Monthly Archives: April 2013

Tips for Safe Boating

Recreational boating – enjoyed by more than 70 million Americans each year – can be a wonderful way to spend time with family and friends. Making safety a priority can ensure that boating stays fun. Unfortunately, more than 3,000 people are injured and approximately 700 die in boating incidents each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

In an effort to prevent such tragedy, May 18-24 is recognized as National Safe Boating Week. The following safety tips from The Lehigh Group make sure that time spent in and around the water this summer is both enjoyable and safe.

Wear It – Properly fitted life jackets can prevent drowning and should be worn at all times by everyone on any boat. Comfortable Coast Guard-approved life jackets are widely available.

Take a Course – More than 7 out of every ten boating incidents are caused by operator error. Boating education courses teach the rules for safe operation and navigation of recreational boats, and can help boat operators keep their passengers safe.

Upgrade Equipment – An upgrade or rope replacement will mean better performance and higher safety assurance for captains and first mates alike. Look for changing color or fraying in your ropes as a signal of age and wear. U/V rays can break down the fibers in rope, making them more prone to fading and tears. If these signs are present, it is best to discard and replace with high-performance rope, such as Wellington®-branded marine cordage, which has elasticity that allows it to absorb sudden shock loads, and resists rot, abrasion, mildew, marine growth, gasoline and oil.

Don’t Drink – Alcohol use affects judgment, vision, balance and coordination, and is involved in about one-third of all recreational boating fatalities, according to the CDC. Boating under the influence of alcohol is just as deadly as drinking and driving. Due to sun exposure and heat, people are likely to become impaired more quickly when on the water. So play it safe and avoid alcohol when boating.

Take a Course – More than 7 out of every ten boating incidents are caused by operator error. Boating education courses teach the rules for safe operation and navigation of recreational boats, and can help boat operators keep their passengers safe.

Know about Carbon Monoxide – Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless and poisonous gas that is emitted by all internal combustion engines, such as boat engines and onboard motor generators. In the early stages, the symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to seasickness, but CO can kill in a matter of minutes. The only way to detect CO is with an alarm, so install CO alarms on board, especially in living and sleeping areas of large craft. In smaller vessels, consider a portable carbon monoxide alarm sized just right for travel and recreation.

Dave & Mary Hendricks to host 2013 Agroforestry Field Day in Trego County, Kansas

                                     Photo Credit: K-State Research and Extension
On May 8, the Kansas Forest Service will host the 2013 Agroforestry Field Day in Trego County to educate participants on current issues facing agroforestry in Kansas. 
The field day, located near Wakeeney, Kan. on the farm of Dave and Mary Hendricks, will focus on the wildlife habitat the Hendricks have created through planting and renovating windbreaks and establishing native grass and wildflower plantings.  Suggestions on row removal, selective thinning, watering and establishing additional tree rows will be provided. 
The Hendricks are known throughout western Kansas for their wildlife habitat and conservation achievements.   The couple will be recognized by the Kansas Forestry Association and the Kansas Forest Service as recipients of the 2013 Kansas Agroforestry Award.  The award is presented to landowners who do an exceptional job implementing agroforestry practices on their property such as riparian forest buffers and shelterbelts. David is also on the Board of Directors of the Kansas Wildlife Federation.
For further details visit the K-State Research and Extension News<>

Kansas Youth Right on Target

Nearly 300 students competed in state archery tournament April 6 in hopes of making nationals

Kansas Archery in the Schools program hosted the fourth annual state archery tournament, Saturday, April 6, at Fort Hays State University.

The Kansas Archery program operates under the umbrella of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and the National Archery in the Schools (NASP) program, a nonprofit foundation aimed at promoting international-style target archery among students in grades 4-12.

With the help of KDWPT and NASP, program coordinators are able to introduce archery as a fun, lifelong activity to young people who may have never taken up the sport otherwise. Currently, there are 223Kansas schools involved with this program.

Out of the nearly 300 participants in attendance, a total of nine teams and nine individuals qualified to compete at the national level.

Students from 13 communities competed this year, including: Anthony-Harper, Clearwater, Erie, Greely County (Tribune), Healy, Hugoton, Jackson Heights (Holton), Kingman, Neodesha, Otis-Bison, Prairie Trail Middle School (Olathe), Rose Hill, and Stockton.

Competing in one of three grade divisions, elementary school (4-6), middle school (7-8), or high school (9-12), participants are required to shoot five arrows in each of the three rounds from a distance of 10 meters and a distance of 15 meters.

A score of 300 points is considered perfect, which would be scores of 10 on each of the 30 total arrows they can be scored on.

Individual students that qualified for nationals are as follows:

Elementary Division

1st – Katelyn Blanco, Clearwater

2nd – Jack Rowland, Clearwater

3rd – Abram Avelar, Clearwater

Middle School Division

1st – Tatyana Miner, Clearwater (Top female and top overall shooter with a score of 279)

2nd – Taylor Cowlas, Clearwater

3rd – Brad Lightfoot, Otis-Bison

High School Division

1st – Jessica Koch, Clearwater

2nd – Brandon Williams, Clearwater (Top male shooter with a score of 264)

3rd – Kyle Reed, Clearwater

Teams that qualified for nationals are as follows:

Elementary School Division

1st – Clearwater Columbia

2nd – Anthony

3rd – Clearwater Navy

Middle School Division

1st – Clearwater Columbia

2nd – Clearwater Navy

3rd – Anthony MS

High School Division

1st – Clearwater Columbia

2nd – Jackson Heights

3rd – Clearwater Navy

“This event was a huge success this year, largely due in part to our dedicated and hard working staff,” said KDWPT wildlife education coordinator Mike Rader. “This program wouldn’t be possible without people like Joyce Ellis, the event coordinator at Fort Hays State University, Gary Keehn, the Kansas NASP state coordinator, all the NASP trainers, KDWPT employees, the Fort Hays State University students and the many other volunteers who set up and ran this competition. It was a great time.”

Qualified participants will compete at the National Archery in the Schools tournament in LouisvilleKentucky May 10-11.

For more information, visit and click “Services / Education / Archery in the Schools,” or email Rader at [email protected].

Becoming an Outdoors-Women Offers Crash-course in Outdoor Skills and Cooking

Women age 18 and older can learn various outdoor skills during this one-day, hands-on event

Becoming An Outdoors-Woman (BOW), an educational program of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, will host a one-day event to teach women basic outdoor skills Saturday, June 15 at Shawnee State Lake inTopeka.

BOW TOO (Taste of the Outdoors) will feature workshops in rifle shooting, archery, fishing, and camp cooking.

Cost for the one-day event is $40, which includes class supplies and equipment, as well as lunch.

Interested women are encouraged to apply early as the 2013 BOW TOO workshop is limited to 12 participants.

For more information, or to register for this event, contact Kansas BOW coordinator Jami McCabe at[email protected] or (785) 845-5052.

To learn more and view pictures of past workshops, visit the BOW Facebook page found under “Becoming an Outdoors Woman KANSAS.”

Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission to Meet in Wichita

Evening public hearing session will include setting 2013 antelope and elk seasons

The Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission will conduct a public meeting and hearing on Thursday, April 25, at the Great Plains Nature Center

6232 E 29th St. NWichita

. The afternoon session will begin at 1:30 p.m. and recess at 5 p.m., and the evening session will begin at 7 p.m.

The afternoon session will begin with time for public comments on non-agenda items. The general discussion period will cover the following topics: Secretary’s remarks about agency and state fiscal status and an update on the 2013 legislative session, a report on the Lincoln Street/Arkansas River project, fishing regulations, park regulations and late migratory bird seasons.

During the afternoon session, commissioners will workshop items that were covered under General Discussion at the March meeting. Workshop topics, which will be discussed for potential regulatory action at a future meeting, include regulations covering early migratory bird seasons, agritourism, Fort Riley deer seasons, furbearer harvest, prairie chickens and public lands.

The commission will recess at 5 p.m., then reconvene at 7 p.m. at the same location for the public hearing. Regulations on the agenda for the public hearing include KAR 115-2-3, which covers camping fees; the recommendation is to establish short-term storage lots at Scott, Meade, Glen Elder, Kanopolis, and Webster state parks for patrons to store RVs between visits for a fee of $50 per month. KAR 115-4-11, which covers big game and wild turkey permit applications is being updated to reflect the addition of turkey management units from four to six. KAR 115-25-7 covers antelope open season, bag limits and permits. Recommendations include an archery antelope season running Sept. 21-29, 2013 and Oct. 12-31, 2013; a muzzleloader season open from Sept. 30-Oct. 7, 2013; and a firearm season open Oct. 4-7, 2013. The final public hearing item is KAR 115-25-8 covering elk open season, bag limits and permits. Proposed elk season dates for Unit 3 (outside of Fort Riley): archery – Sept. 16-Dec. 31, 2013; muzzleloader – Sept. 1-30, 2013; firearm – Dec. 4-15, 2013 AND Jan. 1, 2014-March 15, 2014. Elk season dates for Fort Riley (Unit 2a) are: archery – Sept. 1-30, 2013; muzzleloader – Sept. 1-30, 2013; firearm for antlerless elk – first segment: Oct. 1-31, 2013; second segment: Nov. 1-30, 2013; third segment: Dec. 1-31, 2013; and firearm – Oct. 1, 2013-Dec. 31, 2013.

Time will be available in both afternoon and evening sessions for public comment on topics not on the agenda. If necessary, the commission will reconvene at the same location at 9 a.m., April 26, to complete unfinished business.

Live video and audio streaming of this meeting will be broadcast through the KDWPT website,

If notified in advance, the department will have an interpreter available for the hearing impaired. To request an interpreter, call the Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing at 1-800-432-0698. Any individual with a disability may request other accommodations by contacting the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission secretary at (620) 672-5911.

The next commission meeting is scheduled for June, 27, 2013 at the Lee Richardson Zoo in Garden City.

Mom, Apple Pie and Conservation Tours and Workshops Planned

The Kansas Rural Center and several partners are planning a series of three conservation tours this spring —just for women. These  “Mom, Apple Pie, and Conservation” tours/workshops will be part of KRC’s Women Caring for the Land Project and participation including lunch will be free.

Statistics show that  women increasingly end up as the sole owners and managers of farmland. Often, as wives or  daughters they have not been active in the day to day management, or not as active as they would have liked. This results in lots of questions and anxiety over making management decisions regarding farming practices and conservation measures with tenants or other heirs. Studies also show that women are more comfortable asking questions and learning in a less formal setting and without their male counterparts present. Therefore, these “Mom, Apple and Conservation” workshops are being designed  by and for women only. Women conservation professionals will be on hand to provide information on conservation programs and management practices, and  there will be opportunity for roundtable discussion with other women about your challenges and  questions, and to identify other information and resource needs.

            Saturday April 20. Cheney Lake Watershed, Reno County Conservation District, and KRC will  host a women’s tour of farm conservation practices on Saturday April 20 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tour participants will meet at 9 a.m. at the Castleton Grain  Elevator to board vans for the tour. Lunch will be at the Yacht Club on Cheney Reservoir. Contact Lisa French at Cheney Lake Watershed at 620-669-8161 Ext. 4 or at [email protected]

            Wednesday May 15 KRC will host an all day (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) conservation tour in northern Jackson, southeast Nemaha and southwest Brown county along with the Delaware WRAPS Watershed and the Brown, Jackson and Nemaha County Conservation Districts. The Kansas Association of Conservation Districts has also provided some funds for this tour.

Tour participants will meet  at the Glacial Hills RC& D office on main street in Wetmore, Ks. to board a bus to leave at 9 a.m. Between 9 and 3 we will make 5 or 6 stops to view conservation practices including a riparian forest buffer, alternative livestock watering and management intensive grazing systems,  grassland management, cover crops in cropland, solar water  pump for livestock watering, and a streambank stabilization project. 

Presenters on this all women’s tour include Holly Wilkens from Pheasant’s Forever on wildlife and pollinator habitat, Roberta Spencer on grassland management and forages, Marlene Bosworth, Delaware WRAPS on management intensive grazing, Anne Fredericks, Nemaha County Conservation District on state and federal conservation programs, and Mary Fund, KRC, and Lisa French, Cheney Lake Project, leading a round table discussion over the lunch hour. There will be restroom stops along the way, and a lovely post-Mother’s Day Lunch will be served at the Red Rock Guest Ranch near Soldier, Ks. Lunch is free for those who RSVP prior to May 9. For more information or to RSVP, contact  Mary Fund at 785-873-3431, or [email protected]

            Saturday June 22.A third tour is in the works for the Clay and Washington County area starting at the Linn American Legion from 9 a.m.  to 2 p.m. The tour site will be at the farm of Lucinda Stuenkel near Palmer where a variety of conservation practices will be toured. More details will be available later.

Ten Ways You Can Protect Birds This Spring

As temperatures start to climb, birds begin their annual spring migration and also begin breeding. American Bird Conservancy (ABC) often gets asked, particularly during the spring, “How can I help the birds?” Here are the top ten things ABC recommends people do to aid or protect birds in their homes and yards.

According to Dr. George Fenwick, President of ABC, “Birds need help now more than ever. In addition to the ongoing threat of loss of habitat, staggering numbers of birds are directly killed due to a number of other human-related causes. Scientists estimate that 300 million to one billion birds die each year from collisions with buildings. Up to 50 million die from encounters with communication towers. Studies suggest that up to six million may die EACH DAY from attacks by cats left outdoors. These deaths occur year-round, but many occur during the peak spring and fall migrations. Some studies suggest that perhaps as many as half of all migrating birds do not make it back home, succumbing to various threats on either end of the journey.”




1. Keep your cat indoors – This is best for your cat as well as for the birds, as indoor cats live an average of three to seven times longer. Domestic cats, which are not native to the United States, are an introduced predator against which birds have no defense. Cats are responsible for an estimated 2.4 billion bird deaths each year. Some species have gone extinct because of cats! Even well-fed cats instinctively kill birds, and bells on cats don’t effectively warn birds of cat strikes. In the spring, young birds or nestlings often find themselves on the ground calling for a parent, only to end up attracting the fatal attention of a nearby cat. Because of this, studies show that bird mortality from cats in the spring is disproportionately higher when compared to other times of the year.

2. Prevent birds hitting your windows by using a variety of treatments to the glass on your home. Collisions with glass constitute a major source of bird mortality, with as many as one billion dying each year. See ABC’s new flyer!

3. Eliminate pesticides from your yard-even those pesticides that are not directly toxic to birds can pollute waterways and reduce insects that birds rely on for food – and try to buy organic food to help reduce pesticide use on farms. For rodent control, seal cracks, remove food sources, and use snap and electric traps rather than rodenticides, which poison birds as well as young children.

4. Create backyard habitat – yards both large and small can benefit birds and other wildlife. Create a diverse landscape by planting native grasses, flowers, and shrubs that attract birds. You will be rewarded by their beauty and song, and will have fewer insect pests as a result.

5. Donate old bird-watching equipment such as binoculars or spotting scopes to local bird watching groups – they can get them to schools or biologists in other countries who may not have the resources they need. More people studying birds means more voices for bird conservation!

6. Reduce your carbon footprint – use a hand-pushed or electric lawnmower, carpool, and use low-energy bulbs and Energy Star appliances. Less energy used means less habitat destroyed for energy production.

7. Buy organic food and drink shade-grown coffee – increasing the market for produce grown without the use of pesticides, which can be toxic to birds and other animals, will reduce the use of these hazardous chemicals in the U.S. and overseas. Shade coffee farms have been demonstrated to provide far superior habitat for birds than coffee grown in open sun.

8. Keep feeders and bird baths clean and change the water regularly to avoid disease and prevent mosquitoes from breeding.

9. Support bird-friendly legislation – Example: HR 1643, a proposed bill that provides for bird-friendly federal buildings.

10. Join a bird conservation group such as ABC, the National Audubon Society or the National Wildlife Federation – learn more about birds and support important conservation work.

“Protecting and helping birds is not only the right thing to do, it is also good for the economy and the future of our environment. Birds are invaluable as controllers of insect pests, as pollinators of crops, and dispersers of native plant seeds, and they also generate tremendous economic revenues through the pastimes of bird feeding and bird watching,” said Fenwick.

A federal government study reports that over 20 percent of the U.S. population – 48 million people – participates in bird watching. Of that total, about 42 percent (20 million people) actually travel to see birds. Birders spend about $36 billion annually in pursuit of their pastime. The top five bird watching states by percentage of total population are: Montana (40%); Maine (39%); Vermont (38%); Minnesota (33%); and Iowa (33%).

National Wildlife Refuge Association Applauds Jewell Confirmation

The National Wildlife Refuge Association on April 11 expressed its strong support for Sally Jewell as the next Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior following the Senate’s confirmation of her nomination. Jewell’s appreciation for the outdoors and wildlife, as well as her extensive knowledge of the economic benefits of our natural resources, will bring a unique perspective in the President’s cabinet.

“We are extremely pleased by the Senate’s confirmation of Sally Jewell to be the 51st Secretary of the Interior and look forward to working closely with her to grow our nation’s commitment to wildlife conservation at a landscape level, in places such as the Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area, the Silvio Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge and Cache River National Wildlife Refuge.” said David Houghton, President of the National Wildlife Refuge Association. “She will undoubtedly be an excellent spokesperson for the President’s America‘s Great Outdoors initiative and will continue to bring attention to our nation’s great public lands.”

Jewell has earned national recognition for her management skills of the nearly $2 billion outdoor equipment company, REI. This expertise makes her uniquely qualified to lead an agency with hundreds of millions of acres of lands where Americans recreated.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 560 units of the National Wildlife Refuge System spanning 150 million acres and where the sun literally never sets, with lands from Guam to Puerto Rico, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Over 40 million annual visitors contribute over $4.2 billion in economic output and over 34,000 jobs from recreation-related spending. National wildlife refuges and their recreational opportunities is part of a growing industry in the United States. Jewell’s leadership at the helm of the Department of Interior comes at a crucial time.

“Sally Jewell has been a leader in the outdoor recreation industry using innovative strategies to protect and restore wildlife habitat throughout the Pacific Northwest and across the country; as Secretary of the Interior, she will have an opportunity to articulate and implement a larger conservation vision for the nation.” said Houghton. “We look forward to working with her to further the goals and mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Wildlife Refuge System.”

Senate Introduces NAWCA Reauthorization

In a bipartisan showing, lead co-sponsors Sens. Barbara Boxer (CA) and David Vitter (LA) introduced S. 741 today, asking for the reauthorizations and appropriations of the successful public-private partnerships funded by the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA).

The bill is a straight reauthorization of NAWCA funding of $75 million through FY17.

“This joint effort by the chair and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works to reauthorize NAWCA clearly illustrates that it is a model for employing effective partnerships to support shared conservation goals,” said DU CEO Dale Hall. “NAWCA is the ideal public-private partnership since it benefits not only hunters and anglers, but all U.S. citizens. It conserves functioning wetlands, thus diminishing floods, preventing soil erosion and improving our water quality.”

NAWCA has benefited the national economy by translating more than $1 billion in federal appropriations over the life of the program into nearly $3.5 billion in additional economic activity. These expenditures have created, on average, nearly 7,500 new jobs (e.g. construction workers, biologists, engineers) annually in the United States, generating more than $200 million in worker earnings each year.

“NAWCA has conserved almost 27 million acres of wetlands and associated uplands since its creation in 1989,” said DU Chief Conservation Officer Paul Schmidt. “It’s been so effective that every federally funded dollar is matched by at least three non-federal dollars by states or conservation organizations like DU. We look forward to working with our Hill champions to expeditiously pass this vital conservation legislation.”

Other original co-sponsors include Sens. Max Baucus (MT), Roy Blunt (MO), John Boozman (AR), Ben Cardin (MD), Thad Cochran (MS), Chris Coons (DE), Mike Crapo (ID), James Inhofe (OK) and Roger Wicker (MS).

NAWCA conserves North America‘s waterfowl, fish and other wildlife resources while producing a variety of environmental and economic benefits. Every federal dollar provided by NAWCA must be matched by at least one dollar from non-federal sources.

Because the program is so effective, NAWCA funds are usually tripled or quadrupled. Since its inception, more than 4,500 partners have been involved in more than 2,200 NAWCA projects across North America.