I've been hearing a lot lately about the Audubon Society certifying golf courses as Audubon sanctuaries. These golf courses plant native and low-water-use plants and reduce the amount of pesticides they use. Are any of the golf courses in the Rogue Valley certified as Audubon sanctuaries?

I've been hearing a lot lately about the Audubon Society certifying golf courses as Audubon sanctuaries. These golf courses plant native and low-water-use plants and reduce the amount of pesticides they use. Are any of the golf courses in the Rogue Valley certified as Audubon sanctuaries?

— Lisa C., Medford

Audubon International's Web site, www.auduboninternational.org, reports that more than 2,110 golf courses in 24 countries participate in the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses. But none is in the Rogue Valley.

The list posted online in February shows 19 courses in Oregon have earned the certification. Running Y is the closest for local golfers looking for an environmentally sensitive round. The Portland area and Central Oregon have quite a few.

All the courses on the list have completed an assessment and developed a plan for managing wildlife and habitat, minimizing chemical use, conserving water, protecting water quality, and teaching people about their environmental programs. Courses then must submit written and photographic evidence that they are following these plans and undergo inspections.