Entrance fees will increase at Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks beginning Jan. 1, as well as additional increases to fees for wilderness and campground permits, the parks announced on Tuesday.
The move will help fund more projects to improve the parks, including restoring the Crystal Cave Trail area, creating exhibits and improving accessibility.
Single vehicles will instead pay $30 for a seven-day pass and $40 for an annual pass. Current prices are $20 for seven days and $30 for the year.
Individual seven-day passes will increase to $15. Visitors on motorcycles will pay $20 per individual for one year. The fee increases to $25 in 2017.
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Wilderness fees will see a change in their prices. Permits will cost $10, a dip from the $15 fee, but will be joined with a $5 fee per person. Camping fees at various sites will also see price increases of $8 to $10.
Pheasant season – The general pheasant season opens Saturday and goes through Dec. 27. The daily bag limit is two males per day for the first two days of the season and three males per day after that. Possession is triple the daily bag limit.
Native to Asia, the ring-necked pheasant was introduced to California as a game bird species in the late 1800s.
Numbers have been dropping since the most recent high in the late 1990s. Total pheasant harvest on public areas in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys declined from a high of 4,828 roosters in 1998 to 1,120 last year.
Because of the drought, Type A wildlife areas in the San Joaquin Valley (Los Banos Wildlife Area, Mendota Wildlife Area, North Grasslands Wildlife Area, Volta Wildlife Area and San Luis National Wildlife Refuge) will be open for pheasant hunting on Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays only during pheasant season.
Hunters must carry a current California hunting license in their possession. Adult hunters (18 or older) must also have an upland game bird validation.
Dove season – The second half of the 2015 dove season also opens Saturday and ends Dec. 28.
The daily bag limit remains 15 doves, mourning and white-winged, of which no more than 10 may be white-winged. The possession limit remains triple the daily bag limit, with hunters allowed to have 45 birds in possession (no more than 30 may be white-winged). The non-native, Eurasian-collared dove can be hunted year-round with no limits.
A no-shoot zone extends around the Fresno-Clovis city borders. Across Fresno County, the discharge of firearms is prohibited within a quarter-mile of any incorporated city. In rural areas, hunters must remain at least 150 yards away from homes or barns, and 200 yards from any artificial water source for wildlife. It is also illegal to shoot from or across a public road.
Legal hunting starts 30 minutes before sunrise and must stop at sunset.
China Peak – The Huntington Lake resort is hosting the premiere of Warren Miller’s latest adventure film “Chasing Shadows,” on Nov. 19. The screening is at 7:30 p.m. at Maya Cinemas, near Fresno State.
Tickets cost $10 and are available at www.skichinapeak.com. Each attendee will receive a free lift ticket valid from opening day through Dec. 13. China Peak representatives will also be handing out season pass photos and issuing new ones on site starting at 5 p.m. Music and giveaways are also planned.
A reminder that the resort’s annual Pray-4-Snow Party is Nov. 21 at Sequoia Brewing in Fresno.