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Free cross-country skiing workshop offered at Daemen

Buffalo Nordic Ski Club holds its annual free cross-country skiing workshop from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Wednesday in the Wick Center at Daemen College.

The workshop brings together club experts, area accessory/gear vendors, clinic providers and sources for useful information about outings and events. Video will show techniques as well as the enjoyable scenes along the way on a cross-country jaunt.

The club holds weekly tours throughout the skiing season, offering free lessons for beginners and skiers interested in upgrading their skills, citizen races and details about the club’s meetings and other functions.

The club’s motto couples the aim of skiing as both for health and for fun. For more details on this and other BNSC activities, visit buffalonordic.org.

Action on Great Lakes

Department of Environmental Conservation Great Lakes Unit specialist Shannon Dougherty will conduct a Lake Erie Work Group at Reinstein Nature Preserve from 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday.

The gathering will focus on ecosystem-based concerns for Lake Erie as part of the Great Lakes basin. The program welcomes individuals, private and governmental groups, and all interested in priority planning and projects most beneficial to the waterway. The format contains previously discussed and new concerns brought to the agenda.

The meeting is free and does not require preregistration. For more details on this and other work groups, call 851-7070 or visit dec.ny.gov/lands/91881.

Cyber sale

This holiday weekend and on Monday, the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Conservationist Magazine is offering a half-price plus one extra issue on a year’s subscription to this popular outdoors publication.

During the year, subscribers also receive three issues of “Conservationist for Kids” with features and natural-resource activities for youths. Both publications include exceptional photography and artwork, along with nature/outdoors items about New York State’s environs of interest to all headed outdoors.

For details on this Conservationist holiday sale offer, call (800) 678-6399 or visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/pubs/conservationist.html or theconservationist.org.

White deer fundraiser

For decades, just after the U.S. Army set up its Seneca Army Depot along the eastern shores of Seneca Lake in 1941, a herd of pure white deer, not an albino strain, began showing behind the fencing of that facility. Good numbers of these deer appeared in 1949.

The 10,000-acre depot was decommissioned in 2000 and transferred to the Seneca County Industrial Development Agency, which has been maintaining infrastructures, including the fencing that protects the herd of about 800 deer, 200 of which are the white-deer strain.

The IDA developed a plan that calls for bidding on the sale of key acreage where these deer are being protected. Open bidding for this property begins Dec. 15.

Canandaigua resident Dennis Money founded the Seneca White Deer organization to protect this herd of white deer. Money has launched a fundraiser to retain the acreage these deer inhabit. For donation-support information, visit senecawhitedeer.org.

Look for a detailed column on the Seneca White Deer fundraising effort on next Sunday’s Outdoors page.

Creek enhancement

The Nature Conservancy and Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper held a dedication ceremony at Chestnut Ridge Park on Nov. 20 of a 222-acre forested area at the headwaters of Eighteen Mile Creek in the town of Concord. Erie County Parks and Recreation will maintain the acreage.

Once privately owned, proper management of the woodland will help to maintain and enhance the water quality and outstanding natural and stocked fishery of Eighteen Mile Creek, a Lake Erie feeder stream.

Waterbird deaths

The DEC is investigating a die-off of Lake Ontario aquatic birds that began in mid-October along the shorelines of Wayne, Oswego and Jefferson counties east of the Western New York area of the lake.

Fish-eating waterfowl and other birds have been victims of type E botulism, which was first detected in good numbers in 2002 and has affected birds crossing Great Lakes waters mainly during the fall season.

Botulism-affected bird carcasses pose a health hazard to wildlife that handle or feed on the remains. The DEC recommends contacting a DEC office when observing dead water birds. Anyone willing to help in carcass disposal should wear rubber or plastic gloves and place the remains in a landfill or in a nearby burial site.

For more information on the discovery of dead or distressed fish and wildlife, call area DEC offices at Buffalo (851-7010), Allegany (372-0645), or at Avon (585) 226-5380.

email: odrswill@gmail.com