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Green Dot road closures looming

Hunters, hikers and mushroom-pickers are reminded that the annual Green Dot road closures go into effect Wednesday, Oct. 10, in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest around Butte Falls and Prospect.

The closure begins the Wednesday before the Cascade general bull elk season for rifle hunters and lasts through the season, which ends Oct. 19.

Only Forest Service roads marked with green dots are open to vehicle travel, with adjoining spur roads mostly closed to provide bulls more avenues to escape, as well as to create a more aesthetically pleasant hunting experience in the heavily roaded forest areas.

Also, the Prospect Off-Highway Vehicle trail system, including the Woodruff and Corral play areas, are closed under the Green Dot program.

All-terrain vehicles are restricted to the same Green Dot roads as other vehicles.

Maps are available at the Forest Service offices in Prospect and Butte Falls, as well as at some Green Dot road signs explaining the closure.

Electronic copies of the map can be seen at www.fs.usda.gov/rogue-siskiyou.

Additional information on the closure can be found on page 96 of the 2012 Oregon Big Game Regulations

Saturday marks the start of several upland game-bird and waterfowl seasons in Oregon.

Duck and goose seasons open Saturday morning in Klamath, Lake and other Eastern Oregon counties that comprise waterfowlers' Zone 2 area. Waterfowl seasons open Oct. 13 in Jackson and Josephine counties.

The statewide pheasant season also opens Saturday. However, the popular Fee Pheasant Hunt at the Denman Wildlife Area — a hunt seen as the only reasonable pheasant-hunting opportunity outside of private hunting ranches — closes for the season this evening.

Also opening Saturday are several Eastern Oregon hunts for mountain quail, California quail, chukar and Hungarian partridge.

The general fall turkey season is set to open Oct. 15.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's recreation complex at Hyatt Lake, including its campground, are now closed for the season, but the boat dock and ramp will remain open through the fishing season that ends Oct. 31.

This marks the third consecutive year in which the BLM has closed the campground Oct. 1 to save money on administrative costs during a month of lower use, says Dennis Byrd of the BLM's Medford District office.

Day-use visitors will find a portable toilet available near the main boat ramp and dock, but camping will be banned there. Day-use fees are still required.

Campers visiting Hyatt Lake still can use the Wildcat Campground.

Crews are putting the finishing touches on improvements to the boat docks, ramps and parking area at the complex along the lake's south side.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@mailtribune.com.