Out & About

By Al Thomas, Columbian Outdoors Reporter



Volunteers to celebrate National Public Lands Day

COUGAR — Volunteers will work to improve natural areas on the south side of Mount St. Helens — including construction of the new Ape Cave Viewpoint Trail — as part of a National Public Lands Day event on Sept. 28.

The event will begin at 9 a.m. at Marble Mountain Sno-Park along road Gifford Pinchot National Forest road No. 83.

The major goal is to complete the mile-long trail from Ape Cave parking lot to a viewpoint. Trail construction started at last year’s National Public Lands Day event.

Other activities will include bulletin board and sign installation, campsite dispersal, roadside cleanup and maintenance of day-use areas. Volunteers will meet at Marble Mountain at 9 a.m. before splitting into groups.

At 3 p.m., the nonprofit Mount St. Helens Institute will have a barbecue at Marble Mountain.

A year ago, the event had 103 volunteers.

Applications accepted for master hunter advisers

OLYMPIA — Applications will be accepted through Oct. 31 on the state’s Master Hunter Advisory Group.

The volunteer group advises the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife on issues and opportunities affecting master huntes and Master Hunter Permit Program.

Five positions will be opening on the 15-member group in 2014. One vacancy exists in Southwest Washington and two statewide openings exist.

Members serve three-year terms and must retain their certification status during the entire term.

Appointments will be announced in February.

Applications need to include why the applicants wants to an adviser, what are their qualifications and how they can help achieve the master hunter goals.

Letters of interest must include a telephone number, email address, mailing address and include permission for the department to conduct a criminal background check.

Applications should be sent to Tracy Loveless at Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wildlife Program, Master Hunter Section, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, 98501-1091, or by email to tracy.loveless@dfw.wa.gov.

The group meets at least four times a year, usually in Ellensburg.

Applicants are urged to review the master hunter webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/masterhunter.