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John Stewart

Campfire Safety

Campfire Safety

by: John Stewart
Natural Resource Consultant
California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs

It is coming down to the Dog Days of Summer and it has been a long dry summer with many outdoor opportunities restricted due to sever fire danger.

Even though many public lands are under fire restrictions, campfire safety is still of concern all year. Everyone should follow fire safety precautions when visiting public lands to help to keep our public lands free from fires.

If you have a campfire, please abide by the following rules:

* Build campfires away from overhanging branches, steep slopes, rotten stumps, logs, dry grass, pine needles and leaves.
* Build your fire in an approved ring or build a ring of stones around your fire site.
* Pile extra wood away from the fire.
* Clear the area down to bare soil.
* Keep your campfire safe and small, especially in windy conditions.
* Never leave your campfire unattended.
* Drown the fire with water and dirt, stir remains, add more water and dirt, and stir again.
* Do not bury your coals as they can smolder and re-ignite later.
* Make sure your fire is dead out before leaving.

If you must have a fire, consider a metal container such as an old washing machine tub that is at least six inches above the ground. A metal fire container helps confine the hot coals to reduce the risk of the fire spreading.

Now, sit back, relax and enjoy the fire. Just remember to keep it contained and make sure it is out when you leave.
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John Stewart

Caution issued about orphaned wildlife


May 6, 2008

WILDLIFE OFFICIALS CAUTION WELL-MEANING CITIZENS TO THINK BEFORE THEY ACT WHEN IT COMES TO ANIMALS THAT APPEAR ORPHANED
Animals taken from the wild rarely survive hand raising or release back to the wild

COLUMBUS, OH - The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife has some strong advice for well-meaning people who seek to rescue wild animals that appear to be orphaned: Leave them alone!

Every year, wildlife officers, biologists and licensed rehabilitators attempt to educate local residents about the hazards of handling wild animals. Despite their cute, and sometimes helpless appearance, wild animals are capable of biting, scratching and transmitting diseases to humans and domestic animals.

Many people believe that they are doing the right thing by rescuing a young wild animal and think that hand raising is a good alternative to being raised in the wild. This could not be further from the truth as a hand-raised wild animal, even under expert care, has little chance of long-term survival once released to the wild.

State and federal laws protect and regulate all wildlife species in Ohio and only individuals who obtain a special permit from the Division of Wildlife may possess a native wild animal. Because of the difficulties in providing the proper care and diet for wild animals, only specially trained and licensed wildlife rehabilitators are authorized to take them in from the wild when they are found to be truly orphaned or injured.

Each year, wildlife officers issue summons to individuals who have taken wildlife, particularly fawns, out of the wild, even if their intent was to help the animal. When a wildlife official receives a call regarding a fawn, the first thing they do is advise the person to take the animal back to where they found it.

A doe will protect her young from predators by leaving it alone for long periods of time. The fawn may be hidden in a hay field, a grassy meadow, the edge of a homeowner's lawn, or even in a flowerbed. Regardless of where she left the fawn, the doe will stay away until after dark then return to nurse it. If the doe is nowhere in sight, some people mistakenly believe the fawn is abandoned and try to help it by taking it out of the wild.

Wild animals have a better chance of survival if left alone in the wild. Studies have shown that more than half of the fawns that are brought in by well-meaning people do not survive rehabilitation and most of the remaining animals die shortly after reentry to the wild. Additionally, handling stresses the animal, and excessive handling can make the animal defensive or can ultimately contribute to its death.

A common belief is that once young wildlife has been touched or handled by humans the mother will no longer have anything to do with it. This is not so, while wildlife officials discourage people from handling wild animals, there are rare occasions when it may be necessary. If a nestling bird has fallen out of a tree, or your child has plucked a young rabbit from its nest, pick it up and put it back in the nest immediately. Do not attempt to hand raise it.

Wild animals can carry parasites or diseases harmful to humans and pets, including distemper, roundworms and rabies. The risk of disease is another good reason to leave wildlife in the wild.

Along with the warning to leave young and injured wildlife alone, the Division of Wildlife offers the following advice:
Think before you act. Check for nests before cutting down trees or clearing brush. It is best to cut trees and clear brush in the autumn when nesting season is over.
Use common sense. If you disturb a nest, replace the animals and the nest material to the original location or as close as possible. If you find a fawn, leave it where you find it. The doe has likely hidden it there and will be returning to feed it, usually after dark.
Keep pets under control so they do not raid nests and injure wild animals. Keep pets vaccinated against parasites and diseases.
Educate children to respect wildlife and their habitat. Emphasize to your children not to catch, handle, or harass wild animals. Practice what you preach!
Contact your local wildlife officer or wildlife district office before taking action. Trust and follow the advice of these trained professionals.
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staff_user

How I started my 2006 Summer Vacation

How I started my 2006 Summer Vacation

Trail Bites: Late May Moab Trek 2006
By Chef Mark

(Portions of this article and photographs are reprinted from Chef Mark’s Jeep Grille Adventures: Camp Kitchen and Cookbook with permission. www.JeepGrilleAdventures.com)

It had been 3 years since my last trip to the Mecca… and since I missed hunting season last fall I deemed it a necessity… a Moab adventure. With some upgrades to the drivetrain; such as a Ford 8.8 in the rear and recently installed Aussie Locker, I felt confident with a newly acquired trailer in tow all thanks to Josh at Crawler Tech 4x4 in Denver. The trailer itself has a unique history, as it had previously hauled rock up the well known Holy Cross Trail just south of Leadville, Colorado in 2000, to fix various spots en route to the “The City”. The trailer has a CJ axle, with locking hubs (great conversation piece obviously not functional), 2.5 inch Rancho Springs, and 32 inch BFG MT’s.

2006:5:21
The intent was to venture down along the Colorado River via Rabbit Valley following the Kokopelli Trail to Cisco and then on to Moab. My plans changed slightly after some confusing map details. Rather than drive onward, not sure of the exact route and not wanting to waste gas, or get lost I backtracked slightly and set up camp on the top of a mesa. I purchased this great one-person camp tent that sets up in a matter of seconds, a Tent Cot if you will, at a local sporting goods store. There is also a two-person version which I hope to acquire in the future.

Continue reading
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