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Have Some Offbeat Nature Fun on National Wildlife Refuges

Tried-and-true nature events such as bird walks, ranger-led hikes and wildlife viewing tours will never go out of fashion at national wildlife refuges. Like your nature a bit offbeat? Some national wildlife refuges have read your mind.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for managing more than 850 million acres of lands and waters in the National Wildlife Refuge System, including five marine national monuments, 566 national wildlife refuges and 38 wetland management districts. Every state and U.S. territory has at least one national wildlife refuge.

Consider these events scheduled for upcoming months or use the zip code locator to find a national wildlife refuge near you.

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Scotty's Castle Flood Recovery Tours

DEATH VALLEY, CA – There will be a limited number of opportunities this spring to visit Scotty’s Castle. This is a unique opportunity to witness the damage caused by a large flash flood and to learn about the National Park Service’s ongoing work to restore the historic district.

Scotty’s Castle Flood Recovery Tours will be offered twice a day on March 5, March 12, March 19, March 26 and April 2.

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Traxxas Returns as Official Series Partner for TORC 2014 Season

“Traxxas has a special passion for TORC,” says Loren Snyder, Director Special Operations. “Short-course racing has inspired a generation of innovation and fun new products for Traxxas and our close connection with the fans is something that can’t be duplicated anywhere else. We are pleased and excited to continue our investment in TORC as Official Series Sponsor. TORC is energized with new energy, new venues, and as always the most intense short-course off road racing action. We are looking forward to the positive exposure TORC brings to Traxxas and the fun new radio controlled vehicles the racing inspires.”

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Destination: CJ Strike and Fishing

Destination: CJ Strike and Fishing

Friday morning and the blustery wind of the previous days had ended. The morning sun was on its daily path through a clear blue sky. It would be a great day to be outdoors. If you can’t go 4-wheeling, might as well go fishing. Mike and I loaded the boat with necessary gear (poles, tackle, and bait), hooked the trailer to his 4x4 pickup and headed for the lake.

The “lake” is CJ Strike Reservoir managed for recreation opportunities by Idaho Power Company. Located on the Snake River, the reservoir provides hydroelectric power for southwest Idaho and irrigation water for the many farms in the area. CJ Strike also provides a variety of year around recreation opportunities including waterfowl hunting, fishing, and water sports. This day, fishing was on the agenda and crappie were biting.

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Swansea-Cerro Gordo Trail

It was 9 am and the temperature was in the mid-90’s when we pulled off the highway at the start of the Swansea-Cerro Gordo Trail. The broad expanse of the Owens Lake lay to the south and the rugged slopes of the Inyo Mountains rose to the north.Swansea-Cerro Gordo Trailhead

Before the water wars of the early 1900’s, Owens Lake and the surrounding valley supported a thriving agriculture and mining population. As the Los Angles area grew, water was diverted from the eastern Sierra Nevada watershed and the Owens Valley to satisfy the thirsty population of the Los Angles Basin. Soon, the Owens Lake was reduced to a dry, dusty flatland. By the late 1990’s, a settlement was reached that reduced the diversion of water from the eastern Sierra Nevada and the Owens Valley. With water flows returned to the Owens River, pools of water were beginning to collect in the once dry lake. The once dry lake was now a patch-work of various colors in the morning sun.

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