Kansas Wildlife Federation

Friday, April 29 2005

USA Today covers the Missouri River

Filed under: — Dan @ 11:23am

USA Today carries this story on the woes of the Missouri River.

While the article is a pretty good introduction of why this is an important story, it unfortunately minimizes the role that the Army Corps of Engineers has played in this debacle. The Corps’ insistence on managing and maintaining the Missouri as a barge highway - despite the warnings of river scientists employed by the Corps itself - has made the situation much worse than it needs to be.

That’s the reason that the Kansas Wildlife Federation has joined in a lawsuit brought by the National Wildlife Federation and other colleagues against the ACE’s management regime. For more information on that, you can visit NWF’s page on the topic. While you’re there, sign up for NWF action alerts.

Wednesday, April 27 2005

Shotgun patterning for turkey

Filed under: — Dan @ 07:54pm

Some good things do come out of Missouri, including this article from the Missouri Department of Conservation on how to pattern your shotgun effectively for turkey hunting.

Lots of good tips in here to make sure you get the most out of your spring turkey season - you’ve got a month left, so get out there and test your pattern!

The menace of feral hogs

Filed under: — Dan @ 07:39pm

Forbes.com carries this story on the damage that feral hogs do to native landscapes.

While the article focuses on Texas, the lessons it carries - the damage these animals can do to crops and rangeland - applies here to Kansas as well.

I’ve heard stories in many different places about wild pigs in Kansas. The KDWP has exactly the right idea here: no season, no bag limit. In places where pigs have become sport animals, the attempt to manage them as game has put real hardship on the land, as in most cases, it was land that was never meant to have them there.

Thursday, April 21 2005

Outdoor Kansas Kids Day on May 7

Filed under: — Dan @ 01:23pm

The Dodge Globe carries this article on this year’s Outdoor Kansas Kids Day,” which is at Meade State Park. This is just one in a series of events put on by Kansas Wildscapes Foundation (the other KWF), the Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks, and the Kansas Parks & Recreation Association, along with Bass Pro Shops and Capitol Federal.

This year’s program includes bird houses, archery, and fishing. To find out about an OK Kids Day in your neck of the woods, visit the Wildscape website. To find out about Meade State Park, take advantage of the new Department of Wildlife & Parks website and see their entry.

Monday, April 18 2005

Pre-emption bill passes

Filed under: — Dan @ 03:04pm

The Wichita Eagle has this article on a new law pre-empting local laws on firearms transport in Kansas. The practical upshot is that it will be legal in Kansas, no matter where you are, to have your firearm in your car if it’s encased and unloaded.

It’s important to point out that this isn’t a requirement that firearms be encased - if your city or county currently does not require casing, then you are still not required to carry your firearm cased. What the bill does do is make a uniform standard across the state that should give hunters a lot of peace of mind.

This is one of the bills that the Kansas Wildlife Federation worked on during the session, and we’re quite pleased to see the Governor has signed it.

Friday, April 15 2005

KDWP gets out of the paper chase

Filed under: — Dan @ 02:46pm

The Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks is joining the 21st century, as it is getting out of the business of issuing paper hunting and fishing licenses.

I’ve heard several gripes about this, both from sportsmen and license vendors. However, there’s an important upside here, that isn’t getting mentioned in the Tribune article. By moving to a paperless system, the KDWP can have much better information for its law enforcement team. Now instead of having to research a box full of paper in Pratt, the Department can know instantly if out-of-state violators who aren’t eligible to hunt in Kansas are making the attempt to buy a license here.

Monday, April 11 2005

Kansan one of the 2005 National Wetlands Awards winners

Filed under: — Dan @ 04:42pm

Congratulations are in order for Barth Crouch, who is one of the winners of the 2005 National Wetlands Awards.

If you’ve been to a Pheasants Forever or a Quail Unlimited function in the state, you’ve probably met Barth, who has done an enormous amount of work for our state’s upland bird populations as PF’s regional biologist.

But Barth has also been a tremendous source of energy and knowledge for our state’s wetlands, particularly its playa lakes. He’s one of the founders behind the Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams, and he’s also on the Board of the Playa Lakes Joint Venture. Barth also helped craft the new extension of the CRP to include playa wetlands.

Congratulations to Barth Crouch!

Friday, April 8 2005

Stewardship for Grouse Creek

Filed under: — Dan @ 04:19pm

From the Ark City News comes this important story that the Grouse-Silver Creek Watershed district is changing its focus.

The news is important for a few different reasons. One is that Grouse Creek is a “reference stream” - a benchmark by which the water quality of other streams in the state and the country ar measured. The District’s recognition of this, and commitment to protecting the stream, is an important development for the future. Few steams in Kansas have been left so intact.

Another is that this will be another nail in the coffin for the idea of a dam on Grouse Creek. The idea has been circulated for a while of the creation of a resort lake in Cowley County by damming this irreplacable resource, and now the watershed district is almost inevitably in the anti-dam camp.

Lastly, the concepts of watershed management in Kansas have been synonymous with ideas such as building dams, culverting, channelizing, etc., etc. Those activities can hurt as much as they help, often making flooding worse while beating up the quality and the quantity of the water.

Wednesday, April 6 2005

Another state gets ready to tackle mercury emissions…

If the Feds won’t tackle mercury emissions, it’s up to the states to get it done. Minnesota legislators have joined the ranks of those who have recognized this, with the bi-partisan introduction of a bill to require a 90% reduction in mercury emissions from coal-fired power-plants in the state.

Why 90%? Because that’s the realistically available level of control given the technology on the market today. By contrast, the EPA’s new rules only require a 50% reduction over a fifteen-year period. The EPA’s plan puts 4 times as much mercury in the air from power plants as we would if the best available controls were required.

Monday, April 4 2005

White bass fishing tips!

Filed under: — Dan @ 04:20pm

Ned Kedhe always has something to say about fishing in Kansas, and here’s a timely column of his in the Topeka Capitol Journal on white bass fishing.

Bottom line: this is the month to get out and do it, because we’re hitting the prime spawning time. Just as encouraging, however, is that a long-term decline in the Kansas white bass fishery may be turning around.

According to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, white bass are found in most of the state’s larger reservoirs. So good luck!

Legislative wrap-up

Filed under: — Dan @ 03:59pm

Michael Pearce has this legislative wrap-up in the Wichita Eagle.

One good thing to note is that the Interstate Wildlife Violators Compact has passed and will be signed by the Governor.

Also the bill that would sabotage land acquistion in the state looks like it’s going nowhere. Special thanks go to the emailers who’ve been hitting this one - When I chatted with Senator David Weysong about this bill, he said “every email I’ve gotten on this one tells me to vote against it.”

Look for an update later this week on what we can do to save the poaching bill.

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