Wednesday, April 23, 2014

TimberRidge Day Camp Application Forms at Open House

To everyone planning to attend the Open House at TimberRidge Outdoor Adventure Center this Saturday (April 26, 2014), there will be application forms with information about the June 11th Day Camp for the taking in the Welcome Center. The Day Camp is the second annual Day Camp sponsored by the Kansas Wildlife Federation at TimberRidge for kids 10-12 years old. As you will see at the  Open House, the TimberRidge facility is outstanding. It offers many outdoor experiences for kids that have been proven to facilitate their other educational experiences. Ted Beringer, Director of the Day Camp, be walking around for awhile distributing forms to any interested parents.
You can also access the information at

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Angler Education Certification Course May 17

Anglers can make a difference by teaching fishing techniques across Kansas

A bobber goes down, the reel starts spinning, and fishing line is being taken out to water. The excitement overwhelms her so much that she forgets what to do. He was there to walk her through the steps, and before she knew it, her first-ever fish was in her hands. Wide-eyed and grinning from ear to ear, she says “that was fun,” and that’s all he needed to hear. You, too, can help create unforgettable memories like this for anglers of all ages by becoming certified to teach fishing techniques in the state of Kansas.
Fishing’s Future and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism are looking to enlist up to 40 anglers who want to become volunteer instructors to teach fishing techniques. Interested anglers should enroll in the instructor course that will be taught on May 17 at LakeHenry in ClintonState Park, 798 N. 1415 Rd., Lawrence. The course will run 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. and although the class is not a requirement to teach, those in attendance will be given valuable information about working with children, sample curriculums, and tips for preparing a class or clinic. Other topics covered in the four-hour class will include current fishing rules and regulations, species identification, fishing ethics, equipment, knot-tying, casting, fish habitat, aquatic nuisance species, and conservation.
Anglers interested in registering can sign up at Click “upcoming events,” then “Kansas Angler Education Training Program.”
For more information, contact Fishing’s Future local coordinator Kevin Reich, or by phone at (785) 577-6921.
Parking will be available on the hill above LakeHenry. The lot by the lake is reserved for disabled anglers. If there is inclement weather, the course will be moved to the park building.

Student Archers Set Sights on National Competition

219 schools currently offer the Kansas Archery in the Schools program

Kansas Archery in the Schools hosted its fifth annual state archery tournament, Saturday, April 5, atClearwaterHigh School, southwest of Wichita. Three hundred and twenty students vied for a chance to compete at nationals. Of those 320 archers, three teams and 60 individual competitors qualified for the National Archery in the Schools tournament in Louisville, Kentucky, May 9-10.
Operating under the umbrella of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) and the National Archery in the Schools (NASP) program, the Kansas archery program is aimed at promoting international-style target archery among students in grades 4-12. With the help of KDWPT and NASP, program coordinators are able to introduce archery as a fun, lifelong activity to young people who may have never taken up the sport otherwise.
Students from 11 communities competed this year, including: Anthony, ClayCenter, Clearwater, Erie, Tribune, Holton, Hugoton, Kingman, Neodesha, Olathe, and Rose Hill.
Competing in three divisions, elementary school (4-6), middle school (7-8), or high school (9-12), participants are required to shoot five arrows in each of the three rounds from a distance of 10 meters and a distance of 15 meters. A score of 300 points is considered perfect, which would be scores of 10 on each of the 30 total arrows they can be scored on.
Individual winners in each grade division are as follows:
Avery Schill, 264, Clearwater Elementary
Tatyana Miner, 278, ClearwaterMiddle School *Top overall score, top female score
Amber Asbury, 266, ClearwaterHigh School
Richard Wolf, 260, Clearwater Elementary
Daniel Schule, 274, ClearwaterMiddle School
Kyle Reed, 277, ClearwaterHigh School *Top male score
Clearwater school teams placed first in all divisions. The top 10 boy and girl competitors from each grade division from any of the participating schools also qualified for nationals.
For more information, visit and click “Services / Education / Archery in the Schools,” or email Mike Rader at

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Cutoff Date Extended to April 18 for Forestry Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative

State Conservationist Eric B. Banks for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced the extension of the cutoff date to April 18, 2014, for the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI).  Even though CCPI is no longer a program under the 2014 Farm Bill, NRCS will honor existing CCPI agreements through fiscal year 2014.  The CCPI provides financial and technical assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program to owners and operators of agricultural land and nonindustrial private forestlands.
            This year, the program is funded for shelterbelt renovation and forested riparian buffers.  "For farmers and ranchers that need to restore a shelterbelt or want to plant riparian forest buffers, CCPI can provide financial assistance to help with the project," said Banks.
            In Kansas, socially disadvantaged, limited resource, and beginning farmers and ranchers will receive a higher payment rate for conservation practices related to CCPI.
            For more information on CCPI projects and other natural resources conservation programs, please contact your local NRCS office or conservation district office. The office is located at your local USDA Service Center (listed in the telephone book under United States Government or on the internet at More information is also available on the Kansas Web site at  

Conservation Organizations Join Forces to Support Conservation in the Prairies

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
From The Outdoor Hub

A coalition of conservation organizations announced March 26th the launch of a coordinated, partner-driven “Prairies Conservation Campaign” to bring public attention to the dramatic conversion of grasslands and wetlands to cropland in one of America’s last intact grassland ecosystems – the prairie pothole region.
“More than 50 percent of North American migratory waterfowl depend upon the mix of wetlands and grasslands found in the prairie pothole region,” said Noreen Walsh, Regional Director for the Mountain-Prairie Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a partner in the campaign. “This area is called America’s ‘duck factory’ because it is the most productive area for nesting waterfowl on the continent, perhaps the world. These prairies and all the wildlife that they support are currently stressed by many factors acting together to threaten our natural heritage. By joining together as stewards, we can shed light on this problem and find solutions.”
Among other goals, the campaign will seek to create grassroots awareness in the region about landowner conservation programs and tools currently available to help prevent the loss of grassland. While this strategy will primarily focus on stakeholder cooperation in local communities, partner organizations invite the public to follow and participate in the conversation online using the #ConserveThePrairies hashtag.
Campaign partners are working together to find conservation solutions, additional resources, and win-win solutions for landowners. In order to do this, one of the campaign’s primary goals is to increase opportunities for voluntary incentive-based tools to keep livestock producers profitable. This will ensure that the region has healthy fish and wildlife populations, healthy soil and water resources, and an assurance that ranch families will always be an integral and profitable component of the region’s economy. More information is available at:
Partner organizations include: the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ducks Unlimited, World Wildlife Fund, Delta Waterfowl, North Dakota Game and Fish DepartmentSouth Dakota Game, Fish & Parks, Pheasants Forever, and North Dakota Natural Resources Trust.

Top Ways to Help Spring's Migrating Birds

Help During Migration and Breeding Periods Crucial to 200+ Declining Bird Species

From The Birding Wire

Despite persistent late-occurring snowstorms, average temperatures are starting to climb, soon to be followed by the most deadly period of the year for birds: springtime. Although spring means new life and hope to many people, billions of birds face the tribulations of a perilous migration followed shortly by breeding and the production of scores of newborn birds that will spend several highly vulnerable weeks as they grow and fledge.
According to Dr. George Fenwick, President of the American Bird Conservancy, "Spring is a deadly time for birds for three big reasons. Scientists estimate that 300 million to one billion birds die each year from collisions with buildings, many during arduous migrations in unfamiliar environments. Up to 50 million die from encounters with communication towers and up to six million may die each day from attacks by cats left outdoors. These deaths occur year-round, but many occur during spring and fall migration."
"Some studies suggest that perhaps as many as half of all migrating birds do not make it back home," he said, "succumbing to various threats on either end of the journey."
One in five Americans engage in bird watching, so after months of waiting for migrants to return, many people turn to emails, phone lines, and social media to ask ABC a dozen variations on the same question: "How can I help the birds?" Here is our answer to that question, just in time for spring.
1. Keep your cat indoors. This is best for your cat as well as for the birds, as indoor cats live an average of three to seven times longer. Cats are responsible for an estimated 2.4 billion bird deaths each year. In the spring, young birds or nestlings often end up on the ground, attracting the fatal attention of a nearby cat. Ground nesting species that are especially vulnerable include Killdeer and Wood Thrush, but all baby birds-from ducks to warblers-will be on the ground for a critical period of time.
2. Prevent birds from hitting your windows. As many as one billion birds die each year after colliding with glass in buildings. You can reduce this problem at your home by applying a variety of window treatments. For example, ABC BirdTape is a proven solution that is inexpensive and long-lasting. Birds most prone to fatal collisions at home windows or glass doors include Ruby-throated Hummingbird and Wood Thrush.
3. Eliminate pesticides from your yard. Even those pesticides that are not directly toxic to birds can pollute waterways and reduce insects that birds rely on for food. For rodent control, seal cracks, remove food sources, and use snap and electric traps rather than rodenticides, which can poison raptors such as hawks and owls as well as young children. And be sure not to garden with neonicotinoid-coated seeds, or neonics, which are lethal to songbirds as well as to bees and other invertebrates.
4. Buy organic food and drink Smithsonian-certified Bird Friendly Coffee. Going organic helps to reduce pesticide use on farms and increases the market for produce grown without the use of pesticides, which can be toxic to birds and other animals, and will help to reduce the use of these hazardous chemicals in the U.S. and overseas. Shade coffee farms have been shown to provide far superior habitat for birds than coffee grown in open sun. Buying coffee that is certified Bird Friendly is one of the easiest ways to help migratory birds.
5. Create backyard habitat using native plants. When you garden with plants that evolved in your local habitat, you supply native insects and their larvae with food, which in turn are an irreplaceable food source provided by birds to their nestlings. Yards both large and small can benefit birds and other wildlife. Create a diverse landscape by planting native grasses, flowers, and shrubs that attract birds. You will be rewarded by their beauty and song, and will have fewer insect pests as a result.
6. Reduce your carbon footprint. While all forms of energy use impact birds, small individual actions can add up and make a difference. Use a hand-pushed or electric lawnmower, carpool, and use low-energy bulbs and Energy Star appliances. Less energy used means less habitat destroyed for energy production.
7. Donate old bird-watching equipment. Binoculars or spotting scopes will be appreciated by local bird watching groups-they can get them to schools or biologists in other countries who may not have the resources they need. More people studying birds means more voices for bird conservation!
8. Keep bird feeders and bird baths clean. If you feed the birds, make sure you aren't accidentally allowing the spread of disease. Disinfect feeders and bird baths, and change water regularly or use a drip system to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
9. Support bird-friendly legislation. U.S. policy makers frequently make decisions that affect birds. For example, decisions are now being made that will impact the survival of the imperiled Greater Sage-Grouse. By raising your voice, you can help to influence the outcome for birds on this and other important issues.
"Protecting and helping birds is not only the right thing to do," said Fenwick. "It is also good for the economy and the future of our environment. Birds are invaluable as controllers of insect pests, as pollinators of crops, and as dispersers of native plant seeds. They also generate tremendous economic revenues through the pastimes of bird feeding and bird watching."
A federal government study reports that about 20 percent of the U.S.population-47 million people-participates in bird watching. About 30 percent of all people over 55 enjoy this pursuit. About 40 percent of birders (18 million people) actually travel to see birds and spend about $41 billion annually in pursuit of their pastime. The top five birdwatching states by percentage of total population are:Vermont (39%), Wisconsin (33%), West Virginia (33%), Wyoming (31%), and Alaska(30%). The states with the greatest raw number of birders are: California (4.9 million),New York (3.3 million), Florida (3.0 million), Pennsylvania (2.7 million), and Texas(2.3 million).