Monthly Archives: July 2013

USDA Announces Results for 45th Conservation Reserve Program General Sign-Up

Offers Received for 1.9 Million Acres

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on July 22 announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will accept 1.7 million acres offered under the 45th Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general sign-up. The Department received nearly 28,000 offers on more than 1.9 million acres of land, demonstrating CRP’s continuing appeal as one of our nation’s most successful voluntary programs for soil, water, and wildlife conservation. Under Vilsack’s leadership, USDA has enrolled nearly 12 million acres in new CRP contracts since 2009. Currently, there are more than 26.9 million acres enrolled on 700,000 contracts.

“For 27 years, lands in CRP have helped to conserve our nation’s resources and played a part in mitigating climate change,” said Vilsack. “American farmers and ranchers continue to recognize the importance of protecting our nation’s most environmentally sensitive land by enrolling in CRP. As the commodities produced by our farmers and ranchers continue to perform strongly in the marketplace — supporting one out of every twelve jobs here in the United States — it is no surprise that American producers continue to recognize the importance of protecting our nation’s most environmentally sensitive land by enrolling in CRP.”

In addition to today’s announcement, over the last four years, USDA has set aside significant acreage under CRP’s Continuous enrollment programs to target habitat conservation on especially important lands. For example, in March, 2012, President Obama dedicated 1 million acres of CRP to Continuous Enrollment Programs to conserve wetlands, grasslands and wildlife. This year, farmers and ranchers have already offered more than 370,000 acres under Continuous CRP signup, a figure that is impressive given that the lack of a Farm Bill extension last fall meant that CRP enrollment only reopened this spring in May. Lack of a comprehensive Farm Bill this year has resulted in uncertainty for achieving further enrollment objectives under continuous CRP.

CRP is a voluntary program that allows eligible landowners to receive annual rental payments and cost-share assistance to establish long-term, resource-conserving covers on eligible farmland throughout the duration of their 10 to 15 year contracts.

Under CRP, farmers and ranchers plant grasses and trees in fields and along streams or rivers. The plantings prevent soil and nutrients from washing into waterways, reduce soil erosion that may otherwise contribute to poor air and water quality, and provide valuable habitat for wildlife. In 2012, CRP helped to reduce nitrogen and phosphorous losses from farm fields by 605 million pounds and 121 million pounds respectively. CRP has restored more than two million acres of wetlands and associated buffers and reduces soil erosion by more than 300 million tons per year. CRP also provides $2.0 billion annually to landowners—dollars that make their way into local economies, supporting small businesses and creating jobs.

In addition, CRP sequesters more carbon dioxide than any other conservation program in the country, and also reduces both fuel and fertilizer use. Yearly, CRP results in carbon sequestration equal to taking almost 10 million cars off the road.

USDA selected offers for enrollment based on an Environmental Benefits Index (EBI) comprised of five environmental factors plus cost. The five environmental factors are: (1) wildlife enhancement, (2) water quality, (3) soil erosion, (4) enduring benefits, and (5) air quality.  

Action Alert: ESTABLISHMENT OF NEW WILDLIFE REFUGES UNDER ATTACK IN THE HOUSE!

                  WILDLIFE REFUGES UNDER ATTACK IN THE HOUSE!


Background: The Executive branch has created ninety percent of all national wildlife refuges, including EVERY President since Teddy Roosevelt who created the first one at Pelican Island in Florida on March 14, 1903. But some in Congress plan to take this authority away and put a halt to the creation of all new national wildlife refuges although Congress itself mandated that the Refuge System should be strategically grown in the 1997 Refuge Improvement Act.
       Please Oppose HR 368 and protect the Refuge System by contacting your representative using the following letter as a template. You may copy and paste it into an email to your Kansas representatives.


Dear Representative,

I stand with the National Wildlife Refuge Association in urging you to vote NO on H.R. 638, the National Wildlife Refuge Review Act of 2013, a bill to remove Executive Branch authority to create national wildlife refuges; effectively halting the growth of the Refuge System.

Since 1903, national wildlife refuges have been created both by the executive branch and Congress, but a bill sponsored by Representative John Fleming of Louisiana would change all that. H.R. 638 would make it impossible for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to establish new refuges administratively even though they must go through a rigorous public process to do so. This is an affront to the local communities that partake in the public process and will effectively eliminate the creation new national wildlife refuges, as the vast majority of refuges have been created executively.

If the Executive Branch didn’t have the authority to create refuges – we wouldn’t have a National Wildlife Refuge System. Period.

The Executive branch – including EVERY President since Theodore Roosevelt – has established 90% of all refuges. The creation of refuges has been bipartisan with nearly the same number created by Republican and Democratic Administrations.

Further, Congress, in overwhelming majority with only one dissenting vote, mandated that the Refuge System should be strategically grown in the 1997 Refuge Improvement Act. This new bill goes directly against the intent of Congress in the Improvement Act.

The FWS must go through a rigorous public process before any refuge is established. And while the executive branch can create a new refuge, ONLY Congress holds the purse strings when it comes to any acquisition of lands or management dollars – Congress already holds oversight power on land acquisition; this legislation is unnecessary. 

Please oppose H.R. 638, which the House Natural Resources Committee is set to vote on this Wednesday July 24th.







Your name and address here


Local Workshops Aim to Improve Soil Health

Producers in Kansas seeking to improve their farm’s soil can attend a soil health training in August. National and local presenters from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will teach participants how to protect and improve the soil habitat. The training will be offered on three different days and in different locations:

   August 6Scott CityKansas—William Carpenter 4-H Building, 

600 E. Fairgrounds Road

, 8:30 a.m.—11:30 a.m.

   August 7McPhersonKansasMcPherson Museum

1111 East Kansas Avenue

, 10:00 a.m.—4:00 p.m. ($20 registration fee)

   August 8HoltonKansasFamily Life Center, Evangel United Methodist Church

227 Pennsylvania Avenue

, 9 a.m.—3:30 p.m.

“At these workshops, we hope to change the way you view soils and improve your profit margin by applying agro-ecology principles,” said Dean Krehbiel, State Resource Conservationist, NRCS, Salina. “We’ll discuss how farming practices affect soil quality as well as things you can do to improve the soil quality.”

The keynote speaker is Ray Archuleta, a national conservation agronomist with NRCS. Archuleta travels around the country presenting information and technology that can help farmers improve their soil health. He says soils are a living factory of macroscopic and microscopic organisms. Providing a good habitat for those organisms improves your soil. Archuleta will demonstrate a simple way to test soils to determine how well they function.

“These meetings are a great opportunity to learn more about the important basics of soil function and biology, and how diverse cover crops can improve the soil’s ability to infiltrate water, resist drought and erosion, improve nutrient cycling, and produce healthy, abundant crops,” said Kris Ethridge, Resource Conservationist, ManhattanKansas. Ethridge is a speaker at one of the workshops and will be discussing the benefits of using cover crops.

            For more information on these workshops, contact the following NRCS offices: USDA Service Center, NRCS, Scott City, KS, 620-872-3230; USDA Service Center, NRCS, McPhersonKS, 620-241-1836; USDA Service Center, NRCS, HoltonKS, 785-364-4638.

Floatline Fishing Season Going on Now

Floatline fishing season runs July 15 – September 15

A rather new form of fishing in Kansas, floatline fishing was introduced throughout the state in select bodies of water just four short years ago. Since then, it has annually attracted a small but steady community of about 500 channel cat anglers who participate in the two-month-long season.

From July 15 through September 15, sunrise to sunset, anglers can enjoy floatline fishing at Hillsdale, Council Grove, Tuttle Creek, Kanopolis, John Redmond, TorontoWilson, and Pomona reservoirs. A floatline permit, available for $2.50, is required.

Also referred to as jug fishing, floatline fishing consists of a placing a floating device in the water that has been fitted with a line, hook, and weight. The floating device then suspends the hook in the water, via the line and weight. When the floating device, or jug, moves, you’ve got a bite.

Anglers are allowed no more than eight floatlines. All floatlines must be under immediate supervision of the angler and must be removed from the water when fishing ceases. All float material shall be constructed only from plastic, wood, or foam and shall be a closed-cell construction. A “closed cell” construction shall mean a solid body incapable of containing water.

For more information on floatline fishing, visit www.ksoutdoors.com and click “Fishing/Fishing Regulations.”

Applications Still Being Accepted for Tuttle Creek Youth/Disabled Assisted Deer Hunt

Youth and disabled hunters have until July 31 to apply for a limited 2013 assisted deer hunt at Tuttle Creek

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT), Riley County Fish and Game Association, and the Corps of Engineers at Tuttle Creek Lake are still accepting applications for the 2013 Tuttle Creek Youth/Disabled Assisted Deer Hunt, September 7 and 8. This hunt, which is offered free of charge, is open to resident youth age 11-16 and those with a certified disability interested in hunting Kansas whitetails. Applications are due July 31.

Participants will need a Kansas hunting license, deer permit, and, if required by Kansas law, must have completed an approved hunter education course. Assistance meeting these requirements, including scholarship assistance to purchase a hunting license and deer permit, can be provided.

If needed, rifles and ammunition will also be available to hunters. Each participant will be guided by an experienced hunter, and arrangements have been made with area lockers to provide basic processing of harvested deer free of charge. Other items provided for this hunt include accessible hunting blinds, hunting locations, hunter orange hats and vests, and transportation to the field.

Participants will be required to attend a firearm safety presentation and sight-in at the Fancy Creek Shooting Range at 4 p.m., Sunday, August 18.

For more information, or to obtain an application, contact U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Natural Resource Specialist Steve Prockish at (785) 539-8511, ext. 3167, or by e-mail at [email protected].

This event is made possible by Friends of Fancy Creek Range, Kansas City Chapter of Safari Club International, Kansas State Rifle Association and the Tuttle Creek Lake Association.

Over the Counter Deer Permits Available July 30

Resident deer permits available online or from license vendors statewide

Purchasing a resident deer permit has never been more convenient for Kansas hunters. Beginning July 30, all over-the-counter permits will go on sale, and for residents, that’s just about every deer permit available. The only deer permit that requires an application for resident hunters is the firearm either-species permit, which allows the harvest of a mule or white-tailed deer during the firearm season. Resident Whitetail Any Season, Statewide Archery, Muzzleloader Either-Species, and antlerless-only permits can be purchased over the counter or online. The application period for resident Firearm Either-species, Either-sex permits closed July 12.

In addition to a deer permit, resident hunters age 16 through 74 must have a resident hunting license, unless exempt by Kansas Law.

Deer permits can be purchased online at www.ksoutdoors.com, or from your local state park office or license vendor. For a list of vendor locations near you, visit ksoutdoors.com and click “License,” “Permits,” “Locations to Buy License,” and “Permits.”

2013 Deer Season Dates

Youth/Disabled: Sept. 7 – 15, 2013

Muzzleloader-Only: Sept. 16 – Sept. 29, 2013

Archery: Sept. 16 – Dec. 31, 2013

Pre-rut Firearm Whitetail Antlerless: Oct. 12 – Oct. 13, 2013

Firearm: Dec. 4 – Dec. 15, 2013

Extended Whitetail Antlerless: Jan. 1 – 12, 2014

Special Extended Whitetail Antlerless: Jan. 13 – Jan. 19, 2014 (units 7, 8, and 15 ONLY)

Extended Archery Season: Jan. 20 – Jan. 31, 2014 (unit 19 ONLY)

State Park Cabins Offer Great Indoor and Outdoor Fun

State park cabins allow visitors to experience Kansas outdoors, while enjoying the comforts of home

Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway, a family reunion, or a week-long fishing trip with friends, Kansas state park cabins are great choices. With 100 cabins offered at 19 state parks, four state fishing lakes, and one wildlife area, there is sure to be a cabin that meets your needs.

Cabins are offered in either “deluxe” or “sleeper” styles. Deluxe cabins offer heating and air conditioning, a bathroom, shower, and often a furnished kitchen equipped with a refrigerator, stove, microwave, and coffee pot. Sleeper cabins are a little more rustic with fewer amenities, but are still equipped with heating and air conditioning, as well as electricity.

Depending upon the size, state park cabins can sleep anywhere from four to ten adults. Beds are included, however guests are required to bring their own linens. Nightly fees vary from $35 to $110, depending upon the season and amenities offered.

Cabins are popular, so it’s a good idea to make reservations well ahead of time. For more information, including how to make a reservation, visit www.ksoutdoors.com and click “State Parks/Reservations.” Reservations can also be made by visitingwww.reserveamerica.com 

Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission to Meet August 1

The Commission will set late migratory bird seasons at the August 1 meeting

The Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission will conduct a public meeting and hearing on Thursday, August 1, at the Woodson County Community Building, 211 W. Butler, Yates Center. 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 briefing on tourism, big game permanent regulations, a series of deer regulations, and late migratory bird seasons.

During the afternoon session, commissioners will workshop items that were covered under general discussion at the June meeting. Workshop topics, which will be discussed for potential regulatory action at a future meeting, include regulations pertaining to fishing, parks, and Spring/Fall 2014 turkey seasons, fees pertaining to youth licenses and permits, and an update on the potential federal listing of the lesser prairie chicken.

The commission will recess at 5 p.m., and then reconvene at 7 p.m. at the same location for the public hearing. The public hearing will be devoted to late migratory bird seasons.

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., August 2, to complete unfinished business.

commercial-free version of live video and audio streaming of commission meetings will be broadcast through the KDWPT website, ksoutdoors.com.

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 Thursday, August 29, 2013 via conference call.

Value of Public Lands for Sportsmen Highlighted in New Report

Lew Carpenter

National Wildlife Federation

A new report by the National Wildlife Federation highlights the value of public lands for hunters and anglers

The West is filled with iconic landscapes, most of them public. With rod in hand, or shotgun or rifle shouldered, most of us have experienced the bounty public lands provide. And from our earliest days in the field when any body of water or forest held unseen potential, to our current, often thoughtfully planned excursions, public lands have always been there to provide opportunity.

For many, the true American dream is pursuing North America’s trophy big game on the West’s vast open spaces. It’s the epitome of DIY – a complete hunting or fishing trip in the West – and also a testament to our sporting nature. It’s all there: the planning, the practice, the pursuit, the stalk, the shot, and the harvest.

This sporting heritage is hard to quantify on a personal level. The value of days spent afield alone or with great friends and family, transcends material possessions. The value of public lands, however, can be quantified. The National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF) new report, Valuing Our Western Public Lands: Safeguarding Our Economy and Way of Life, illustrates the value and scope of our western lands and sends a clear message that these lands define the American landscape and our national identity.

The bulk of the vast open spaces are in the West, where they have generated jobs and revenue from commodity production, tourism, and recreation, including hunting and fishing. As the Western economy changes from one dominated by natural resource production to one distinguished by knowledge- and service- based industries, conserving public lands becomes increasingly important as a magnet for businesses and employees seeking a high quality of life.

The NWF report can be found at: http://www.ourpubliclands.org/sites/default/files/files/NWF_PublicLands.pdf

Several recent studies and surveys within the report found that:

• Many communities near public lands managed for conservation and recreation report higher levels of economic, population and income growth and higher property values.

• The outdoor recreation industry, including fishing and hunting, contributes nearly $650 billion to the U.S. economy and supports more than 6 million jobs. Western public lands provide recreation for people from across the country and world.

• Americans invest nearly $39 billion annually in natural resource conservation, resulting in more than $93 billion in direct economic benefits.

• Extractive, commodity-based industries generate needed materials and energy and provide jobs and revenue, but have been cyclical and have become a smaller part of the overall economy.

“Public Lands are not just where I recreate; they are also where I get my food,” said Armond Acri, a retired chemical engineer who hunts big game and waterfowl. ”I hunt on National Forest, BLM lands, State and Federal Wildlife Refuges, and State Lands. Each year I hunt grouse, ducks, geese, deer, elk, and perhaps antelope. In a few special years I have had the privilege to hunt bison and bighorn sheep. Public Land helps me feed both my body and my soul. I cannot put a price on Public Land, but I know it is one of my most valued possessions. That is why I fight to preserve the Public Lands we all own.”

Intact habitat and unspoiled backcountry are essential to maintaining fish and wildlife habitat. Proposals to dispose or devalue the land threaten a crucial part of our economy. These proposals threaten the fundamental value of ensuring that lands belonging to all Americans stay open to everyone, now and in the future.

Through the NWF report a picture of the changing West emerges. Studies show that many communities near public lands managed for conservation and recreation report higher employment, growth and income levels and higher property values. The service industries, which include health, finance and legal jobs, have diversified the economy and sustain communities when commodity-based industries experience downturns.

Industries traditionally associated with the West–logging, mining, oil and gas drilling–are still important and provide needed materials, but are often cyclical and have become a smaller part of the overall economy.

Former WON staffer Rich Holland is Fishing and Hunting Content Director for SmartEtailing.com, which offers web hosting and online commerce tools to 15,000 independent retailers affiliated with Big Rock Sports. His business and countless others lie at the heart of the public lands economy. But again, the value runs deeper than business.

“In the 1940s, my father was in his early teens when his family moved to Los Angeles from PittsburghPennsylvania,” saidHolland. “He and his brother immediately discovered the great fishing and hunting available on public lands. That love of the outdoors was passed along to me and I still fish and hunt in many of the same places he frequented as a young man.

“On the other hand, quite a few of his favorite spots have been lost to encroaching development and government designations that prohibit the traditional activities of sportsmen,” he added. “Many of the retailers we work with are located adjacent to public lands, and not just in the West but along the Great Lakes, the Eastern Seaboard and the vast watershed of the Gulf Coast. These businesses rely on continued access to public lands for families who wish to fish and hunt.”

By conserving the cherished lands that drive economic growth, the American people and our national economy will be healthier and more sustainable for generations to come.

So what does it all mean in today’s world? The report was created to bring the importance of public lands into the national dialogue. Several Western legislatures and members of Congress have shown they are out of touch with the public’s support for keeping public lands in public hands.

The last two congressional sessions, lawmakers introduced dozens of bills seeking to diminish protection of public land, require the federal government to sell millions of acres of the land or turn the land over to the states. State legislators and congressional members behind proposals to dispose of public lands claim that westerners believe federal management of the lands constrains natural resource development, thus depriving states of the economic benefits. In fact, the measures contradict the majority of western public opinion and threaten the region’s economy, which benefits from the diverse businesses attracted and supported by conserving public lands.

As a sportsman from the West, I have fished from Alaska to the Gulf Coast, Baja to Idaho–and many places in between–almost exclusively on public lands. Certainly there is a place for the magnificent private-land opportunities in North America – but for the common man, nothing beats the landscapes his forefathers created, paid for with his tax dollars, equipment purchases and license fees, and which is waiting with open arms for him to conserve for his children and the generations to follow.

If you care about this American heritage, your access to public lands and wildlife, and your ability to share this with your children and grandchildren, then you need to inform yourself about the positions your elected officials are taking on public lands issues. Moreover, you need to communicate your positions to your elected officials. This is the essence of representative democracy and it is more important than ever in a time when big money is exerting enormous influence. 

The Secret to Painlessly Removing Ticks

It can start with pain, itching, redness and swelling in the area of the skin, and in more pronounced cases, it can include fever, headache, fatigue, and/or a skin rash. The culprit is a tick bite, and if left untreated, it can lead to Lyme disease, which can spread to the joints, heart and nervous system.

According to Lauren Allen, who just completed her undergraduate degree with a double major in communication media studies and journalism from DePaul University, and writing for RadioMD.com (www.radiomd.com) , “you can have a tick (or three) burrowed in your skin without even feeling a thing.” She notes that ticks are usually most active from April until September.

But she also reveals that removing ticks, once an onerous task using tweezers (which often did not remove the tick and was impossible to use for some parts of the body) is now a swab of cotton balls away.

Her advice:

• Apply a dime sized dollop of dish or hand soap onto a damp paper towel, tissue, or cotton ball.

• Cover the tick with the soap-saturated tissue or cotton ball, and hold in place for a few seconds (15-20).

• The tick will come out all on its own and will be stuck on the towel or cotton ball when you lift it away.

Look for tick bites under arms, behind ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between legs, around the waist and through hair. Also make sure to check any gear that was taken along, including clothing. A helpful tip is to put clothes in the dryer on high heat for at least an hour. It’s also a good idea to shower as soon as possible.

Ticks are small but they can cause big problems, so be vigilant when walking in outdoors and take the proper precautions. To read the complete story, visit http://radiomd.com/blogs-experts/radiomd-blogs/lauren-allen/item/12758-a-surprisingly-safe-effective-way-to-remove-ticks