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WIDE RANGE OF EVENTS IN SNOWBIRD FESTIVAL

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The seventh annual Snowbird Outdoor Sports Festival will be held July 2-4.

Activities will include the Sport Climbing Invitational and Open, the Cannondale Cup Mountain Bout Bike Race and Clinic, an Invitational Two-Person sand volleyball tournament, a citizen class Rollerblade Dual Slalom and the Sports Festival Expo.The sport climbing will be July 2 with a fun, amateur competition open to all climbers. Climbers will compete in beginner (up to 5.10), intermediate (up to 5.11) and advanced (up to 5.12)

Entry fee of $25. Registration will take place at the base of The Cliff Lodge climbing wall from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Competition begins at 8:00 a.m.

July 3 an invitation only climbing event will be held. The invitational will begin at 9:00 a.m.

Both climbing events can be viewed from Chickadee Ski Run and are free to spectators.

The Mountain Bout Bike Race, in its fourth year as part of the Cannondale Cup Fat Tire Festival Series and sanctioned by NORBA, will be held on July 2. This cross-country circuit race begins at 9:30 a.m. in Gad Valley.

A current NORBA license is required by riders. Cash totaling $1,000 and merchandise will be awarded in each of the 21 catagories offered. Riders are required to wear helmets.

The Two-Person Sand Volleyball Competition will feature top Utah men, women and co-ed teams, by invitation only. Games begin each day at 8:30 a.m. at the volleyball court at the top of Chickadee Ski Run.

Other activities include Ed Chauner's Mountain Bike Clinic on July 3 (free of charge) from 10 a.m. to noon, The Sports Expo in the Snowbird Event Center July 2 and 3 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and a Rollerblading Dual Slalom Race on July 3.

GIFT OF LAND - Sixty-six acres of land on the foothills of the Wellsville Mountains, east of the small town of Honeyville in Cache County, will become a haven for wildlife forever, thanks to the Orme family.

Leneve Peterson recently donated the property to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources on behalf of her deceased brother. The property will be managed for the benefit of wildlife, and its uses will be for scientific and educational purposes.

The Lynne Orme Wildlife Management Area, has been in the family since 1866 when Joseph Orme homesteaded the area. Joseph, father of three sons, divided his original 160 acres among his children.

"Before his death, he made it clear to me that this parcel of land should be protected against development and allowed to be used by wildlife," said Peterson. "I have tried to follow his wishes."

COLLECTING EGGS - Division of Wildlife Resources biologists and hatchery personnel stripped more than 700,000 eggs from spawning cutthroat trout at Electric Lake during the past three weeks, a record for eggs collected there. Electric Lake represents the only certified, disease-free source of Yellowstone cutthroat trout eggs in the world.

The process for egg collection is fascinating. Spawning fish, traveling up Electric Lake tributaries, swim into large traps. Periodically, captive fish are scooped out and transferred to barrels. One at a time, trout are fished from the barrels and "milked" of either eggs or milt, which is squirted into large aluminum bowls.

At intervals, the bright orange masses of eggs are fertilized and transferred to coolers filled with ice cold water. The precious cargo is then shipped to the Fountain Green and Glenwood hatcheries.

Beginning July 9, anglers at Electric Lake may harvest two cutthroats 12 inches and under. All trout over 12 inches must be returned to the water to protect next year's spawners, which are essential to the state's cutthroat trout stocking program.

ISLAND TOURS - A unique piece of Utah's past will host it's first public visitors Saturday and Sunday, as the historic Fielding Garr ranch house grounds at Antelope Island State Park opens for tours.

The ranch house is historically unique for two reasons.

"The Fielding Garr ranch house is the oldest structure built by the Mormon pioneers in Utah that's still located at it's original location," said park manager Tim Smith.

Garr built the ranch house in 1848, after being commissioned by Mormon Church president Brigham Young to manage a large church livestock herd known as the Tithing Herd, which was located on Antelope Island.

"Funds from the sale of Tithing Herd livestock were put into the Perpetual Emigration Fund," Smith explained. Money from the Perpetual Emigration Fund was used to assist church converts in coming to Utah. After arriving the converts would contribute their own money and goods to the fund to help assist other church members in coming to the territory.

The ranch house also has the distinction of being the longest continually lived-in building in Utah. The Mormon Church used the building from 1848 until the 1870s, when the island was given to private individuals who continued to use the building as headquarters for their own livestock operations, Smith said.

In 1980, the state of Utah purchased the island as a state park and, due to needed restoration work, the ranch house has been closed since.

While visitors will not be able to walk through the ranch house they can tour the ranch house grounds. The grounds will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

Buildings found at the complex include the ranch house, a bunk house, spring house (built around one of the island's natural springs and used as a cooling room), wool shearing shed, corrals and a blacksmith shop. "Volunteer interpreters and park staff will be available to discuss the ranch's history," Smith said.

After this weekend, the road leading to the ranch house grounds and the grounds themselves will again close to visitors, but will be open for additional tours July 16 and 17 and August 20 and 21.