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FIELD GUIDE Searches for a Rare Habitat, Airs Feb 25, 2010


Oak savannah once covered over a million acres of the Willamette Valley. Now, only one percent of the original savannah is still intact. FIELD GUIDE follows specially trained dogs in search of rare flowers that thrived in the once plentiful ecosystem. Tune in to the stations of Oregon Public Broadcasting on Thursday, February 25 at 8:30pm and see how landowners are working to restore pockets of the once-common landscape. Also, a look at the California brown pelican that was only recently removed from the Endangered Species list but is now thriving on the Oregon Coast, and a look at the sport of freeriding.

Oak Savannah – Today it is almost impossible to find oak savannah in Oregon. These areas of solitary oaks standing in fields of grasses once provided habitat for a number of species of birds, flowers and butterflies that are themselves becoming increasingly rare. The savannahs have been covered by development and farmland, and crowded out by thick stands of Douglas fir. FIELD GUIDE looks at the great lengths some folks are going to in order to bring back a bit of this rare habitat and the wildlife it attracts, to the landscape.    

Brown Pelicans – California brown pelicans hadn’t been seen in the Pacific Northwest for decades. In 1982 a strong el Nino drove the birds north to hunt for fish. They’ve come back every year since and their numbers are growing dramatically. But for some unknown reason, many of the birds are slow to migrate south. Last year, many suffered in the severe winter storms with hypothermia, frostbite and starvation. FIELD GUIDE visits a wildlife center near Astoria that has nursed scores of injured pelicans back to health for release in the wild, and talks to researchers who fear their late migration may be becoming a pattern.

Freeriding — Painful, thrilling, crazy — these are just some of the terms “freeriders” themselves use to describe their sport. Freeriding is a twist on a style of mountain biking that originated in Canada where ramps and logs were laid so bikers could avoid muddy forest trails. Join a group of these daring thrill seekers in the Oregon forests as they negotiate trails over four-inch logs, high platforms and bone-rattling jumps.

FIELD GUIDE repeats Sundays at 2:30am and 6:30pm. Full episodes of FIELD GUIDE are available at watch.opb.org. Videos of the stories featured on FIELD GUIDE are available at opb.org/programs/ofg/

About OREGON FIELD GUIDE
In its 21st season, OREGON FIELD GUIDE remains a valuable source of information about outdoor recreation, ecological issues, natural resources and travel destinations. OREGON FIELD GUIDE airs Thursday evenings at 8:30pm on the television stations of Oregon Public Broadcasting and repeats on Sunday evenings at 6:30pm. In the Mountain Time zone of Eastern Oregon, the program airs at 9:30pm Thursdays, and at 7:30pm Sundays.

About OPB
OPB is the largest cultural and education institution in the region, delivering excellence in public broadcasting to 1.5 million people each week through television, radio and the Internet. Widely recognized as a national leader in the public broadcasting arena, OPB is a major contributor to the program schedule that serves the entire country. OPB is one of the most-used and most-supported public broadcasting services in the country and is generously supported by 120,000 contributors. opb.org

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