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CONSERVATION TOPICS TAKE CENTER STAGE AT COUNTY FAIRS

Summer county fairs offer exhibits of conservation, ecology, fishing, hunting and trapping efforts of interest to all concerned with the great outdoors. Look for conservation-related buildings and tent facilities at the following county fairs:

Niagara (Wednesday through Aug. 3): The Department of Environmental Conservation will offer displays of both enforcement and biology. Look for the major works of local artists and carvers who have gained regional and national acclaim.

Artists include Dan Loge, Geoffrey Harding, Del Lebere and S. Carl Allen. A snowshoe hare release display highlights the many outdoors works in progress that are demonstrated at the fair.

Erie (Aug. 7-17): The conservation building will show live and display-mounted fish and wildlife, along with many hands-on exhibits of fishing, hunting, trapping and related outdoors activities.

Owners interested in entering their mounted fish, wildlife and waterfowl for judging must bring their exhibit to the Conservation Building Aug. 5 from noon until 9 p.m. or Aug. 6 from noon until 5 p.m. Mounts will not be accepted for competition during the fair. For more details on mount submissions, call 648-0586.

Similar attractions are planned at the fairs in Cattaraugus (Monday through Aug. 3) and Wyoming (Aug. 9-16).

Coyotes Limited

Putting a spin on the naming of outdoors "unlimited" clubs, groups interested in expanding their species presence, a Western New York group has been formed to reduce coyote numbers and has taken the name "Coyotes Limited."

One of the club's first activities was to organize a coyote hunting contest. Prizes go to the three largest (by length, measured from nose to last tail bone) and the most coyotes entered. Coyotes will be accepted during the open season (Oct. 25 until March 15, 1998), and entrants do not have to pre-register and pay an entry fee until they have taken a coyote. For more details, call club president Mitchell Stephenson (751-6023) or vice president Chris Schotz (751-9397). Southern Tier hunters can call Steve Pawlak (763-0677) or Gale Culverwell (672-8558).

Waterfowl workers

The DEC presented awards statewide to volunteers with at least 25 years of service in banding migratory waterfowl. Two area sportsmen, specializing in duck banding, were cited for their extensive work with waterfowl.

Mike Rosing of Dunkirk has been working as a banding station volunteer since 1955. Officially, he has been registered at the Dunkirk station since 1967.

"We've banded over 15,000 ducks in Dunkirk Harbor waters," Rosing said. "We have the advantage of warmer waters at the conservation club near the power plant outlet."

John T. Daniels of Niagara Falls completed 25 years of service in 1992.

"During that time, we must have banded 2,500 to 3,000 ducks in the upper Niagara River around Cayuga Island," Daniels recalled. "Strong currents and ice floes often took away or destroyed our traps or we could have recorded the high numbers submitted by banders in Finger Lakes areas."

Bryan Swift, DEC wildlife specialist from the state's Delmar facility, said when presenting the awards: "Because of the work of these volunteers, we are able to know more about the numbers and movements of the various birds in our flyways."

Archery

Collins Conservation Club offers a 3D archery shoot Sunday from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. on club grounds in Gowanda. This summer league shoot is also open to recreational walk-ons of all ages interested in trying the course. For details, call Tom Gernatt at 532-3966 or Glen Gawron at 824-1040.

Hiking/nature

Foothills Trail Club hikes Hunters Creek Park at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Call Peter Ruszczyk (838-5550). Sunday at 9:30 a.m., Ruszczyk leads an FLT hike starting at Routes 98 and 243. Tuesday at 10 a.m., Kalista Leherer heads a Trail Walk at Cohocton. Call 778-8360. A Tifft Preserve Mini-Hike begins 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Call Ginny Hubbard (693-6045).

New York State Parks' schedule includes a Whirlpool Rapids Hike Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. To register, call 278-1728. Also Saturday, the Seaway Trails Lighthouse Program begins at 1 p.m. at Golden Hills State Park. Call 795-3885. Sunday, hikers meet at the nature center at 1 p.m. for a Beaver Island Trail Nature Hike. No registration is required. Tuesday, Wilson Tuscarora State Park is the site of a Birds at Twelve Mile Creek walk starting at 1 p.m. To register, call 751-6308 or 751-6361. "An Evening Family Program: Mobile Dome Planetarium" begins at 7 p.m. at Fort Niagara State Park. Call 745-7273.
NOTE: Send items 15 days in advance to Outdoors Notebook, The Buffalo News, One News Plaza, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, N.Y. 14240.

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