Approved at Tuesday's quarterly meeting of the Pennsylvania Game Commissioner board of game commissioners was a purchase of 172 acres of land in East Penn Township, Carbon County, adjoining State Game Land 217, from Wildlands Conservancy of Emmaus, for a lump sum payment of $137,000. Funds for the payment will be made by third-party commitments for compensation of habitat and recreational losses from previously-approved board actions on oil/gas and mineral recovery leases.

Located west of the adjacent Lehigh Gap Nature Preserve, the property consists of grassland and woodland habitat, and on the ridge top is a pitch pine-oak-heath rocky summit community characterized by sparse vegetation with numerous bedrock outcrops. Dominant flora is pitch pine, scrub oak, chestnut oak, common juniper, lowbush blueberry, sweet fern, black huckleberry, Pennsylvania sedge, poverty grass and common hairgrass, as well as mosses and lichens. The property lies west of the.

There is a perpetual easement on about 20 acres that is part of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. This tract provides a much-needed access to the north side of the Blue Mountain and has road frontage along West Sunset Road.

SGL 217 currently contains 7,177 acres in Carbon, Lehigh and Schuylkill counties.

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This year's "Turkey Classic" will be held today and Sunday, featuring professional in the hunting industry who will conduct product demonstrations and to assist Pennsylvania turkey hunters with all their pre-hunt preparations, at Cabela's Hamburg store. Seminars and other events are designed for both novice and experienced turkey hunters and focus on new hunting tactics and products. For information, access on the Web at www.cabelas.com/Hamburg [1] or call the store at 610-929-7000.

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Beltzville State Park will present the program "Adventures in Geocaching," Saturday, May 7, beginning at 11:30 a.m., with Pennsylvania State Parks naturalist Stephanie Strub, who will teach the basics of geocaching and then aid program attendees in finding caches in the park. Occasionally described as high-tech treasure hunting, geocaching is family-friendly, highly addictive way to get some exercise in the outdoors.

There is a $10 fee for those renting a GPS unit and $5 fee for those bringing their own or sharing with someone borrowing a unit. Advance registration is required by e-mail at sstrub@state.pa.us [2] or by calling 215-453-5015.

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This year's U.S. Department of Interior's 8th Annual National Natural Landmark Photo Contest has designated Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, Kempton, an eligible destination. Participants may submit no more than three photos of different National Natural Landmarks by Thursday, June 30, and winning photos will be featured in the 50th Anniversary Commemorative National Natural Landmarks calendar.

Information on the contest is available on the Web at www.nature.nps.gov/nnl [3] by clicking "photo contest." Information on Hawk Mountain is available on the Web at www.hawkmountain.org [4] or by calling 610-756-6961.

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Jay Woodford of the Schuylkill County Animal Rescue Team is today's guest of Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association member Doyle Dietz on "Experience The Outdoors," 7:30-8 a.m. on WLSH 1410-AM, Sunday, from 9:30-10 a.m., on WMGH, 105.5-FM and on the Web at www.wmgh.com [5] by clicking the "Experience The Outdoors" link.

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A trap shoot will be held, Thursday, April 21, beginning at 6 p.m., at Orwigsburg Gun Club, Gun Club Road, off Route 443 East, Orwigsburg. For information, e-mail jafone@comcast.net [6].

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A Pennsylvania Game Commission Hunter-Trapper Education Course will be presented Thursday-Saturday, April 21-23, from 6-9 p.m. each day, at Palmerton Rod and Gun Club. For required pre-registration, access the PGC website at www.pgc.state.pa.us; [7] for information, contact Mike Loftus at mbloftus@ptd.net [8].