PHOENIX - Fire season is under way in Arizona and with Easter occurring April 16 followed by Memorial Day and its customary three-day weekend in late May, visitation is beginning to increase on the Tonto National Forest. Officials offer the following campfire tips to help practice fire safety.

Ø When possible, use an established campfire ring

Ø Clear the area down to bare soil

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“Today, the people of Lake Havasu City and its stakeholders scored a monumental victory in the fight against bureaucratic overreach”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced that it would withdraw its draft recreational boating compatibility determination (CD) for the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge:

“Today, the people of Lake Havasu City and its stakeholders scored a monumental victory in the fight against bureaucratic overreach. Standing together, as a unified community, we were able to block a terrible proposal put forth by the Fish and Wildlife Service that aimed to close significant areas on Lake Havasu to tubing, waterskiing, fishing and wakeboarding. Ultimately, the Service could not hide from the thousands of voices demanding that the will of the people be heard.

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PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Commission will recognize 16 people during the 2015 Commission Awards banquet, which will commend national, state and local leaders, wildlife advocates and volunteers for their work to support the state’s wildlife.

The event will be Saturday, Jan. 16, at the Arizona Grand Resort at 8000 S. Arizona Grand Parkway in Phoenix. Reservations are being accepted for $65 per person to attend the event, which begins with a social hour and live music at 5 p.m., and will be followed by dinner and the awards presentation at 6 p.m.

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FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Like some giant bird of prey, the helicopter appeared from seemingly out of nowhere and swooped down on the unsuspecting herd of pronghorn feeding on the open grassland below.

The chase was on.

In the end, despite being able to reach speeds up to 60 mph, the fastest animal in North America was no match. The net-gunner’s aim was true, the handler or “mugger” placed a GPS collar around the pronghorn’s neck, and within moments the animal was safely removed from the net and turned loose to rejoin its herd.

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PHOENIX — To increase customer service the Arizona Game and Fish Department encourages off-highway vehicle (OHV) owners to sign up to receive their yearly OHV decal renewal reminder through e-mail.

The decal program began in 2009 and requires all OHVs, including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), side-by-sides and dirt bikes, to have a sticker if the vehicle is designed primarily for travel on unimproved roadways or trails. The sticker, which is placed on the upper left-hand corner of the license plate, is issued by the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division and is required to operate an OHV on public and state lands.

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Bill co-sponsored by Reps. Kirkpatrick, Sinema, Salmon, Schweikert and Franks

PHOENIX — U.S. Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake, together with U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, introduced on Wednesday the Grand Canyon Bison Management Act, which would allow the use of wildlife management and conservation techniques on the bison population within Grand Canyon National Park.

Specifically, the act would require both the U.S. Department of Interior and the Arizona Game and Fish Commission to coordinate on producing a plan that allows sportsmen holding a valid state-issued hunting license to manage the bison population within the park through culling and other nonlethal means. The volunteers would then be allowed to remove the full bison harvested from the park.

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