Bear Creek work party heads back to the banks

Riparian lovers will return to the banks of Bear Creek Saturday in downtown Medford for the latest work party meant to spruce up the city's signature stream.

The Lomakatsi Recreation Project's fifth annual Streamside Forest Recovery Week kicks off with a hands-on restoration project from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. along the creek.

The work centers on a stretch of stream that has been the target of recent restoration projects headed by the Bear Creek Watershed Council, the city of Medford and several school groups.

Work on Saturday will include planting of native trees and shrubs, removal of invasive plants such as Himalayan blackberries and trail building.

Also planned for the day are education sessions on streamside habitat, botany and water quality. Gloves, tools and snacks will be available for volunteers.

Participants will meet along Spencer Street off East 12th Street east of Riverside Avenue.

For information, see Lomakatsi's website at or call 541-488-0208.

Rule change for disabled elk hunters in Tioga Unit

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is reminding hunters with Permanent Disability Permits they can harvest only three-point or better bull elk beginning this year in the Tioga Unit of southern Coos and Curry counties.

This is the first year that disabled hunters cannot take cow elk during the two popular Tioga hunts.

In the past, disabled-permit holders as well as archers could kill cow elk during this hunt, but elk herds have dipped below management objectives, according to ODFW biologists.

Removing cow elk from the hunts is expected to help bring the unit's elk populations back up, according to ODFW.

The change effects the 224X Tioga Unit No. 1 hunt that starts Saturday and runs through Nov. 14, and the 224Y hunt that runs Nov. 17 through Nov. 25.

Annual ski, snowboard swap starts today

The Medford Ski Education Foundation's annual Ski and Snowboard Swap opens today in the multipurpose room at St. Mary's School, 816 Black Oak Drive, Medford.

This year, several large merchants will be in attendance offering deals on new and used ski and snowboarding equipment. They will operate alongside private-party sellers looking for some extra holiday cash or an equipment upgrade.

The annual swap is a way to recycle usable gear among local skiers and snowboarders and is popular among families whose young athletes grow can grow out of their gear almost annually.

The popular early-bird sale runs from 7 to 10 tonight. Admission costs $5 per person.

Saturday's sale runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with an admission fee of $3 per person. Sunday's sale goes from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and admission is free. Youths 12 and younger get in free all three days.

For details, see the MSEF website at or

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or

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