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Applications being accepted for 2009 wild Rogue rafting permits

Recreational driftboaters and rafters now can apply for the chance to land coveted permits to float the Wild and Scenic Section of the Rogue River this spring and summer.

Permits limiting the number of boaters who launch daily on the Rogue from Grave Creek are limited May 15 through Oct. 15 to avoid congestion.

Since Monday, the federal Bureau of Land Management has been accepting applications for these noncommercial float permits, and the window for applications closes Jan. 31.

The permit applications cost $6 apiece.

To get an application and see the varying rules for obtaining permits, visit the BLM's Rogue River Web site at www.blm.gov/or/resources/recreation/rogue/floatspace-lottery.php.

Those without Internet access can telephone the BLM's Rand Visitor Center at 541-479-3735 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The actual lottery drawing will take place in February. Only successful applicants will be notified, in early March.

The last names of successful applicants also will be posted around mid-March on the BLM Web site at www.blm.gov/or/resources/recreation/rogue/floatspace-lottery.php.

The Rogue Valley Chapter of the Oregon Hunters Association is collecting nonperishable food items for holiday food baskets the group assembles and delivers annually to needy Rogue Valley families.

Members and nonmembers are urged to bring donations to the next monthly meeting, which is scheduled for Dec. 11 in Medford.

The chapter meetings begin at 6 p.m. at the Ramada Inn Convention Center near Food 4 Less off Biddle Road.

Others can drop off nonperishable and packaged food at The Black Bird Shopping Center, 1810 W. Main St.

The chapter also is accepting donations from businesses such as the Shady Cove Market, which has pledged to fill individual dinner baskets for six needy families, says Ron Sherva, a chapter board member.

The food drive comes as the chapter is selling tickets to its annual fundraising banquet, which is scheduled for Jan. 31 at the Red Lion Hotel in Medford, Sherva says.

For ticket information, telephone Sherva at 541-301-4402.

A Pendleton man was scheduled for arraignment Monday in Baker County Circuit Court on allegations he unlawfully killed two trophy-sized bighorn sheep in Eastern Oregon's Baker County over the past two years.

Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife troopers conducted an investigation into wildlife crimes involving James Bronson, Jr., 52, who was alleged to have killed one bighorn sheep without a valid license or tag, according to troopers who investigated the case.

Two rams were recovered as part of the investigation, police said.

The rams were killed within the Lookout Mountain Unit, where four tags were issued in 2008 within a herd of about 40 sheep, according to the OSP.

Sheep tags in Oregon are a once-in-a-lifetime draw.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 776-4470, or e-mail mfreeman@mailtribune.com.