Adventure briefs: Christmas tree permits, pikeminnow payouts

Be sure you have the proper gear, winter clothing and emergency supplies before heading into a national forest to cut your own Christmas tree.
Be sure you have the proper gear, winter clothing and emergency supplies before heading into a national forest to cut your own Christmas tree. Tribune News Service file

Gifford Pinchot

Christmas tree permits on sale

Beginning Wednesday, people can purchase Christmas tree-cutting permits at Gifford Pinchot National Forest offices and vendors.

The permits are $5 each, and there is a limit of five permits per household. The permits can be used only one time.

When you purchase a permit, you also receive a map of areas open to cutting and an information sheet with special instructions for cutting Christmas trees on the national forest.

Also, as part of the national Every Kid in a Park initiative, the U.S. Forest Service has announced that all fourth-graders are eligible for a free national forest Christmas tree permit. In order to receive the tree permit, students must present an Every Kid in a Park pass or a valid paper voucher printed from the Every Kid in a Park website. Students and parents can visit everykidinapark.gov for more details and to obtain their paper voucher.

For information on current road status and closures within the forest, go to fs.usda.gov/recmain/giffordpinchot/recreation#cond.

Olympic National Park

Comments on chalet status released

Nearly 1,400 public comments were received during this summer as Olympic National Park conducts an environmental assessment on the future of the Enchanted Valley Chalet. A summary of the comments were included in a report released Monday.

The report can be found at parkplanning.nps.gov/EVCscopingreport.

More information, including the need for the plan and preliminary alternatives developed so far, can be found at parkplanning.nps.gov/EVCscoping.

The chalet is 13 miles from the nearest road within the wilderness area of the park. Built by Quinault Valley residents in the early 1930s, before the park was established, the chalet served for several decades as a backcountry lodge and more recently as a wilderness ranger station and emergency shelter. The chalet was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007 due to its local significance.

The issue is that the chalet is on the active floodplain of the East Fork Quinault River, where migration of the river channel is common. In January 2014, the river came within 18 inches of the chalet.

The assessment will determine whether or not the park saves the structure.

Northern pikeminnow

Anglers cash in through program

The Bonneville Power Administration’s Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward program has paid out more than $1.76 million so far this year. The top payout to an individual angler has been $119,341 for catching 14,019 pikeminnow.

More than 225,000 northern pikeminnow were caught in the Columbia River basin this year as part of a program that rewards anglers for each predatory fish they catch, according to the administration. Based on studies in 1983-86 in the John Day reservoir, pikeminnow accounted for up to 80 percent of predation on salmonids.

Steve Williams, the pikeminnow program manager with Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, said the goal is to impact the pikeminnow population by 10 percent to 20 percent. So far, he said, this year’s impact has been about 11 percent.

Overall, the program to remove pikeminnow from the Columbia River costs the administration $3 million to $4 million each year, according to the release.

The most pikeminnow caught in one year was 267,215 fish in 2004. Last year the catch was 200,215 fish.

For information about the reward program, go to pikeminnow.org.

Compiled by Jeffrey P. Mayor,