Now Playing:

Pressroom

Environment

Oregon Field Guide Tracks the Elusive Cougars, Airs Aug. 6, 2009


Most of rural Oregon is cougar country, however the average person wandering or hiking these areas will never see one of these elusive predators. Yet, there is high anxiety regarding cougars in the wild. Hunters, in particular, feel the cougar population is exploding in Oregon and decimating elk and deer herds. Others believe the animals are being unfairly targeted and killed. OREGON FIELD GUIDE looks at both sides of the story and joins researchers in the Blue Mountains conducting one of the two ongoing cougar studies in the state. Tune in to the stations of Oregon Public Broadcasting Television on Thursday August 6 at 8:30pm & Sunday, August 9 at 2:30am and 6:30pm to see how Oregon is handling the controversial cougar issue. The weekly show hosted by Steve Amen also includes a look at how the Portland/Vancouver area was once the center of a sophisticated Indian culture and a couple who is hooked on fishing from a small kayak in the open ocean.

Cougars - Although cougars are common in Oregon, they’re hard to find. The animals, which can weigh up to 200 pounds and measure six-feet long, are so stealth that locating and tagging them for study is extremely difficult, yet this method remains the best way to try and find out how many cougars there are and what affect they’re having on ungulate populations. Some believe that the passage of Measure 18 banning the hunting of cougars with dogs is what’s at the root of a cougar population increase of almost 2,000 cats statewide over the past few years. The research shows that cougars are the main reason the elk population isn’t continuing to grow, but the studies are so narrowly focused they leave many questions unanswered that researchers continue to pursue.

Indian Village - An area at the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette rivers was once home to a thriving Indian village. Hidden underground in a section of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge near Vancouver are clues to an ancient culture that occupied the land from around 1450 up to 1835 when tribes disappeared, succumbing to diseases brought by European traders. Lewis and Clark were greeted by villagers when they visited the area 200 years ago. Their journals show they camped in a clearing near the huge plank houses that sheltered about 100 tribe members. Excavations in the 1990s uncovered over 10,000 artifacts. These excavations continue slowly today as scientists painstakingly examine fragments trying to make sense of village life that was lost in time.

Kayak Fishing - Most people can’t put the concept of kayaking and fishing together. But for one Oregon couple, it’s the only way to fish. FIELD GUIDE journeys to the waters off the beautiful Beverly Beach to see how these two kayak fishermen can get into areas that big boats can’t and catch prize lingcod.

About OREGON FIELD GUIDE
In its 20th 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 6:30pm Sundays.

About OPB
OPB is the state’s most far-reaching and accessible media resource, providing free access to programming for children and adults designed to give voice to community, connect Oregon and its neighbors and illuminate a wider world. Every week, over 1.5 million people tune in to or log on to OPB’s Television, Radio and Internet delivered services. As the hub of operations for the state’s Emergency Broadcast and Amber Alert services, OPB serves as the backbone for the distribution of critical information to broadcasters and homes throughout Oregon. OPB is one of the largest producers and presenters of national television programming through PBS, and is also a member station of NPR, Public Radio International (PRI), and American Public Media (APM). The Web site is opb.org.

More OPB

OPB on Twitter