Posts tagged: habitat
CONSERVATION — A Spokane man who won a big lottery jackpot put wildlife on the top of his list of benefactors from the windfall.
Kelly Cruz, 53, a local carpenter, scored a win in the Lucky for Life scratch ticket and will receive $1,000 a week for life.
That's a bit short of the mega millions jackpots we hear about every few months, but still a nice security blanket for anyone to win and still enough to give a man a shot at opening his wallet to a worthy cause.
According to today's story in The Spokesman-Review:
“With the money, he plans to buy a lifetime membership in the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and probably will give to more causes. But he doesn’t plan to move or make major changes in his life.
The Missoula-based RMEF, which has about 200,000 members, raises money and recruits volunteers to improve habitat for a wide range of wildlife, especially elk, across the country. A lifetime membership will set Cruz back for a week and a half of lottery winnings — a noble share to the cause.
Since it was founded in 1984, RMEF has:
The group also has organized more than 8,500 projects for permanent land protection, habitat stewardship, elk restoration, conservation education and hunting heritage.
PUBLIC LANDS — Slow-moving fires are planned for about 1,150 acres of U.S. Bureau of Land Management scablands southwest of Spokane near Fishtrap Lake starting this week to boost wildlife habitat and reduce the chance of intense wild fires during summer and fall.
The Spokane District will be conducting prescribed fires in the Fishtrap area of Spokane and Lincoln Counties, approximately 8.5 miles northeast of Sprague during the period from Wednesday, Jan. 15, through Feb. 28, depending on weather.
Smoke may be visible on active ignition days and for several days following, officials said, noting these burns are part of BLM's region-wide fire control program. A program of prescribed burns can help reduce the intensity and damage cause by natural fires, such as those that have burned in Lincoln County in recent years (photo above).
Prescribed fire is used to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires, and increase public and firefighter safety. It also helps meet a variety of resource management objectives: reducing hazardous fuels (surface or ladder fuels), and restoring habitats and ecosystems. To restore fire to its natural role in forests and rangelands, trained experts employ low intensity prescribed fire in the spring and fall, when weather conditions minimize escape and allow for controlled burning.
WILDLIFE — Idaho Fish and Game's monthly presentation for sportsmen is featuring habitat biologists:
COEUR d’ALENE SPORTSMEN’S
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2013
Breakfast.. $7.50 includes tax and gratuity
Lake City Senior Center, 1916 N. Lakewood Dr.
Coeur d’Alene, ID ~ Time – 6:30 AM
Habitat biologists will discuss Wildlife Management Area Plans for the northern Panhandle.
Biennial report tracks changes in Yellowstone National Park
The Yellowstone Center for Resources released its biennial report on conditions within Yellowstone National Park and the 2013 “Vital Signs” said that drier conditions were reported across the park in the past two years as precipitation has declined, visitor numbers have increased, while populations of elk, trumpeter swans and three species of fish have declined.
—Bozeman Daily Chronicle;
PUBLIC LANDS — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is planning to conduct prescribed fires in the Huckleberry Mountains area in Stevens County Dec. 12-Jan. 31, according to the Spokane District Office.
About 153 acres of public land will be burned, and smoke may be visible on active ignition days and subsequent days. The overall goal of this burn is to reduce the fire hazard and intensity.
Generally, controlled burns also improve wildlife habitat.
Prescribed fire is used in BLM's fire management program to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires, and increase public and firefighter safety. It also helps meet a variety of resource management objectives: reducing hazardous fuels (surface or ladder fuels), and restoring habitats and ecosystems. To restore fire to its natural role in forests and rangelands, trained experts employ low intensity prescribed fire in the spring and fall, when weather conditions minimize escape and allow for controlled burning.
The legal descriptions of the prescribed fire areas are Township 29 North, Range 37 East, Sections 1, 6, 12, 13, 18, 19, 24, and Township 31 North, Range 39 East, Sections 9, 10, and 34. The project areas are located approximately 10 miles northwest of the town of Wellpinit, Washington and 10 miles southwest of Chewelah, WA. The units are bordered by other BLM public lands and Washington Department of Natural Resources lands.
Habitat loss blamed for decline in monarch butterflies, wild bees
The return of the monarch butterflies to central Mexico didn't happen on Nov. 1 this year, but instead just a fraction of the millions of butterflies expected straggled in a week late, and the decline of that species, along with a slate of other insects including wild bees, has been linked to the loss of vegetation the insects need to survive.
—New York Times
WILDLIFE — The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation says it is transferring $223,943 in grants and other funding to help boost elk habitat programs in Idaho, including $50,000 for the wolf management program.
The funding is directed mostly to nine counties including Boundary, Clearwater, Latah and Shoshone.
Projects include controlled burns and weed control to boost big-game forage with the goal of reestablishing healthy elk habitat and populations, RMEF officials said.
“It’s no secret elk populations and habitat declined over the last few decades in north-central Idaho. RMEF is stepping up funding and research efforts and working with our partners to address improvements,” said David Allen, RMEF president. “We are also increasing our efforts to assist and strengthen the state’s wolf management program.”
CONSERVATION — Rance Block of Liberty Lake was honored today for decades of work to protect wildlife habitat and sportsmen's access to the outdoors across the West, especially in Eastern Washington.
Block left a 15-year career at Boeing to join the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and dedicate his negotiation talents to conservation. Block recently retired from RMEF after 20 years during which he had a direct hand in protecting more than 130,000 acres of wildlife habitat in six western states.
“One would think that I have great anecdotes about kicking the dirt with Rance and a land-owner or dawn hikes to spot wildlife … I don't,” said Peter Dykstra, Coalition board president who presented the award. “I know him from countless hours in community rooms working with communities to overcome differences, find common ground, and build dreams protecting vital wildlife habitat. The reality of conservation work is that you spend a lot of times indoors and not a lot of time outdoors.”
In his address, Block highlighted his work on the Rock Creek project as an example of how unconventional community partnerships and grants from sources like the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program can help preserve access for all outdoor enthusiasts.
The project near Naches protected more than 10,000 acres of wildlife habitat, addressing the problem of checker-board ownership that put access to the area in jeopardy.
The project, which closed in late 2012, garnered broad support from elected and business leaders in the community in addition to recreationists.
He was involved in several similar efforts to block up checkerboarded land that will boost efforts to maintain the big-game habitat as well as assure public access.
Block offered some advice to conservationists looking to expand partnerships:
“It's important to have a cup of coffee and listen to the needs of elected officials … potential partners … of outdoor users,” Block said. “In conservation work, there are a lot of potential partners that often go ignored when you're looking for supporters. It is important to recognize that people utilize our public lands differently and it's important to find ways to incorporate their support.”
He also noted that many of the breakfast's almost 700 attendees, most of them were over the age of 35. Block encouraged everyone in the room to take time to listen to the younger generation and craft programs that appeal to future conservationists.
Incidentally, the WWRC knows a few things about partnerships and conservation. Since it was founded 24 years ago, WWRC has leveraged $1.1 billion in government grants and appropriations and private donations to fund over 1,000 projects across the state. The money has used to create playgrounds for disabled kids, build urban and rural trails, buy wildlife habitat, secure farmland from development, provide new water access and more.
Read on for details about the Joan Thomas Award:
WILDLIFE — As mentioned in today's outdoors column about elk management in the Blue Mountains, Washington wildlife managers report good results from a program that signs contracts with farmers and ranchers to improve elk habitat and reduce big-game depredation issues on their lands.
One of the tactics is to plant “lure crops” to attract elk to higher elevation plots so they won't be so tempted to come down and ravage expensive crops such as garbanzo beans.
Remote camera photos such as the one above show elk using these food plots. Here's the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlfie field report that went with this and other photos:
Elk Lure Crops: Conflict Specialist Rasley met with two farmers on Wilson Hollow in Walla Walla County “regarding no elk damage.” Both farmers said, “This is the first time in over 20 years we have not had 60 plus head of elk in our garbs.” They asked what the reasoning was and Rasley showed them both where all 68 head of elk are living now; in our newly planted lure crops some five miles up the road.
HABITAT — Keep your fingers crossed, ranchers, farmers and hunters. Maybe this will work — and yellow starthistle will be next!
WSU researcher puts cheatgrass enemy to test in Idaho
Ann Kennedy believes ACK55, a bacteria that naturally occurs in soils, is a natural enemy of cheatgrass, and the Washington State University is putting the bacteria to the test on cheatgrass on a 7-acre plot at Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge in Canyon County.
WILDLIFE — Starting as early as Monday, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife plans to ignite controlled burns on parts of two wildlife areas in northeast Washington to reduce wildfire risks and enhance wildlife habitat.
NATIVE PLANTS — The huckleberry bush, the most revered shrub in the Inland Northwest, is getting less respect as berry pickers succumb to greed.
Practices are getting so bad, the Forest Service has issued a media release warning that recently observed practices — such as CUTTING OFF A BUSH SO BERRIES COULD BE MORE EASILY PICKED — are against the law and punishable by a fine of up to $5,000.
It's safe to say most huckleberry plant abusers aren't among the families returning to their favorite huckleberry hot spots generation after generation. None of these people wants to damage plants and reduce the harvest of future years.
However, many people may not realize the senseless and improper use of rake-like huckleberry pickers also damages the berry bushes.
Meanwhile, read on for more information on the latest damaging practices reported by the Forest Service.
PUBLIC LANDS — Fires were purposely set on the Colville National Forest last week to provide two big dividends later this summer: a hedge against catastrophic wildfire and a boom in lush tender growth to feed elk.
Colville National Forest crews have completed a 320-acre prescribed fire in the Sullivan Creek drainage in northern Pend Oreille County just east of the Cascade Cut-off Road (Forest Road 2200250).
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation helped fund the effort to improve local forage for big game, reduce hazardous fuels in the forest and re-introduce fire into the ecosystem.
Read on for details.
WILDLIFE — Dave Leptich, habitat specialist for the Idaho Fish and Game Department, has planned a highly interactive discussion for tonight in his program on wildlife habitat, Sponsored by the Coeur d'Alene Audubon Society.
Place: Lutheran Church of the Master, 4800 N. Ramsey, in Coeur d'Alene.
Time: 7: p.m.
Program: “Wildlife Habitat Fundamentals”
The audience should come away with a more complex view of wildlife habitat and a framework from which to understand and interpret management decisions and actions.
Leptich is a Regional Habitat Biologist with the agency. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Resources from the University of Idaho, and a Master of Science Degree in Wildlife Management from the University of Maine.
FISHERIES — The Inland Northwest netted millions for fish and wildlie habitat restoration from a total of $53 million grants recently awarded from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund primarily aimed at boosting endangered species.
States must contribute a minimum match of 25 percent of the estimated program costs of approved projects, or 10 percent when two or more states or territories implement a joint project.
In Washington, state partners will receive $4.6 million in grants benefiting dozens of species.
The Eastern Washington projects include:
Western Montana partners landed $4 million for funding a conservation easement on 9,300 acres of the Stimson Forestlands Conservation Project in Missoula County to benefit fish and wildlife.
See a complete list of the National 2011 grant awards under these programs.
CONSERVATION — A free gardening class on Drought Resistant Grasses, Lawn Alternatives and Installing a Drip Irrigation System will be offered from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on six different dates this month at six Little Spokane Watershed Fire Stations:
The class, being repeated due to popular demand, will be presented by Water Smart Outreach Coordinator, Dixie Chichester, from WSU Pend Oreille County Extension on the following schedule:
Every class is free, thanks to sponsorship by the Little Spokane Water Smart Alliance (LSWSA), but pre-registration will reserve handouts and allow notification if class is canceled.
Call (509) 447-2401 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
The LSWSA also currently offers $100 rebates to homeowners in the Little Spokane River Watershed who purchase qualifying Energy Star clothes washers and Water Sense efficient toilets.
For further information about the rebates visit www.littlespokanewatersmart .org or call (509) 447-6454 (Pend Oreille County) or (509) 477-3604 (Spokane and Stevens Counties).
CONSERVATION — The Nature Conservancy’s Arid Lands Program will shed some light on the importance Eastern Washington shrub-steppe habitats during a slide program on Wednesday, 7 p.m., sponsored by Spokane Audubon Society.
The free program will be presented at the Riverview Community Building, 2117 E. North Crescent Ave.
See a map for directions.
WILDLIFE HABITAT — Elk research at Mt. St. Helens and habitat improvements on four national forests and other public lands in Washington headline a just-announced slate of projects selected for 2011 grants from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
The far-east side of the state isn't overlooked, with prescribed burn habitat improvement projects set for Asotin, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties.
The new RMEF grants total $156,380 with an impact on up to 100,000 acres, officials said. The money usually is leveraged with money from other groups or agencies for more benefits on the ground
Read on for more details.
HABITAT — Pend Oreille County property owners can learn to manage pests and noxious weeds and sign up for neighborhood cost-share assistance in a free March 26 workshop offered by WSU Pend Oreille County Extension and the Weed Board.
The event runs 8 a.m.-noon at Camas Center for Community Wellness, 1821 N. LeClerc Rd. in Usk.
Pre-register: (509) 447-2402 or email email@example.com.
Read on for details.