MDF Opposes AZ Ballot to Initiative to End Mountain Lion, Bobcat Hunting

Mule Deer Foundation Opposes Proposed Arizona Ballot
Initiative to End Mountain Lion, Bobcat Hunting

Salt Lake City, Utah: The Mule Deer Foundation opposes the proposed ballot initiative in Arizona that would end hunting of mountain lions and bobcats. MDF believes that wildlife populations should not be managed by ballot initiatives. State wildlife agencies, especially the Arizona Game & Fish Department, have a great track record of managing wildlife species. Predators can have a dramatic impact on the populations of their prey items. Mountain lions, bobcats and other predators need to be managed at a level that balances their populations with big game population levels.

“Professionals in the wildlife agency need to manage all wildlife, including predators.
The Humane Society of the United States, a California-based animal rights organization and other anti-hunting groups are only concerned with stopping hunting and not the health of all wildlife populations,” says Miles Moretti, President/CEO of the Mule Deer Foundation. “We have seen these groups attempt their ballot initiatives in several states. They won’t stop trying to meet their goal of ending all hunting.” Read more

RMEF Grant to Benefit Montana Wolf Management


MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation awarded Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) a $50,000 grant to assist with wolf management in the state of Montana.”Montana’s wolf population is more than three times larger than federally-required minimum mandates,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “This funding will help FWP get a better grasp on wolf numbers as a benefit to wildlife managers tasked with seeking to balance predator and prey populations while doing so in a more cost effective manner.”

Half of the grant funding will go toward wolf collaring and management actions for problem wolves. The other half will assist a joint effort by FWP and the University of Montana in further developing what’s called the Patch Occupancy Model (POM) for estimating wolf populations. Read more

Another Montcalm County, MI deer suspected to have CWD

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced today that a second hunter-harvested deer in Montcalm County is suspected positive for chronic wasting disease. A sample has been sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, for confirmation. If confirmed positive, the 1.5-year-old buck, harvested in Sidney Township, would be the 11th free-ranging deer in Michigan found to have CWD.

“The fact that we already have another positive deer within Montcalm County is of major concern,” said Dr. Kelly Straka, DNR state wildlife veterinarian. “We strongly recommend hunters who harvest deer in Montcalm County have their deer tested. Deer with CWD can look perfectly healthy even though they are infected.” Read more

Michigan Deer Camp 2017 is Nov. 14

Please join the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for this year’s Deer Camp, and teach your students about the importance of Michigan’s white-tailed deer!

As you may know, deer hunting is an important part of Michigan’s heritage. More than 600,000 deer hunters take to the field each year and contribute over $2.3 billion to Michigan’s economy. In addition, these hunters pay for almost all of the DNR’s wildlife conservation and management work. We want to share these important facts and traditions with Michigan students.

On Nov. 14, thousands of second- through fourth-grade students across the state will join in a one-day adventure designed to teach them about the importance of white-tailed deer. This day, fondly called “Deer Camp,” is full of fun activities for all school subjects.

Once you register, we provide you with a complimentary packet of interactive activities that you can do throughout the day (or pick a few if you are limited on time). The activities cover a variety of subjects, including science, math, English, gym and art. We also provide you with a PowerPoint presentation as an optional aid to guide discussions. Some schools even start the day with breakfast for their students. What a great idea – it really is like deer camp!

If you would like to participate, please register online by Nov. 7. Feel free to email Rebecca Benedict at benedictr@michigan.gov with any questions. Materials will be emailed to you by the end of October, or if you register in November, you will receive materials the next business day. Read more

Boone and Crockett Club Vice President: How We Are Loving our Forests to Death

MISSOULA, Mont. (October 17, 2017) – James L. Cummins, vice president of the Boone and Crockett Club, has released an Op-Ed on the mistreatment of our public lands with special attention on the negative effects on our national forests. The Boone and Crockett Club and its founder, Theodore Roosevelt, developed and nationalized the concept of conservation in the 19th century, and secured our federal public lands trust that makes up our national forest system. The Club continues to promote and educate responsible conservation and sustainable use of our natural resources.

In August 2017, over 650,000 acres were burning in the western U.S. Most of these fires were on public lands, particularly federal lands. By September 1, seven hundred wildfires raged in the state of Montana alone, ravaging some 1 million acres of public and private lands. California currently has more than a dozen fires consuming homes, wildlife and human lives.
National forests comprise a large segment of the ecosystems in the western United States. Most have evolved with fires, insect and disease outbreaks and blow-downs to retain biodiversity and forest health. But, times have clearly changed. More people are living farther out into wild-land urban interfaces. To protect lives and homes this has logically led to a forest policy of suppressing natural fires and insect outbreaks. This intolerance of fires combined with decades of relying on our forests for timber production and then dramatically scaling this back, have helped produce very “unnatural” conditions of fuel build up ripe for the wildfires we’re seeing today.
More than 60 million acres of national forests are at high risk of wildfire or in need of restoration. In the past 10 years, over 65 million acres have burned. Federal foresters estimate that an astounding 190 million acres of land managed by the Departments of Agriculture and the Interior are at an unnatural risk to catastrophic wildfire.
At the heart of this matter is a public misconception that forests unattended will somehow return to a natural state, and this misconception is driving lawsuits to block conservation actions. Conservation focuses on using and managing natural resources to benefit both habitat and people. Nationally acclaimed wildlife biologist, Dr. Bruce D. Leopold, once said, “Nature just can’t take its course because frankly, there is no location on Earth where humankind has not had an impact. From radioactive materials and dust in polar ice, to ever-expanding distributions of invasive species, the evidence is clear that disruption of natural processes is a global phenomenon. Humans are a significant component of natural ecosystems (contributing the good and the bad) and the notion of suddenly removing their influence is both illogical and impossible. Natural ecosystems are just too altered to be left alone.”
Conservation practices can reverse these “unnatural” conditions through a variety of actions, such as harvesting trees and using controlled burns to mimic natural disturbances. These management actions reduce build-ups of forest litter (fuel) and overgrowth to encourage a variety of successional stages for wildlife, biodiversity and the prevention of larger, hotter, more devastating fires from occurring that can destroy even old-growth forests. A “letting nature take its course” hands off approach seeks to halt management actions and multiple use on the mistaken assumption the forests can and will return to their former “natural” condition.
Forest management eliminates or reduces the impact of catastrophic wildfire; protects riparian areas important for stream health (shade, filtering, etc.) and fish species such as trout and salmon; and protects water quality due to fires followed by rains with sediments washing downstream and damaging important drinking water supplies.
Using 21st century techniques by land management professionals – and not direct mail specialists and environmental litigators – we have the technology and know-how to restore America’s cherished landscapes to a healthy, natural condition. Through the use of environmentally smart thinning, prescribed burns and other scientifically validated management practices, overstocked forests can be returned to a natural balance, reducing the risks of catastrophic wildfire and insect and disease infestations along with the associated expenditure of taxpayer dollars that should be used to manage forests instead of fighting more frequent and hotter fires.
Cummins’ full Op-Ed can be read in its entirety here.
About the Boone and Crockett Club
Founded by Theodore Roosevelt in 1887, the Boone and Crockett Club is the oldest conservation organization in North America and helped to establish the principles of wildlife and habitat conservation, hunter ethics, as well as many of the institutions, experts agencies, science and funding mechanisms for conservation. Member accomplishments include enlarging and protecting Yellowstone and establishing Glacier and Denali national parks, founding the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service and National Wildlife Refuge System, fostering the Pittman-Robertson and Lacey Acts, creating the Federal Duck Stamp program, and developing the cornerstones of modern game laws. The Boone and Crockett Club is headquartered in Missoula, Montana. For details, visit www.boone-crockett.org.

SCI Opposes Ballot Effort To Stop Mountain Lion, Bobcat Hunting In Arizona

Safari Club International opposes efforts by the Humane Society of the United States and other anti-hunters to end the hunting of mountain lions and bobcats in Arizona by way of the ballot box.

HSUS and other anti-hunters currently are circulating petitions, hoping to place their deceitfully draconian measure on the ballot in 2018.

“This is just the latest move by anti-hunters to end all hunting,” said SCI President Paul Babaz. “They have made it clear that their strategy is to go state-by-state, species-by-species, if that’s what it takes for them to end all hunting. Please join SCI’s fight to block this attack on our freedom to hunt.”

As they attempt to gather signatures to qualify their initiative, the anti-hunters no doubt will be raising money and using those funds in emotional appeals to fool voters.

SCI and other hunter groups are launching an aggressive campaign to educate voters in Arizona about the benefits of having wildlife managed scientifically by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, and not by emotionally-driven political initiatives.

In addition to ending hunting for mountain lions and bobcats, the initiative measure also attempts to heighten emotions baselessly by prohibiting the hunting of ocelots, jaguars and lynx, which is already illegal.

And, what follows are some little-publicized facts about the Humane Society of the U.S from www.Humanewatch.org.

While most of the country enjoys the temperate fall weather, snow has already fallen in many areas out west. Those looking for warm retreats as the weather cools are already looking at places in the Caribbean. We might suggest the Cayman Islands, where the Humane Society of the United States is keeping donor money tanned, rested, and ready—and away from the animals it is supposed to help.According to HSUS’s most recent (2016) tax return, the organization has $51,469,167 sitting in “investments” in the Caribbean. In the past, HSUS has disclosed that these millions are sitting in specific funds in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.

Meanwhile, HSUS continues to engage in predatory fundraising. The past few weeks have been replete with pleas from HSUS and its highly compensated CEO Wayne Pacelle, begging for donations to fund its disaster relief team. However, we’ve seen this script before. After Hurricane Sandy, HSUS raised several million dollars but only spent about one-third of what it raised on Sandy relief.

The rest might have made a nice addition to HSUS’s Cayman funds. Much like we suspect money raised after the three recent storms will end up. Read our report, “Looting in the Aftermath,” for more evidence of how HSUS exploits high-profile events.

Safari Club International – First For Hunters is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. SCI’s approximately 200 Chapters represent all 50 of the United States as well as 106 other countries. SCI’s proactive leadership in a host of cooperative wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian programs, with the SCI Foundation and other conservation groups, research institutions and government agencies, empowers sportsmen to be contributing community members and participants in sound wildlife management and conservation. Visit the home page www.SafariClub.org, or call (520) 620-1220 for more information.
International Headquarters Tucson, Arizona · Washington, District of Columbia · Ottawa, Canada
www.SafariClub.org

Volunteers plant disease-resistant beech trees at Ludington State Park


When researcher Jennifer Koch first visited Ludington State Park in 2002, beech bark disease had begun its path of destruction through the stately beech trees in the Michigan park.The Ohio-based U.S. Forest Service research biologist has visited Ludington yearly ever since, even getting her kids involved in tracking down the scale insects that allow transmission of the fungal disease from tree to tree.

“My kids have horror stories because I made them collect scale eggs with me,” she said. “Now they’re in their 20s, and they’ll make jokes about it.”

Koch returned to Ludington last week and brought along the results of her long-term research: 250 beech seedlings bred in her lab from disease-resistant trees. Park staff and volunteers planted the 3-year-old, 3- to 6-foot-tall trees.

Volunteers plant disease-resistant beech trees at Ludington State Park.
Michigan has 7 million acres containing beech trees. Ludington was the first site in the state where the disease was discovered, back in 2000. The disease had been identified elsewhere in the United States for more than a century, but little had been done to stop it. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Forest Resources and Wildlife divisions provided funding for the development of the disease-resistant trees, and DNR parks and recreation staff (including stewardship experts) will monitor and nurture the trees through their maturation process. Read more

Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative

Made up of many partners, MPRI is a conservation initiative to restore and enhance Michigan pheasant habitat (grasslands), populations, and hunting opportunities on private and public lands via pheasant cooperatives.

Mid-Point Accomplishments Report, detailing the work the coalition completed in the first five years of the MPRI partnership, is available for review. The 2016 MPRI Annual Report is also available.

Michigan Pheasant Season Outlook

“A few years ago, Outdoor Life magazine rated Michigan’s Thumb in the top 10 places in the country to go wild pheasant hunting, which points to the fact that pheasant hunting is still alive and well in our state,” said Al Stewart, Department of Natural Resources upland game bird specialist. “The DNR and our partners are making progress towards creating more quality pheasant hunting opportunities with the Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative, a collaborative effort to revitalize Michigan pheasants.”

While pheasant populations have been in decline for several years, pheasants can be found in southern Lower Michigan and in some areas of the Upper Peninsula. The best counties for pheasant hunting are in south-central to mid-Michigan and into the Thumb.

There are some localized concentrations of birds elsewhere based on habitat availability. Stewart advises hunters to look for warm-season grasses, especially idled farm fields. Late-season hunters can have success in cattail and shrub lands adjoining picked agricultural fields.

A Ring-Necked Pheasant Status Report for Michigan has recently been completed and is available for viewing.improve close to 3,500 acres.

Michigan: Federal Lab Confirms Montcalm County Deer Had CWD

With archery deer hunting season under way, DNR urges all hunters to take harvested deer to area check stations

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, confirmed Wednesday that a 3 1/2-year-old female deer taken during Michigan’s youth deer hunting season in September has tested positive for chronic wasting disease.

The animal, harvested in Montcalm Township in Montcalm County, is the 10th free-ranging deer in Michigan found to have chronic wasting disease. The youth hunter who harvested the deer opted to take the animal to a Department of Natural Resources deer check station and then submitted the animal for testing – steps the DNR strongly encourages hunters across the state to take during the 2017 deer hunting seasons. Read more

If you love fall fun, leave firewood at home


Buy locally at your destination to prevent the spread of invasive species.
As you prepare to hit the road for your favorite fall recreation activities, the Michigan departments of Natural Resources and Agriculture and Rural Development remind you to play it safe by leaving firewood at home.October is Firewood Awareness Month, and the departments are joining with The Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to encourage everyone to buy firewood near where they will burn it to prevent starting a new infestation of an invasive insect or disease. Read more
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