Daily Archives: March 14, 2014

Land and Water Conservation Grant Applications Due April 30

Federal grant program helps fund local outdoor recreation projects

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) is accepting applications for Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grants through April 30, 2014. The federally funded program provides 50 percent reimbursement to selected outdoor recreation projects sponsored by cities, counties, and other appropriate public agencies. Since 1965, Kansas has received more than $50 million in LWCF funds to complete approximately 650 projects in nearly every county.
Grant application materials can be found on the KDWPT website, www.ksoutdoors.com, by clicking “State Parks” then “Grants.” Eligible projects include development and/or acquisition of outdoor facilities for the purpose of public recreation. Applications should provide clear evidence of public input and address recreation needs identified in the 2009 Kansas Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP), which may be downloaded at ksoutdoors.com.
For more information about project eligibility or application requirements, contact Kyle Jackson, KDWPT LWCF grant coordinator at (620) 672-0740.

KDWPT’S Pam Martin Honored with KACEE Environmental Education Award

Martin conducted over 260 environmental education programs at the Kansas WetlandEducation Center last year alone

The Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education (KACEE) has announced the recipients of the 2014 Excellence in Conservation and Environmental Education Awards. Among the winners was Pam Martin, an environmental educator with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) stationed at the Kansas Wetland EducationCenter near Great Bend. Nominated by peers, awardees exhibit outstanding innovation, leadership and achievement, as well as collaboration and cooperation within and beyond the environmental education field.
“KACEE is pleased to honor these deserving individuals and organizations, who are so dedicated to environmental education in Kansas,” said KACEE President Jeff Severin, director of sustainability at the University of Kansas.
Martin was a recipient of the Rising Star Award. This award recognizes individuals who are new to the conservation and environmental education field in Kansas, but are already making an impact. The nomination for Martin states:
It is hard to label Pam as an ”up-and-coming” environmental educator as she has already done so much in the field; she seems much more like a seasoned veteran. In her five years of environmental education, Pam Martin has established an incredible program at the Kansas WetlandsEducation Center that rivals any environmental education program in the region. Martin has worked at KWEC since the Center opened in 2009. For the first year and a half, Martin was the only educator on staff and was responsible for establishing the core foundations of the KWEC’s educational programs. Her passion and commitment to education is evidenced in the sheer volume of programs she does– In 2013 Martin conducted 264 environmental education programs. Martin provides education programming to area elementary students, as well as family programs, programs through the Great Bend Recreation Commission, Scouts programs, and festivals. One of her most impressive accomplishments is the relationship she has established with the USD 428-Great Bend school district. As a result of her efforts in working with the district administrators and the various science committees, Pam has been able to schedule programs with every K-6 classroom in the district. Martin’s work is helping to inspire and educate our next generation about the important role of wetlands in our state and KACEE is extremely proud to honor her with the Rising Star Award for Excellence in Conservation and Environmental Education.
Awardees will be recognized at an Awards Celebration hosted by KACEE on Friday, April 4, at Sunset Zoo in Manhattan. The event is sponsored by KACEE, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and Sunset Zoo. Ticket information is available at www.kacee.org or by calling (785) 532-1902.

Kick Start the New Season with a Shed Hunt

One deer’s trash can be one hunter’s trophy after a successful shed hunt

No one really knows why deer evolved to shed their antlers every year, but for hunters looking for a way to connect with the world of big game outside of hunting season, knowing “why” isn’t nearly as important as “where” deer shed their antlers.
“We know the mechanisms of the process, but can only speculate on the why. Why would a species spend so much effort and energy to produce these large antlers and then give them up and go through the same process again each year?” says Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) big game program coordinator, Lloyd Fox. “One reason might be because antlers get broken each year and the males want to have their most impressive rack, a new set, prior to the rut. Otherwise the old bucks would have busted remnants within a few years. Another speculation is that carrying around those large antlers is an energy drain and deer without antlers will spend less energy (thus have higher survival) as they go through the wintertime with its reduced food availability. Nobody really knows.”
Commonly referred to as “sheds,” deer antlers that have disconnected from a deer’s skull can provide hunters with valuable information about the buck that was carrying it. Most importantly, a shed antler tells a hunter that a particular buck survived the hunting seasons. A shed may also tell us whether the deer was a whitetail or mule deer, it’s approximate age, whether it was part of a “typical” or “non-typical” rack, and it can provide information on a past location of the deer.
The bulk of Kansas whitetail bucks shed their antlers in February. Just like with any biological process, not every deer is the same. Some bucks have been known to shed as early as November/early December, while others have kept their antlers well into mid-April.
“Bucks will shed antlers over a wide time period, but each individual sheds about the same time each year,” said Fox. “In fact, some data has shown bucks to shed their antlers within a week of the same day each year of their life. It just depends.”
When in search of these left-behind treasures, hunters are encouraged to keep the following things in mind:
-Familiarize yourself with department procedures and the distinction between a shed and a skull with antlers. (Possession of a skull with antlers attached requires a salvage tag.)
-Shed hunting is allowed on KDWPT- managed lands except WIHA, but it’s a good idea to check ahead of time because it’s not allowed on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service national wildlife refuges. Landowner permission is required on all private land.
-During the spring, ticks can be widespread, so the use of an insect-repellent made with DEET can be a good defense.
For a list of public lands where you can shed hunt, visit www.ksoutdoors.com and click “KDWPT Info/Locations/Wildlife Areas.”

Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission to Meet in Topeka March 20

Commission to hear free park entrance and fishing days, big game season recommendations

The Kansas Historical Society History Center, 6425 SW 6th Ave., Topeka, will be the site of the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission public meeting and hearing March 20, 2014. The afternoon session will begin at 1:00 p.m. and recess at 5 p.m., with the evening session reconvening at 6:30 p.m.
The afternoon session will begin with time for public comments on non-agenda items, followed by a general discussion period. Topics covered in the general discussion include: Secretary’s remarks regarding agency and state fiscal status and an update on the 2014 legislature, a briefing on tourism’s 2014 marketing plans, webless migratory birds, early migratory bird seasons, Fort Riley deer, the use of dogs to track wounded deer, coyote hunting during firearm deer season, hunting the same day a deer or turkey permit is purchased, and an update on the potential federal listing of lesser prairie chickens.
During the afternoon session, commissioners will workshop items that were covered under general discussion at the January meeting. Workshop topics, which will be discussed for potential regulatory action at a future meeting, include regulations pertaining to upland birds, regulations regarding public lands, the five-year review of Kansas threatened and endangered species lists, and regulations pertaining to antelope season, bag limit, and permits.
The commission will recess at 5 p.m., then reconvene at 6:30 p.m. at the same location for the public hearing. The public hearing will be focused on free park entrance and free fishing days; elk season, bag limit and permit; and deer season, including bag limit, and permits.
Time will be available in both the 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., March 21, to complete any unfinished business.
A commercial-free version of live video and audio streaming of commission meetings will be broadcast through the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism 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 April 17, 2014 at the Great Plains NatureCenter, 6232 East 29th St. N., Wichita.