County Watch | ParkRecord.com

County Watch

Compiled by Patrick Parkinson

The only grocery store in Oakley is now open Sundays.

"Last Sunday was the first time the store has ever been open on Sunday," said Susan Pace, a clerk at the iconic Ken’s Kash grocery store at 980 W. Center Street in Oakley.

The previous owners didn’t want to open the business on Sunday, Pace said.

But Ken’s Kash changed hands in 2008.

"The new owners wanted it open, and we had some business, so that’s good," Pace said.

Stay safe in cougar country

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Snyderville Basin resident Dave Swenson, a Utah Division of Wildlife Resources conservation officer, offered tips this week about staying safe while recreating among mountain lions in the backcountry.

"It’s very, very rare to see or come in contact with a cougar," Swenson stressed. "Cougars usually go out of their way to avoid people."

The animals are secretive and usually only come out at night, he said.

But it’s often in the winter when people do spot cougars.

"Deer are the main animal that cougars prey on this time of year," Swenson said. "In the winter, the snow covers the vegetation in the higher country. That forces the deer to travel to lower elevations to find food. And the cougars come right down with them."

To reduce the likelihood of coming in contact with a cougar:

Do not feed wildlife

Do not feed pets outside and keep pets indoors at night

Use outdoor lighting and motion-sensitive lighting

Keep a close eye on children playing outside and bring them in before dusk, which is when cougars begin to hunt

Do not run if you encounter a cougar, Swenson said.

And make yourself look intimidating by opening your jacket, waving your arms and speaking loudly, he added.

Keep pets on leashes when hiking and hike with other people because cougars usually won’t attack groups, Swenson said.

A brochure about cougar safety is available at http://www.wildlife.utah.gov/cougar/pdf/cougar_brochure.pdf.

Swaner skiing open house

Enjoy the new Swaner EcoCenter at an open house and ski tour planned at the nature preserve Feb. 6 from 3 to 6 p.m. There will be exhibits, crafts and a climbing wall.

The EcoCenter is the greenest building in Utah, according to Swaner EcoCenter Executive Director Colleen Rush.

Admission to the open house is free. A Nordic ski adventure is scheduled to begin at the preserve at 5 p.m., for which reservations and a $5 fee are required.

"The ski tour will last one hour, ending with the winter sunset," a Swaner EcoCenter press release states. Contact Swaner at (435) 649-1767 for more information.

Swaner EcoCenter is at 1258 Center Drive at Kimball Junction.

Serve on the Utah Wildlife Board

The Utah Wildlife Board, which sets policies to guide how wildlife is managed in Utah, has two vacancies it needs to fill on the seven-member panel.

"Board members attend 10 to 12 wildlife board meetings in Salt Lake City each year," DWR board coordinator Staci Coons said in a prepared statement. "A strong interest in wildlife and wildlife management, and a commitment to represent the people of Utah, are among the qualities you need to serve on the board."

Committee members, who are ultimately selected by the governor, serve six-year terms.

Applications will be accepted until March 31. Visit http://www.wildlife.utah.gov/public_meetings/apply.php, for more information.