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  • November 1, 2011

    Why I Think The Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act Is A Good Idea

    By Hal Herring

    I truly believe that the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage proposal is one of the most thoroughly thought out plans I have ever seen. It doesn’t offend anyone or any group in any way. It truly leaves one of the world’s grandest remaining landscapes intact for future generations to experience and enjoy.”  -Roy Jacobs, hunter from Pendroy.

    Have you ever driven south along the Rocky Mountain Front from Babb, Montana, with Chief Mountain towering from the plains, the peaks and snowfields of Glacier Park staggering off to the west? Or drift down the near-empty highway, pulling over to glass for grizzlies in the distant aspen thickets bonsai’ed by fierce wind, cold temperatures, snow and summer’s parching heat? You can stop in Browning for gas and a Coke before travelling across the ether-clear Badger Creek to the Two Medicine River. Then you can head to the willow-enclosed Dupuyer Creek, passing the signs beckoning you westward at every washboard turnoff -- Swift Dam, Blackleaf Canyon, Ear Mountain, Teton River, Sun River. It's a country vast enough for a lifetime of exploring and then some.

  • October 6, 2011

    Conservation Roundup: Duck Campaign, Biofuel News, Saving SF Bay

    By Bob Marshall

    by Bob Marshall

    Duck Campaign Gains Momentum
     
    Ducks Unlimited's "Double Up for Ducks" campaign urges sportsmen to buy two $15 federal ducks stamps this year instead of just one. This is an effort to offset expected cuts to federal wetlands protection programs. Not surprisingly, the campaign just gained a prominent supporter: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency which administers many of the nation's major wetlands conservation programs.
     
    The cuts are expected to be serious, and this is one conservation program where the money doesn't disappear through the federal budget rabbit hole. Duck stamp sales has been the most efficient program for preserving waterfowl wetlands. It funds the Small Wetlands Acquisition Program (SWAP), which is responsible for purchasing titles or easements on three million acres in the potholes country -- prime waterfowl production acres hand-picked by waterfowl managers to form the backbone of the duck factory.

  • September 28, 2011

    Conservation Roundup: Oil Spills, Playa Protection, Fighting Carp Invasion

    By Bob Marshall

    Worrying New Signs of BP's Oil in Gulf

    When the Deepwater Horizon blew April 2010, oil spill experts said it was a disaster that will keep on giving for years to come, and the evidence of that truth is piling up.

    A study released in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science last week revealed that petroleum toxins from Deepwater Horizon have altered the cellular functions of the Gulf killifish, or cocahoe. This wetlands minnow is a prime a food source for valuable sports species such as redfish, speckled trout, flounder and drum. The impacts observed are predictive of disruption in reproduction and larvae survival, the authors reported. The complete study can be found here.

    One day later, the U.S. Coast Guard acknowledged that oil sheens spotted near the site of the Deepwater Horizon blow-out may be coming from the well that was supposedly capped a year ago.

    Anglers and environmental groups have been reporting sheens in the area for months, but authorities downplayed their relevance until samples analyzed by oil experts at Louisiana State University confirmed they were coming from the Macondo well.

  • September 22, 2011

    Conservation Roundup: Thrifty Hunting and Fishing and Why Conservation = Jobs

    By Bob Marshall

    by Bob Marshall

    Until there is a breakthrough in renewable/green technologies, energy development remains a threat to hunting and angling. In addition to demanding responsible development on public lands that gives fish, wildlife and recreation the priority it deserves, sportsmen can do one more thing to help out: Lower their energy demands.

    The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership provided this five-step program for hunters and anglers to use:
    1)   Camp, Don’t Commute – Instead of driving back and forth to your hunting/fishing spot, try spending the night in the great outdoors. You’ll save fuel, and have a great experience.

  • September 9, 2011

    Heroes of Conservation Ep. 6: Heroes in Action

    By Editors

    Join Hero of Conservation Ron Kuipers and Editor-at-large Eddie Nickens as they assess the blight resistance of American chestnut trees in a Maryland experimental orchard. American chestnuts that are bred to survive the blight may once again become an important wildlife food source in eastern forests.

  • September 7, 2011

    Heroes of Conservation Ep. 5: The Forest Rehabilitator

    By Editors

    Heroes of Conservation finalist Ron Kuipers manages 15 experimental chestnut orchards in Maryland, working with The American Chestnut Foundation and the Izaak Walton League of America to develop a blight-resistant American breed of chestnut tree.

  • September 2, 2011

    Heroes of Conservation Ep 4: Heroes in Action

    By Editors

    Heroes of Conservation finalist Clair Harris and Editor-at-large Eddie Nickens clear debris from a reclaimed water storage tank and test sections of the 12-mile pipeline which brings thousands of gallons of water to Arizona’s big game in drought conditions.