UTAH IS CYCLING FRIENDLY

The League of American Bicyclists announces its first ranking of Bicycle Friendly States, scoring all 50 states on more than 70 factors.

The states were scored on responses to a questionnaire evaluating their commitment to bicycling and covering six key areas — legislation; policies and programs; infrastructure; education and encouragement; evaluation and planning; and enforcement.

Utah was ranked No. 11.

The highest scoring states were Washington, Wisconsin, Arizona, Oregon and Minnesota. The lowest were North Dakota, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and West Virginia.

NO LIMIT ON FISH

Those fishermen who want to keep as many fish as they can catch should plan on visiting Vernon Reservoir soon. Limit restrictions there have been removed.

Plans are to begin draining the reservoir, located south of Tooele, on Sept. 15.

Draining the reservoir will give workers access to the outlet structure on the reservoir's dam. The outlet is plugged with debris. It should take about one week to drain the reservoir.

The draining process will allow anglers to catch and keep as many fish as possible.

BISON BACK AT BOOK CLIFFS

As 14 bison ran for freedom, there were plenty of smiles on the faces of those who watched.

After a long absence, bison are roaming on public lands in the Book Cliffs in eastern Utah. Fourteen buffalo were released back into the area recently. This reintroduction, plus another 30 bison scheduled for release later this year, are the start of a new free roaming herd in Utah.

The buffalo were taken off the Ute's Hill Creek Extension.

"The Hill Creek bison roundup is a yearly event," explained Karen Corts, wildlife biologist with the Ute Tribe Fish and Game. "We've been doing it for about 10 years now to monitor the health of the herd."

The roundup was being watched by a handful of biologists with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources to start the Book Cliffs herd.

Fifteen bison were selected for the transplant. One was gored during the trip and didn't survive.

WILDLIFE FESTIVAL

Fluorescent red Kokanee salmon have started to their final swim into tributaries at Strawberry Reservoir.

The flaming-red salmon have started their spawning run. And visitors can see the salmon, and possibly other wildlife, at the annual Strawberry Valley Wildlife Festival.

The festival will be held Sept. 19 and 20 at the U.S. Forest Service visitors center at Strawberry Reservoir. The visitors center is along U.S. 40, about 20 miles southeast of Heber City.

Visitors can see some salmon in the Strawberry River adjacent to the visitors center, but most of the fish will be congregated in the fish trap and egg-taking facility behind the visitors center. Biologists with the Division of Wildlife Resources will be available to show off the salmon and talk about the peculiar life cycle of the fish.

The festival, put on by the Friends of Strawberry Valley, will run from noon to 6 p.m. on Sept. 19, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sept. 20. Activities will include a chance to hook and land a "virtual" fish on a fishing simulator; look at animal tracks; see exotic animals on Sept. 20; see several live birds; watch the Utah Highway Patrol demonstrate ZONAR; and watchboating and ATV safety demonstrations.

Several other booths and displays will also be available. Smokey Bear will also be on hand.

Two additional presentations will be given on Sept. 20. Shirlyn Peatross from Duchesne County Search & Rescue will give a presentation at 11 a.m. on outdoor survival. Angler Dan Potts will give a presentation on "Fishing Success and Technology" at 3:30 p.m. Both of the presentations will be held in the visitors center.

For more information, call the Uinta National Forest at 435-654-0470 or Scott Root with the DWR at 801-491-5656.