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Elk re-introduction in Smokys going well
In 2001 52 elk were re-introduced in the Great Smoky Mountain National park. The group has been doing well and is now close to one hundred animals. 19 elk were born this year, mostly males. The park expects a good year for the elk in 2009 with possible record setting herd growth. Park managers will release an environmental assessment in 2009 regarding the findings of the elf release.
Like to camp and take picures?
Oregon parks and recreation department has announced this years MY PARK photo contest. You could win a 14 day state park camping package. There are runner up prizes as well. Top selections will also be shown at the Oregon state fair.

You need to get busy, last year there were over 3,000 entries were received. Entries must be submitted by August 1st, 2009.

To submit a photo visit the Show us your Go Play moment web page.
Enter The 2009 National Park Foundation Junior Ranger Essay Contest!
The national park service is having an essay contest for kids between the ages of 9 and 12. The essay should be about why are our national parks important to you and what is your best idea to protect our parks for the future?

The essay can be no more than 500 words and must be submitted by May 1st, 2009. You could win a $1,000 Visa gift card and the opportunity to direct a $5,000 contribution from the National Park Foundation at your favorite national park.
My Garmin gpsmap 60c has satellite acquisition problems
I have been having an intermittent issue with my Garmin gpsmap 60c. Occasionally it wouldn't pick up any satellite signals at all. I could still page between screens and access all of the menus. Turning it off, then back on did nothing to help. The only thing that would get it working again was re-installing the firmware.

A little searching the web revealed other people were having this or a similar issue where not only would they not get a satellite signal, but they could not access the menus on their gps receiver.

A quick call to the very friendly and helpful Garmin support team got me going again. The problem is caused by turning your unit off in one location and turning it on in a different location at some distance away from where it was turned off. If you experience this the fix is simple, just follow the steps below.

After the unit starts up go to the satellite screen and press the menu button. When the small menu pops up select NEW LOCATION. On the next menu screen select AUTOMATIC. After that it should acquire a satellite signal very quickly.
New GPS handhelds from Lowrance
Lowrance has just released three new handheld GPS units for the outdoor enthusiast. They are the Endura line, including the Sierra, Safari and the Outback. All three feature touch screens, have a micro SD slot for storing maps, photos and MP# files. You can get a full range of mapping products to use with these units including fishing hot spots, national and international maps. All three GPS units wil accept GPX files found here on gps basecamp.

The top of the line Sierra comes with 4GB of memory, you can add up to 32GB with a micro SD card. The pre-loaded maps include hi-res topographic maps, outdoor trail networks and POI (points of interest) as well as nationwide road maps.
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