From the PA Department of Military and Veterans Affairs comes the following information about the 2017 dates for the Regal Frit tour, something of a hegira for lep folks in the East:
The dates for 2017 Fort Indiantown Gap (FIG) Regal Fritillary Butterfly and Grassland Tours are:
June 30 (Friday),
July 1 (Saturday),
July 7 (Friday), and
July 8 (Saturday).
Please, arrive by 9:30 am to fill out required paperwork. The orientation and safety brief begins at 9:45 a.m. and the tour group leaves from the Picnic grove/USO Liberty Center promptly at 10 a.m. The tour will be approximately 3 hours long; attendees can leave the field tour earlier if needed.
Please, make sure that you have the information for THIS YEAR (2017) as press releases and web postings from previous years are still floating around the Internet. Up-to-date information and related materials can be found on our website: Regal Fritillary Butterfly at Fort Indiantown Gap
If you are traveling using Interstate 81, please use the Fort Indiantown Gap exit (# 85 or 85B depending on your direction of travel). There will be “Wildlife Events” signs with arrows directing you to the USO Liberty Center/Picnic Grove (immediately to the east of the intersection of Asher Miner Road, Clement Avenue, and State Route 443). Location of USO Liberty Building and Picnic Grove
Follow the instructions given by parking attendants. Participants will park around the Picnic Grove, directly across Clement Avenue from the USO Liberty Building. If you have requirements related to parking, walking, accessibility accommodations, or a large group, then let us know (email or phone beforehand or advise parking attendants) and we will make accommodations as best as we are able.
Be prepared to provide vehicle make, model, year, and color, license plate number, state, and insurance carrier (Section C of attached release statement). If possible, please fill out prior to your arrival.
After the brief orientation, tour attendees will caravan/convoy to the grassland habitat. All participants must be escorted by Wildlife or Training Center staff as the grassland habitat areas are restricted areas. While the focus of the tour is the Regal Fritillary Butterfly, we will draw attention to other insects, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and native plants found in the grassland habitat areas. This walking tour (100 feet to 1.5 miles) is for all ages, abilities, levels of butterfly identification skills, and will follow gravel trails and field mowed grass trails. We provide educational activities, entertainment, and special features for children. Feel free to bring your cameras, biting insect repellent, sun screen, and other personal comfort items. Drinking water will be provided.
Reservations or pre-registrations are not required and the tour is FREE. No rain dates will be made. The event is rain or shine…with the caveat that butterflies typically hide in vegetation and are not as active while it is raining!
If you have additional questions please feel free to send us an email (preferred method) or call the below phone number (connected to an answering machine). We will try to respond as quickly as possible; however, the adult regals will soon be flying so we are in the field most of the day.
We look forward to seeing you, your family, and friends this summer.
Fort Indiantown Gap Wildlife Office
PA Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
Building 11-19 Utility Road
RA-DMVA-Wildlife@pa.gov (preferred method)
717-861-2449 (answering machine for questions)