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Conservation Update: How To Make A Farm Friendly to Wildlife

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November 03, 2011

Conservation Update: How To Make A Farm Friendly to Wildlife

By Bob Marshall

Future-Friendly Farming Report Just in Time

With Congress likely to chop funding for conservation sections of the Farm Bill, the timing couldn't be better for a new report from the National Wildlife Federation on wildlife-friendly farming practices. "Future Friendly Farming: Seven Agricultural Practices to Sustain People and the Environment" centers on these principles:

• Cover crops increase water management capacity, reduce erosion and nutrient loss, and improve wildlife habitat.
• Conservation tillage reduces erosion while increasing nesting cover for birds and wildlife.
• Organic farming eliminates chemical use, increases soil fertility and increases wildlife habitat.

• Grassland management boosts soil fertility, biodiversity, and grassland ecosystem health.
• Forest management increases soil fertility and biodiversity.
• Anaerobic digesters reduce threats to water quality and provide local renewable electric and thermal energy.
• Retaining and returning land to native ecosystems increases biodiversity, wildlife habitat, and improves water quality. While aimed at large landowners, many of the steps can be used even in backyards and on hunting leases.

Find out more here.

New Tools Available for Teaching Conservation

Securing the future of the great fish and wildlife resources built by our forefathers can only be accomplished with the understanding of the next generation. Educating those newcomers just got easier with the introduction of three new tools from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

"Benchmarks for Conservation Literacy," "Outdoors Skills Education Handbook" and "Sustainable Tomorrow - A Teachers' Guidebook for Applying Systems to Environmental Education Curricula" can be viewed and downloaded at the AFWA site.

This effort is a continuation of the group's North American Conservation Education Strategy (CE Strategy) to connect more people, especially youth, to the outdoors and increase our nation’s understanding of how fish and wildlife and their habitats are conserved. They are designed to be used not only by state fish and wildlife agencies but also non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working with state departments of education, school districts, school administrators and teachers.

Climate Change Coming to a Wildlife Habitat Near You

With the election season centering on the economy, almost every issue is being defined by its impacts on the nation's bottom line. Which is why every report showing the costly impacts of environmental harm is important ammunition for sportsmen fighting to protect fish and wildlife habitat.

The latest example is the record drought in Texas. Already estimated to have cost Texas $5 billion, the economic impacts of that disaster are now forecast to ripple through the entire world. And while Texas Gov. Rick Perry may deny the climate is changing, the state's chief climatologist disagrees--and says this drought is directly linked to warming.

A good round-up of the steady drum-beat of warming confirmation is contained in this recent report.

Comments (6)

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from labrador12 wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

You forgot to mention that a farm has to make a profit. I ran a organic farm for 20 years and while I'm proud of my achievments, including the great wildlife habitat that I provided, I could have made more money working at Burger King with a lot less stress and physical strain on my body. A farm is a 24/7 enterprize that is not a inexpensive hobby.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steward wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

I'm not going to say anything else, but if it's Climate Change now, what was it in the 1930s?

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from RealGoodMan wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

On a similar note, NWF has a good Backyard Habitat page on their website. That should also be encouraged... and I'm obviously not talking about putting in food plots and feeders. Providing good habitat for honey bees and other pollinating insects, xeriscaping, mulching, putting in native plants & shrubs etc, rain gardens and so on. Homeowners are making little superfund sites on their lawns when they use all those pesticides, GE seeds and all that other b/s. Not to mention all the water they waste when they treat their lawns like golf courses.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from wgiles wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

All very well and good, but not likely to happen with most farmers. Too costly and too little return on investment. I like anaerobic digesters, but they don't work all that well on a small scale and are labor intensive. Many landfills are doing this on a relatively large scale. Most farmers around here don't want to make their farms more wildlife friendly. They think that the deer eat too much now. BTW, I don't water my lawn just my garden. I do use Round Up, but try not to overuse it. I try not to use insecticides, but Japanese Beetles and Bagworms make it almost impossible to avoid.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RealGoodMan wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

Adding a few properly-built bat boxes/homes is also a good idea in terms of pest control. Even for annoying mosquitoes. A single bat can eat up to 8 thousand mosquitoes a night.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from northwoods hunter wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

Interesting report. It actually outlines how farmers make MORE money using these practices. A bunch of examples of real farmers included. I hope more farmers read this.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from RealGoodMan wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

On a similar note, NWF has a good Backyard Habitat page on their website. That should also be encouraged... and I'm obviously not talking about putting in food plots and feeders. Providing good habitat for honey bees and other pollinating insects, xeriscaping, mulching, putting in native plants & shrubs etc, rain gardens and so on. Homeowners are making little superfund sites on their lawns when they use all those pesticides, GE seeds and all that other b/s. Not to mention all the water they waste when they treat their lawns like golf courses.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from RealGoodMan wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

Adding a few properly-built bat boxes/homes is also a good idea in terms of pest control. Even for annoying mosquitoes. A single bat can eat up to 8 thousand mosquitoes a night.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from northwoods hunter wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

Interesting report. It actually outlines how farmers make MORE money using these practices. A bunch of examples of real farmers included. I hope more farmers read this.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from labrador12 wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

You forgot to mention that a farm has to make a profit. I ran a organic farm for 20 years and while I'm proud of my achievments, including the great wildlife habitat that I provided, I could have made more money working at Burger King with a lot less stress and physical strain on my body. A farm is a 24/7 enterprize that is not a inexpensive hobby.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from wgiles wrote 2 years 22 weeks ago

All very well and good, but not likely to happen with most farmers. Too costly and too little return on investment. I like anaerobic digesters, but they don't work all that well on a small scale and are labor intensive. Many landfills are doing this on a relatively large scale. Most farmers around here don't want to make their farms more wildlife friendly. They think that the deer eat too much now. BTW, I don't water my lawn just my garden. I do use Round Up, but try not to overuse it. I try not to use insecticides, but Japanese Beetles and Bagworms make it almost impossible to avoid.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steward wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

I'm not going to say anything else, but if it's Climate Change now, what was it in the 1930s?

-2 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment