Out and about

Native plant walk set for today

The University of Wyoming and U.S. Forest Service are leading a native tree and shrub walk from 9-11 a.m. today at the Happy Jack Trailhead on the Pole Mountain Unit of the Medicine Bow National Forest. During the walk, participants will learn how to identify common native trees and shrubs while also learning about forest health and ecology. For past participants, the walk will include a visit to a new site with new species. Participants should dress for the weather. The Happy Jack Trailhead is located about one mile north of Interstate 80 on Wyoming Highway 210. Call Kristina Hufford at 766-5587 for more information.

Boat inspection stations now closed

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Aquatic Invasive Species check stations are scheduled to close after today, including at the U.S. Highway 287 Port of Entry south of Laramie. Any conveyance being transported into Wyoming through Nov. 30 is required to be inspected before launching on any water. If the boat was last in any water infested with zebra or quagga mussels, it must be inspected no matter the time of year. For a list of inspection locations and private inspectors, go to wgfd.wyo.gov/Fishing-and-Boating/Aquatic-Invasive-Species-Prevention/AIS-Inspection-Locations. A list of infested waters is also available online. Aquatic invasive species such as zebra and quagga mussels can ruin fisheries, foul hulls, and destroy boating systems and equipment. Boaters should clean, drain and dry their watercraft after every use and remove plugs and other water barriers during transport, according to a news release.

Izaak Walton League to meet

The Travelle Chapter of the Izaak Walton League is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Thursday at Laramie Fire Department Station No. 2, 1558 N. 23rd St. Chapter secretary Ray Jacquot is scheduled to give a talk called “Ruins and Wildflowers: Three Special Places in the On-and-Off Bear’s Ears National Monument, Utah.” The talk will be about sites that need protections granted by national monument status and the history of national monument creation by the federal government. Contact chapter president George Janack at janack@uwyo.edu for more information.

Biodiversity Movie Series returns

The Biodiversity Movie Series is scheduled to continue at 2 p.m. Sunday with a screening of “WALL-E” at the Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center. The 2008 Pixar film follows an animated trash compactor on a future earth that has been abandoned and is covered with garbage. The screening is free and open to the public. Go to wyomingbiodiversity.org for more information.

5k to support pregnancy center

The Heart to Heart Baby Steps 5k and Walk for Life is scheduled for Sept. 22 at Optimist Park. The run is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. and the walk at 10:30 a.m., followed by a pancake breakfast. Registration is $35 before Thursday or $50 on race day, and participants are encouraged to collect donations from sponsors. Proceeds will support the work of Heart to Heart Pregnancy Center, which offers free pregnancy support and resources. Go to laramiepregnancy.com for more information.

Jelm Mountain Run to benefit search and rescue

Now in its 24th year, the Jelm Mountain Run is scheduled for 9 a.m. Sept. 22 at the road to the summit of Jelm Mountain, which is located about three miles south of Woods Landing on Wyoming Highway 10. The 10-mile race takes runners to the summit of the mountain and back down. Registration is $55 and includes a hooded sweatshirt, with a discount for High Plains Harriers members. Proceeds will benefit Albany County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue. Go to www.highplainsharriers.org/jelm for more information.

Beitel to host adventure race

Fourth-graders at Beitel Elementary School are raising money to attend Teton Science School with Race to the Tetons, an adventure race scheduled for 8 a.m. Sept. 22 at the Laramie Railroad Depot. Teams are invited to run, bike and walk their way through challenges by following clues, with divisions for different levels of competition. Registration starts at $80 for a team of four, and all proceeds will support student tuition for Teton Science School. Go to www.facebook.com/racetothetetons for more information.

Volunteer opportunity to highlight Public Lands Day

In honor of National Public Lands Day on Sept. 22, a trail maintenance day has been scheduled for public lands near Laramie. The University of Wyoming Service, Leadership and Community Engagement office is partnering with the UW Outdoor Program, Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming Conservation Corps, Common Outdoor Ground and Laramie BikeNet. Volunteers are planning to meet at 9 a.m. Sept. 22 at the Outdoor Program office to divide into groups going to Pole Mountain and the Schoolyard Trails. Lunch will be provided. Go to www.facebook.com/uwUWoutdoorprogram for more information.

Rifle range open for sight-in season

The Laramie Rifle Range is now open to the public to sight-in hunting rifles. The range is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 21. The cost is $10 per person per day. Go to www.laramieriflerange.org for more information.

Britania Fire could affect recreation

The Britania Fire, which started Aug. 26 about six miles west of Wheatland, has caused evacuations and road closures, and hunters and other recreationists should check for closures before heading that direction, according to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. The affected area is popular for hunting and includes elk hunt area 7, deer area 64 and antelope area 103. Hunters can monitor the progress of the fire through the U.S. Forest Service’s fire incident website at inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6179. Closure information is also available at www.facebook.com/britaniamountainfire. The fire will displace some animals, as larger big game won’t return until forage has also returned in future years, according to wildlife biologist Martin Hicks.

Algae bloom reported at Wheatland reservoirs

Harmful algae blooms have been reported at Wheatland reservoirs No. 1 and No. 3, and anglers and other recreationists should beware. The blooms are dense concentrations of cyanobacteria or blue-green algae that pose a health risk to humans and animals, according to a news release. Normally, cyanobacteria are present in low levels in aquatic ecosystems. Harmful levels occur when there is an overabundance of nutrients in the water. People, pets, livestock and wildlife can become ill from contact with the water, while fish and aquatic animals can be killed. Go to www.deq.wyoming.gov/wqd/nutrient-pollution/resources/harmful-algal-blooms for more safety tips.

Highway 130 sites to be closed for tree removal

Several recreation sites along Wyoming Highway 130 will be temporarily closed during September by the U.S. Forest Service for hazard tree removal. Sites will not all be closed at the same time, and the Forest Service will work to minimize the impact on visitors to the Medicine Bow National Forest, according to a news release. Sites could be closed for several weeks, depending on how to work progresses. Standing dead trees and green trees considered public safety hazards will be removed. Sites to be closed include the Lake Marie parking lot, east Lake Marie parking lot, Mirror Lake parking lot, Tipple Trailhead parking lot and picnic area and Silver Lake Trailhead parking lot. The work is part of a multi-year timber project along Highway 130 conducted in a partnership between the Forest Service and Wyoming Department of Transportation. Call the Brush Creek/Hayden Ranger District office in Saratoga at 307-326-5258 for more information.

Logging near Lake Owen to affect recreation

A multi-year timber harvest began near Lake Owen last week, and dispersed camping and parking are prohibited along Forest Road 540 for public safety, according to a news release. The project is part of a cooperative effort between the Cheyenne Board of Public Utilities, state of Wyoming and U.S. Forest Service, with the aim of improving forest health, reducing wildfire fuel around Lake Owen and protecting municipal infrastructure and water quality in the 300-acre project area. Forest Road 540 is still open for public travel and can be used to access the Lake Owen Day-Use Site, Lake Owen Campground, Lake Owen Boat Dock and Medicine Bow Rail Trail. During active timber operations, the closure will be in place 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Harvesting should be finished by 2020. Visitors may encounter machinery in the area. Email project forester Mick Hood at mick.hood@wyo.gov or timber management assistant Brooke Owens at brookeowens@fs.fed.us for more information about the project.

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