Pennsylvania Game Commission biologists are seeking assistance from residents in a regional monitoring effort to collect bat maternity colony data this summer. This monitoring is especially important due to the mortalities in bat populations throughout the northeastern United States, including Pennsylvania, being caused by White-Nose Syndrome.

"WNS primarily kills during the winter, but the true impact of WNS on bat populations cannot be determined using estimates from winter hibernacula alone," PGC wildlife biologist Cal Butchkoski said. "Pennsylvanians can help us more fully gauge the impact of WNS on the landscape by hosting a bat count this summer."

To obtain applications and information on how to participate, visit the PGC website at www.pgc.state.pa.us, click on "Wildlife" in the menu bar at the top of the homepage, scroll down and choose "Pennsylvania Bats" in the Mammal section and then click on "Appalachian Bat Count" in the Reference listing. Forms on the website guide interested participants through the steps of timing, conducting a survey and submitting their findings to the PGC.

"Pennsylvania's two most common bat species, the little brown bat and the big brown bat, use buildings as their summer roosts," Butchkoski said. "Abandoned houses, barns, church steeples and even currently occupied structures can provide a summer home to female bats and their young.

"Monitoring these maternity colonies can give biologists a good idea of how bat populations in an area are doing from year to year. With the occurrence of WNS in Pennsylvania this year, monitoring these colonies is more important than ever.

"We're looking for some help, and we hope Scout groups, 4-H clubs, sportsmen and conservation organizations and interested individuals become part of the Appalachian Bat Count monitoring team. It's a chance to make a difference for bats and to get involved in the fight against WNS."

A multi-state State Wildlife Grant was awarded and is being administered by the PGC to investigate and respond to WNS. As part of this project, the Appalachian Bat Count contributes to the nationwide effort to collect data during summer months through maternity colony monitoring, wing assessments and acoustic sampling.

More information on WNS is available on the PGC website by clicking on "Wildlife" in the menu bar at the top of the homepage, scrolling down and choosing "White-Nose Syndrome" in the Wildlife Disease section. To report observations of sick or multiple dead bats, go to the website and click on "Report a Sick Bat" in the "Quick Clicks" box in the right-hand column of the homepage.

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Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association has announced that Jerry Regan will be president of the world-famous raptor conservation organization, assuming his duties beginning Monday, Oct. 4.

Following a position as major gifts officer at Cornell University, Regan assumed his current position as executive director at the Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art, Millersburg, in 2002 and went on to lead the organization through a period of dramatic growth. Under his direction, staff increased from three to 11 and its budget now boasts assets totaling more than $11 million.

Other major accomplishments under Regan include raising funds to open the Sourbeer-Lick Education Building which is the center's permanent home and completing a 250-foot handicapped-accessible footbridge across Wiconisco Creek that links the building to its 12-mile trail system. Additionally, its Olewine Gallery hosts exhibits.

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Today's guest of Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association member Doyle Dietz on "Experience the Outdoors," from 7:30-8 a.m. on Oldies 1410-AM is Franklin Klock of the Carbon County Environmental Education Center. A rebroadcast will be heard Sunday from 9:30-10 a.m. on WMGH, 105.5-FM, and is available on the Web at www.wmgh.com by clicking on the "Experience the Outdoors" link.

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This year's "Gunmakers Fair" will be held today and Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily, at Dixon Muzzleloader Shop, 9952 Kunkel's Mill Road, Kempton. For seminar schedule and information, access on the Web at www.dixonmuzzleloading.com or call the shop at 610-756-6271.

A 3-D course is open for public use from dawn to dusk at Bear's Head Sportsmen's Association, Delano, located off Exit 134 of Interstate 81, daily through Saturday, Oct. 23. Donations are accepted and for information call the clubhouse at 570-467-0331 or e-mail docblazer@verizon.net mailto:docblazer@verizon.net .

A trap shoot will be held, Thursday, July 29, beginning at 6 p.m., at Orwigsburg Gun Club, Gun Club Road, off Route 443 East, Orwigsburg. For information, e-mail jafone@comcast.net mailto:jafone@comcast.net .

A free youth trap shoot will be held Saturday, July 31, beginning at noon, at Phoenix Park Rod and Gun near Minersville. Competition will be held for ages 8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 14-16 For required pre-registration by Wednesday, July 28, call Bob Hendricks at 570-544-3068 or Joe Carvajal at 570-544-9523.

Schuylkill Spurs Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation meets, Thursday, Aug. 5, beginning at 7:30 p.m., at West Penn Archery, South Tamaqua. For information, call Kevin Titus at 570-668-5903.

First Frontier Militia, the muzzleloader arm of Bowmanstown Rod and Gun Club, will hold muzzleloader shoots on the following dates: Sunday, Aug. 6, Sept. 12, Oct. 9 and 10, Nov. 14 and Dec. 12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bowmanstown Rod and Gun Club is located on Gun Club Road, off Route 248, Bowmanstown. For information, call Roger Fisher at 610-377-2812.

This year's Empire State Lake Ontario Fall Tournament will be held from Friday, Aug. 20, through Monday, Sept. 6. For information and registration, access on the Web at www.loc.org http://www.loc.org/ or call (888) 733-5246.

This year's "Lehigh Valley Hunting and Fishing Extravaganza" will be held Friday-Sunday, Aug. 27-29, at Kempton Fairground. For information, contact Bob Danenhower at 610-398-7609 and bobstaxidermy@ptd.net mailto:bobstaxidermy@ptd.net or Rick Weaknecht at 610-683-7405 and pahunter2005@hotmail.com mailto:pahunter2005@hotmail.com .

Columbia County Open Buddy Bass Tournament, Sunday, Aug. 29, Susquehanna River, Shickshinny; Sept. 19, Susquehanna River, Danville; Nov. 7, Williamsport Linden Access Area; 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. For information, call tournament director Mike Monico at (570) 752-3223.

This year's "Pennsylvania Bowhunters Festival" will be held Friday-Sunday, Sept. 17-19, at Sullivan County Fairground, Forksville, beginning daily at 6 a.m.. For information, call Bill Feese at 570-525-3635, e-mail info@pabowhunters.com mailto:info@pabowhunters.com or access on the Web at www.pabowhunters.com http://www.pabowhunters.com/ .

This year's "Hawk Mountain Wildlife Art Show" will be held Saturday and Sunday, Sept 25 and 26, at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, Kempton. For information call the visitor center at 610-756-6961.

This year's "Schuylkill County Friends of NRA Banquet" will be held Thursday, Sept. 30, beginning at 5 p.m., at the Schuylkill Mall. For additional information or reservations, call Mike McCord at 570-628-1382.