Monthly Archives: October 2012

Facebook Founder’s Year of Eating Only Self-harvested Meat

by Agnieszka Spieszny

Outdoor Hub Reporter
Mark Zuckerberg, best known as the founder and CEO of the social networking site Facebook, is perhaps one of the most overlooked “celebrity” hunters…until now.

In May of 2011, he set out on a personal, one-year challenge to eat only meat that he kills. To get away from all things Facebook, Zuckerberg is known to set yearly challenges for himself such as wearing neck-ties every day for a year, or much more “academic” challenges such as learning Chinese by setting aside an hour a day to study.

His latest challenge came from one night when he hosted a pig roast at his house. In an email to Fortune, he explains,

A bunch of people told me that even though they loved eating pork, they really didn’t want to think about the fact that the pig used to be alive. That just seemed irresponsible to me. I don’t have an issue with anything people choose to eat, but I do think they should take responsibility and be thankful for what they eat rather than trying to ignore where it came from.

Zuckerberg started small. At first, he boiled a live lobster, then harvested and consumed a chicken and a goat. The New York Times stated that he purchased a hunting license and shot a bison as well. Although after he ended his year-long pledge that extended into August of 2012, he was quoted as saying that he spent most of the year as a vegetarian.

Huffington Post writer Laurel Miller raised the question of how much Zuckerberg was actually involved in dressing and preparing the animals he killed himself.

I respected Zuckerberg for his willingness to get closer to his food supply — until I read that his “killing” has been limited to just that. CNNMoney…and other online news source[s]…reports, ‘the dead creatures go to a butcher in Santa Cruz, who cuts them into parts.’

Excuse me, but slashing an animal’s neck doesn’t make you a hero. Nor does it make you a poster child for ‘knowing thy food source.’ …the real emotional and physical work of slaughtering an animal comes from the skinning, evisceration, and breaking down of a still-warm carcass into recognizable cuts, and removing the organs for later use.

So while Zuckerberg perhaps exuded what some consider a correct moral mentality in hopes of getting more people to admit to the source of their food, he should have talked to Ted Nugent or Hank Williams Jr. to take it all the way.

First statistically-valid lesser prairie chicken survey completed

PHOENIX, ARIZ. – The lesser prairie chicken is an iconic grassland grouse species native to parts of Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma. However, long-term population declines have brought state and federal agencies together in an attempt to better manage lesser prairie chickens and their habitats. Through a multi-state collaborative effort, the first statistically-valid, range-wide population estimate for the lesser prairie chicken has been produced, according to the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ (WAFWA) Grassland Initiative. The range-wide lesser prairie chicken population is estimated at 37,170 individuals.
The WAFWA Grassland Initiative collaborated with the Lesser Prairie Chicken Interstate Working Group, which is composed of biologists from state fish and wildlife departments within the range of the species, the Bureau of Land Management, and West Ecosystems, Inc. of Laramie, Wyo., to conduct a large-scale, helicopter-based survey of lesser prairie chicken leks across all five states. Leks are sites that the birds go to every spring for breeding. These surveys occurred from March-May and encompassed more than 300,000 square miles.
Survey results will be the baseline for a range-wide lesser prairie chicken management plan currently being developed by the five state wildlife agencies in collaboration with the WAFWA Grassland Initiative. This plan is expected to be completed by March 2013, and could influence the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) decision on whether or not to designate the lesser prairie chicken as a federally threatened or endangered species. The lesser prairie chicken has been considered a candidate under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) since 1998, and the Service expects to release a proposed rule on the status of the bird under the ESA in November 2012.
While the lesser prairie chicken population estimate may appear low, biologists are encouraged by what they found. The surveys this spring detected several previously unknown leks, despite severe drought conditions across the region last year. They also discovered leks in Kansas beyond what was thought to be the northern limit of the historic range of the species. Lesser prairie chicken numbers have been largely increasing in Kansas for the last 15 years, while populations have declined in parts of the southern portion of the range. Biologists believe this expansion may represent a northward shift in the population of the species caused by climatic conditions associated with changing precipitation patterns.
“Historically, we saw habitat conditions like we are observing now in the 1930s, and we thought the species went extinct”, said Bill Van Pelt, WAFWA Grassland Coordinator. “However, with habitat conservation programs being implemented through various Farm Bill programs and Candidate Conservation Agreements under the Endangered Species Act, we are seeing lesser prairie chickens maintaining themselves and even expanding into new areas in some parts of their range. This definitely boosts our confidence in coming up with a plan to maintain this species”, concludes Van Pelt.
The final survey report is available at Media Contact: Bill Van Pelt (602-717-5066)

‘Roadless rule’ upheld by nation’s highest court

By Amy Joi O’Donoghue

Deseret News

Environmentalists are celebrating the Monday decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to let stand the federal “roadless rule” that leaves protections in place for 45 million acres of national forest lands, including those in Utah.

The forest management rule limits road building and timber harvesting on undeveloped public lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service.

The state of Wyoming and the Colorado Mining Association brought a challenge to the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule, asserting it unfairly jeopardized multiple industries and hampered economic development.

Legal challenges also rested on the premise that by declaring so much land essentially off-limits to development, the federal agency was creating “wilderness” on its own, usurping the power vested in Congress through the 1964 Wilderness Act.

The rule, however, withstood judicial scrutiny in separate cases heard before both the 9th and 10th circuit courts of appeals and was again left in place with the highest court’s refusal to take up the matter on Monday, resolving what supporters say has been a decade of uncertainty over management of inventoried roadless areas.

Heidi McIntosh, associate director of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, said the preservation of the rule ensures continued protections for landscapes critical on a variety of fronts.

“This decision ensures the future integrity of Forest Service lands which are crucial to protecting our water, our wildlife habitat and awe-inspiring places of natural beauty,” she said. “Importantly, the appeals court confirmed yet again that federal agencies — the Forest Service or BLM — have the clear authority to protect the wild and natural character of public lands despite political pressure to open too many of these scenic lands to roads, mining, drilling and other development.”

Her sentiments were echoed by one of the nation’s leading conservation organizations.

“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court affirms the value of backcountry areas in sustaining healthy and secure habitat for fish and wildlife,” said Joel Webster, director of the Theodore Roosevelt ConservationPartnership Center for Western Lands. “These are values hunters and anglers both have benefited from and supported for years.

“Sound roadless conservation policies safeguard big-game habitat security, productive trout and salmon fisheries and our sporting traditions,” Webster said. “The 2001 roadless rule remains a strong mechanism for conserving America’s outdoor heritage. With the fall hunting season upon us, sportsmen can celebrate this legal victory by enjoying our favorite pastimes on America’s prime publicly owned hunting and fishing lands.”

Which Presidential Candidate Would You Rather Go Camping With?

by Outdoor Hub Reporters

The Washington Post and ABC conducted a telephone survey to determine which presidential candidate registered voters would most like to go overnight camping with. Between September 26 and 29, a random national sample of 1,101 adults via land-line and cell phone-only respondents.

Of those polled 48 percent of voters would rather go camping with Obama as opposed to Romney. About 34 percent of voters said that they would prefer to go camping with Romney. Four percent of voters polled would equally like to go camping with Romney or Obama, and 12 percent would not go camping with either, while 2 percent had no opinion.

View the poll results here with a capability to view results based on political party affiliation and educational status.

Playa Country Radio Focuses on Playas and the Ogallala Aquifer

In September, the Playa Country radio show started a series on playas—what they are, what they do, how to conserve them, and their important role in aquifer recharge.

Visit to listen to archived episodes or click on a link below.

What Is A Playa?

A New Mexico Playa Conservation Story

Playas Create Biodiversity

Ogallala Aquifer Conservation

Changes in Kansas Water Laws

Playa Restoration on Grissom Ranch

Ensuring Our Future Through Education

Geary County Fish and Game Association Youth Pheasant Hunt

The Geary County Fish and Game Association will conduct a youth pheasant hunt on Saturday, October 27. A limit of 20 youth ages 12-16 has been set for the hunt. All participants must pre-register and have in their possession their Hunter Education card. Registration forms may be picked up at the GCFGA headquarters at Sportsmen’s Acres, 3922 K-244 Spur Junction City, during open hours. Youth may register at[email protected]. For more information, contact Bill Ahlers at 785-238-8163.

Southeast Kansas Fishing Radio Show Lands AGLOW Honors

A Parsons, Kansas based radio show which airs throughout the summer on the local radio station KLKC was recently crowned “Best of Show” at the annual conference of the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers (AGLOW). The Conference, held late last month in BransonMissouri annually recognizes excellence in outdoor media from across the Midwest including newspaper columns, radio shows, TV shows, magazines and a number of other categories.

The winning show, Catch of the Week, is written by Labette County Kansas Tourism Director Jim Zaleski and co-hosted by long time KLKC morning host Steve Lardy. In this year’s competition the show actually garnered two awards in the Radio-Fishing category taking third place for a show about rattling fishing baits and first place for the show titled, Legislative Fishing.

The first place show was then judged against all other first place entries and chosen as the Best of Show Award for all Written or Electronic Media. The award winning episode discussed Kansas legislation that would affect the 65-year and older exemption from fishing and hunting licenses, explaining the loss of federal excise tax funding for outdoor recreation as the state loses license counts due to the age exemption.

“This was a difficult topic to approach on a radio show,” Zaleski explained during the awards ceremony. “Our hope was that the show would be informative and educational without taking a side on what was a very controversial issue, we could not be happier with the recognition.”

Zaleski has been involved with the outdoor writers group since the early 90’s as a tourism representative and became an active journalist member five years ago after writing and producing a PittsburgKansas based fishing radio show, Fishing the Four States with his tournament fishing partner Zac Udock.

Zaleski currently serves on the Board of Directors for AGLOW as Secretary of the Association. This is the second time Catch of the Week radio has been honored having received a first place in the fishing radio category two years ago.

A column under the same name also appears throughout the summer in the Parsons Sun Newspaper. “This award is humbling and comes as a very pleasant surprise. The media members of AGLOW are some of the best outdoor journalists in the world and it is an honor to be counted among them,” Zaleski said.

Youth Hunting Seasons help Pass It On

Special youth seasons offer great opportunities and lifetime memories

Three young hunters all took their first limits of ducks on Saturday, Sept. 29, and they saw hundreds of ducks. The hunting was great, and they nearly had the pool they were hunting at Jamestown Wildlife Area to themselves. After the evening hunt, they roasted hot dogs on an open fire then crawled into sleeping bags to dream of the morning hunt on Sunday. The three enthusiastic hunters were lucky enough to have an adult mentor take them hunting during the youth waterfowl season in the Low Plains Early Duck Zone.

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Pass It On program offers a variety of special youth hunting seasons designed to encourage adult mentors to take kids hunting. The first youth season of the fall was the youth deer season, which was Sept. 8-16. Many young deer hunters also had great success. At the Anthony Youth Deer Hunt, sponsored by the community of Anthony, Harper County landowners and KDWPT, 11 of the 12 youngsters took at least one deer, hunting just an evening and a morning.

All special youth seasons are scheduled before the regular season to give youngsters first chance. Hunting pressure during the special seasons is light, and public lands provide outstanding opportunities for the youth season as mentors and youth often have areas to themselves. The early-fall seasons are usually marked with mild weather and allow adult hunters a chance to mentor youth without giving up their own hunting time.

The youth season for the Low Plains Late Duck Zone is Oct. 18-19, and the youth-only season for the Southeast Duck Zone is Nov. 3-4. During youth waterfowl seasons, youth 15 and younger may hunt with a supervising adult 18 or older. The adult may not hunt. Resident youth do not need licenses or stamps. Ducks and geese may be hunted, and daily bag limits are the same as during the regular duck and goose seasons.

The last youth season of the fall is the youth pheasant and quail season, Nov. 3-4. Youth 16 and younger may hunt with an adult 18 or older. The adult may not hunt. Young hunters are allowed daily bag limits half of that allowed during the regular season, 2 rooster pheasants and 4 quail.

All persons born on or after July 1, 1957 must complete an approved hunter education course before hunting in Kansas, except that youth 15 and younger may hunt without hunter education while under direct adult supervision.

Take advantage of these great opportunities to pass on our hunting heritage. You’ll likely give a young hunter experiences he or she will never forget, and you may spark a flame in them that will burn the rest of their lives. Those three young duck hunters mentioned earlier are still talking nonstop about their hunting experience. Never underestimate the power of passing it on.

Farm Bill Expires; The Facts & Hopes

    The Farm Bill officially expired on Sunday, September 30th because Congress adjourned without reauthorizing or extending the bill. What does this mean? In the short term, no new contracts can be written for the Conservation Reserve Program, the Grassland Reserve Program, the Wetlands Reserve Program or the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Program. Speaker Boehner indicated that the House will examine the Farm Bill in November when members of Congress return after the election for the lame duck session. The Senate has already passed their version of the bill.
    For a report by the Congressional Research Service (Possible Extension or Expiration of the 2008 Farm Bill) visit the “Issues” tab on the Kansas Wildlife Federation homepage. This report does not provide any kind of advocacy position. It is a non-partisan review of the Farm Bill provided to members of congress and their committees.

The view of the Kansas Wildlife Federation regarding crafting of the next Farm Bill legislation is as follows:

“The federal Farm Bill may be the biggest factor influencing the well being of wildlife in Kansas. Almost all land in Kansas (98%) is in private ownership and most of that is in agriculture production, either growing crops or livestock. Thus if we are to have an impact on wildlife habitat and populations, it must be done on private land. The farm bill greatly influences how that land is managed.  It not only provides funding for conservation programs that improve wildlife habitat like the Conservation Reserve Program but also commodity programs that influence what crops will be grown. This aspect determines the amounts of native vegetation converted to cropping. That is why we must try to insure that a strong conservation title remains in every farm bill.

The Kansas Wildlife Federation has been working with our congressional delegation and other Kansas conservation organizations to incorporate strong conservation programs in the new Farm Bill. We support including conservation compliance, a sodsaver provision and retaining the successful Conservation Reserve (CRP), Grasslands Reserve (GRP) and Wetlands Reserve (WRP) programs.

KWF urges you to contact your congressional representative and let them know you support strong conservation programs in the 2012 Farm Bill.”

Slate Creek Wetlands Restoration Project Completed

Slate Creek was purchased for its current wetlands and wetland potential. Most recently a restoration project for the wetlands was completed. The original restoration plan indicated that these historical wetlands could be restored by building low profile berms, and installing properly designed water control structures and spillways throughout the Slate Creek floodplain.  The results would allow restoration on an additional 173 acres, bringing the total managed acres for the Slate Creek wetland complex to 243 acres.  The restoration provides shallow and open-water foraging habitat for northern pintails, mallards, redheads and canvasbacks, and provide habitat for species such as little blue heron, American bittern and marsh wren. For photos and historical information of the area click on the Kansas Wildlife Federation “Photo Gallery” in the side menu of its homepage.