January 23, 2019

Open Thread – April 12, 2012

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Oregon Habitat Projects Selected for RMEF Funding

MISSOULA, Mont.–Rejuvenating decadent meadows used by foraging elk and other wildlife is the central theme in a list of Oregon conservation projects slated to receive grants in 2012 from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

The RMEF funding commitment totals $165,500 and affects 17 counties: Benton, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Grant, Harney, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Morrow, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa and Wheeler.

Two projects have statewide interest with implications across the northwestern U.S.

“Oregon’s native grasslands are slowly shrinking because of fire suppression, encroaching conifers and noxious weed infestations. The projects that we’re funding this year will help restore some of those areas to a more natural condition,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “Our grants also will help to develop springs and guzzlers, remove old fencing and support important research across the state.”

RMEF’s mission is to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat. Since 1985, the organization and its partners have completed 703 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Oregon with a combined value of more than $42 million.

Funding for RMEF grants is based on local membership drives and banquet fundraising by RMEF chapters and volunteers in Oregon. Allen thanked RMEF supporters for their dedication to conservation both in Oregon and all across elk country.

RMEF grants will help fund the following 2012 projects in Oregon, listed by county:

Crook County–Thin encroaching juniper, prescribe burn and seed native forage plants to improve habitat for elk, deer, turkey, quail and other wildlife on 2,069 acres in the Maury Mountains of the Ochoco National Forest.

Curry County–Prescribe burn and seed native forage plants over 401 acres of Roosevelt elk habitat in the Gold Beach Ranger District of the Siskiyou National Forest.

Douglas County–Improve elk foraging areas by thinning, prescribe burning and seeding native forage plants on 125 acres in the Dixon Game Management Unit of the Umpqua National Forest; prescribe burn 200 acres in the Ragged Ridge area of the Umpqua National Forest; create and/or maintain 59 acres of forage openings to improve wildlife habitat in the Toketee Ranger Station area of the Umpqua National Forest.

Grant County–Treat 100 acres of noxious weeds and develop six springs to improve habitat for elk, deer, antelope and bighorn sheep in the Widows Creek area.

Harney County–Repair and improve guzzlers, maintain and/or remove aspen exclosure fences, and seed native forage plants on retired roads to improve 80 acres of elk habitat in the Dairy Creek area of the Malheur National Forest.

Klamath County–Provide sponsorship for Promoting Lifelong Activities for Youth Outdoors (PLAY Outdoors) event to introduce youths to outdoor recreation and conservation (also affects Lake County).

Lake County–Thin encroaching conifer and juniper to restore 300 acres of elk foraging and calving habitat in the West Drew’s Creek area of the Fremont-Winema National Forest.

Lane County–Improve 246 acres of elk habitat by treating noxious weeds, seeding native forage plants, thinning brush and developing a water source in the Foley Ridge area of the Willamette National Forest; prescribe burn and seed native forage plants on 166 acres in the Chucksney/Grasshopper Ridge area of the Willamette National Forest; enhance forage quality by mowing, thinning conifers and treating weeds on 540 acres in the Central Coast Ranger District area of Siuslaw National Forest (also affects Lincoln, Douglas and Benton counties); restore meadow habitat by removing encroaching conifers, treating weeds and seeding native forage plants on 131 acres in the Middle Fork Willamette River area of the Willamette National Forest; treat noxious weeds on 79 acres of power-line corridor in the McKenzie River area of Willamette National Forest; with help from RMEF volunteers, hand-pull noxious weeds from a 32-acre riparian area that serves as elk calving grounds in the Buckhead Wildlife Area of the Willamette National Forest.

Linn County–Restore elk foraging areas by removing encroaching conifers and treating noxious weeds on 141 acres in the North Santiam area of the Willamette National Forest (also affects Marion County); remove encroaching conifers to restore 50 acres of meadow habitat in the Smith Prairie area of Willamette National Forest.

Statewide–In coordination with state wildlife agencies in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Washington and Wyoming, research effects of habitat, weather, predators and other factors affecting elk recruitment and future management models; expand and develop elk nutrition and habitat use models for professional wildlife management purposes.

Umatilla County–Improve elk winter range, summer range and calving grounds by treating noxious weeds on 2,000 acres in the North Fork John Day watershed area (also affects Grant and Morrow counties); seed 800 acres of native forage plants on public lands in the west Blue Mountains area.

Union County–Thin encroaching conifer stands to improve habitat for elk, mule deer and other wildlife on the Starkey Wildlife Management Unit of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest; remove 1-1/2 miles of old fencing, build a half-mile of new wildlife-friendly fencing, and treat 200 acres of noxious weeds within the Starkey Wildlife Management Unit.

Wallowa County–Prescribe burn 250 acres in the Chesnimus Wildlife Management Unit of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest to enhance elk forage on public land; treat noxious weeds on 700 acres in the Grande Ronde and Imnaha river watersheds (also affects Union County).

Wheeler County–Treat 975 acres of elk habitat for noxious weeds, and develop and fence a spring to improve cattle distribution away from weeded areas, in the Bridge Creek area of the Ochoco National Forest.

Projects are selected for grants using science-based criteria and a committee of RMEF volunteers and staff along with representatives from partnering agencies and universities.

Partners for 2012 projects in Oregon include the Oregon Dept. of Agriculture, Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Hunters Association, Oregon State University, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Geological Survey and other agencies, tribes, organizations, corporations and landowners.


Destroying the Myth: Information About the Foot Hold Live Trap

I can’t say I agree with everything the narrator said in this video as it pertains to the environment, habitat encroachment and the “disaster” that is impending, but the information on the use of the foot hold trap is pretty good.


Open Thread – April 11, 2012

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Florida Creatures That Fly and Float

On Easter Sunday, family and friends came to my house for dinner and fun. Close friend Milt and friends also came earlier in the day and Milt and I went to a nearby nature preserve and took a few pictures. This preserve is about 300-yards as the crow flies away from my house.

Below are a few of the photos I took with a caption to go along with it. The caption will be below the photograph.

Photo by Tom Remington
It was a bright and warm day with light breezes. This monarch was clinging to the trees in the breezes.

Photo by Tom Remington
This was a difficult picture to get for two reasons. One, these things wouldn’t stay still long enough to snap a photo, and two, the Amberwing dragonflies are only about one inch long full grown.

Photo by Tom Remington
There was a boardwalk around the perimeter of the small pond in the nature preserve. We were watching an alligator when I heard something over my head. I found this pair of Yellow-Crowned Night Herons sitting in a primitive looking nest and very busy preening themselves, caring little for me.

Photo by Tom Remington
This “bird” also flies but seems to be the odd creature out in the batch of photos. It did fly overhead and quite low so I figured why not?

Photo by Tom Remington
Between the boardwalk and the bank and shore, this alligator laid sunning himself. I got pretty nervous getting into the water so I could get this close-up picture. Ha Ha! NOT! From the boardwalk, this gator wasn’t more than 10 feet away from us. I estimated it to be about 8 feet in length. Not large by Florida gator standards but nothing I’d turn my back to for long.


Open Thread – April 10, 2012

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First Phase of Predator Prey Study Reveals Interesting Data But Nothing Conclusive

From an article posted recently on Cleveland.com, deer hunters and others are rushing to conclude that coyotes are killing all the deer in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. At the same time, wolf lovers are declaring a victory in that grey wolves didn’t top the list of predators killing the deer.

What was written about in the article was information on data collected from the first phase of a three-phase study intended to determine what is killing too many deer in the UP of Michigan. The first phase took 3 years to complete.

If you read the article and examine the information provided with an open and understanding mind, you see what on the surface appears to be interesting so-called conclusions from the data. However, it is my opinion that no such definitive conclusions can nor should be made at this time.

The first basic thing to understand is that the study involved deer fawns. Only deer fawns were collared and the study was used to determine what was killing the deer fawns. It is my understanding also, from reading this report, that any of this data used to estimate total deer mortality was based on modeling and not hard data. Where the data is being collected on fawns, are researchers then inclined to believe that wolves, coyotes and bobcats do not kill adult deer?

Phase one took place deliberately in what researchers called a “low snow zone”. Phases two and three will take place in “medium snow zones” (depths of snow) and “high snow zones”, respectively. Phase one also was done where there were low densities of wolves and high densities of coyotes.

The data from Phase I showed that coyotes accounted for more fawn deaths than any other predator. This was followed by bobcats second and wolves fourth. No official numbers for comparison were published in this article.

While it appears that Phase I presents some interesting tidbits of information, for anyone to conclude that wolves don’t kill all the deer or that coyotes do kill all the deer, is simply premature.


Missouri V. HSUS


Open Thread – April 9, 2012

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Open Thread – April 7, 2012

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