Outdoor News Bulletin

Outdoor News Bulletin

November 2018 Edition | Volume 72, Issue 11 | Published since 1946

Migration Corridor and Winter Range Conservation Moving Forward

Snow is returning to the high country across the West triggering deer, elk, and pronghorn to start their annual migration to winter ranges. Seasonal movements that may be over one hundred miles long, and wintering areas where forage is accessible and thermal stress is lower, are critical to these species’ survival. Unfortunately, increasing development across the West creates barriers to migration and displaces wildlife from winter ranges which can result in significant declines in wildlife populations and the benefits they provide to people. In response to a Secretarial Order issued last February, state fish and wildlife agencies and the Department of the Interior (DOI) are working rapidly to identify and address threats to big game migration corridors and wintering habitat across the 11 coterminous western states.

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Excise Tax Update - Final FY2018 Collection Data

Past Excise Tax Updates have provided background information relating the excise tax program to the North American Model for Wildlife Conservation – the funding provided through the wildlife and sport fish excise tax programs represents the funding foundation for that Model. The ability of the state fish and wildlife agencies to maintain healthy fish and wildlife populations is directly linked to the health of the hunting, recreational shooting, fishing and boating industries. For the funding system to continue to support the great work of the state fish and wildlife agencies, we must have hunters, anglers, recreational shooters and boaters who are buying hunting and fishing licenses and buying new equipment. If that happens, the industries will continue to pay excise taxes, there will continue to be places for us to hunt, fish, launch our boats and enjoy recreational shooting. If that doesn’t happen, the reliable funding source that is supporting the North American Model will begin to fade.

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84th North American Conference Special Sessions Announced

The steering committee for the 84th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference has announced the topics of its four special sessions that will be held concurrently on Wednesday, March 6th from 10:00 am to noon at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel in Denver, Colorado.

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Ohio DNR Announces Forest of Honor Inductees

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources honored the Wildlife Management Institute along with other conservationists during an October 11 tree-planting ceremony at ODNR’s Zaleski State Forest near McArthur. WMI was recognized for its support for forest management on state forests, including providing interpretative signs for woodcock conservation, and grant dollars for site rehabilitation supplies such as seed mixtures to control soil erosion and benefit wildlife.

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South Dakota Poised to Triple Wind Energy Capacity

The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission approved construction of a 72-turbine wind farm near the Minnesota border in July, one of eight new wind farms being developed by Xcel Energy. The eight new wind farms in South Dakota would add 1,850 megawatts of wind energy. The company currently owns five wind farms producing about 850 megawatts in the Upper Midwest.

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Preventing Disturbance of Bat Hibernation Sites

Even before the widespread incidence and threats of White-nose syndrome (WNS) were known, human disturbance to bats while they hibernate has been a well-documented threat in the Northeast. Many of the pre-WNS conservation efforts focused on better protection of critical winter habitat for bats, which can include caves, abandoned mines, sinkholes, aqueducts and other locations natural or man-made where bats overwinter. Management actions can improve the structures for bats while preventing human disturbance.

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Cooperative Research Unit Corner

First-Ever Atlas of Big Game Migrations Published

The first-ever atlas of ungulate migration was released this week, detailing the ecology and conservation of migratory big game species including mule deer, elk and pronghorn in Wyoming, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, and adjacent western states. Wild Migrations: Atlas of Wyoming’s Ungulates is a result of a six-year collaboration between wildlife biologists at the University of Wyoming, the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, and cartographers at the University of Oregon. The book also draws on the long-time experience and expertise of wildlife managers with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and other experts and historians from around the West. The project uses cutting-edge animal movement data with innovative cartographic methods to visualize the migrations of animals across complex and changing landscapes.

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