Latest from The Spokesman-Review
WETLANDS CONSERVATION — A bill that would increase the price of a federal Duck Stamp is headed for President Obama's desk — to the applause of organized sportsmen and conservation groups.
A bipartisan bill that would raise the price of a Duck Stamp from $15 to $25 and channel millions of dollars toward wetlands and other waterfowl habitat conservation passed the Senate today. Groups involving hunters who will have to dig deeper to pay the annual fee have championed the measure all the way through Congress.
The Federal Duck Stamp Act of 2014 (S. 2621), introduced by Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, would increase the cost of a Duck Stamp, the annual permit required to hunt migratory waterfowl, for the first time since 1991. Today’s action follows a November vote by the House of Representatives to advance a companion bill (H.R. 5069), introduced by Rep. John Fleming of Louisiana, that drew similarly broad bipartisan support.
“At a time when millions of acres of wildlife habitat are at risk of being lost forever, congressional approval of this bipartisan legislation is a critical boost for wetlands conservation,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. “By restoring the lost purchasing power of the Federal Duck Stamp, this legislation will give us the opportunity to work with thousands of additional landowners across the nation to maintain vital habitat for waterfowl, grassland birds and hundreds of other native species.”
“For decades, duck hunters have proudly paid their own way,” said TRCP President and CEO Whit Fosburgh, “funding countless conservation initiatives all across the country that have helped increase duck numbers and improve wetland habitat. Yet we want to do more.
“The price of a Duck Stamp has not been increased since 1991,” Fosburgh continued. “During that time, the price of a first class U.S. postage stamp has increased 14 times. Duck hunters and waterfowl enthusiasts understand the importance of our Duck Stamp purchases, and we thank Congress for putting aside politics to pass this commonsense bill.”
Since 1934, sales of Federal Duck Stamps have generated more than $800 million, resulting in the purchase or lease of more than 6 million acres of U.S. wetlands habitat as part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wildlife Refuge System.
“This week’s actions represent a much-needed win for wetlands conservation, Prairie Pothole protection, the National Wildlife Refuge System and sportsmen’s interests,” said Steve Kline, TRCP director of government relations. “From a practical perspective, they also mean more ducks and better hunting seasons – as well as increased funds to expand and enhance access to places where waterfowlers can enjoy quality days afield.”
CONSERVATION — Members of two important wildlife conservation groups have set their annual fundraisers in Spokane:
Mule Deer Foundation, April 5, Lincoln Center, 1316 N. Lincoln St. Dinner, auction, games.
- Sign-up: muledeer.org/node/2178.
- Info: 994-5031.
Ducks Unlimited, April 10, Lincoln Center, 1316 N. Lincoln St. Dinner, auction, shotgun raffle.
- Sign-up: ducks.org.
- Info: (509) 435-6450.
HUNTING — Ducks Unlimited is offering a barbecue lunch for youth waterfowl hunters and their parents/chaperones at Mar Don Resort, Potholes Reservoir, on Youth Waterfowl Hunt Day, Saturday, Sept. 21, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Each of the first 48 youth, who is registered online ($5 fee) on or before Sept. 19 – will receive a bbq lunch, a “duck hunter’s bucket”, Haydel duck call and lanyard, and a gun tool, all donated by Colonel Tom O’Dell, of Moses Lake. DU has donated a duck identification poster, DU duck call and cap for each young hunter, as well, while Kraft Foods has donated a snack pack for each youth.
Please visit the DU website, , or, the specific address is: to
The fee is $10 for the parent/chaperone, who accompany the youth, and they will be fed, too!
An anonymous donor is buying a Greenwing (youth) membership for each of the first 48 who sign up.
Mike Nilsen, WA State DU Chairman-Elect is coordinating the event. Mike is a career Navy NCO, who is working with Col. O’Dell to make this happen for our young hunters.
Sept. 21-22 is the special youth only waterfowl and upland game bird hunting season, which gives hunters under 16 years of age a jump start on the general seasons that open later this fall. Non-hunting adults at least 18 years of age must accompany young hunters. Check WDFW’s Migratory Waterfowl and Upland Game Seasons pamphlet for details.
Today Jewell and Portland Mayor Charlie Hales are set to announce nearly two dozen conservation projects to help boost youth employment, the Department of the Interior says.
On Friday, she, Gov. John Kitzhaber and a representative from Washington Gov. Jay Inslee will sign an agreement to speed the review and permitting of energy generation and power transmission projects in the Northwest.
CONSERVATION – The Spokane chapter of Ducks Unlimited will hold its annual fundraising banquet April 11 at the Lincoln Center. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.
Bob Zorb of Spokane and St. John, who was unable to travel for the national ceremony in Washington, D.C, will receive DU’s national private lands conservationist of the year award at this Spokane event.
Get tickets online at ducks.org/washington.
CONSERVATION — A two-hour fun shoot plus demonstrations on boating safety, retriever handling and using decoys use demonstrations will be featured at a March 24 fund-raising event at the Colton Boosters Gun Club sponsored by the Palouse Chapter of Ducks Unlimited.
A duck calling lesson for kids also is planned.
The activities will start at 1:30 p.m. Porky’s Pit Barbeque of Pullman serve pulled pork and chicken at 4 p.m., followed by the Ducks Unlimited raffles and auctions. The event will wrap up by 6 p.m.
A 25-bird round of trap costs $2.50 for kids and $3.75 for adults; the youngsters will have their own shooting line and coaches. Shooting will start by 2pm and end at 3:30pm.
“We are hoping to have some other outdoor demonstrations as well, perhaps bird-watching, bow-hunting or fishing clubs will participate,” says DU District Chair Joe Ford. “There’s a lot of ways to have fun outdoors, and DU projects benefit over 900 species of fish and wildlife. It’s so much more than just ducks!”
After the guns go quiet at 3:30, the Greenwing kids will get a lesson in calling waterfowl, followed by a brief kids calling contest (calls are provided). There will also be a demonstration of hunting dog work.
Adult beverages will be available from the Colton Boosters Club after the fun shoot.
Admission: $40 for a single adult, $70 per couple, and $30 for kids under 17.
- The price includes DU membership and a DU cap, as well as dinner. Shooting fees are collected from participants by the gun club.
Tickets will be available through the national DU website, or by calling (509) 288- 7013 or (541) 979-9025.
Hunting, waterfowl, wetlands conservation, wolves, sportsman shows and other stories of interest were in the news last week in The Spokesman-Review's outdoors coverage:
HUNTING — Ducks Unlimited officials in Idaho restated their zero-tollerance policy for illegal hunting tactics last week after a former volunteer chapter chairman from Hagerman was convicted of baiting ducks with corn.
Ducks Unlimited leaders condemned Steele’s hunting tactics, not only as a violation of the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act but also the ethics of fair-chase that govern hunting, the Associated Press reports.
Mond Warren, the group’s regional director in Nampa, called corn baiting akin to using salt to lure big game such as elk nearer to hunters’ scopes.
“We have a zero tolerance for any type of game violation,” Warren said. “It’s a very stringent policy, there’s no wavering on it. Our job is waterfowl conservation and wetland conservation.”
Warren might have used better analogy. Putting out salt or even bait for big-game hunting is illegal in Idaho but legal in Washington.
Baiting for waterfowl and other migratory birds is strictly forbidden in all states by federal law.
Read on for the entire Associated Press story about the baiting case.
CONSERVATION — Ducks Unlimited is holding a recruitment meeting Thursday (Dec. 13) in Spokane for people interested in helping organize a fundraiser for wildlife habitat projects.
DU is a nonprofit (501.c.3), volunteer run, conservation organization, that covers the USA, Mexico and Canada.
Bernard Brown, DU's senior regional director for Washington, will meet with conservation-minded waterfowl enthusiasts from 5 p.m.-6 p.m. at O’Doherty’s Irish Grille, 525 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.
Contact Brown at (509) 860-1510 or email Bernard Brown email@example.com.
CONSERVATION – Duck Unlimited will hold its annual Guns, Gear and Beer fundraising event starting at 6 p.m. June 16 at The Condon Barn, 4801 S. Coleman Lane in Spoakne.
Cost: $40, includes steak dinner, beverages and DU Membership
Info: Dave Cote 939-5351; Mike Condon 995-0707.
OUTDOOR PROGRAMS — Here's a few outdoor programs to consider catching this week:
Fly fishing – “Match the Hatch Simplified,” free program by Oregon fly-fishing author Dave Hughes, 7 p.m., Wednesday (Feb. 8) at St. Francis School, 1104 W. Heroy, hosted by the Spokane Fly Fishers.
Map and compass – Free seminar on basics of reading a map and applying a compass for navigation, 7 p.m., Thursday (Feb. 9), at REI. Pre-register here to assure a spot.
Wetlands – The Pullman chapter of Ducks Unlimited will hold its annual fund-raising banquet for wetlands conservation on Feb. 12 at the Paradise Creek Brewery in Pullman. Tickets: Joe Ford (509) 872-3030.
WETLAND CONSERVATION — The Pullman chapter of Ducks Unlimited will hold its annual fund-raising event on Feb. 12 at the Paradise Creek Brewery in downtown Pullman.
Social hour starts at 4 p.m. A ticket gets you in for heavy hors doeurves, a drink of choice, the fundraising auction and membership in Ducks Unlimited, which is celebrating its 75th year of efforts for waterfowl conservation.
For tickets, contact Joe Ford (509) 872-3030; Vic DeMacon (509) 336-9151, or Jeremy Lessmann (509) 336-9559.
Since 1937, DU has conserved 12 million acres of habitat across North America, benefiting more than 900 different species of wildlife.
CONSERVATION — With waterfowlers gearing up for the fall general season start (Oct. 15), the West Plains Chapter of Ducks Unlimited is sponsoring BBQ buffet dinner and fundraising auction Oct. 6 at Northern Quest Casino.
Many species of wildlife benefit from the work of DU and the generosity of sportsmen and other conservationist to preserve and restore wetland habitats.
Buy tickets online by Oct. 1 for a chance on $100 Duck Bucks to use on the Live Auction!
Read on for details.
WETLANDS CONSERVATION – Ducks Unlimited is asking duck hunters and other waterfowl enthusiasts to “double up for the ducks” by purchasing two federal duck stamps this year.
“The federal duck stamp has been an important tool in waterfowl habitat conservation for 77 years, but its ability to purchase and conserve important waterfowl habitat has been greatly diminished by inflation and rising land prices,” DU CEO Dale Hall said. “The purpose of the ‘Double Up for the Ducks’ campaign is to show that hunters support the program and are willing to pay more for the duck stamp in order to conserve waterfowl habitat. We view the duck stamp as an investment in conservation, not as a tax on hunters.”
This effort is part of a larger campaign currently being led by Ducks Unlimited to increase the price of the federal duck stamp.
Read on for details.
WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT — The U.S. Senate Thursday evening confirmed Daniel Ashe as the 16th director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Ashe, a career employee of the agency, assumed his duties immediately.
Dale Hall, CEO of Ducks Unlimited — and the FWS director from 2005-2009 — praised the Senate action.
“I have known and worked with Dan for more than 15 years," Hall said. "He’s a strong supporter of wildlife resources, an avid outdoorsman and a committed conservationist. The Fish and Wildlife Service is an important partner to Ducks Unlimited, and we look forward to working together to tackle the challenges facing wetlands and waterfowl today."
Ashe has served as the Service's deputy director since August 2009. From 2003 to 2009, he was the science advisor to the Service's director with broad responsibility to develop and implement the agency's scientific policy and programs for resource management.
CONSERVATION– Ducks Unlimited has scheduled several upcoming fundraising events to benefit wetlands conservation. Amont them:
April 7 – Spokane DU annual dinner, doors open at 5:30 p.m. at The Lincoln Center, 1316 N. Lincoln St. Tickets $50 single, $275 sponsor.
Contact Gordon Hester, 755-7576 or register online.
CONSERVATION — Pullman Ducks Unlimited will hold its annual banquet and auction Saturday, March 26, at Banyan’s Restaurant at the Palouse Ridge Golf Course.
Social hour begins at 5:30 p.m.; dinner served at 7 and live auction at 8.
Tickets: Jeremy Lessmann, (509) 330-1822.
WILDLIFE CONSERVATION – The Pullman, Washington Chapter of Ducks Unlimited will hold its annual fund-raising banquet on March 26 at Banyan’s Restaurant, 1260 NE Palouse Ridge Road on the WSU Golf Course.
Doors will open at 5:30, with raffles, games and silent auctions during the social hour followed by a buffet dinner and live auction.
Ducks Unlimited is a non-profit organization dedicated to waterfowl and wetlands conservation.
Since its inception in 1937, DU has conserved more than 10 million acres of habitat throughout North America for a large variety of species.
Several projects in Washington State have helped salmon as well as waterfowl by rehabilitating estuaries and riparian habitat.
For tickets and information on the Pullman event, contact Robert “Bo” Ingham (509) 592-8855), Joe Ford (509) 872-3030 or go online.