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Outdoors notebook: Teens sought for wildlife leadership school

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Monday, Feb. 4, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

The Wildlife Leadership Academy is accepting applications for its 2013 field schools.

The schools — one June 18-22 focusing on white-tailed deer, another July 9-13 focusing on brook trout — are for kids ages 14 to 17. They are intense learning experiences led by top biologists, professionals and sportsmen.

Both are meant to teach teens about the biology, habitat and conservation issues connected to a single species, with the hope that they'll return to their home communities and spread the word as stewards of the natural world.

The deer camp, called Bucktails, will be held at Stone Valley Recreation Area in Huntingdon County. The brook trout camp, called Brookies, will be held at Sieg Conference Center in Clinton County.

There is a cost to attend, but scholarships are available. Students must submit an application and letters of reference. For information on the camps, visit piceweb.org, or contact director Michelle Kittell at 570-245-8518 or mkittell@piceweb.org.

Conservation support

A recent statewide poll found strong support for conservation funding in Pennsylvania.

Nearly two-thirds of Pennsylvania voters oppose scaling back existing environmental funding programs, while 78 percent support guaranteed state funding for protecting and improving the environment. There was also strong voter support for increasing state spending on land conservation.

The poll was commissioned by the Trust for Public Land and various partners, including the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation and Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.

Reporting deer

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is requiring all hunters who took a deer or elk this past year to report their kill or face a $25 fine.

The goal is to collect more data on deer and elk harvests — “some of the most underreported tags” in the state, said wildlife officials — so biologists can make better decisions about seasons and bag limits.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission has had an identical law in place for the same reasons for decades, yet fewer than 40 percent of hunters comply with it.

Chairmen

Two veteran lawmakers have been chosen to lead the state House of Representatives' game and fisheries committee for the 2013-14 session. Republican Martin Causer of Cameron County was named majority chairman; Democrat Gary Haluska of Cambria County was named minority chairman.

Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at bfrye@tribweb.com or via Twitter @bobfryeoutdoors.

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