Date: 3/4/17 8:18 am From: Kara K Beach <islippednfell...> Subject: Conservation and Lead
I couldn't agree more with the points being made about switching from lead ammo to steel. We could sit around and gripe and moan about it or we can actually do something to make a difference. Certainly if we don't take action to conserve and hopefully restore a variety of habitats the birds we all love to observe and photograph will rapidly decline in number and face eventual extinction. It takes action on our part. People that have no interest in birds are not going to step up, it is up to us.
One way that you can impact conservation is to join and/or support conservation groups. The same habitat that supports waterfowl, also supports the birds we enjoy watching, such as purple martin, fly catchers and other insect eating birds. The same habitat that support quail, also support other birds that rely on natural grasses and forbs, such as the Loggerhead Shrike as well as numerous other species. Speaking of quail and grasslands that support quail and other grassland birds, even the AGFC has a major focus on habitat restoration. They even now have a State Quail Coordinator, who is working on removing the Red Cedar project in Stone County.
Quail Forever is such a group but each chapter has the unique ability and responsibility of determining how 100% of their locally raised conservation funds will be spent. Although your first reaction might be that it is a hunting group, it is a diversified group that include hunters, farmers, ranchers, landowners, conservation enthusiasts and wildlife officials. Anyone wanting to make a difference for wildlife by creating new habitat, protecting prairies, managing forests and restoring wetlands would be a fantastic fit. It is more about focusing on habitat than it is about hunting.
As it so happens, I am with the Ozark Mountain chapter, in Harrison, AR. We are hosting a banquet on the 25th to raise funds specifically to restore habitat and get youth outdoors and interested in conservation. You could easily take action with as little effort at attending a banquet or more actively by joining our chapter and attend meetings and participating in restoration projects. Like I said, numerous other birds that you enjoy observing and photographing rely on the very same habitat that the Norther Bobwhite require.
The banquet will be catered by a local caterer, have raffles, live and silent auctions and promises to be a great time. Please consider being part of the solution because it isn't going to correct itself on its own. You can get more info about the banquet or coming to a meeting, please contact Stephen Brown @ 870-214-0258 or check out the links below.
How easy is taking action? For a $60.00 couples ticket, you get 1 membership ($35.00 value), two dinners and a great time. There will be a youth table and a ladies table, so bring the kids or grandkids and help get them interested in the environment that will surely decline rapidly without taking action.
I hope to see you there and would more than welcome new active members to help decide where our funds should be directed to achieve restoration of grassland habitat.
Thank you for reading this far and your time.
From: The Birds of Arkansas Discussion List [mailto:<ARBIRD-L...>] On Behalf Of bill . Sent: Saturday, March 4, 2017 12:39 AM To: <ARBIRD-L...> Subject: Re: Lead
As usual your points are spot on! It disturbs me that this law was changed and the direction environmental protection seems to be going at the federal level. That said, whatever the laws on the books, there will always be some who will break them. There are others who will try to do the right thing whether the law requires it or not. I'd like to believe there are more of the latter. I'd also like to think most waterfowl hunters are aware of lead poisoning and would, at the very least, like their sport to remain viable. For those not aware of the dangers, maybe a little one-on-one education of hunting friends and neighbors would go farther than arguing politics.
People seem to be getting lost in the politics here. This is a bird group. And lead poisoning is a proven risk to many birds. Swans, Ducks, Geese. Hawks and Eagles. This was not just a Senator, but the new Secretary of the Interior. So it is an in-your-face-act to just reverse the lead laws for use specifically in NWRs. NWRs are a precious and separate resource from all the other lands that we are preserving or destroying. It is a statement.
I just went on Gunbroker. I am a registered user of Gunbroker. I have purchased ammo there. I have purchased guns there. I own guns. I have shot ducks, geese, quail, turkeys, Ruffed Grouse in my lifetime. And once I understood the risks I would only ever use steel shot in aquatic hunting zones. It just makes ecologic sense. No political motives involved. Unless your problem is that you just don't like anyone telling you that you have to do something. But the cost difference? About 15 to 20 cents per shotgun shell.
So for the privilege of hunting on a NWR I would have to pay about that much per shell to avoid adding my lead load to the water sources. It is not about anything else.
No one needs to discuss Trump or the Interior Secretary or conservatism. If you appreciate birdlife and you are a hunter. It does not make sense to not choose ammo other than lead. For duck hunting especially, the costs to go and do it anyway are impressive: boats, dogs, guns, waders, camo, decoys. If you fired your gun twenty times on a fine duck hunt. Then the extra cost is 4 dollars to not use lead.
People pay that much for a coffee before the hunt. I don't hate this horseman from Montana. I don't know him. But his reversal does not make ecologic or economic sense. Whatever side of the political discussion I am on.