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Foundation offers big bonus: free trees

Landowners have until Tuesday to spruce up their outdoor environment.

The National Arbor Day Foundation will ship to area planters 10 free Colorado blue spruce trees with a $10 membership in the nonprofit foundation. Membership includes a bimonthly issue of Arbor Day and a copy of "The Tree Book," with valuable information about tree planting and care. To join, write: NADF, 100 Arbor Ave., Nebraska City, NE 68410 or go to: www.arborday.org.

In Western New York, several county soil and water conservation districts offer tree and shrub planting stock. For details, contact: Erie County, 652-8480 (www.ecswcd.org); Niagara County, 434-4949; Genesee County, (585) 343-2362 (www.genesee.ny.us); and Chautauqua County, 664-2355.

>Survey says

The Department of Environmental Conservation is looking for anglers who actively fish Wiscoy Creek in Wyoming County. The survey begins March 1 and continues through Nov. 30. For diary-keeping details, call 372-0645.

>Novel idea

For outdoors-minded folk who prefer hunting and angling in warmer weather, this would be a good time for curling up with a good book.

Patrick F. McManus can provide all kinds of vicarious outdoor encounters in his latest novel, "The Blight Way." McManus fans pull open the back pages of Outdoor Life magazine each month to read about his conglomeration of characters and their humorous takes on life. His most recent book-length effort provides an extended outpouring of this fascinating fun.

McManus' most recent novel combines his outdoors involvements in a CSI-style mountain western that injects his humor into serious situations with comic characters and bizarre scenes along an exciting plot line.

A new bride who carries a ferret in her blouse and a marijuana mine heighten the merriment in this crime thriller, as Blight County Sheriff Bo Tully attempts to solve three gang-style killings. The novel ($24) can be found at area book stores or ordered from Simon and Schuster at: www.simonsays.com.

>Steelie stats

Boaters faced bitter winds and brackish lower Niagara River waters during the Niagara River Anglers Association Winter Steelie Tourney on Feb. 18. Stained waters canceled catch numbers along lower river drifts; shore casters accounted for all fish entered.

Bob Rustowicz of Cheektowaga took top honors with a 7.7-pound trout taken from Eighteen Mile Creek in Olcott. John Hagerman of Lewiston hit Keg Creek for a second-place steelie entry weighing 7.1 pounds. Larry Ruhland of West Seneca came in third with a 7-pound fish taken from shore at Devils Hole.

e-mail: wille@pce.net

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