Daily Archives: October 23, 2014

185 Sportsmen Groups Come Together in Support of Clean Water Rule

From The Outdoor Wire

 

One-hundred eighty-five sportsmen groups, including the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, the National Wildlife Federation, Trout Unlimited and the Izaak Walton League of America, have released a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Assistant Secretary of the Army Jo-Ellen Darcy expressing their support for the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers’ clean water rulemaking on the heels of the Clean Water Act’s 42nd anniversary on Oct. 18.

The agencies’ proposed clean water rule would clarify Clean Water Act protections for water bodies that provide drinking water for one in three Americans and benefit fish and wildlife and their habitats. The rulemaking process responds to two Supreme Court rulings (in 2001 and 2006) and subsequent agency actions, all of which muddied the proverbial waters by creating uncertainty about which bodies of water were protected under the Clean Water Act, leaving many of our nation’s waterways at increased risk of pollution and destruction.

“The Clean Water Act is the most successful tool we have to protect our water sources. Yet for the past decade, we haven’t had a clear understanding of its scope,” said Jan Goldman-Carter, senior manager of wetlands and water resources at the National Wildlife Federation. “As a result, wetlands are being destroyed, and water quality in our streams is decreasing. We need to see the rulemaking process through and restore clarity to our regulations so that we can begin to reverse the damage that’s been done.”

Sportsmen have been actively engaged on the issue and are particularly concerned that efforts to derail the clean water rule would harm the U.S. hunting- and fishing-based economy, which generates $200 billion in annual economic activity and supports 1.5 million jobs.

Of particular importance for sportsmen is the 140-percent increase in the rate of wetlands loss between 2004 and 2009, which has caused the destruction of critical waterfowl habitat and decreased hunting opportunities.

“A suitable Clean Water Act anniversary present would be for the White House to move swiftly to finalize the rule – and for all of us to recommit to completing the process, improving the proposed rule and finalizing a rule that provides clarity and certainty to the regulated community while conserving fish and wildlife and sustaining America’s outdoor traditions,” said Jimmy Hague, director of the Center for Water Resources at the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

According to a recent report, nearly 60 percent of all stream miles in the U.S. are considered small, intermittent or headwater, and protecting these seasonal waterways from foreign materials and toxins is critical to maintaining clean water for drinking and recreation, as well as safe and healthy fish and wildlife habitats.

“While Saturday was the anniversary of the Clean Water Act, America’s anglers celebrate clean water every day they spend a day out fishing,” said Steve Moyer, vice president for government affairs at Trout Unlimited. “We intimately know the importance of headwater streams for providing habitat for spawning and young fish, as well as preserving water for larger downstream rivers, which is why Trout Unlimited and our 150,000 members strongly support the proposed rule to restore protections to these headwater streams.”

“For 30 years the Clean Water Act stood for the basic idea that we all should be responsible for what we put in the water and what we do to wetlands and streams,” said Mike Leahy, conservation director for the Izaak Walton League of America. “With the clean water rule, the Clean Water Act will once again say we are all responsible for our nation’s waters, whether we live upstream or down.”

The agencies are accepting public comment on the proposed rule through Nov. 14, 2014. Members of the public interested in commenting can do so here.

 

Buffalo auction at Maxwell Wildlife Refuge

Approximately 55 cows, heifers, bulls, and calves will be available

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The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) will host its annual Maxwell Wildlife Refuge Buffalo Auction Wednesday, Nov. 12 at 11 a.m. Approximately 55 buffalo from the KDWPT herd will be available for purchase, including three cows; five yearling heifers; eight heifer calves; seven cow/calf pairs; 10 yearling bulls; eight two-year-old bulls; and seven bull calves. The corrals are located six miles north and one and a quarter miles west of Canton.

Auctioneer services will be provided by Lyle Leppke and Roger Hiebert, and lunch and concessions will be served by Friends of Maxwell.

The Department reserves the right to reject any or all bids. All purchases must be paid in cash. Personal checks will be accepted if accompanied by a notarized authorization letter from the issuing bank.

Buffalo over one year old will be brucellosis and tuberculosis tested and accompanied by a health certificate. Heifer calves will be vaccinated for brucellosis and certificates will be issued.

Buyers must pick up buffalo the day of the sale or make arrangements with the refuge manager prior to the sale. Animals become buyer’s responsibility upon settlement on sale day. Load out assistance is available until dusk. Stock racks and trailers should be covered or lined as buffalo transport is best done in darkened conditions.

For more information, call refuge manager Cliff Peterson at (620) 628-4592, KDWPT Wichita Regional Office at (316) 683-8069, or KDWPT Pratt Operations Office at (620) 672-5911.

November Hunting Seasons in Kansas

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For most people, Christmas comes on Dec. 25, but for hunters and anglers, the best gifts arrive one month earlier. November marks the start of four hunting and fishing seasons that are a must-do in the SunflowerState, and if you’ve never partaken in these fall festivities, you may want to reconsider your plans this upcoming month.

TROUT FISHING:

From Nov. 1, 2014-April 15, 2015, anglers can enjoy some of the best fishing opportunities in the state as nearly 30 public fishing areas will be stocked periodically with this special species.

Special permits apply, so consult the 2014 Fishing Regulations Summary for complete details on your favorite waters.

To view a complete trout stocking schedule for a specific location, visit www.ksoutdoors.com and click “Fishing/Special Fishing Programs for You/Trout Fishing Program.”

GOOSE HUNTING

If wild turkeys aren’t your idea of a hardy holiday bird, consider bagging a goose this season. Hunters can pursue geese during the following seasons:

Canada Geese

Season: Nov. 1-9, 2014 AND Nov. 12, 2014-Feb. 15, 2015

Daily bag limit: 6 (including Brant). Possession limit: 18.

White-Fronted Geese

Season: Nov. 1-Dec. 14, 2014 AND Jan. 17-Feb. 15, 2015

Daily bag limit: 2. Possession limit: 6.

Light Geese

Season: Nov. 1-9, 2014 AND Nov. 12, 2014-Feb. 15, 2015

Daily bag limit: 50. No possession limit.

PHEASANT AND QUAIL SEASON

Recent rains leading to increased brood-rearing habitat across the state have several areas harboring more birds this year. Consider taking a peek at the 2014 Upland Bird Forecast on ksoutdoors.com to locate your next hunting honey pot.

Pheasant

Regular Season: November 8, 2014 – January 31, 2015

Youth Season: November 1-2, 2014

Daily Bag Limit: 4 cocks in regular season, 2 cocks in youth season.

NOTE: Pheasants in possession for transportation must retain intact a foot, plumage, or some part that will determine sex.

Quail

Regular Season: November 8, 2014 – January 31, 2015

Youth Season: November 1-2, 2014

Daily Bag Limit: 8 in regular season, 4 in youth season.

SANDHILL CRANES

Although not as widely sought-after as geese and ducks, sandhill cranes are a challenging quarry to hunt. Consider experiencing this unique season this year.

Season: Nov. 5 2014-Jan 1, 2015

Daily bag limit: 3. Possession limit: 9.

All sandhill crane hunters must take an online crane identification test each year before obtaining the required federal permit to hunt. The test can be found by visiting www.ksoutdoors.com  and clicking “Hunting/Migratory Birds/Sandhill Crane.”

Quivira and Kirwin National Wildlife Refuge are closed to crane hunting.