Kansas Wildlife Federation

Tuesday, July 26 2005

2005 Outdoor Skills Camp!

Filed under: — Dan @ 07:42pm

If you’re between 12-18 years old - or if you know a budding outdoorsmen who is - then take this opportunity to get involved with KWF’s Outdoor Skills Camp for 2005.

Outdoor Skills Camp is a program to develop young people into being better hunters, anglers, and furharvesters. OSC features small groups and expert instruction. Since every attendee must be accompanied by an adult, it makes for an ideal weekend for father and sons - or fathers and daughters.

Classes will be held in wildlife habitat management, furharvesting, wingshooting, fishing, wild turkey hunting, and more. The intensive nature of the classes guarantees that youngsters will come away with a deepened passion and expertise.

Outdoor Skills Camp will be held at Rock Springs 4-H Camp, which is south of Junction City, and the camp is on October 1-2.

For more information, or to enroll, call Charlie Lee at (785) 532-5734.

Tuesday, July 19 2005

Bird dog breeders threatened by Senator Santorum

Filed under: — Dan @ 01:55pm

If you don’t visit the US Sportsmen’s Alliance webpage, take a second now to go over and add it to your favorites. The USSA is a consortium of sportsmen’s organizations that keep an eye on the national scene for trends and legislative threats that could keep sportsmen out of the outdoors.

And proving once again that it’s not just Democrats who threaten outdoorsmen, the USSA is urging you to contact your national Senator, and urge him or her to reject SB 1139, a bill floated by Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania. ) In typical federal fashion, SB 1139 takes a perceived problem and solves it by attacking people who have nothing to do with the problem in the first place. (Gun owners should be familiar with this drill by now.)

If you breed or buy bird dogs, you need to know about this bill. Take a look, and if you need to get the number for Sam Brownback or Pat Roberts, give us a call at 785-232-3238.

Friday, July 15 2005

Summertime: Out on the water

Filed under: — Dan @ 09:10pm

With the July heat, it’s a great time to get out to the great lakes in Kansas. A couple of stories to keep in mind:

We’ve said it before, and we’ll probably say it again, but Milford Lake is one of the country’s best fisheries and recreational areas. This story by Michael Pearce in the Wichita Eagle talks about how these are the good old days for Milford.

If you’re taking kids out on the water, keep in mind that Kansas law now requires children under 12 to have a life jacket on while boating. Of course, you shouldn’t neet a law to tell you that. Getting killed on the water isn’t hard, and this story from the Pratt Tribune goes into detail as to how easy it’s been for people to get killed while trying to retrieve rubber rafts. 703 people died in boating mishaps last year, and 85% weren’t wearing life jackets.

Tuesday, July 12 2005

Public lands: keeping wildlife habitat intact

Filed under: — Dan @ 12:53pm

One of the slogans in Kansas is “private land in private hands.” There’s a proud tradition of independence and good stewardship reflected in that sentiment.

As suburban sprawl changes the landscape, it also has changes that affect everyone who lives in the area. Water quality is harder to maintain, and wildlife habitat fragments, or disappears entirely.

One good example is the land owned by KWF member William Pracht. As detailed in this Wichita Eagle article on his privately-owned wetland area, Mr. Pracht is trying a wide variety of strategies to keep his land from becoming 80 acres of houses.

In many states, this could be accomplished by giving the the deed for the property to a non-profit, and then the non-profit would deed it over the state’s wildlife agency to be managed as a public wildlife area.

Thursday, July 7 2005

Rural land: Buy it if you can while you can

Filed under: — Dan @ 12:27pm

Not too many people are in a position to become landowners of recreational ground, which is one of the reasons KWF believes so strongly in the state’s being able to buy land for public wildlife management.

However, if you are thinking about buying some ground to hunt on, the old rule of real estate is still true: the time to buy is now. That’s particularly true of farm ground, as this article from the Financial Times shows: rural property values are climbing fast.

What’s driving this explosion? A combination of factors, but urban sprawl pushes up value, as does the need for recreational property, as does a recent wave of good crop prices.

Land doesn’t usually get cheaper after gets more expensive, so if you have your eye on something, now may be the time.

And if you can’t buy something of your own, there’s one thing you must do: call your state legislator, and ask that he or she back the purchase of wildlife management areas. If you don’t know who your legislators are, call us at the KWF office, and we’ll fill you in.

Wednesday, July 6 2005

The bird mashers in Altamont

Filed under: — Dan @ 04:05pm

Wind power advocates like to reassure people that great strides have been made in protecting birds from getting killed in wind turbine complexes.

Maybe, but as this article from the Associated Press goes, that may not quite be the case.

Here’s the killer quote:

An estimated 1,700 to 4,700 birds are killed each year in the 50-square-mile Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area, and of those fatalities, between 880 and 1,300 are federally protected raptors such as burrowing owls, red-tailed hawks and golden eagles, according to a study released last year by the California Energy Commission.

“Altamont is killing more birds of prey than any other wind farm in North America,” said Jeff Miller, a wildlife advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Incredible numbers of raptors are being killed there, and it’s hard to believe it’s not having effects on the populations.”

Kansas, being in the center of the country, has a great deal of migratory birds to think about, including ducks and geese, as well as raptors.

While KWF doesn’t have anything against wind power in and of itself, the lack of siting guidelines is a failure to be good stewards to our world.

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