Date: 4/27/18 5:28 pm From: Douglas Kibbe <mackenziegoldthwait...> Subject: [cobirds] Re: Weld County Birding and Pawnee District Ranger Visit
Gary: Thanks for your summary of the Pawnee District Ranger talk. It was enlightening and a bit frightening.
Good Birding Doug
On Monday, April 23, 2018 at 10:13:15 AM UTC-6, The "Nunn Guy" wrote: > > Hi all > > Birded all around Weld yesterday ... saw 79 species with the following new > spring birds: > > - Lark Bunting [Weld CR 96] > - Ruddy Duck [Loloff Reservoir] > - Swainson's Hawk [Beebe Draw] > - Semipalmated Sandpiper [Weld CR 59] --Both Loloff, Weld CR 59 > probably had total of 20+ peeps collectively > - Least Sandpiper [Weld CR 59] > - Loloff had peeps as well heatwaves > - Wilson's Phalarope [Loloff Reservoir and Weld CR 59] > - Burrowing Owl-2 [Weld CR 59 south of marsh on west to south of > flooded field corner alongside road] > - Barn Swallow > - Savannah Sparrow-2 [Weld CR 59] > - Vesper Sparrows > - Chipping Sparrow - few > - Brown-headed Cowbird > > Here's the gist on my Pawnee District Ranger visit: > > - First, he was nice guy to talk with and open to hearing concerns and > solutions but he is based in reality in terms of his annual program of > work, limited budget and lack of human resources to perform the work > - Office currently has only ~50% of staff (looks like 10 positions in > total)--two Archeologists, a temporary biologist, and a Recreation > Specialist (retires next month). Reality here is USDA is "guinea pig" for > Administrative streamlining efforts. Hiring to fill needed vacancies has > greatly reduced in terms of process and approvals > - Budget is extremely tight and diminishes each fiscal > year--stabilization not expected in next few Fiscal years > - Multiple use of the resource is a balance--I heard "squeaky wheel" > usually gets attention > - Recreational shooting is exploding (no pun intended) in growth--they > hear from rec shooters way-y-y-y more than birders > - Constituency (Rec shooting) pressure from State, County and > Recreational Shooting groups for access to these public lands > - Talked of removing Pawnee Bird Tour signs due to $$$ cost of > maintaining (replacing) due to vandalism and theft of displays > - Talked of getting with birders on changing and designing a 21st > century birding tour, identifying birding locales around the Pawnee and > using RF, GPS, mobile tech as a "virtual birding tour"--already being > studied. In both east and west sections (north to south, too). > - Most shooting occurs in the SE section (lower half) of the PNG west > section (ie, Weld CR 96)--he mentions > - District Ranger came from an oil and gas background in Oklahoma > - The recent oil and gas development decision (2012ish) prevents > drilling surface of PNG for new permits after 2014 > - A drill will be drilled on south side of Murphy's Pasture > soon--legacy permit (older than 2014). There are two more legacy permits > planned on PNG I heard mentioned > - In the PNG vicinity--third of all rights in private hands (surface > and mineral holder same), third in mixed hands (surface owner different > than mineral holder), third Federal govt hands > - Grassland habitat and grassland birds are of great conservation > concern not sure I heard that expressed during our conversation > > Thanks Gary Lefko, Nunn > > http://coloradobirder.club/ > > >