Kansas Wildlife Federation

Wednesday, November 24 2004

LJ World slants wind power news

Filed under: — Dan @ 09:54am

I don’t mind media bias, really, I just don’t like media outlets that pretend to be objective while pursuing an agenda, or outlets that misrepresent the actual facts.

A great case in point is the Lawrence Journal World’s recent story, “Plan would limit wind energy farms.” The misrepresentations start in the very first paragraph, as the story leads off with:

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius on Monday put a prime area of potential wind energy off-limits to near-term development, citing a need to protect the scenic Flint Hills.

Compare that with the lead from the Wichita Eagle’s story, “State hopes to link wind farm regulation”:

About a third of the Flint Hills should remain free of wind turbines until further guidelines for their development emerge at the both the state and local levels, a state panel has recommended.

There’s a lot more to the LJ World story, and a lot more to what’s actually going on. To read it, click here for more. (more…)

Monday, November 22 2004

Join or renew online!

Filed under: — Dan @ 04:26pm

It’s only a start, and we’re going to work to make it more sophisticated soon, but it’s better than nothing: KWF’s Online Store is now open for business.

We’re hoping to have some items such as hats and Kansas landscape photography up on the site in time for your Christmas shopping, so watch this space for more details. In the meantime, you can renew your membership or join right now with your Visa or Mastercard.

Thursday, November 18 2004

Peak days for deer-car collisions

Filed under: — Dan @ 01:03pm

One of the issues that always comes up during a discussion of deer hunting laws is the subject of deer-car collisions. These incidents in Kansas seem to peak about November 17 of each year, so this is the prime time for caution and high-beams.

This story from the Lawrence Journal-World has good information, not only on how to avoid the collisions, but why this is such a hot issue in the state. Looking at the table that accompanies the story, the rate of deer-car accidents doubled in just ten years.

Kansas roads are safer than some states and more dangerous than others. Drivers in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Missouri contend with larger deer populations than we do, and have more drivers on the roads, yet have fewer accidents.

Of particular note is this piece of advice:

Don’t swerve to avoid a collision with a deer. The most serious accidents occur when motorists are taking evasive action.

Remembering that in the actual moment, of course, is something else entirely.

Tuesday, November 16 2004

The impact of pheasant season

Filed under: — Dan @ 09:49am

The Wichita Eagle carries this story about the impact of pheasant season on local economies. When 100,000 people show up at the doorstep, there are going to be some opportunities.

A lot of people out enjoying the outdoors, people making their livelihoods from hunting - all of that can be terrific. The challenge that we have as a state and as sportsmen is to make sure that the dollar signs don’t cloud our eyes.

If we treat wildlife as a goldmine, and try to pump the maximum value out in the shortest time, we’re going to play that goldmine out, and we’ll lose our state’s natural heritage. Pheasants, quail, and prairie-chickens have all been consistently declining over the past 30 years, and one good season won’t reverse that. Good management with an eye to the future will make sure we have both the wildlife and the economic benefits they bring.

Friday, November 12 2004

Confessions in Whooping Crane shootings

Filed under: — Dan @ 09:11am

The US Fish & Wildlife Service has announced that it has received confessions from the shooters of two whooping cranes.

The shooters in question were a party of seven people from southwest Kansas, who apparently believed they were shooting at sandhill cranes.

As excuses go, that’s particularly thin. A quote from the LJ World story sums that up:

Jim Kellenberger, a hunting education instructor and retired game warden, said the conditions weren’t an excuse for shooting the birds.

“We teach all the kids in hunter education that you have to identify the target before you pull the trigger,” Kellenberger said. “If you can’t ID something, you just don’t shoot.”

It should be noted that the sandhilll crane season in Kansas has been in place since 1992, and this is the first shooting of whooping cranes in that 12 years.

The Kansas Wildlife Federation is putting together a reward fund for the landowners in this case who turned in the responsible party. If you wish to contribute to the fund, you can mail a check to the KWF office, or give by credit card by calling us here at (785) 232-3238.

Wednesday, November 10 2004

Mountain lions in Kansas

The question of mountain lions in Kansas comes up pretty frequently. The predators seem to pass through the state from places like Colorado and New Mexico, but it’s doubtful they stay too long here.

A woman in Colby says she’s spotted a mountain lion near her place. Her neighbors seem to shrug it off:

Carson said others have seen the cat. “We all leave it alone,” she said. “We all get along with it.”

Turkeys not destroying crops

Filed under: — Dan @ 10:16am

The successful increase in turkey populations in Kansas has a cost: many Kansans believe that turkeys are responsible for the decline in quail populations or that turkeys are causing massive amounts of crop damage.

But research that’s come out from Purdue University shows little crop damage from turkeys. Field biologists worked for two years to try to find significant damage to corn and wheat fields in Indiana from turkey populations, using night vision cameras and tracking devices.

What they found instead was that nocturnal animals such as deer and racoons were the pillagers, doing 95% of the damage.

The word can’t get spread fast enough: California grape growers are looking for crop depredation permits to kill turkeys, believing that the birds are destroying their vineyards. (Warning: this link has a lot of annoying pop-ups.)

Wednesday, November 3 2004

Felony poaching conviction

Filed under: — Dan @ 09:37am

It seems a little ungrateful to be anything other than enthusiastic about a felony conviction for poaching in Kansas, yet it’s hard to get too excited about the expected sentencing for Steven Pittman.

Pittman was found with parts from 60 different deer, but is being sentenced for possessing six. For a felony conviction, Pittman will serve 90 days in a work-release setting, and will be find $6,000. Frankly, for someone who’s killed 60 deer and sold their antler racks, that’s walking around money. Additionally, work-release programs are for people who pose a minimum risk to the community, and it’s hard to see how Pittman fits that description.

Monday, November 1 2004

Web resource for landowners with quail

Filed under: — Dan @ 02:02pm

While looking for information on the new “bobwhite buffers” program, I came across this website for the Missouri Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

The MASWD has a useful online newsletter called “The Covey.” This is a great little resource, full of land management techniques, information on government programs, and this particular issue has some info on why turkeys are not a threat to bobwhite quail.

Highly recommended. I looked for a Kansas equivalent, but couldn’t locate it - if you know of one, please email to info@kswildlife.org.

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