Kansas Wildlife Federation

Wednesday, May 26 2004

Outdoor Adventure Camp Enrollment Now Open

Filed under: — Dan @ 03:11pm

If you are a Kansas youngster - or have a youngster who will be between the ages of 10 and 12 this summer and who enjoys the outdoors - now is the time to make plans to attend Outdoor Adventure Camp. The camp will be held at the Camp WaShunGa area of Rock Springs 4-H Center (just south of Junction City) and runs from Saturday, July 17 through Thursday, July 22. Outdoor Adventure Camp (OAC) is sponsored by the Kansas Wildlife Federation and is open to all Kansas youngsters, male or female.

Mornings will be spent hiking the grounds at Rock Springs with instructors, getting a hands-on feel for how the various animals and plants live together in the place we call Kansas. Afternoons are spent learning about several general interest areas of the Kansas outdoors, including mammals, insects, birds, fish, and amphibians and reptiles. Instructors come from the ranks of Wildlife and Parks, Kansas State University, NRCS, County Conservation Districts, and other organizations.

Since the prairie doesn’t go to sleep at sundown, neither will you. Depending on the evening, you may be out and about prowling for owls, star-gazing, or watching bats gobble bugs. Daily dips in the pool are always on the agenda (sometimes twice) and you will get a chance to sit around a campfire, eat s’mores, and tell stories. Always one evening, we go up to the pond and have a friendly bit of competition with a FISHING CONTEST!

Other activities planned are scavenger hunts; water sports to include swimming and canoeing; fishing; shooting sports to include rifle, shotgun, muzzleloader, archery, and pellet gun; arts and crafts; and even horseback riding. You will get to pick your choices for some of these activities and be able to participate in all if you like. We always take a day-trip to the Milford Nature Center and Fish Hatchery too.

So, a swimsuit, sleeping gear, and clothes you’ll wear for a week are about all you need to bring along. Food, instruction, and lodging are all included in the price of the camp. Things like sunscreen, insect repellent, a cap, and a water bottle are other things that will certainly come in handy. The price for the entire week is $215. Space is limited and the registration deadline is July 15.

Send your application and full fee to Theresa Berger, Outdoor Adventure Camp, 406 S. New York Ave, Sylvan Grove, Kansas 67481. Checks should be made out to the Kansas Wildlife Federation. If you need more information or an application, phone 785-526-7466 evenings or 785-658-2465 during the day. You can e-mail us at bergkwf@wtciweb.com.

Thursday, May 20 2004

Jail Time for Filling in Wetlands?

Filed under: — Dan @ 02:54pm

This story from the New York Times has shown up on various websites: a Michigan man faces federal prison for filling in wetlands.

Is it outrageous that this man faces more jail time than some drug dealers? Or that a non-violent first-time offender is looking at a five-year sentence?

Possibly. On the other hand, if he’d constructed a dam illegally, depriving his downstream neighbors of water they had a right to, he’d be prosecuted and no one would be at all surprised. If he’d killed 40 ducks out of season without a permit, he’d get prosecuted, and again, no one would be surprised. By filling in seasonal wetlands, he’s harming wildlife and water quality, but because it’s water we can’t see, some people get baffled and up in arms.

One of the ways we can fix the West’s water shortage is to treat groundwater as carefully as we do surface water.

Chronic Wasting Disease Not Found in Missouri

Filed under: — Dan @ 02:41pm

It’s not often that not finding something is news-worthy, but here’s an exception: a study of the Missouri deer herd found no evidence of chronic wasting disease.

Let’s hope they keep not finding it - there hasn’t been a lot of good news on CWD.

Tuesday, May 18 2004

Illinois Geologist: Corps Makes Flooding Worse

Filed under: — Dan @ 11:15am

From the Missouri Coalition for the Environment comes this news: a multi-million dollar review by the Army Corps of Engineers has seriously understated the risk of flooding on the Mississippi, Missouri and Illinois rivers.

Why would the Corps, an agency that spends billions on flood control, under-estimate the risk of flooding? Dr. Nicholas Pinter, a geologist from Southern Illinois University, reviewed the Corps’ data, and found that the Corps presenters consistently manipulated the data in their study to make big dams look more efficient and make levees look less problematic.

What the press release doesn’t really explain is why levees exacerbate floods. It’s somewhat counter-intuitive, but many flood control measures, such as culverts, rip-raps, channelization and levees, end up making the problem worse instead of better. That’s because what all of these structures have in common is that they concentrate the water and aim it in one direction, increasing speed, flow, and destructive power. Think of the difference between a garden hose - a fast, powerful flow of water - versus pouring a bucket out.

Thursday, May 13 2004

Californians Come to Kansas

Filed under: — Dan @ 08:55am

Interesting and fun story from the LA Daily News: a 12-year old boy from Pasadena gets his bird in the Governor’s Turkey Hunt. Take a look at the story; Tim Hoffman didn’t just get a 19-pounder in the one shot event. He also won the National Wild Turkey Federation’s youth writing contest, along with some nice prizes, with this essay.

Two things that pop out at me here. One is that I don’t know about you, but I didn’t have a week like that when I was twelve. What a go-getter kid! The other is that I know there is good hunting in California. If someone’s willing to bring his kids to Kansas from there, that says a lot about what we have here. It’s too bad more Kansans (like many in the Legislature, for instance) don’t realize what a special place we have.

Tuesday, May 11 2004

Chronic Wasting Disease Lingers

Filed under: — Dan @ 02:52pm

Not exactly a day-brightener, but it’s worth reporting: chronic wasting disease apparently lingers in the environment. The disease is not only tranmissable from animal to animal, but also from ground to animal, for as long as two years. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is acting to kill off as many infected animals as possible, in an attempt to limit possible sources of new disease exposure.

CWD is apparently similar to Mad Cow Disease, whereby prions infect the brain tissue of the animal. It’s important to point out that cooking doesn’t protect you from the disease.

Friday, May 7 2004

If Only There Were More Like Him….

Filed under: — Dan @ 11:01am

Steve Sorensen sends this news along from the Kansas Wildlife Officers Association. No link, so I’ll quote the whole thing:

JUDGE HONORED BY NATURAL RESOURCE OFFICERS

Long-time dedication to natural resource law cited

At the Kansas Wildlife and Parks annual law enforcement in-service training in Salina last March, Magistrate Judge Adrian Lapka, Minneapolis, received an award of appreciation from the Kansas Wildlife Officers Association. Judge Lapka received his recognition plaque for his years of support to the natural resources of Kansas while serving as magistrate judge of Ottawa and Saline counties.

“Judge Lapka has a history of solid judgments against wildlife violators who are found guilty in his courts,” says local natural resource officer Greg Salisbury, who nominated Lapka for his award. “Judge Lapka levies appropriate fines to those who harm the natural resources of the state of Kansas.”

Magistrate Judge William Barker of Abilene also received recognition from the Kansas Wildlife Officers Association.

For me, the critical point is in the second paragraph. The fact that the judge stands out for levying appropriate fines not only says good things about him, but also why Kansas has a problem with poaching and illegal hunting.

Wednesday, May 5 2004

Spring Turkey Hunting Tips

Filed under: — Dan @ 12:25pm

In an earlier post, I mentioned that a lot of you are leaving me some water while doing some spring turkey hunting. If you haven’t gotten out for that yet, here’s a good article from ESPN Outdoors on spring turkey hunting tips.

A couple of good points in the article. One, with all of the spring turkey hunts that have been happening, the turkeys that are out there have heard your calls before, and they’re getting wise. Secondly, a lot of mating has already happened by the time most states have their openers, so softer and less frequent calls may be more productive.

The spring season ends on May 31, so us working stiffs have four more weekends to make it happen.

Another Poaching Story

Filed under: — Dan @ 12:08pm

Don’t know how I missed this one the first time around, but it’s a biggie: an Augusta man and a minor have been charged in one of the biggest Kansas poaching cases in recent history.

Evidence found included parts of more than 60 deer and 114 turkeys. The alleged poacher in question is looking at 24 misdemeanor counts and 2 felonies.

District Attorneys and judges in Kansas often look on wildlife crimes as being “not really crimes.” But this one will (hopefully) be hard to ignore.

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