Connecting with the Great Outdoors

Here, as summer appears on the horizon, are four disparate articles about community connections to the great outdoors: The moment a once-grounded eagle finds his way

Connecting with the Great Outdoors Kaleidoscope

Connecting with the Great Outdoors Kaleidoscope

Rowena Wildlife Clinic releases a hesitant bald eagle

After some hesitation May 7, a young, rehabilitated bald eagle decided to take advantage of the freedom offered to him.

The 1-year-old male raptor was found April 15 at Avery Park near Wishram, Wash., unable to fly. An employee at the park contacted authorities at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at The Dalles Dam, who then called Rowena Wildlife Clinic in Rowena, east of Mosier.

No one knew why the eagle had become incapacitated, and Dr. Jean Cypher, RWC founder and veterinarian, said that blood tests showed he was suffering only muscle trauma.

At first the bird was a poor eater in captivity and clinic workers had to rip up his food and offer it to him. Before long, however, he was handling the job by himself and by late April he was “finally wanting to fly,” said Cypher.

The 8-pound eagle was ready for release after three weeks at the clinic. Cypher determined that Columbia Hills State Park, west of Avery Park, was a better release site than where the bird was found because Avery is small, sparsely treed and near a busy highway and railroad.

But at Columbia Hills, after RWC volunteers opened the door of the kennel in which the eagle had been transported, the eagle stayed put — even after they stepped behind the kennel to reduce his fear of humans. So after several minutes of waiting, the volunteers decided to unscrew the top of the kennel.

And that’s all it took: As soon as sunlight flooded the kennel, the eagle leaped straight up and out. At first, he flew four or five feet off the ground but quickly circled back and perched in a tall poplar tree.

Although this story has a happy ending, other experiences Cypher has had with eagles have not.

In early March she received a sick bald eagle that had been found in the Klickitat watershed. It died five days later of lead poisoning, and she said she suspects the eagle had eaten carcasses of squirrels killed with lead shot.

Gorge Hikers Group meets weekly

Columbia Gorge Hikers group meets weekly for varied day hikes in Oregon and Washington.

Hikes meet at 8:30 a.m. at the Coe Building at 11th Street between Montello and Eugene streets — except where noted — in Hood River; participants car pool and share in gas costs.

Here is the schedule of June hikes, with degree of difficulty indicated.

June 1 — Dog Mountain, difficult, 7 miles

June 8 — Little Badger Creek, Schoolhouse Trail, difficult, 9 miles (Need two cars, leave at 8 a.m.)

June 15 — Grassy Knoll, medium, 6 miles

June 22 — Twin Lakes to Palmateer Point, medium, 9.1 miles

June 29 —Nestor Peak, difficult, 7 miles

July 6 — Wahtum Lake-TomLike Mountain, difficult, 6 miles

July 13 — Cape Horn, difficult, 7 miles

July 20 — Badger Creek, medium, 7 miles (leave at 8 a.m.)

July 27 — Falls Creek Falls, medium, 7 miles.

District adds 3 forest rangers

Acting Mt. Hood National Forest Supervisor Lisa Northrop last week announced the selection of district rangers for the Hood River and Barlow Ranger districts.

Janeen Tervo was selected as the district ranger for the Hood River Ranger District. She has been serving in the acting role as district ranger of the Barlow Ranger District for the last few months.

The new district ranger for the Barlow Ranger District will be Kameron Sam. Sam is currently the deputy district ranger on the Hidden Springs and Mississippi Bluffs Ranger District of the Shawnee National Forest in Illinois. Both of them will start their new positions on June 30.

Northrop also announced the selection of Nancy Lankford as the new natural resources and planning staff officer.

Tervo worked most recently on the Entiat Ranger District on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest as a vegetation and environmental coordinator. She has extensive experience in fire and vegetation management and began her career on the Chequamegon National Forest. Originally from Washburn, Wis., she graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in forestry administration.

Sam grew up in Yerington, Nev., and graduated from Fort Hays State University in Kansas in range management. Most of his career has been focused on fire and range management and as a deputy district ranger he has been responsible for wetlands, timber stand improvement, timber sales and recreation related management.

Sam has participated for a number of years on Type 2 fire teams in the eastern region and New Mexico.

Lankford has been the forest silviculturist for the last 13 years. With expertise in the Northwest Forest Plan and integrated forestry management she will bring solid leadership to this work area, according to Northrop.

These vacancies were the result of the retirement of longtime Mt. Hood NF employees Daina Bambe, Mike Hernandez and Lisa Norris.

“Retirements created several vacancies on the forest management team during the last year and we are excited to have finally filled these posts with such an excellent slate of people,” said Northrop.

“I appreciate the patience of the public while we work our way through these transitions.”

Summer Science camps return for kids, teens

Summer Science Camp 101 for students entering grades 3-5 is being offered again this summer through Community Education.

Instructor Jim Minick has 15 years of classroom experience teaching science and math. This is his sixth summer offering science workshops for young students. There is a limit of eight students per session. Each student uses his or her own 450x microscope, balance and other equipment.

The small class size allows for personal attention and instruction. Each student is encouraged to participate in group discussion of scientific topics, the results of their work or personal stories they have of scientific phenomena.

Students will examine bones, sea shells, plants and rocks in detail using their own magnifier. They will learn how to recycle at home. They will collect insects and identify them using books showing local bugs, along with fun, hands-on activities in math, astronomy, chemistry and alternative energy.

“The students get so excited to use their microscope, for example. The energy is contagious as they flock from one microscope to the next, as each child calls out about some cool thing they are seeing,” said Minick.

The fee for camp is $100 for four afternoon sessions, Monday through Thursday, 2-5 p.m. There is an additional $15 fee if the student wants to keep his or her scientific calculator, magnifier and ruler.

The beginning dates for the four sessions are June 24, July 8, July 15 and July 22. Classes are held at Hood River Middle School. Go to www.hrcommunityed..., call 541-386-2055 to register.


Mt. Adams Institute (www.mtadamsinstit...) announces a new source of funding for Cascade Mountain School (www.cascademounta...) for local youth to participate in innovative summer programming combining science and outdoor adventure.

CMS is a science, technology, engineering and math program for middle and high school students grounded in ecological and community values. CMS offers students the opportunity to apply scientific and mathematical concepts to real-world issues in a rigorous learning environment.

The recently received scholarship funds will allow at least a third of CMS participants to receive full or partial scholarships, making the programs and science courses accessible to a wide variety of students.

Last year, CMS programs attracted students from throughout the Pacific Northwest, including the Gorge. With the scholarship funding provided by the Orange County Community Foundation, CMS will be able to offer additional opportunities for local students to participate.

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