at the Blair County Convention Center.
"Past regional and local private forestland conferences have targeted primarily private forest landowners, both industrial and non-industrial," DCNR Secretary Rick Allan said. "This event is expanded to include a wider range of landowners with outdoors interests and a commitment to sustaining healthy forests. We invite recreation-related businesses, timber interests, family forest owners, policy makers, and all others with an interest and stake in private forest land stewardship."
The event will focus on conserving and managing healthy, regenerating forests with the intent of bringing together landowners who want to demonstrate commitment to forest sustainability.
"Whether a person owns five or 500 acres, they are among nearly 740,000 Pennsylvania woodland owners who can impact the health and well-being of nearly 12 million acres of private forests," Allan said.
Regionally and nationally recognized experts will give presentations on a variety of topics including conservation options, invasive species, taxes, water quality, woodland care, wildlife, and backyard woodlots. Exhibitors will offer informational and resource displays, and demonstrators will showcase tools and services.
On May 10, optional tours addressing wind energy and forests, invasive species control, vernal ponds and early successional wildlife habitat will be offered before the conference officially starts at 1 p.m. The program continues from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. May 11.
Registration is open and costs $75. Registration details and other information can be found at ecosystems.psu.edu/research/centers/private-forests/events/2013-private-forest-landowners.
Explore, paddle, learn on West Branch Sojourn
The Susquehanna Greenway Partnership's annual sojourn on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River will start May 14 in Mahaffey, Clearfield County and end May 19 in Keating, Clinton County. A fee applies.
The six-day, 97-mile canoe and kayak trip takes paddlers of all ages and skill levels to some of the most beautiful and remote locations along the river. Along the way, local experts will give exclusive access to the area's history, wildlife and conservation efforts through river-side presentations.
Registration includes river guides, camp sites, meals, insurance, shuttles, a T-shirt and educational programs and entertainment. Paddlers must provide their own boat and gear. Boat rental information and a daily schedule are available in the online registration packet. Beginners are encouraged to join.
Paddlers may pay for the entire trip or on a day-to-day basis. Early registration is due May 1. Information may be downloaded at www.susquehannagreenway.org or by calling Erin Pierce, program coordinator, at 522-7244.
"The West Branch sojourn will be a great way for folks to explore this stretch of water trail, since much of it is breathtakingly rural, secluded and one of the closest things we have in Pennsylvania to a wilderness experience," Pierce said.
Pennsylvania's river sojourns are a national model for connecting people to their natural environment in a fun and educational way. National Geographic Adventure named the West Branch a "Best Adventure Destination for 2012" and the 228-mile river also is recognized as a National Recreation Trail by the National Park Service.
ATV safety class scheduled
An all-terrain vehicle safety class will be held at 8:30 a.m. May 18 at Wheels Of Williamsport Inc., 99 Grey Fox Drive, Montoursville.
Class size is limited and advance registration is required. Students - youths or adults - must provide their own ATVs.
State-certified safety instructors Bill and Nancy Stugart will teach the course.
Pennsylvania law requires that youths ages 8 through 15 take a Department of Conservation and Natural Resources-approved safety training course and earn a safety training certificate from it before operating an ATV off their parents' or legal guardian's property.
To register, call Bill or Nancy at 435-0923.
Women in the Outdoors event planned
TIOGA - A Women in the Outdoors event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 19 at Ives Run Recreation Area at Hammond Lake. Women ages 14 and older may apply.
The event is designed to teach women new skills and activities and introduce them to new friends. No experience is necessary.
Paid registration includes four classes, a one-year membership to the Women in the Outdoors program, breakfast and lunch and use of equipment and materials. Raffles and a silent auction also will be held.
Classes include birding, outdoor photography, preparing wild game, archery, fishing, bobcats, Dutch oven cooking, shotgun and trap, geocaching and kayaking.
This Women in the Outdoors event is sponsored by the Arnie Hayden Memorial chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation. More information about the program and other area events can be found at www.womenintheoutdoors.org.
Register now for greenway sojourn
The 2013 Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Greenway Sojourn - a fully supported, five-day ride along the Great Allegheny Passage - will take place June 23-27, and participants now can reserve their seat.
The Greenway Sojourn is part bicycle ride, part trail-building program. It celebrates newly opened trails and promotes the completion of others to create regional trail systems.
The ride covers mostly off-road, multi-use trails between Pittsburgh and Cumberland, Md.
All ages and skill levels may register by going online to wilderness-voyageurs.com/rails-to-trails-greenway-sojourn.html.
Outdoor events sought
Do you have a meeting or outdoor event you'd like to publicize in the Sun-Gazette?
Announcements must be submitted at least three weeks prior to the date of the event, preferably earlier.
Information and news releases may be:
Mailed to Outdoor editor, Williamsport Sun-Gazette, 252 W. Fourth St., Williamsport PA 17701
Emailed to email@example.com
Dropped off at the Sun-Gazette office, 252 W. Fourth St., Williamsport
Submitted through the Outdoor section of the Virtual Newsroom on the paper's website, www.sungazette.com.
All submissions must contain the name, telephone number and, if available, email address of a contact person.
Photographs by area residents of trophy fish or game animals or other interesting outdoor occurrences also will be considered. Digital photos may be sent by email.
Hard-copy glossy prints, negatives or slides may be dropped off or mailed. Polaroid prints typically cannot be reprinted in the newspaper.
Only photos sent with a stamped, self-addressed envelope will be returned.
Announcements published in the "Outdoor Briefs" section will print in chronological order as space permits.
The Outdoors section is published weekly on Sundays, but it goes to print early on Wednesday mornings.
Therefore, all information for publication on any given Sunday must be submitted by noon on the Monday prior.
For more help, call 326-1551, ext. 3116.