Daily Archives: October 8, 2014

Habitat Tip – Monarch Butterfly Life History and Habitat

From: Peter S. Berthelsen | Director of Habitat Partnerships

Pheasants Forever, Inc. and Quail Forever, Elba, Nebraska

Colleagues,

This weeks ‘Video Monday Habitat Tip’ provides a look at the life history of the iconic Monarch Butterfly.  The Monarch is a species that relates well to everyone from young children to the mature generations, but there isn’t always a strong connection to the fact that well designed wildlife habitat projects will benefit this species and many more.

This tip is designed to outline how properly designed habitat projects will benefit a wide range of wildlife species that can include Monarch Butterflies, Honey Bees, Pheasants, Quail, Grassland Songbirds and many other species.  Considering all of these species when designing a habitat project seeding mix or planning future management activities will produce the best results for many years to come.

You can view this habitat tip at:

Habitat Tip: The Life History of Monarch Butterflies

Kansas Hunting Showcase to Spotlight Economic Benefits of Hunting, Fishing – Robin Jennison to Host

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism is hosting the 2014 Kansas Hunting Showcase on Friday, October 24, at HorseThief Reservoir near Jetmore in HodgemanCounty. The event will spotlight the economic benefits of hunting and fishing in Kansas, focusing on the2014 Tourism Economicsdata.

At 10 a.m., host Robin Jennison, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism will welcome guests to the showcase, which will feature Kansas hunting- and fishing-related small businesses, as well as hands-on shotgun wingshooting and archery activities. The event, which is free and open to the public, will kickoff with a traditional hunters’ breakfast of biscuits and gravy beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Outdoor sports writers and other media representatives attending are invited to join a pheasant hunt on Friday afternoon at Big Prairie Hunts, a private controlled bird hunting operation near Pierceville. Space is limited, so interested outdoor travel writers are invited to email [email protected] to reserve a spot for the afternoon hunt. Reservations will be on a first-come-first-served basis.

Deer poachers caught early Friday

From KSAL

 

Sheriff deputies and game wardens arrest a couple of men illegally hunting early Friday morning, October 3rd.

According to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, at around 1:30 in the morning a Kansas Game Warden and deputies with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department made a stop on some spot lighters, or hunters using off-road vehicles and high-powered lights or spotlights to illegally poach animals at night. One of the illegal hunters had poached a deer from the road in the Mined Land Wildlife Area.

Two men involved were arrested on numerous charges. All equipment was seized and two vehicles were towed.

The state has a hunter involved program to help fight poachers like this. Operation Game Thief is a program that provides a toll-free number for anyone witnessing wildlife-related violations to call immediately and make a report. All calls received are immediately relayed to the natural resource officer nearest the violation. The line is available anytime of day or night, every day of the year, and callers may remain anonymous. The number to call is 1-877-426-3843.

Future of Our Public Lands

It Might Not Sound Sexy, But It’s the Future of Our Public Lands

 

By Ann Morgan

National Wildlife Federation

 

Except for a minute number of policy wonks, what could be more uninteresting and bureaucratic than land use planning? Maybe land use planning for lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Yet I would argue that it should be of interest to many, many Americans. After all, this is something that affects 250 million acres of your lands — lands where you hike, bike, camp, fish, hunt and watch wildlife.

Land use planning for these federal lands, found mostly in the 11 Western states and Alaska, is driven by a complex suite of federal laws, regulations, and agency policy handbooks. On top of that, they are interpreted by case law, illustrated with dozens of maps, written on many hundreds of pages, accompanied by dozens of appendixes, filled with scientific and bureaucratic jargon, and can cover millions of acres.

Even the terminology the BLM is using to describe its latest initiative — Planning 2.0 — conjures up visions of another dense file to put on a shelf or banish to a hard drive.

But here’s why you should care. BLM’s land use plans, called Resource Management Plans, decide how your lands will be managed. These plans can affect the size and health of mule deer herds and sage-grouse habitat. BLM management plans identify where oil and gas leases will be offered and determine where roads and trails can be built. These decisions are crucial to those who live in nearby communities, hunt and fish and camp on public lands, cherish and record the vast archeological resources hidden there, or make their living ranching or outfitting on public lands.

Because this is complicated, it is important for those who understand the process to participate and to help others participate. The National Wildlife Federation has worked with hunters, anglers, wildlife lovers and outdoor enthusiasts for decades to help their voices be heard. Denver is the site of one of two public sessions on a new approach to planning that could, with the right guidelines, ensure the integrity of important wildlife habitat, watersheds and recreation areas for generations to come.

So, when you break it down, this process is really about what we value. It’s about a great American legacy — public lands. And it’s about whether that legacy — along with our great deer, elk and pronghorn herds, sage-grouse, native cutthroat trout, pristine waters, remote backcountry — will endure.

The National Wildlife Federation, its partners in the Sportsmen for Responsible Energy Development coalition — Trout Unlimited and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership — and six NWF state affiliates have submittedrecommendations for improving the public lands planning process. We want to keep key landscapes intact and conserve important ecosystems. We need to consider mule deer migration corridors and species and habitats in the bull’s eye of climate change. We need to be smart from the start when deciding where to drill or install utility-scale solar and wind projects.

A critical part of any planning process is identifying the places to just leave alone. Instead of saying that areas are open to development unless specifically closed, let’s try a “closed-unless-deemed-appropriate” approach.

The demands of the West’s growing population, the increasing conflicts between energy development and fish and wildlife resources, and the challenges of juggling all the competing uses, which is BLM’s mission, means the agency will have its work cut out for it.