Kansas Wildlife Federation

Thursday, July 29 2004

West Nile Virus

Filed under: — Dan @ 03:28pm

The Abilene Reflector-Chronice has this story on controlling West Nile Virus.

Bottom line is that spraying probably won’t help very much, either in terms of actually controlling the bugs or halting the disease. The most effective thing governments can do is to address storm drains and to keep after homeowners and landoweners to address potential mosquito breeding sites.

The one bit of good news in the story is that children are no more susceptible to WNV than adults.

Monday, July 26 2004

Zebra Mussells and White Perch

Filed under: — Dan @ 10:19am

The aquatic invasion’s picking up speed, as related in this article from the Wichita Eagle.

Samples of water have found up to 25,000 larval mussells per cubic meter of water. The mussells are moving downstream past the dam as well.

Zebra mussells reduce the amount of plankton in a lake, driving down numbers of other mollusks and fish, and also clog water structures like pipes and intakes.

At the same time white perch have been discovered in another lake near Wichita.

So the bottom line on all of this is: Empty out everything - bait buckets, live wells, bilges - before you leave any lake or stream. The best thing is to keep your boat dry for five days between uses. If that’s not doable, wash everything out with HOT water of 140 degrees or higher, or else use a 10% chlorine solution.

Thursday, July 22 2004

Beautiful letter about wind energy

Filed under: — Dan @ 10:37am

It’s important to keep re-iterating that the Kansas Wildlife Federation is not against commercial wind power - but we are for the Flint Hills - and all the rest of our state’s remaining grasslands. When you examine the question of wind energy from this angle, you start to see some serious flaws in the plan.

So while we wouldn’t agree with everything in the letter quoted below, it’s an example of some important truths that often get overlooked in the discussion about commercial wind power.

The Manhattan Mercury News doesn’t seem to link its Letters to the Editor page, so I’ll just quote this piece in its entirety. Click on “more” to read it: (more…)

Tuesday, July 20 2004

Platte River Input Needed by August 20th.

Filed under: — Dan @ 01:48pm

Kansas is one of the most important stops along the Central Flyway for migratory birds.

But all of the Great Plains states are important for that migration route, and Nebraska’s Platte River plays a critical part for cranes, shore birds and waterfowl.

Like many rivers west of the Mississippi, the Platte is over-allocated - more water is awarded for pumping out than actually flows in.

Right now, our partners in the National Wildlife Federation and the Nebraska Wildlife Federation are working hard to make sure that management plans for the river take wildlife into account.

You can help by sending in your comments to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. NWF has made it easy for you: all you need to do is to click on this link and you’ll be taken to NWF’s letter page, where you can send your comments off in a few seconds.

And if you want to take a look at what’s at stake, National Geographic has some highlights of this year’s crane migration through the Platte River area.

The Cabela’s Catfish Tournament

Filed under: — Dan @ 01:29pm

Did you know that one of the four stops in the Cabela’s national catfishing tournament, the KingKat series, was held at Milford? Somehow I missed that.

Here’s a story about your winners: a pair of anglers from the Naperville, IL area. Jack Paul and Benji Powell did their homework, spent a day out scouting, and then teamed up to reel in 85 pounds of catfish.

The “in your face” moment, however, comes here:

“We could have brought in seven fish,” Paul noted. “But we only brought in six (for the victory). We didn’t have enough room in our boat’s live well. ”

Friday, July 16 2004

The NRA Tangles with Outdoor Writers

Filed under: — Dan @ 01:23pm

The Washington Post carries this story detailing a spat between the National Rifle Association and the Outdoor Writers of America.

The quick summary: the NRA warned the Outdoor Writers against supporting organizations like the Sierra Club, saying these groups are anti-hunting. The board of the Outdoor Writers of America sent a letter strongly condemning the NRA’s stance, and making the suggestion that the NRA doesn’t care about hunting and the natural resources of our nation.

Plenty of fault on both sides, actually. The NRA’s priority is guns in and of themselves, and whether or not there’s anything to hunt with your rifle or shotgun seems pretty far down their list of priorities. It certainly seems outlandish for the NRA to maintain that it “has contributed more to preserve hunting lands than any organization in this country.” I’m sure that would come as news to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation or Ducks Unlimited.

At the same time, it’s a little naive to think that there’s a natural friendship between the Sierra Club and hunters and anglers. When the Sierra Club magazine ran a piece called “Why I Hunt,” the article triggered a deluge of letters from members who were outraged that such a piece had sullied their newsletter. When Paul Watson ran for the organization’s Presidency, he made it clear his goal was to drive out hunters and anglers out of America’s National Forest lands.

We all want the same thing: a thriving outdoor world. But the vision of what we’re going to be allowed to do with it varies greatly from group to group, and it’s important to be honest about those differences.

Wednesday, July 14 2004

Less Than a Week for WIHA Enrollment

Filed under: — Dan @ 09:55am

If you have 80 or more contiguous acres, and have thought about enrolling it with the KDWP’s Walk-In Hunting Area program, you have less than a week to get your application in. The deadline for enrollment is July 20th.

A basic description is here at the Hutchinson Daily News - it’s the second entry down.

Take a look, and if you think you’d like to apply for a WIHA lease, call your nearest Wildlife & Parks regional office - a directory can be found on this portion of the KDWP’s website.

Tuesday, July 13 2004

More Developments with the Circle K

Filed under: — Dan @ 03:29pm

The Dodge City Daily Globe has this story on the latest developments with the Circle K Ranch.

As you might remember, the appraised value came in at about $3.2 million. The problem now is that the city leadership of Hays has ruled out selling at that price.

So the newest wrinkle is a possible co-purchase between the KDWP and Big Bend Groundwater Management District.

While the addition of 7,000 acres of wildlife habitat is a tremendous interest, the reason the Groundwater Management District might be involved is the retirement of 8,000 acre-feet of water rights.

Pennsylvanians Come to Kansas

Filed under: — Dan @ 03:18pm

It’s quite a ways from Noxen, PA to Kansas. So who makes the trip?

Someone who wants to experience great turkey hunting. Read more in this story from NorthEast Pennsylvania’s Times-Leader about Tony Hudak, the 100th person ever to complete a ‘Royal Slam.’

Particularly interesting is this quote:

He explained that the Midwest holds ideal turkey habitat.

“A lot of it, about 90 percent, is farmland interspersed with woodlots. You have these little shallow ravines surrounded by oak and hickory. Surrounding that, you have fields with corn, soybeans and alfalfa. You don’t have mountains like around here,” he said.

In other words, it’s a quality hunting landscape that many people can’t enjoy along the East Coast.

Monday, July 12 2004

JW Wind Power Waiting

Filed under: — Dan @ 12:00pm

In every county-level discussion of wind power siting regulations, the question eventually comes up: “Will the wind power companies sue?”

For now, JW Wind Power won’t sue Wabaunsee County over its Commission’s ban. My own reading of the article suggests that JW will wait to see how their project goes in the neighboring counties, and then try again for Wabaunsee land.

The Wabaunsee County vote to keep commercial wind energy out is important for two reasons: it demonstrates that contrary to the arguments of the wind proponents, that this is industrial development that warrants regulation, and that landowners in the Flint Hills are not joyfully lining up with contracts, eager to sign on.

Heroes You Don’t Hear About

Filed under: — Dan @ 10:40am

Kansas is just like the rest of America in at least one regard: we’re full of people doing great things that you don’t know about.

The link above goes to a Wichita Eagle story about Don Distler, who has made it his life’s work to restore the native prairie on a Wichita State University property.

He’s 76 now, but he’s still doing hard work at figuring out how to repel invaders and restore native plants. The research he’s done and is doing now will be invaluable to people who want to restore a native landscape.

Thursday, July 1 2004

July Bass Fishing Tips for Kansas

Filed under: — Dan @ 09:46am

Here in Topeka and Northeast Kansas, we’re having either one very long spring or an unseasonably cool summer.

But it’s bound to get hot eventually, and the fishing will change accordingly. Great Plains Game & Fish carries this article about hot weather bass fishing in Kansas.

Lots of good stuff here, especially the reminder about the Department of Wildlife and Parks effort to provide fishing access to private waters. That’s the Fishing Impoundment & Stream Habitat program, and you can get the atlas online at the KDWP website. (You’ll need Acrobat reader and a fast connection.)

Australia Gunning for Poachers

Filed under: — Dan @ 09:32am

The Australian government has apparently had enough of poachers and illegal fishing in their seas. Customs officials have fitted out a research boat with a boarding party and .50 caliber machine guns.

Said one Senator:

“This sends a very clear message to illegal fisherman that we are deadly serious about cracking down on the trade,” he said.

Yes, I think that would successfully send a signal.

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