Daily Archives: October 10, 2014

Sierra Club Presentation: Preserving the Greater Prairie Chicken

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Preserving an icon of the Tallgrass Prairie– a program to restore the Greater Prairie Chicken in Missouri and Iowa

In celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, the Kanza Group presents this program on efforts to preserve the Greater Prairie Chicken (GPC), a major indicator species in the Tallgrass Prairie Ecosystem, whose numbers are declining throughout its range due to lose of habitat. The MDC has partnered with The Nature Conservancy, private landowners, and the Iowa DNR to increase the population of the GPC in northern Missouri and southern Iowa for several years. Activities include habitat restoration, transplanting birds from neighboring states, and monitoring bird locations with radio collars.

Presenter: Stephen Buback, Natural History Biologist, Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC)

Time/Date: Tuesday October 14 6:30 – 8:30 PM

Place: Overland Park Lutheran Church, 7810 West 79th, Overland Park

Public invited to Neosho Wildlife Area information night

Topics covered include renovations, water conditions and more

Sportsmen and women, and anyone who visits the Neosho Wildlife Area, are invited to attend a public information meeting Oct. 14 at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will take place at Function Junction, north of the Highway 59/ Highway 47 junction, on the east side of the road and will feature local Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) staff, and Ducks Unlimited (DU) representatives, who will discuss the status of the area.

Topics for the evening include:

▪ Neosho Wildlife Area renovation project and funding

▪ South Unit pump project

▪ Pool 5 water control structure

▪ Population status and fall flight forecast

▪ Kansas wetland conditions

▪ 2013-14 waterfowl harvest and hunter numbers

▪ iSportsman daily hunt permits

Attendees will have the opportunity to express their opinions and ask wildlife area staff questions.

For more information, contact the Neosho Wildlife Area office at (620) 449-2539.

Quail Initiative habitat tour and dinner, October 15th

Reserve your spot by Oct. 15

Landowners and anyone interested in improving quail habitat on their property are invited to attend a quail habitat tour and free dinner Tuesday, October 21 at Melvern Wildlife Area, Reading. Starting at 4:30 p.m., a tour of completed and active habitat projects on Melvern Wildlife Area will be conducted, followed by a catered meal at the ReadingCityBuilding around 6 p.m., compliments of the Neosho Valley Quail Forever and Emporia Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation chapters. Those interested in attending are asked to meet at the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) office, 2272 Road 250, on the east side of Reading.

Following dinner, KDWPT staff will update participants on the progress of the Quail Initiative Project and present information on bobwhite biology and habitat management. Local Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) personnel will also be on hand to discuss relevant cost-share programs available, as well as representatives from other local conservation organizations. The evening will wrap up with a time for questions, discussion, and the opportunity to sign up for habitat planning assistance.

The Kansas Quail Initiative is an effort spearheaded by KDWPT to implement additional funding in two areas of eastern Kansas to improve habitat for quail and monitor the changes over the next five years. The goal is to improve quail populations by 50 percent in these focus areas. The area of focus for this meeting includes the Melvern Wildlife Area and more than 190,000 acres in portions of Lyon, Wabaunsee, Osage and Coffey counties.

“We plan to offer 100 percent cost-sharing for landowners in these areas to implement ‘quail friendly practices’ on their land,” said Jim Pitman, KDWPT small game coordinator. “KDWPT has designated $100,000 each year to this effort and those dollars can be used to supplement the normal 75 percent cost-share rate from federal habitat programs. The bottom line is that landowners in this focal area will work with biologists to plan habitat improvements for quail and cost-share payments will cover all the costs,” Pitman added.

Some of the practices eligible for cost-share funding include native grass and forb planting, removal of invading trees from grasslands, prescribed burning, hedgerow renovation and prescribed grazing. During its first two years, the initiative has directly impacted nearly 1,300 private land acres and 4,400 public land acres.

To register for the tour and dinner, call (620) 342-0658 by October 15.

For more information on the Kansas Quail Initiative, contact KDWPT district biologist, Pat Riese, at (620) 583-5049.

Kansas Wetlands Education Center to host hunter breakfast Oct. 11

Breakfast will be accompanied by info booths, raffle, silent auction

Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area offers fantastic duck hunting opportunities and memories to last a lifetime, but now the wildlife area has even more to offer. On Oct. 11, opening day of the Low Plains Early Zone duck season, the Kansas Wetlands Education Center (KWEC), 592 NE K-156 Hwy, Great Bend, in conjunction with Great BendRegionalHospital, will host a hunter appreciation breakfast from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Not only can hunters come away from a hunt with dinner in hand, but a stomach full of hot biscuits and gravy, coffee, and juice.

After filling up on good eats, hunters can learn about the wetland’s history at the education center, peruse through items in the Cheyenne Bottoms Ducks Unlimited Chapter raffle and silent auction, as well visit waterfowl identification and waterfowl hunting information booths.

For more information about the breakfast, call the KWEC at (877) 243-9268.