Daily Archives: November 2, 2014

Do you care about the future of Bureau of Land Management public lands?

All hunters and anglers should, they offer more than 245 million acres of some of the best hunting and fishing in the nation.

The Bureau of Land Management is beginning the process of updating its national land use planning handbook, used by all BLM land use planners and district managers, to guide its long-term planning decisions. While it may sound unexciting, this process will impact sportsmen’s access, how habitat improvement projects are prioritized and important conservation tools for fish and wildlife. In short, our public lands sporting opportunities are at stake. Sportsmen should be involved.

The BLM has dubbed this process “Planning 2.0” and has hosted public listening sessions in Denver and Sacramento. Help sportsmen make a strong showing by contacting BLM

Suggested talking points for contacting BLM:

I hunt and fish on BLM-managed public lands in the West, and I understand personally the value of these areas for fish and wildlife habitat and hunting and fishing. As a sportsman I ask that you consider the following measures when rewriting the BLM planning regulations:

▪ Priority habitats and migration corridors: Set clear direction for the identification, conservation and restoration of important fish and wildlife habitats and migration corridors.

▪ Landscape level planning: Plan energy developments at the landscape level to ensure that future developments are balanced with the needs of fish and wildlife and outdoor recreation.

▪ Backcountry areas: Create a management tool for the responsible management of intact and undeveloped backcountry areas with high-quality habitats and dispersed hunting and fishing opportunities. This tool should meaningfully conserve intact lands, include a strong active restoration emphasis and maintain important public access.

▪ Travel management: Provide direction that prioritizes the retention and maintenance of roads and trails that are important access points for hunting, fishing and wildlife management. The agency should also make it a priority to conserve important wildlife security areas from fragmentation and the development of new roads.

▪ Multiple use: Recognize that fish and wildlife habitat conservation and outdoor recreation such as hunting and fishing are components of multiple-use management that deserve equal consideration with other uses.

▪ State wildlife agency objectives: Through the BLM’s land use planning handbook, the BLM should specifically support state wildlife agency population and management objectives.

Sportsmen in the West are dependent on publicly accessible, highly functioning BLM public lands. These lands are essential for producing quality big game, sustaining robust fisheries and maximizing maintainable hunting and fishing opportunities. Hunters and anglers are urging the agency to consider important lands and unfragmented habitats – and ways to responsibly administer them to ensure the future of our sporting traditions – as it develops management tools for the future. Planning 2.0 is our opportunity to create a BLM planning approach that directly benefits hunters and anglers and fish and wildlife populations, along with the billions of dollars of annual economic boost provided by public land recreationists.

Take a moment to sign a letter to the BLM. Go to: https://secure3.convio.net/trcp/site/Advocacy;jsessionid=2F0D481700C8B67B7C78226476EFC49A.app332a?pagename=homepage&page=UserAction&id=381&AddInterest=1301

 

Protection against the next hurricane Sandy

Better, Cheaper Protection Against the Next Superstorm Sandy

Ending government insurance subsidies and investing in the land’s natural defenses would save billions in disaster relief.

By

COLLIN O’MARA AND SCOTT CARMILANI

Oct. 31, 2014 6:29 p.m. ET

The second anniversary of Hurricane Sandy this month is a reminder that the U.S. remains woefully unprepared for superstorms and other extreme weather events. Federal statutes continue unwittingly to incentivize development in hazard-prone areas, while fiscal politics prevent sizable investments in resilience measures. This dichotomy distorts private markets and exacerbates the potential liability of the U.S. Treasury.

Fortunately there are policy reforms, which should enjoy bipartisan support, that will reduce risks from extreme storms and floods, reduce exposure for taxpayers, and expand private market opportunities—all in ways that enhance critical fish and wildlife habitat and other natural resources.

That’s why, as leaders of America’s largest conservation organization and a global provider of insurance and reinsurance solutions, we are issuing a call to action in a newreport, “Natural Defenses from Hurricanes and Floods.” Protecting the country and ecosystems from extreme weather should be confronted in three ways:

A volunteer helps rebuild a house for Habitat for Humanity in Coney Island, N.Y., on Wednesday. ASSOCIATED PRESS

A volunteer helps rebuild a house for Habitat for Humanity in Coney Island, N.Y., on Wednesday. ASSOCIATED PRESS

First, fix federal and state laws that encourage risky development by privatizing economic benefits while socializing losses. Subsidies within the National Flood Insurance Program should be phased out with sensitivity to low-income households. In addition, a greater portion of federal disaster-relief funds allocated to state and local governments under the Stafford Act should be dedicated to mitigate hazards. Communities should be required to take proactive mitigation measures to be eligible for assistance in the aftermath of natural disasters.

Congress also should strengthen the Coastal Barrier Resources Act, which prevents federal subsidies for risky development on some sensitive coastal lands. It should make restoration projects a priority in the Army Corps of Engineers’ budget; and it should finalize Clean Water Act protections of wetlands and streams that absorb millions of gallons of floodwater.

Second, government should encourage clear market signals and provide public information to enable people and investors to make informed, thoughtful decisions about the level of inherent risk of building or living in different locations. There are several efforts under way at the federal and state levels to improve floodplain mapping and other scientific data that will help, but this information has to be accessible, interoperable and understandable for all audiences.

Third, and perhaps most important, major investments in “natural infrastructure” should become the preferred means of defending communities against the dangers of extreme weather. Protecting and restoring wetlands, dunes, living shorelines, upland forests and other open space provides a host of benefits: flood protection, clean water, habitat for fish and wildlife, and increased opportunities for recreation and tourism.

Just as Sandy showed the growing risk from extreme storms in our changing climate, healthy urban marshes in New York, New Jersey and Delaware demonstrated how natural defenses can provide unrivaled protection from the damage they can inflict. For example, a broad coalition of federal, state and local agencies in New York have spent eight years restoring more than 150 acres of wetlands in Jamaica Bay using hundreds of thousands of cubic feet of dredged material and more than a million native marsh plants. These restored marshes held strong during Sandy and helped absorb the storm’s destructive wave action. According to a 2008 study published in the journal of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, coastal wetlands provide as much as $23.2 billion worth of storm protection annually in the U.S.

There are a growing number of natural-infrastructure success stories. Philadelphia, Chicago and Duluth are using healthy wetlands and vegetated floodplains to reduce flooding risks and clean storm water. Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and several Gulf states are restoring wetlands, building living shorelines that rely on plants and their roots instead of concrete to stabilize the shore, and restoring wetlands that can contain and absorb floodwaters to improve resilience and enhance wildlife habitat. California’s Yuba County has made levees protecting its farms and communities from floods more effective and cheaper to maintain by establishing setbacks and restoring native vegetation that allow “room for the river.”

Natural infrastructure is longer-lasting and more cost-effective than levees and sea walls for protection against storms and floods. A Marshall Plan-scale investment in resilience is needed, much of which could come from requiring that existing and future infrastructure appropriations prioritize natural infrastructure. According to a 2005 study by the Multi-hazard Mitigation Council, every $1 spent on risk reduction prevents $4 in disaster costs. Natural infrastructure investments will save lives and billions of dollars in property damage.

Not much is expected from Washington these days, yet reforming disaster preparedness may have bipartisan appeal. For conservatives, our proposed solutions reduce federal expenses and support private markets. For liberals, the solutions protect local communities and restore natural resources. What are we waiting for?

Mr. O’Mara is president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. Mr. Carmilani is president and CEO of Allied World Assurance Company Holdings , AG.

Mule deer

Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) Photo Credit: Jennifer Jarrett

http://jenniferajarrett.blogspot.com/2012/03/deer.html

 

Mule Deer by http://jenniferajarrett.blogspot.com/2012/03/deer.html

Mule Deer by http://jenniferajarrett.blogspot.com/2012/03/deer.html

In Kansas, mule deer are only found in the western one-third of the state, especially on the High Plains, Smoky Hills, and Red Hills. White tailed deer are more common east of these locations.

Compared to a white-tailed deer, the mule deer is slightly smaller in stature, has a black-tipped tail & larger ears. Also the antlers bifurcate as they grow instead of sprouting smaller branches off a main stem. The buck’s antlers are shed in the winter after rutting has occurred in the fall. Although mule deer can run, they frequently engage in stotting (pronking or pronging). This behavior is characterized by springing into the air with all feet off the ground simultaneously while the head is pointed downward as do gazelles. They have a relatively small rumen requiring them to eat only nutritious plants. Their habitat is becoming fragmented by construction of highways and residential subdivisions.

President Obama Expands National Marine Monument

 

Green Sea Turtle photo by Adam Victorino

Green Sea Turtle photo by Adam Victorino

From Defenders of Wildlife Blog

“The expanded Pacific Remote Islands National Monument will provide a necessary safe haven for protected wildlife, along with many other species that will benefit from these conservation efforts. Millions of seabirds from 19 different species depend on the refuge areas and play a critical role in the food chain in the shore ecosystems. In addition to the value to seabirds, the monument also expands the range in which manta rays can safely forage, supports at least 22 species of marine mammals and protects five species of sea turtles.”  To see full report from Defenders of Wildlife, visit:

http://www.defendersblog.org/2014/10/cool-water-president-obama-expands-national-marine-monument/