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Dry grass leads to vehicle restrictions

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has restricted some vehicle access to its property along the Rogue River near Gold Hill to curb wildfire danger.

Oregon Department of Forestry officials asked for the restrictions at Lyman's Rapids off Highway 234 after several people were cited for improperly driving on dry grass during the current extreme fire danger, according to ODFW.

ODFW employees Tuesday pushed boulders to block some vehicle access and set up signs warning of fire danger and vehicle restrictions.

The work was done while ODF crews fought small lightning-caused wildfires up and down the upper Rogue corridor.

"We're trying to minimize the risk of fire in these extreme conditions," says Dan VanDyke, ODFW's Rogue District fish biologist.

During extreme wildfire conditions, campfires are allowed only in designated campgrounds. In other locations, portable stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed. Smoking while traveling is allowed only inside of an enclosed vehicle, and motorized vehicles are allowed only on improved roads.

Middle Rogue Steelheaders to hold fundraising auction, derby

The Middle Rogue Steelheaders will hold its annual fundraising dinner, auction and fishing derby Sept. 4 and 6 along the Rogue River in Grants Pass to help raise money for conservation and restoration projects the association sponsors annually within the Rogue River Basin.

The Sept. 4 dinner will be at the TapRock Event Center, 971 SE Sixth St., with the doors opening at 5 p.m. Wild salmon and prime rib dinners will be served, and the cost is $30 per person.

There will be a live auction, silent auction and raffle that evening, featuring many guided trips and hotel stays, along with wine tasting at three local wineries.

The Salmon Derby on Saturday, Sept. 6, begins under the grandstands at the Josephine County Fairgrounds. Breakfast and lunch will be provided and guides plan to leave the fairgrounds for the river by 6 a.m.

Cost for the derby is $275 per seat, which will include Thursday's dinner, as well as a T-shirt and hat. Awards will be given out to winning anglers.

For more information and registration, call Cole Tidwell at 541-582-0350.

Lemolo Falls trailwork scheduled

Umpqua National Forest officials plan Tuesday to begin replacing the Lemolo Falls Trail bridge, impacting a 3-mile segment of the Dread and Terror Section of the North Umpqua Trail from the bridge to the White Mule Trailhead in Douglas County.

Forest officials plan to keep the trail and bridge open to the public during the initial phase of construction. But they warn hikers that motorized construction equipment and construction workers will be on the trail and bridge area for the ensuing two weeks of work.

Construction will then continue next summer, with the bridge replacement expected to be finished by fall 2015.

C.P. trooper now SCI Trooper of the Year

An Oregon State Police trooper from Central Point has added some additional hardware to his Fish and Wildlife Trooper of the Year honors this summer.

Senior Trooper Jim Collom on Wednesday was presented a Shikar-Safari Club International award as the state's top fish and wildlife officer.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/MTwriterFreeman.