Arkansas Out-of-Doors September/October 2012
Issue includes: Conservation & Wildlife issues to consider for this year's Presidential Election, AWF banquet success, Volunteering at Bearcat Hollow, the endangered Yellow Cheek Darter, Cigarette Butts & littering, alternatives to lead ammunition and much more.
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012 T H E O F F I C I A L P U B L I C AT I O N O F T H E A R K A N S A S W I L D L I F E F E D E R AT I O N A F F I L I AT E D W I T H T H E N AT I O N A L W I L D L I F E F E D E R AT I O N â€˘ Nonprofit Organization U.S. Postage Paid Permit 128 Russellville, Ark. 72801 VOL 40 NO 5 Banquet, Volunteering, & the Election. Photo by Johnny Sain, Jr. 2 - Arkansas Out-of-Doors • September/October 2012 "We are making a difference for wildlife and conservation in the great state of Arkansas." As you will see in this issue of Arkansas Outof Doors, AWF had a very successful Awards Banquet again this year. I want to thank all of our sponsors for their financial support, because it takes a lot to produce such a great program. I want to thank all of AWF Board for their help and support. As most of you may know, AWF is a volunteer organization and it takes everyone working together to make it all come together so well. I want to thank AWF Executive Director Ethan Nahté for all of his hard work and dedication to AWF. I would also like to thank Derek Philips and the staff at “The Center of Bryant” community center for their help and support to help AWF make this one of the largest and best Awards Banquets ever. Special thanks to “Wildman” Steve Wilson for emceeing our banquet, and our speakers from Arkansas Tech University, both the students and faculty, for their help and support on the Bearcat Hollow Project. Lastly I want to thank our Awards winners for all of their hard work and dedication to conservation, for without them and their volunteerism Arkansas might not be the Natural State. AWF is in the process of working on our strategic plan which we hope will support our overall goals and plans for the future. Thanks to a grant from National Wildlife Federation it has helped us by setting up a weekend retreat and inviting a facilitator to help guide us through the process. We hope to have some plans to support our organiza- tion and our future within the next year. I would like to inform you all that one of AWF supporters, Dr. Charles Logan and his wife Joyce, have made a major donation to AWF in giving us 34 acres of land located off of Interstate 530 at Bingham Road, which we hope to be our new home soon. More on this later, but thanks Dr. Logan and wife Joyce for your support and generosity. Lastly, it was another successful year on the Bearcat Hollow Project, see articles on page(s). We had so many volunteers come and help that we were able to accomplish our mission in about six hours of working together. Special thanks to ATU students, University of Ozark students as well as volunteers from AWF, USFS, AGFC, National Forest Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Yell County Wildlife Federation, National Wildlife Federation, and some other volunteers that just wanted to help. We are making a difference for wildlife and conservation in the great state of Arkansas. Arkansas Wildlife Federation Mission Statement To promote conservation, responsible management and sustainable use of Arkansas’ fish, wildlife, habitat, natural resources and outdoor recreational opportunities through education and advocacy. Arkansas Wildlife Membership Registration Form Date _________________________________________________________________________________________ Name ________________________________________________________________________________________ Address ______________________________________________________________________________________ City ______________________________________ State __________________ ZIpCode ___________________ Phone # _____________________________Email _____________________________________________________ Receive your copy of Arkansas Out-of-Doors (Check One): ( ) USPS ( ) E-mail (email address required above) Visa/MasterCard #_____________________________________________ Exp. _____________________________ Signature ___________________________________________________ Date_____________________________ President - Wayne Shewmake 1st VP - Ellen McNulty 2nd VP - Jerry Crowe Treasurer - Gary Bush Secretary - Lucien Gillham Arkansas Wildlife Federation is a nonprofit 501c(3) organization and AWF (tax# 71-6059226) IRS Requirements: You are receiving $10 in goods for your membership, through AWF bi-monthly newspaper Arkansas Wildlife Federation 9108 Rodney Parham Rd. Suite 101 Little Rock, AR 72205 Arkansas Out-of-Doors • September/October 2012 - 3 Farmers can help Arkansas shorebirds during their migration 2012 Banquet Big Success by Ethan Nahté Another banquet has come and gone and 2012’s event seems to have been as successful as last year’s banquet. Over 400 people enjoyed a hot meal that included fried quail, roasted Cornish hen, venison chili, smoked catfish, homemade bread and lots more. This year was a bit different in that attendees could begin eating soon after they entered The Center of Bryant, or they could look at the tables of silent auction items, or cross the gym floor filled with tables for dining so they could visit some of the AWF friends and affiliates with informational booths. Approximately 20 such friends and vendors were set up to talk with banquet guests, including colleges/universities, AGFC, and other organizations AWF closely works with on various projects. Two of the most popular booths were those featuring birds of prey. Lynne Slater of HAWK (Helping Arkansas Wild Kritters) brought a couple of her rehab birds and some extra help. This year’s Wildlife Conservationist, Tommy Young, also had some friends of his bring out a variety of birds. Seeing such magnificent creatures up close and being able to pet them, and even allow the birds to perch on a gloved hand and have a picture taken in some cases, was very exciting for the many who went by those two booths. Something else that AWF did differently this year was just prior to the awards presentation. AWF borrowed a page from NWF’s annual meeting back in May, deciding to include some Arkansas Tech University students up on the stage to talk a little about the conservation work they have been doing. The students discussed a little about what working in the outdoors and helping out has meant to them and to the future, inviting others to come out and get involved. Two of their instructors also spoke to the audience about the importance of getting a hands-on education and working with wildlife. The awards ceremony was emceed by Steve “Wildman” Wilson, who entertained the crowd as he announced this year’s award winners. This year’s ceremony included a special recognition of the City of Fayetteville for becoming the first NWF certified Community Wildlife Habitat. Although they had been nominated for an AWF award and not been chosen, AWF asked if they would bring the plaque they received from NWF and publicly recognized them for their fine work. Like all of AWF’s award winners, the City of Fayetteville had gone the extra mile in helping wildlife and conservation. To finish up the evening, door prizes were given away; including a shotgun, as well as the drawing for the second shotgun was given away. The silent auction was reconciled while Chris Workman of Workman’s Auctions, along with Wilson, proceeded with the live auction. This year’s items included a couple of trips to resorts in Arkansas, a dove hunt in Argentina, a safari hunt in Africa, a bear den trip with AGFC, a guided youth deer hunt, and a youth elk hunting permit from AGFC. AWF received many compliments the evening of the banquet, as well as many more emails and thank-you cards over the following week, admiring all of the hard work, fine food and deserving award recipients of the 2012 Annual Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards Banquet. AWF hopes they enjoyed it enough that they’ll see everyone back next year with a few extra friends. LITTLE ROCK – Shorebird is a general term for a group of birds that includes plovers, snipe, sandpipers, the Red knot and several other species. They begin to make their annual trip through the Arkansas Delta around late July or early August with a migration peak in September. Most shorebirds have traveled thousands of miles from their breeding grounds in the Arctic Tundra to refuel in Arkansas before they continue their push to Central and South America. This long distance migration requires a lot of fuel, mainly in the form of small aquatic insects and larvae found in mudflats or shallow water. Historically, most of the shorebirds in this area used sandbars within the Arkansas and Mississippi Rivers for foraging habitat. However, changes in the river’s ecology, due to flood control, have limited the number of sandbars available. The change in available habitat within the river system was offset by the conversion of bottomland hardwood forests to agriculture and aquaculture facilities between the 1950s and 1970s. Today, shorebirds frequent drained fish ponds, rice fields, and the few crop fields that have standing water. The late summer and early fall is a critical time for shorebirds, as shallow water is hard to find from July to September. This is where producers can help fill a void by installing a water control structure and allowing fields to flood via rainfall after crop harvest. There is also the option of pumping water into the fields from a reservoir or ditch, though capturing rainfall is a more economical approach. There are several reasons why producers should consider flooding their fields early. The most important reason is that it will reduce the amount of sediments, nutrients and pesticides entering the watershed: a major problem for the Mississippi River Basin. This practice also creates recreational opportunities for landowners or for hunt clubs that lease farms, as bluewinged and green-winged teal will likely utilize these same fields during the September teal season. Local restaurants, hotels, and stores can also benefit from this practice as reliable hotspots that attract shorebirds will in turn attract birdwatchers who mean business for local economies. Farmers who do not have a water control structure, or would like to pump water on their fields in late summer or fall, can seek funding through the Environmental Quality Incentive Program. If a land manager’s EQIP application does not get funded, they should ask their District Conservationist to put them in contact with a Private Lands Biologist with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission or the federal Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program. They can locate other sources of funds for water control structures or early flooding. According to David Long, AGFC Private Lands Supervisor, “Producers who apply for EQIP funding should seriously consider flooding their fields early for shorebirds. Doing so will get them bonus points on their application and improve their chances of receiving funds for other conservation measures they are hoping to do on the farm.” For more information on providing shallow water habitat for shorebirds, snipe and teal contact Michael Budd, Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, Overflow NWR, 3858 HWY 8 East, Parkdale, AR 71661 or michael_ email@example.com or David Long, AGFC Private Lands Supervisor at 877-9725438 or firstname.lastname@example.org. 4 - Arkansas Out-of-Doors • September/October 2012 Elections 2012: High Stakes for Wildlife A small number of votes on Capitol Hill could decide the outcome of some big conservation and environmental issues in the coming months 09-19-2012 // By Jeremy Symons and Adam Kolton Reprinted with permission from the October/November 2012 edition of National Wildlife. © National Wildlife Federation 2012. The upcoming presidential and congressional elections will have far-reaching consequences for America’s wildlife. Policy and funding decisions made in Congress and by federal agencies in the months to come will shape the fate of key wildlife habitat and the environment from coast to coast. At a time when elected officials should be uniting to promptly tackle the serious threats facing the nation’s wildlife, lawmakers have become more divided than ever. The past two years have seen an unprecedented tugof-war between those who think we aren’t doing enough to conserve habitat and our environment, and those who think we have gone too far. Since 2011, the U.S. House of Representatives has voted more than 280 times to weaken clean air, clean water and wildlife protections. Many of these measures were designed to halt progress being made to safeguard wildlife by the Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal entities. Because of opposition from Congress, the president or both, few of these bills have become law. More often than not, only a handful of votes on Capitol Hill determined whether or not the measures passed, which is why the upcoming elections are especially important for the future of wildlife. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the National Wildlife Federation is not permitted by law to endorse, support or oppose candidates for public office. However, we can provide information to help you make informed decisions. Following is NWF’s take on some key conservation issues at stake as voters go to the polls on November 6: Budget The U.S. government makes investments in protecting our shared environment that we all benefit from every day. These investments account for only about 1 percent of all federal spending, but they deliver huge benefits by enforcing air pollution standards, by improving water infrastructure to keep our lakes and rivers clean and our drinking water safe, and by managing our national parks and other public lands. Unfortunately, the inability of lawmakers to reach an agreement on spending has left wildlife-conservation programs subject to an oversized budget axe. Unless a fair and comprehensive budget deal is reached, vital efforts to protect and recover wildlife, restore the Everglades, Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay, and address the maintenance backlog in our national parks and wildlife refuges will be stymied. One option that Congress is considering will save taxpayers billions of dollars every year is eliminating subsidies and loopholes for oil and gas, mining and other special interests. Close Call for Conservation Funding: In 2011, the House voted on a measure introduced by Representative Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) that would have cut funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) by more than 90 percent. The LWCF is financed by oil-development royalties and has provided critical funding for some of the most cherished places in our nation, from Grand Canyon National Park to Gettysburg National Military Park to Mount Rainier National Park. How close was the vote? The final tally was 213 votes in favor of the measure, and 216 against. America’s Waters River otters, migratory songbirds and waterfowl, various fish and amphibians and countless other species depend on healthy wetlands, lakes, rivers and streams. But as many as 20 million acres of the nation’s waters and wetlands have been left susceptible to development and pollution. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and EPA are considering an important and overdue roadmap for implementing the Clean Water Act, but some developers and other special interests are vigorously opposed, instead favoring a patchwork of state regulations that could produce conflicting goals and priorities. EPA, often in partnership with the states, is helping make more and more of our waters fishable, swimmable and drinkable, leading to benefits for local economies, recreation and wildlife. One crucial decision still pending is whether to allow development for what would be North America’s largest open pit gold mine in the watershed of Bristol Bay, Alaska, where subsistence and sport fishing are vital to the local economy. Toxic pollution in our waters? If anything should unite members of Congress, it is keeping toxic mercury out of our waters, so the fish we catch and buy are once again safe to eat. In 2011, however, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) offered a measure to block EPA’s new smokestack standards for mercury and other hazardous pollutants. Inhofe’s effort failed 46 to 53, just a handful of senators shy of blocking these common-sense efforts. Endangered Species As we approach the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), conserving the nation’s wildlife has never been more challenging. The ESA has long been a safety net for critically imperiled wildlife and a success story for conservationists, saving 99 percent of all listed species from extinction, as well as successfully recovering bald eagles, alligators and many other species. Last year, bipartisan support in Congress maintained some of the law’s strongest provisions, but pressure from developers continues to discard science and weaken the law. Endangered Species Act: When a 2011 spending bill came to the House floor, it contained an unprecedented stop-work a o g c . c o m Energy for Life. Arkansas Out-of-Doors • September/October 2012 - 5 order for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that would have prohibited sciencebased listing of new plants and animals and designation of critical habitat under the ESA. The bill would have blocked protections for species currently awaiting listing decisions, such as the wolverine, Rio Grande cutthroat trout and Pacific walrus. A bipartisan amendment offered by Representatives Mike Fitzpatrick (RPA) and Norm Dicks (D-WA) stopped this attack on the law, but the thin margin of victory—224 to 202—could lead to further attempts to weaken the ESA in the next Congress. Climate and Energy As changes in climate have rapidly thrown ecosystems out of balance, nature has been providing an early warning system, alerting us to the dangers that lie ahead if we don’t curb greenhouse gas pollution. The strain of drought, storms, altered seasons and higher temperatures is becoming evident in dying forests, dry streambeds and premature growing seasons in many areas of the country and abroad. By acting now to curb carbon pollution from the burning of coal, oil and gas, the nation can protect thousands of wildlife species that otherwise would be in jeopardy. Bold new approaches can put U.S. citizens to work building renewable energy resources, installing technologies that waste less energy, and safeguarding our lands, waters and wildlife from changes that already are underway. The alternative is to do nothing and watch as our addiction to fossil fuels grows, leading to new pressure for Congress to open up protected areas to oil and gas leasing in areas such as Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and coastal waters along the East and West Coasts. This same thinking led Congress to create legal drilling loopholes that allow companies using chemicals for hydraulic fracturing to remain exempt from provisions of the U.S. Clean Water Act and other key environmental laws, even though their actions can put drinking water supplies at risk. In the past two years, EPA has taken important steps to begin curbing carbon pollution from smokestacks and tailpipes, as required under the bipartisan federal Clean Air Act. Nearly 3 million U.S. citizens have weighed in to support these efforts—the largest outpouring of public support for an environmental measure in the nation’s history. But EPA’s efforts currently are under attack from polluters, who have found a number of allies in Congress. Slimmest of margins: It doesn’t get any closer than a tie vote in the 100-member U.S. Senate, but that is what happened in 2011 when minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) offered an amendment to alter the Clean Air Act. The amendment would have erased the scientific finding made by EPA that greenhouse gases endanger human health and the environment. It also would have prohibited EPA from taking any action to address the heat-trapping emissions of carbon and other greenhouse gases. The final vote: 50 for, 50 against, meaning that Senator McConnell’s amendment failed. Great Western Landscapes As development and oil and gas drilling increase across much of the West, grizzlies, wolves, elk, bison, bighorn sheep and many other wildlife species increasingly depend on habitat in protected public lands. Senate races in states such as Montana and New Mexico will have a major impact on whether wilderness proposals advance next year, and conversely, on whether the government sells off some public wild lands, as members of the Utah congressional delegation propose. The president and his cabinet play an enormous role in managing public lands. Sixteen presidents of both parties have used a 1906 federal law called the Antiquities Act to protect landscapes as diverse as the Grand Canyon, Mount St. Helens and, most recently, Forts Monroe and Ord in Virginia and California. Beyond designating new monuments, the next administration also will face critical decisions regarding the fate of roadless areas in U.S. National Forests. At stake: 30 percent of the national forest system in 38 states. Kids and Nature Children in the United States today spend an average 7.5 hours daily in front of television, video games and other electronic media, while spending less time outdoors than any generation in human history. Two federal initiatives currently being considered by Congress will help reverse this trend and help ensure that the next generation grows up caring about protecting the natural world: The No Child Left Inside Act, which would promote outdoor, hands-on experiential learning and understanding of the natural world through a grant program available to schools in all 50 states; and the Healthy Kids Outdoors Act, which would engage children and families beyond the school day by supporting outdoor recreation programs that include wildlife-watching and community gardening. Increasingly politicians of both parties recognize the need to reverse the indoor child epidemic, but leadership will be needed from Congress and the White House to advance these proposals and raise public awareness of the need to get kids back outdoors. “One of the most important things people can do to help protect wildlife is to engage in the political process by voting,” says NWF President Larry Schweiger. “We need to press candidates of both parties and at all levels of government to put forward their plans on how the nation can better protect its natural resources for future generations.” Jeremy Symons is NWF’s senior vice president for conservation and education. Adam Kolton is executive director of NWF’s National Advocacy Center in Washington, D.C. Putting Conversation On the Ballot Ballot measures provide voters with opportunities to enact conservation policies that can have positive impacts on wildlife and habitat at the state and local levels. In the 2010 elections, citizens in five states— Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Oregon and Rhode Island—approved new referendum to promote investment in open space, land protection and energy efficiency. Californians also defeated a measure to roll back implementation of the state’s landmark clean-energy protections. This year, residents in a number of states will have similar opportunities to make conservation progress at the ballot box. In Michigan, for example, citizens will determine the fate of an initiative requiring that 25 percent of the state’s energy come from renewable sources such as wind and solar by 2025. If it passes, the new standard would provide a boost to clean-energy jobs and the economy while also reducing pollution. 6 - Arkansas Out-of-Doors • September/October 2012 Trail Tales By Johnny Sain It starts in my left leg. The tremor gets so bad that I press against the seat of my tree stand in an effort to control it. Sometimes this makes the situation worse. If the tree I’m strapped to isn’t big enough to absorb the vibrations, it acts as an amplifier. This is especially problematic if the chosen tree is full of dead leaves. It’s like sitting on a tambourine. Luckily, I had chosen a large pine for this evening hunt and the thick diameter of the trunk along with the pine needles acted as muffler. He never knew I was there. The deer weren’t supposed to be moving at twilight according to the “experts.” That full moon peeking over the treetops opposite the setting sun meant the whitetails would be nocturnal. Deer don’t stir until hours after sunset when the moon is full. Apparently, the tight-racked little six-point in front of me didn’t get the memo. Or, maybe the steady beat of acorns plopping into dry oak leaves was just too much to resist. Whatever the reason, the little deer stood a scant 18 yards away, broadside, and completely engrossed in stuffing his face. Even after all these years, the decision to shoot sent a surge of adrenaline coursing through me. This was the first buck I had laid eyes on in two weeks. It was a few days past mid-October. Action in the deer woods was supposed to be picking up, but that had not been the case. Not for me anyway. A hunting buddy had killed an absolutely giant non-typical buck the previous week and now I was hunting for pride. Sometime during the previous three years, I had chosen the trophy path for hunting fulfillment. I’m still not sure why or when this happened. Young bucks were relegated to “dink” or “beginner buck” status as opposed to being a “shooter.” Does were considered, at best, bait for a randy buck; at worst, a nuisance. Though the deer were labeled, I was actually ranking me; the bigger the buck, the better the hunter. Somehow and someway, ego had been injected into this birthright given to all human beings. It had become a game and I was keeping score. Long forgotten was the tradition. Long forgotten was the humility. Long forgotten was the gratitude. Hunting was now a competition, and all of a sudden it wasn’t much fun. Hunting had been reduced to sitting in a tree bemoaning my bad luck and the state game agency’s woeful shortcomings in providing me a shot at a record book buck. My dark and gloomy attitude had caused me to miss some wonderful things during those depressing hunts. I don’t recall ever hearing the mournful trilling of a screech owl. I don’t think I heard a single Canadian goose honking high above the clouds. The sunsets all seemed pale and watery. It was sad. Frustration was building and I approached every hunt like a job. If I wasn’t working I was hunting, or scouting, or plotting over maps, or griping about deer hunting. You read that right, I was griping about deer hunting. But, this afternoon, there’s this little six-point. At first I don’t even bother to pick up my bow, he’s not a shooter. I listen to him popping acorns. He plucks them one at a time from the forest floor and his tongue works them toward the back of his mouth where stout molars can crush the energy packed nuts. The buck takes two steps forward, his right leg forward, exposing the sweet spot where his sturdy heart beats inside a tawny chest. My stomach tightens and the tremble begins. A screech owl calls in the distance. Eager fingers wrap around the bow. I’m in Zen mode as the string comes back, the green dot of the bow sight finds that sweet spot, and the flickering arrow is on its way. Bright crimson splotches are easy to find with the help of that full moon, but there’s no need to follow blood. The little buck ran only 50 yards before sagging under his own weight. It was all over in less than 10 seconds. His sleek hide and tiny antlers reflect silver moonlight as I sit next to him. Tracing the curve of antler with an index finger, I vow to leave my ego at home for all future hunts. High on the ridge above me the screech owl trills his approval. Need a Tax Write-Off? by Al Wolff The holidays approach as well as the end of the year. Before you get too busy, consider sending a donation to AWF for tax purposes, renew your membership, or purchase a new membership for someone that enjoys the outdoors and wildlife. The minimum AWF membership (see clip-out form on inside of front page) is only $25 and gets you 6 issues of Arkansas Out-ofDoors. Higher memberships get you more, ranging from AWF hat/shirt pins to prints drawn by Arkansas artists, t-shirts and more. Remember, AWF is a nonprofit 501 c (3) organization, tax # 71-6059226. Arkansas Out-of-Doors • September/October 2012 - 7 Beaver Bluff by Dr. Robert Morgan It was raining when I woke on the morning of September 15th. That has been an odd occurrence in Arkansas this summer, but up here in Northwest Arkansas, we actually did have some rain from late August through September. My thought when I noticed the rain was, “Whoopie, no yard work today, I am headed to the lake!” I dutifully asked Sharon if she wanted to go along. After getting my full dose of Billingsgate, I told her to go on back to sleep and I would see her when I got in. Okay, I knew I was crazy, and I always figured that I was a bit of a fool, but she didn’t have to call me old. That kind of hurt. So I grabbed my Gore-Tex®, threw a couple of granola bars in the dry bag, and headed out to my red truck. Did you know that the way rain runs down a windshield is fascinating? It never runs in a straight line. Instead it twists and turns. Little rivulets form and join into streams. It is kind of a mini-watershed all its own. It seemed odd that the canoe wasn’t blocking the rain. Oh, yeah, the canoe! So I got out of the truck, walked down to the shed, got the canoe, and hauled it up to the truck. Along the way, I picked up a couple paddles. I always take two paddles in case one breaks. In a couple of minutes, the canoe was loaded and I was on my way, green canoe on red truck, Gore-Tex® jacket on, two granola bars in the dry bag, ready for a great day in the rain. I headed out to the Beav-O-Rama launching ramp. Beav-O-Rama has been the starting point for a couple of trips this year. On those trips, I was headed upstream though. Today I was going downstream to complete paddling the reach of lake from Hwy. 45 to Hwy. 412. The water level was about 15 feet lower than my last trip out here. In May, the ramp was in the lake. Now, it was about a 100-yard carry from the ramp down to the lake. Forty-five years ago this would have been prized bottomland pasture. Today it is just a mudflat. It is surprising, though, how quickly these mudflats become vegetated when the water goes down. Much of the vegetation is Late Boneset, a two- to three-foot tall flower with multiple white blooms. The “lake” now looked like a wide river. The water was a bit murky. My paddle blade was barely visible when fully submerged. That means that transparency is about 18 or so inches. The water was warm and had a greenish tint. It was raining, but warm with a little wind. Because of the low water, I was paddling along the very bases of the bluffs. Fall wildflowers were just starting to bloom in mid-September. My favorite fall flower is the goldenrod. Goldenrod is one of those nouns that doesn’t have a plural. It is just “the goldenrod.” Back in town, there are fields full of goldenrod in the Lake Fayetteville Park. It makes a blanket of yellow over the ground. But around Beaver Lake, you only see small patches clinging to nooks and crannies in the bluffs. Maybe there are eight or 10 plants in a patch. The plants around the lake are also smaller. Most are only about a foot and a half tall. After about a half hour, the bluff line switched from river right to river left. I switched over too. I guess I just like bluffs. As far as I can tell, this bluff doesn’t have a name. I am going to call it “Beaver” bluff because that is who was living there, four of them. The first one was swimming out from behind a rock when I saw him. I tried to slip up and get a photo but about the time I reached for the camera, kerplunk, he slapped his tail on the water and disap- One of the Beavers of “Beaver Bluff.” peared. Around the corner, the other three were huddled on a ledge. One by one, they slipped into the water and swam off. Several years ago while paddling the Buffalo River on a quiet fall day, I encountered a river otter. Otters are curious fellows. This one seemed to engage me in a game of hide-and-seek. He would pop out from behind a log and stare at me until I made a move; then he would dive and move off to repeat the process. Another time many years ago, I actually had one swim out and scratch the bottom of my canoe. In contrast, beavers are all business. These fellows had things to do, and I was keeping them from doing them. So I snapped a couple of photos and moved on down the bluff. As a water treatment professional, I have a love-hate relationship with beavers. Bea- vers are pretty cool to see swimming around in the lake. But beaver fecal matter is one of the main sources of the protozoa cryptosporidium and giardia, both of which are pathogenic to humans (pathogenic simply means they cause us to get diseases). Luckily, these guys were several miles from the water supply intake and beavers don’t seem to be very abundant on Beaver Lake. At the end of the bluff line, I could see Cedar Bluff which extends up to the Blue Spring area on the lake. That meant that I was at the point where I had turned around on my trip uplake from the Blue Spring launch. So my mission was complete. I had a granola bar, watched some gulls fish for a bit, and then headed back to the truck. The round trip was roughly three and a half miles. It was still raining. In Memorium Gary "Jers" Hodges Longtime YCWF Member and friend Died September 28, 2012 8 - Arkansas Out-of-Doors • September/October 2012 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER UPCOMING EVENTS AWF Quarterly Meeting Saturday, January 12, 2013 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Facility - TBA Little Rock, AR (Open to the Public) AWF’s second quarterly meeting. NOTICE: There will also be a special meeting to consider amendments to AWF”s bylaws. There will be a working lunch provided. Please R.S.V.P. so we can get an accurate headcount for feeding people. If you have an item you would like placed on the agenda, contact the AWF Office no later than January 3. AWF Office: 501-224-9200 or email@example.com Conway Fly Fishing Film Festival Saturday, November 3, 2012 Events start @ 10:00 a.m. Film starts @ 6:45 p.m. Hendrix College – The Village The event is being hosted by the new fly shop in Conway, The Toad Fly, and begins at 10am with fly casting and fly tying exhibitions and classes, presentations from The Nature Conservancy and AR Game & Fish Commission, the f3t fly fishing film debut, and a musical performance by the Arkatext! This will be a wonderful event for people of all ages to learn about and promote Arkansas fisheries. You don’t want to miss it! Bring the family for a day of fishing education! Arkansas Curriculum Conference 2012 Thursday – Friday, November 8-9, 2012 Peabody Hotel and Statehouse Convention Center Little Rock, Arkansas The Arkansas Curriculum Conference (ACC), sponsored by the Arkansas Council for Social Studies, the Arkansas Council of Teachers of English and Language Arts, the Arkansas Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and the Arkansas Science Teachers Association. ACC consistently hosts 1,200-1,500 teachers each year. Southshore Sweep @ Lake Maumelle Saturday, November 10, 2012 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Central Arkansas Water’s 4th Annual Lake Sweep 77th annual World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest & Wings Over The Prairie Festival Saturday - Saturday, November 17-24, 2012 Downtown Stuttgart For more information visit the Stuttgart Chamber of Commerce website www.stuttgartarkansas.org Army worm outbreak takes toll on wildlife plantings ST. JOE – Two days previously, the grass in a large planting for wildlife was lush, green and more than knee high. Two days later it was gone. Biologist Stacey Clark with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission pointed out devastation left in large areas on the Richland Valley Sonny Varnell Conservation Area, a part of the agency’s Gene Rush Wildlife Management Area near the Buffalo River in Newton and Searcy counties. The assault by the army worms isn’t an isolated case. It has happened on other wildlife management areas and on pastures, hay fields and even lawns in many areas of Arkansas. Army worms are nothing new. Why they appeared now and in such numbers is debatable. Some blame the arrival of the worms on 2012’s unusual weather in Arkansas – prolonged drought that was ended by Hurricane Isaac’s remnants of heavy rain in some areas and strong winds. In Richland Valley, the army worms were highly selective. They went for the good stuff, plantings intended for elk, deer and other wildlife. The worms ignored weeds and nuisance growths like horse nettles and cockleburs, Clark said. “They got to the millet, orchard grass, clovers, Bermuda grass and wheat. They ate crab grass and Johnson grass. They ate everything right down to the ground. In the case of the winter wheat we had planted, they ate what was in the sun but left what was in the shade.” Fighting the worms with insecticides is an option although an expensive one. And the worms strike so quickly that rigging up and spraying with an insecticide may come too late. The worms can hit and leave virtually overnight, turning into small moths. The worms eat the green part of vegetation – grass blades and leaves. They pass up stems and woody material. Army worms have a life cycle of just 30 days or so from egg to worm to moth. They reproduce on or in the ground instead of in trees and shrubs like tent worms. Clark said the loss of food for wildlife in Richland Valley is extensive, but probably not devastating. “The elk may move up into the woods and feed on acorns,” he said. For cattle raisers, the impact may be greater. With much of a pasture wiped out by army worms, a rancher may not have the options enjoyed by mobile and adaptable wildlife. David Long, AGFC’s private lands coordinator, said, “Landowners desiring specific insecticide recommendations, whether it’s wildlife food plots or pasture forages, should contact their county extension agent for recommendations.” Arkansas Out-of-Doors • September/October 2012 - 9 Gordon Bagby AGFC Education Specialist Central Arkansas Nature Center Deer Seasons Several of the most common questions asked of Arkansas Game and Fish Commission employees are about deer hunting and season dates. This year there were some changes, primarily with an earlier archery season that opened September 15. Another new development was the agency’s desire to carefully manage the deer herd on selected wildlife management areas with the potential to produce “trophy” bucks. The Commission will rely on feedback from hunters to gather information and feedback about their insights, experiences and harvest results on these WMAs. Known as the Sweet 16, these particular areas require a free permit to access them. Permits are available at www.agfc.com, the main and regional AGFC offices or by calling 800-364-4263 ext. 6359. More information about the Sweet 16 WMAs is available on page 66 of the 2012-13 Hunting Guidebook. Muzzleloader season is October 20-28 and December 15-17 or December 29-31 in most of the state. It is closed in some zones, so always check the guidebook before planning to hunt. Modern gun season opens November 10 but season lengths vary, so check zone regulations for those. The traditional Christmas hunt will be December 26-28 in all zones. As always, wildlife management areas have different regulations and seasons than statewide regulations, seasons and dates. WMA information is included in the hunting guidebook. Information about the special youth modern gun deer hunts is found on page 49. Waterfowl Seasons The Game and Fish Commission has released the complete 2012-13 waterfowl season dates and limits. Information is online at www.agfc.com and guidebooks will be available as season dates approach. Upcoming Events at Central Arkansas Nature Center Deer Season Forecast—October 30, 7:00-8:00pm. AGFC deer biologists will present information on deer populations and herd health, food and water resource status, and expectations for modern gun deer season. Space is limited and registration is required to attend the free program by calling the center at 501-907-0636. Dutch Oven Cooking Workshop—November 3, 11:00am-2:00pm. Have you wanted to learn the art of cooking in a Dutch oven? Don’t miss this opportunity to experience how to prepare meals the old fashioned way and enjoy samples prepared during the workshop. Space is limited and registration is required to attend the free program by calling the center at 501-907-0636. Hunter Education class—November 5, 6 and 8, 6:00-9:30pm. This class precedes the opening date for modern gun deer season on November 10. Space is limited and attendance of the entire 10 hours is required. Register to attend by calling the center at 501-907-0636. The Holla Bend Bow Jam! By Bodhi Lovely (5th grade) Have you ever shot a bow and arrow before? If so, you will know it is as easy as pie. If not, today is a day you will never forget! I am going to the Holla Bend Bow Jam with my friend Leo and my dad. You are welcome to join us. “Beep, Beep!” It looks like the bus is leaving, so let’s go! In the car to Holla Bend Leo, my dad, and I talk about how fun it will be at the Bow Jam. Dad says we will get to take home our own longbow! I on the other hand, am not so sure, but we will find out for ourselves when we get there. And sure enough! Some men gave us a brand new bamboo bow and a feather fletching arrow! Now it is time to customize our bows. There are rainbows of colorful sharpies on the tables inside the pavilion. I decorate my bow to match my creative personality. It is a true masterpiece. Now that we are done here, we trudge down the grassy hill toward the range. It feels like we are walking in a basket of plastic Easter grass. At the range, I stand in line for about five minutes gazing at the skillful archers in front of me. Then I step up to the shooting mark. For the first time, I pull an arrow from my quiver. I hear a soft “click” as I knock it. As I pull back my bowstring, I feel the tension. I pretend I am Robin Hood as I aim. Then I release. Wizzzzzzz..! The arrow streaks though the air and… THWACK! It hits the target making my first shot a success. After two more shots, all the archers retrieve the arrows. After more standing in line and more tries at the real targets, Leo and I decide the lines have gotten too long. We borrow a magazine from the park rangers and set it up behind where the cars are parked. We take turns shooting at that until some more boys join us. All together, we stab about fifteen holes in only thirty minutes. Then the park rangers start drawing names for door prizes. Leo wins a camouflage hat. Other kids are walking away, satisfied with a mini backpack or water bottle. Then I hear my name. I walk up to the fold-out table with the prizes to receive a very detailed print of turkeys called, “Talkin’ Turkey.” I tell my dad, this will make an excellent bow target.” But my dad has other plans. He says the painting is worth up to forty dollars. Well, it’s time to go home. I hope you enjoyed the fun at the Holla Bend Bow Jam! 10 - Arkansas Out-of-Doors • September/October 2012 Bearcat Hollow Project 2012 by Wayne Shewmake I was so excited to have all of the volunteers and supporters that came out on “National Public Lands Day” to help work on a Cooperative Habitat Improvement Project called Bearcat Hollow. First of all AWF and our partners could not have accomplished all we have done in the past three years without the financial support from South Western Energy and National Forest Foundation. Our partners inlcude National Wild Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, U S Forest Service, Arkansas Tech University Fisheries & Wildlife Society, University of the Ozarks, and many other partners and volunteers that have supported this project, thanks for your support. Sept. 29, 2012 was our work day, but most of us came for the weekend. Let me tell you, you have to be dedicated to volunteer to work on such a project when the weather is so miserable. It was a rainy weekend, but we still had one of the best turnouts of volunteers ever, there were about 26 students from Arkansas Tech University, 21 from University of the Ozarks, as well as our partners from National Wild Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Yell County Wildlife Federation, AGFC, and U S Forest Service. We were able to accomplish our goal, installing three gates on opening, sowed seeds and covered seven ponds with wheat straw by hand to prevent erosion on ponds, sowed winter wheat by hand on two fields for wildlife, picked up large rocks and limbs in two new open fields so they can be cut for hay in the future, and AWF cooked and served everyone great meals. Let me tell you what we ate for breakfast on Saturday morning, keep in mind it rained most of the night and Saturday morning. You could not see across the camp for the fog. Cooks got up early and got things started. We prepared six pounds of sausage, five pounds of fresh bear meat sausage, ten dozen eggs, two gallons of gravy, and two boxes of biscuit mix - biscuits made in Dutch ovens on open fire pit - along with two gallons of coffee, three gallons of juice and some Little Debbie snack cakes. For lunch cooks fixed twenty pounds of chicken breast meat, donated by Tyson Foods, twenty pounds of Arkansas elk meat, donated by Huntin Show’s Nathan Ogden, ten pounds of deer meat, donated by Wild Game Processing, along with ten pounds each of onions, squash, peppers, and zucchini, and twenty pounds of potatoes to make about 75 foil packs on the open fire pit, along with a very large peach cobbler made in a Dutch oven for dessert. This is part of what we fixed for the volunteers. Later, after all the work was done, and we ate late lunch, for those who stayed Saturday night we took about 15 volunteers to look for elk down on AGFC’s Gene Rush WMA. We got to see three elk and got to hear two elk bugle. Overall everyone had a great time and was glad they had come and be a part of the project. For AWF we could not have accomplished our goals without the volunteers, so I would like to again say thanks for your help and support. February 2013 we will have another work weekend and plant 500 American Plum, and 500 Chickasaw Plum tree seedlings, do another clean up on Richland Creek, and another Turkey gobble count. If you would like to be a part of this please contact us, arkwf@sbcglobal. net or 501-224-9200. Successful elk hunters make key decisions in the field ST. JOE – If a pattern has developed in 15 years of limited permit elk hunting in Arkansas, it may be to expect the unexpected. Brent Hohenstein and Allyn Ladd both got their bull elk in the September season in Buffalo River country, and they both had to make changes on the spot. Hohenstein took an impressive 6X11 bull and Ladd a large-racked 6X6 bull. Hohenstein said, “My hunt of a lifetime lasted only an hour and a half.” He got the elk that quickly on opening morning. But he had to make some adaptations. “When we got out there, we saw a (deer) bowhunter walking across the field with a flashlight. Then a herd of elk came across Richland Creek, and we jumped into some bushes to hide. My boy Colt saw a big bull with some cows in trees. We had to cross a creek to slip in behind them, and we had to pull ourselves up the bank by using tree roots.” Hohenstein shot the elk at 75 yards range with his .308-caliber bolt action rifle. The 11 points on one side of the elk’s antlers was the most for an Arkansas elk taken in hunting. Hohenstein lives at the Joy community west of Searcy. He’s been a lifelong hunter, but this was his first elk experience. He had applied for the free elk permits for the past seven years. Ladd, of Camden, has extensive elk hunting experience along with the variety of other big game animals. His preferred weapon is a bow. He said, “We scouted all summer, and we used game cameras. We narrowed it down to three bulls we would like to shoot. On the first afternoon, we found elk but wind came up. Next morning, wind again. That afternoon we went back, and this bull came down the trail we were on. I shot it at 16 yards.” This came right at dark. Then Ladd and his helpers did what few other hunters would have thought of. They waited. Arrow-shot big game often runs for miles if pursued when wounded. For five hours, the Ladd team cooled their heels. Then they began trailing the shot elk a little after midnight. It didn’t take long. They found the bull dead. A year ago, Ladd became the first hunter to get an elk on public land by using a bow. He repeated this season. Both hunters worked the Richland Valley Sonny Varnell Conservation Area, a 2008 acquisition of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission on the east side of Gene Rush Wildlife Management Area. Elk hunting will resume Oct. 29 when 25 hunters will have permits for public land. Private land hunting with permits will also take place then. Arkansas residents may apply online for the free public land permits during the month of May with random drawings to take place during the June Buffalo River Elk Festival in Jasper. Arkansas Out-of-Doors • September/October 2012 - 11 Bearcat Volunteers Growing By Ethan Nahté The last weekend in September proved to be another successful work weekend at Bearcat Hollow. This year the number of Arkansas Tech University Fisheries and Wildlife Society students increased for the third year in a row. In addition, students and instructors from University of the Ozarks were able to finally make it up for the first time to work and enjoy the camping, great food and camaraderie. Officially, the last Saturday of September is known as National Public Lands Day. It is also the primary weekend that Arkansas Wildlife Federation volunteers team up with some of its cooperative partners such as AGFC, USFS, RMEF & NWTF for this particular weekend, as well as AWF’s previously mentioned school affiliates. The volunteers all travel from around the state to go do work up in the Ozarks at an area known as Bearcat Hollow. Some of the volunteers show up on Friday night and camp out while others show up early on Saturday and leave that afternoon. The die-hards don’t pack out until Sunday afternoon. This year’s work included the installation of four new gates on open fields; picking up large rocks and tree limbs in the open fields to prevent damage of hay cutting and baling equipment; sowing seed, fertilizer and covering it with wheat straw on seven ponds to help prevent erosion; picking up litter on US Forest Service roads in the area. Some volunteers will return in January or February after the hunting season has ended to do cleanup along Richland Creek once again. Then in late February/early March more volunteers will show up to spend part of a day planting 1000 American and Chickasaw plum trees. The trees could not be planted in September since that is not the ideal time to plant and they wouldn’t survive the winter. The purpose of the trees is to provide food and forage for wildlife and to help prevent erosion on some steep hills that are too difficult to cut for hay. For some of the students, not only was this their first time attending the volunteer day, it was their first time camping. Most of them seemed to enjoy the experience, although a couple were not as enthused with the light rain on the first evening and waking up to a pea soup fog that did not burn off until after one that afternoon. Many of the students excitedly stated that they were enjoying themselves and couldn’t wait to come back again. Others were happy to point out to the newcomers that they had helped with the work that went into the acres of fields covered in flowers, clover, and native grasses; still alive with hundreds of butterflies and bees. The ponds they had worked on in the past showed plenty of tracks and proof that the water resources were being used by a variety of wildlife. They showed where they had helped pull up hundreds of yards of old barbed wire fencing that impeded the path of the wildlife and posed a threat to the welfare of the wildlife. From the paperwork filled out - yes, even in the mountain elevations where there is no electricity and little-to-no cell phone reception, paperwork is still a necessity Arkansas Wildlife Federation determined that the weekend volunteers totaled just over 50 people who came to help us. There was a total of 169 hours travel time over 4,719 miles total. The volunteers logged over 300 man hours worked on September 29, 2012. The volunteers also enjoyed a night of sandwiches and venison chili the first evening, followed by a cooked breakfast early the next morning. When they returned from the fields they were treated to foil packs of veggies, chicken, deer burger or elk burger cooked right on the hot coals of the campfire. That evening was a couple of different styles of soups. The following morning was another cooked breakfast of pancakes and sausage. Plenty of snacks were on hand but a lot of the students got to make smores or banana boats for the first time over the fire. AWF board member Lola Perritt was in charge of the cooking, but she had an assembly line crew working diligently with her to make it all happen. It takes a lot of food and a couple of pick-up trucks to tote all of the food and drinks up there, not to mention the other trucks pulling trailers with the equipment for an event such as this. Some of the group divided up and went out on Saturday evening as the sun began to set. One group heard three elk bugle while another group saw three elk. Bob and Sharon Shewmake had the chance to see an elk earlier in the day as they drove up. They were able to take a couple of nice photos of the elk as well as of a deer and a hawk along the way. Later on Saturday evening, as midnight approached, a pack of coyotes could be heard howling and making their way along the hills. The full moon was slightly hidden behind thin gossamer clouds. A large ice ring circled the bright orb as it shined down on the dewcovered fields from its perch in the midnight sky while an owl hooted and a lone elk bugled in the night. AWF mem bers , pi c k up a c o py o f Natural Awa k en i n g s t o d a y! H E A L T H Y L I V I N G H E A L T H Y P L A N E T feel good • live simply • laugh more Your Healthy Lifestyle Magazine in Print, Online and Mobile Natural Awakenings Magazine 501.664.5050 www.arknaturalawakenings.com Facebook: Natural Awakenings Central Arkansas 2012 ANNUAL GOVERNOR'S CONSERVATION ACHIEVEMENT AWARD Banquet BEARCAT HOLLOW CLEANUP DAY 2012 14 - Arkansas Out-of-Doors • September/October 2012 Browning shoots among the best of world’s shotgunners of shells with in practice and in competitions. Browning, who recently turned 20 years old, has been shooting since she was a young girl under the tutelage of her father, Tommy Browning, a veteran competitive shooter himself. Kayle Browning is an alumna of the Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports Program of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. WOOSTER – In an intense competition of the world’s best trapshooters, in- She competed for Greenbrier High School. cluding several Olympic medallists, Kayle Browning of Wooster had no trepida- This was Browning’s second appearance tions. She broke clay targets with the best of them in faraway Slovenia. in the ISSF finals. She said, “I felt the jet lag That is in southeastern Europe, one of the nations of the former Yugoslavia. when we got over there, but in the finals, I Browning finished sixth in the recent World Cup competition of the International felt fine. I had good focus. When the shootShooting Sports Federation (ISSF). ing starts, I don’t have anything else on my In a field of shooters from all over the world, Browning had rounds of 23 of 25, mind.” 23 of 25 and 21 of 25 to make the finals of the event. She broke 17 of 25 in the The other finalists were familiar to finals for the sixth spot. She was the only non-European shooter in the finals. The Browning, and they included gold and silwinner was Finland veteran Satu Makela-Nummela who hit an impressive 93 of ver Olympic medalists from 2012 and from 100 in the shooting. Browning finished with 84 of 100. 2008. “We are good friends. There are no Browning and her American teammates had to overcome jet lag, a seven-hour head games with us. When the shooting is time difference and the considerable pressure in the trapshoot. And the food was over, we go out to dinner together.” different too. She added, “It is always an honor to com “They didn’t serve biscuits and gravy,” Browning said with a smile. pete in the World Cup. I am happy with my She didn’t offer it as an excuse, but she had several “no birds” in the final round. sixth place.” That is when targets are broken as they come out of the throwing machine. Browning has only a short rest, then she She used her familiar Krieghoff shotgun, the firearm that she has fired thousands will be in competition again, this time in Kerrville, Texas, trying for another berth on the American team that will compete in the next World Cup. In the meantime, she is building a house. It is just down the road from where she lives with parents Tommy and Tammy Browning. “My house is next to our shooting range,” she said. Natural Resources Deltic Timber Corporation manages nearly 450,000 acres of sustainable woodlands, while providing environmentally compatible habitat for Arkansas wildlife. We are honored to support the Arkansas Wildlife Federation and the important work you do for Arkansas’s natural resources. deltic.com Arkansas Out-of-Doors • September/October 2012 - 15 Voluntary Approaches to Reduce Wildlife Lead (Pb) Poisoning (part 1) by John H. Schulz American Bird Conservancy (Non-Pb Campaign Manager) The effects of lead (Pb) poisoning on birds has been known since 1876 when it was reported to effect pheasants on English game preserves, and since 1894 in North American waterfowl wintering in Galveston Bay, TX . It wasn’t until 1987–1991 the use of nontoxic-shot for waterfowl hunting was phased-in across the United States; however, the use of Pb-based traditional ammunition continues to be used for most other types of hunting. A growing body of scientific information shows traditional Pb-based ammunition and fishing tackle continues to represent a significant source of mortality for >130 species of birds. Recent data also show big-game animals (e.g., deer or elk) shot with traditional Pb-based hunting ammunition contains hundreds of tiny Pb bullet fragments that not only effect scavenging birds (e.g., California condors, or bald eagles), but can also negatively impact people eating the meat. Similarly, hunting and the money generated by hunters is critical to support and maintain wildlife management, and it is crucial that any efforts to reduce spent ammunition (and fishing tackle) do nothing to reduce hunting participation or paint hunters/anglers in a negative light. Gone are the days when environmental “battles” are “successfully” waged and won in courtrooms. The legal/political landscape has changed. Although many organizations make a good living using various types of legal challenges to affect change, little meaningful and lasting change occurs that actually benefits natural resources. A new approach based on relationship building, meaningful dialog, and consensus is the future of addressing difficult and complex natural resource management challenges. To that end, sufficient information exists about Pb poisoning to initiate meaningful dialogue to build a consensus aimed at reducing the negative environmental impacts of Pb through the development and implementation of voluntary programs based on outreach and information. Pb poisoning is a challenging issue because of its multifaceted nature, and is the primary reason for little progress to date (Figure 1). An optimal approach to dealing with this complex situation breaks the larger problem into sub-problems that are “easier” to focus on; e.g., Pb poisoning of California condors, poisoning of eagles and other scavenging birds, Pb exposure to humans with consumption of ground venison with Pb bullet fragments, poisoning of mourning doves and other surface feeding songbirds, impacts to fishing birds such as loons or deep feeding tundra and trumpeter swans, and impacts related to a variety of shooting ranges (e.g., trap, skeet, and sporting clays). Science vs. Science Some influential stakeholders use predictable tactics to cast doubt, dispersions, and misdirection in the environmental arena to purposefully and predictably throttle meaningful dialog and consensus building. In the book Merchants of Doubt, science historians Oreskes and Conway describe these tactics as follows: • Sow doubt by claiming a lack of evidence, or that existing data is insufficient to justify policy. • Promote as “sound science” anything that supports a particular view, and discredit contrary information as “junk science.” • Argue with conviction, even if the facts do not support the argument. • Suggest that a belief in the power of continued economic growth necessitates attacks on any science that impinges on free-market capitalism. • Claim that government agencies betray the public trust by violating principles of sound science to achieve a hidden political agenda. • Claim that everything is harmful, and it’s just a matter of dose. • Claim that the identified environmental problem isn’t serious relative to other problems (e.g., Pb may harm some individual animals, but there’s no population effect, so it doesn’t warrant action). • Cherry-pick supportive information to demonstrate scientific uncertainty. Partnerships The Wildlife Society official position statement on Pb advocates for “the replacement of lead-based ammunition and fishing tackle with nontoxic products,” and explicitly states “the need for additional information . . . should not delay the educational efforts and the phasing-in of nontoxic ammunition and tackle where practicable.” This position statement was informed by the technical review titled Sources and Implications of Lead Ammunition and Fishing Tackle on Natural Resources. Although there has been some movement toward a voluntary reduction in the use of Pb ammunition and toward manufacturing non-toxic alternatives, these programs need partners to work together more Figure 1. The complex nature of lead (Pb) poisoning has at least six different sub-problems. Each sub-problem has in turn its own unique set of challenges and potential obstacles. effectively for voluntary efforts to be successful and longlasting on a broader scale. Meaningful Progress So, how much information is enough, and precisely what information is needed to move toward implementation of voluntary programs? Additional research to define or substantiate the problem will not bring about meaningful change. Instead, we must reframe the discussion by building greater understanding and consensus among interested stakeholders. Areas of misunderstanding, once recognized and articulated, can provide clues to defining ultimate problems and potential solutions toward implementation of voluntary programs. Initially, stakeholders need to agree sufficient information exists demonstrating the broad-scale environmental effects of Pb-based ammunition. Next, stakeholders must acknowledge differences of opinion about solutions and implementation, as articulated by the TWS position statement when it says: “[T]he removal of lead for hunting, fishing, and shooting will require collaboration among affected stakeholders (including wildlife professionals, ammunition and tackle manufacturers, sportsmen, policymakers, and the public). It may require a phased-in approach, and will require explicit and targeted educational strategies at both the national and international levels”. Further delays in initiating meaningful dialogs and effective voluntary programs represent lost opportunities to improve environmental quality, reduce hazards to wildlife and humans, and fulfill our commitment to wildlife conservation. 16 - Arkansas Out-of-Doors • September/October 2012 Second ChancesThe Story of Rudy By Julie A. Doyle Rudy the raccoon was an orphan found by my daughter, Kinder Patton. He was dehydrated, near death and had an injured arm that the veterinarian felt would prevent him from ever surviving in the wild. My nineteen-year-old college student just beginning her summer vacation couldn’t walk away from that little four-ounce ball of fur so she brought him home. We consulted countless sources on the care of orphaned babies and began what I believed would be a very long journey considering that raccoons can live fifteen years in captivity. I felt he became our responsibility the minute we chose to intervene and this responsibility would continue for the rest of his life. I’m not sure that people consider this when they see a cute baby in the wild. Lifelong care for a wild animal requires so much more than food and water. Luckily, I’m a teacher who has an extended summer vacation because having Rudy was much like having an infant child. Everything was planned around his schedule and he became stronger with each day. It was very easy to get attached to this little guy and he was fast becoming part of the family. However, as his activity level increased, it was also easy to see that he would eventually need so much more than we could ever provide in a domesticated household. He probably received better care than some children but I knew in my heart that he deserved, at the very least, an opportunity to experience an environment that was more natural to his species. Even if he could never survive in the wild, I felt I had to find a place that allowed him to be a raccoon rather than a house pet. I searched the internet for options and was surprised that I could not find any state-funded facility that cared for injured and orphaned animals. I found only a list of rehabilitators that stated in the title that these individuals were volunteers and not employees of AGFC. The list seemed rather small considering it covered the entire state of Arkansas and I found that in June, most already had large numbers of orphaned and injured babies in their care. As I continued my search, I began to learn a great deal about these people and organizations that devote their time and energy to caring for the wildlife of our state. It was easy to see why the numbers were so few. It seems that most survive with little or no support from anywhere other than private donations. They do so, not for any personal financial gain, but rather because they have a love for animals and a sincere desire to help those in need. Through a series of phone calls, I located Tommy Young, a rehabilitator at the Arkansas Native Plant and Wildlife Center located at the base of Rich Mountain near Mena. He agreed to take Rudy and I scheduled a visit for the following day. As I began to face the reality of leaving Rudy in the care of someone else, my list of qualifications for such a person began to grow. I had become extremely attached and was heartbroken at the thought of letting him go. I kept reminding myself that regardless of any attachments, keeping Rudy as a pet was not in his best interest. I said a little prayer that night that God would guide me to do the right thing and that I would know in my heart if I had found the best place for Rudy. After a three hour drive, we arrived at the center. With Rudy perched high on my shoulder, we toured the facility as Tommy told us the story of each animal in his care. I must admit I carefully watched the response of each animal to this man’s voice and his touch. I think I was waiting for a sign that would tell me to take Rudy back home. I didn’t get one. What I witnessed instead was a remarkable human being who seemed to have a sincere connection with every animal on the property. I remember watching him scratch the head of a twelve-year-old deer while he told the story of how he came to the center after being hit by a car at age two. I spent hours that day talking about animals and learning more about Tommy’s hopes for the future of the Center to which he had devoted his life. At the end of the day, I knew I had found the right place for Rudy. It was with great difficulty and many tears that I left without my little raccoon but I did so knowing I made the right choice. I left Rudy at the center but I had no intentions of leaving behind the responsibility of his care. I spent the summer returning almost weekly bringing supplies and spending time with the fascinating group of people and animals who inhabit that special place at the base of Rich Mountain. We held meat and fish drives in our community back home which resulted in many loads of food for the center. With each trip I found Rudy stronger and watched as he slowly joined a litter of raccoons similar in age and size. With much help from Tommy, his injured arm healed completely and he is currently learning all the skills necessary for a successful release back into the wild. There are some who question the time, energy, and expense put into one little raccoon. There are others who say that for that one little raccoon, it was worth it. What I know for certain is I have gained much more from the experience than I could ever hope to repay and my support of the Arkansas Native Plant and Wildlife Center will continue long after Rudy’s release. Arkansas Out-of-Doors • September/October 2012 - 17 Preparation is the key to dining on good deer LITTLE ROCK – In the coming several weeks, Arkansans will acquire tons – literally –of good meat for the table. Deer season begins this weekend. And as sure as you mention the topic deer meat, debates will follow on how to handle it. Let’s narrow down the focus a little. The deer has been killed and processed, properly we hope. Recipes for cooking deer meat are abundant, diversified and readily available on the Internet if you don’t have one handy or a cookbook close by. A frequent question from someone not experienced in wild game cooking is, “How do I get rid of the gamy taste”? Someone will respond just as quickly, “Why do you want to get rid of the taste? If you want something that tastes like beef, you go to the store and buy some beef.” Gamy? Call it wild taste to be more precise. Gamy can have a negative meaning also, like the meat isn’t clean or wasn’t cooled properly. Many people who cook deer meat use a soaking of some sort before getting into the actual preparation. We don’t say this is necessary, but if you want to do it, fine. It won’t hurt anything. Fresh deer meat can have blood in it, and by soaking a few hours or overnight in a solution like salt water or vinegar and water will remove much of the blood. After the soaking, empty the pan, rinse the meat then proceed. We are using the term soaking here to distinguish it from marinading, but the processes can overlap. Buttermilk is sometimes used for this purpose, and the theory is that acid in buttermilk helps with the meat like vinegar does. Experienced wild game cooks know that all deer meat is not the same. Some is more tender than others. Many cooks as well as hunters believe that meat from an older deer will be coarser and tougher than that from a young animal. Some probably can tell by the look and feel of a piece of meat if it will be tender or not. A suggestion is to soak the meat in solutions of salt and water, vinegar and water or buttermilk if you suspect it could be tough. Fruit juices can be used as pre-cooking treatments also, but here we are getting more into the marinade process than in the soaking action. Apple juice goes well with almost any meat – deer or domestic like pork. Cherry juice, pineapple juice and others can be used, and citrus juice – orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit --can be something of a crossover in that the acid can work similar to vinegar and buttermilk. Soaking and marinading deer meat applies to the various cuts of meat but not to ground deer meat – hamburger. Ground meat doesn’t need the pre-cooking preparation in the view of most wild game cooks, but go ahead and soak the ground meat if you want to. It won’t hurt anything. Another aspect of the pre-cooking work for deer meat is to tenderize it if you think it needs this. Some of the best meats from a deer are the backstraps or tenderloins. Slice ‘em thin, then cook ‘em. If you suspect there may be some toughness, a few swats with a meat hammer or the edge of a saucer can help. Most cooks don’t pound the meat to extreme thinness, however. Experiment if you are not experienced in wild game cooking. Do keep in mind that deer meat is extremely lean meat, and it needs cooking by moist methods for the best results. Arkansas Wildlife Federation 9108 Rodney Parham Rd. Suite 101, Little Rock, AR 72205 Telephone: (501) 224-9200 “Your voice for hunting, fishing and conservation since 1936” Arkansas Out-Of-Doors Advertising Agreement Arkansas Out-Of-Doors is the official publication of the Arkansas Wildlife Federation established in 1936, a non-profit, hunting, fishing, and conservation organization dedicated to promoting the wise stewardship of our natural resources. It is a newsprint tabloid publication that is published 6 times per year for the following issues: Jan.-Feb., March-April, May-June, July-Aug., Sept.-Oct., Nov.-Dec. The publication contains information about hunting, fishing and other outdoororiented activities. It also contains articles about conservation. It is mailed near the end of the first month of each issue date to approximately 4500 AWF members and it has an estimated readership of 13,500 to 17,500 people each issue. Those who read this publication enjoy the great outdoor, and they are interested in conservation. Circle the issue in which the ad is to run: January – February issue, reserve space by Jan. 1. Camera-ready art due Jan. 5. Mailing date near the end of January. March – April issue, reserve space by March 1, Camera-ready due by Size Centerfold Full pg 1/2 pg Horizontal 1/2 pg Vertical 1/3 pg Horizontal 1/3 pg Vertical 1/4 pg 1/8 pg Dimensions 21.5"x11" 10.25"x10.125" 10.25"x4.75" 5.0556"x9.5625" 10.25"x3.125" 3.375"x9.5625" 5.0621"x4.75" 5.0621"x2.3125" March 5. Mailing date near the end of March. MayJune issue, reserve space by May 1. Cameraready art due by May 5. 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Depending on amount of time to layout ad, there may be additional fees for this. 1-2 ads 3-5 ads (5% off) 6 ads (10%off) -$400 $225 $225 $165 $165 $145 $35 -$380 $215 $215 $156.75 $156.75 $137.75 $33.25 -$360 $205 $205 $148.50 $148.50 $130.50 $31.50 Color Include One spot color, additional Four color, additional $$50 $100 $47.50 $95 $45 $90 Charges for covers: Inside front, additional Inside back, additional Back cover, additional $75 $50 $100 $71.25 $47.50 $95 $67.50 $45 $90 (all sizes listed as Width x Height) Name of business���������������������������������������������������������������� Mailing address������������������������������������������������������������������ Ad confirmed by (print and signature)������������������������������������������������� Telephone_________________________________Fax����������������������������������� 18 - Arkansas Out-of-Doors • September/October 2012 Perilous Future for an Arkansas Original by Johnny Sain, Jr. “The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant, “What good is it?” If the land mechanism as a whole is good, then every part is good, whether we understand it or not. If the biota, in the course of aeons, has built something we like but do not understand, then who but a fool would discard seemingly useless parts? To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.” Aldo Leopold, Round River: From the Journals of Aldo Leopold The yellow cheek darter is a small member of the percidae family of fish, the true perches. Some of their more well-known relatives in Arkansas include walleye and sauger. Darters comprise the largest portion of the perch family with 150 species. The darters are called darters because they, well, dart around. When disturbed, they move through the water in quick spurts, always hugging the creek bottom. Darters have reduced or absent swim bladders, which is why they stay on the bottom of creek beds. As a group, they are among the most eye-catching fish found in North America, if you can get a close look. Depending on the species, spawning colors range from the blue and fire orange of the rainbow darter to the teal green and jade colors of the greenside darter. The yellow cheek darter is no slouch in the chromatic department either, with orange fins and light yellow gill plate splotches. Handsomeness aside, the darters as a group sit in a precarious position according to Dr. Joe Stoeckel, professor of fisheries science and director of fish and wildlife studies at Arkansas Tech University. “Those small stream fishes are isolated. They can’t move from one stream to another if conditions get bad. This isolation leads to the development of so many species, which is why there are so many different kinds of these fish. It’s also why they are susceptible to any disturbance in their environment.” Spending time wading in an Arkansas creek is the best way to find darters of any type. They typically position themselves under rocks or at the current’s edge, feeding on various invertebrates on the creek bottom. If you happen to find yourself in a creek be sure to look under a few rocks. That tiny fish scooting under an adjacent rock on the creek bed as you lift its hiding place is most likely a darter. Sadly, the sight of a yellow cheek darter is becoming increasingly rare. Many species of darters are found in several different drainages in several different states. However, this is not the case for the yellow cheek. Yellow cheek darters are endemic to Arkansas, specifically to the Red River watershed located in the Ozark Mountains. The damming of the Red River and the creation of Greers Ferry Lake removed a large part of their native range. The lake has provided many benefits both recreational and economical, but it was decidedly detrimental for the yellow cheek darter, a species that doesn’t survive in lakes or the frigid lake bottom water released on the downstream side of Greers Ferry. The tributaries of the Red River: the Archey Fork, the Middle Fork, the South Fork, and the Devil’s Fork are the only places on our planet where you can find a yellow cheek darter. Dr. Charles Gagen, professor of fisheries science and head of the biological sciences department at Arkansas Tech University explains how sensitive the species is to disturbance. “They are susceptible to sedimentation. Any type of disturbances that raise the turbidity of the water, that puts more silt in there, raises potential problem. Water withdrawals aren’t good either. Any water taken out of the area by whatever means is just less water that is going into the creek. Darters are a riffle species, they need that moving water.” The yellow cheek darter is drawing attention from other institutions in Arkansas as well. The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, University of Central Arkansas, and Arkansas State University are now or have at one time conducted studies about the unique little fish. An Arkansas original on the brink of extinction draws attention. Hopefully, more people will take notice of its plight, treasuring the yellow cheek for what it is as Dr. Gagen hopes. “As scientists we need to be rational and look for potential problems and workable solutions. The first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all of your parts. If we lose it, we don’t really know what we’ve lost. It’s a part of Arkansas now, we’re the natural State and it’s one of our jewels. It’s in a part of our state that we think is beautiful. It’s part of our biodiversity and if we lose it it’s just a shame. If we lose it we’ve lost some part of that system that was functioning when we came here, it’s a bad reflection on our ability to steward out resources.” Dr. Gagen has a pragmatic view. Humans and civilization must use the raw materials of nature to survive. But, we must find ways to balance our needs as consumers with thoughtful actions. His hope is that we treat the environment with the respect it is due. “I’m realistic. Humans have an impact on the environment. Not everything is going to make it. But, if there are things we can do to lessen that impact, if we can go easy on it, then I think we should do that as a people. The darters are just part of the beauty that is our state. If we are casual and say that our economic shortterm gain is more important than holding on to a species, I say where do we draw the line We owe it to all those people here and those to come in future generations to try to be gentle, to be aware of our activities and go as light as we can, even if it costs a little more. Every time you lose an endemic species you lose a little biodiversity.” Dr. Stoeckel agrees, but puts a more somber spin on the situation. “What would happen if they disappeared? Nothing. Nothing would happen. We don’t need them for any particular reason that we know of right now, life would go on, we wouldn’t even notice they were gone. But, we don’t need smallmouth bass or many other species. It all comes down to our values, what’s important to us. We might even be able to fix any damage to the environment that caused their loss. The water may run clean again, but once the yellow cheek darter is gone, it’s gone forever.” According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the yellow cheek darter is currently listed as endangered and declining. Bank of Star City Arkansas Out-of-Doors • September/October 2012 - 19 Hot Springs Village Takes Back Drugs By Ethan Nahté Hot Springs Village has joined the growing ranks of police departments and facilities around the country, 5659 as of summer 2012, which has a full-time Drug Take-Back Bin. Lieutenant Clark of the HSV Police Department said, “The bin is accessible 24 hours a day and seven days per week located at our dispatch. Both over-the-counter and prescription pills can be placed in the bin. Any liquid medications should be handed to the officer on duty in dispatch instead of being placed in the bin.” Donated by the local Rotary Club, the bin is a drug safe which cannot be reached in to, preventing anyone from extracting medicines already placed inside. In a community such as Hot Springs Village, primarily known as a retirement community and also considered the largest gated community in the United States, the number of medications that could be possibly thrown out or flushed down the drain is sizeable. “Medications are thrown out for a number of reasons,” says Lt. Clark. “Sometime it’s due to expiration or the fact that a resident has either moved to an assisted living or nursing home facility, or has passed away.” Studies from state agencies such as Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) have shown that medications in our waterways are still traceable even after the water has gone through a wastewater treatment facility. The numbers vary on how much of a certain chemical may be present, depending on proximity and size of the closest city, how close the treatment plant may be, and other factors. The evidence is there that a significant amount of chemicals, ranging from estrogen to hallucinogens, are can be present in your drinking water. To help combat and prevent the amount of drugs put into the water, a relatively new program called National Drug Take Back Day has come into being. This is a day where anyone can go to designated places during specified times, normally a four hour window, in their community to turn in their outdated or unwanted medicines to local law and emergency crews in a safe manner. “Arkansas is number one in the nation with the amount of prescription and over-the-counter drugs collected,” said Lt. Clark. “Hot Springs Village collected fiftyfour pounds this past April.” That may not sound like much, but think about how little a bottle of medicine weighs. Overall, since the drug take back program began, the program has accepted 551,161 pounds, or 276 tons, of medications and kept them out of our waterways and landfills. When the results of the first four Take-Back Days to date are combined, the DEA and its state, local, and tribal law-enforcement and community partners have removed over 1.5 million pounds (774 tons) of medication from circulation. So what does happen to tons of drugs once collected? According to Lt. Clark, the DEA safely transports the drugs from Hot Springs Village to the Union County Sheriff’s Department or to Hope. Where there is a certified incinerator to safely dispose of the drugs. The most recent National Take-Back Initiative was September 29, 2012. Saline County had one of the largest amounts accepted on the 29th with 1171.2 pounds of drugs dropped off, collected by five departments in the county. Overall, 100 law enforcement agencies took part in the fifth national take back day, although Saline County has done this six times now and collected a more than 1.5 tons of drugs. Visit http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/ drug_disposal/takeback/ to find information about Arkansas or any other state for more information on the initiative or to find locations which take back medications year-around. MEMORIAL GIFTS & HONORARIUM Remember Loved Ones "Forever" You can remember a loved one with a memorial gift or honorarium to the Arkansas Wildlife Federation. Memorial gifts: If you would like to remember someone who loved wildlife, and the great outdoors of Arkansas, you can make a gift in that person’s name. What a beautiful tribute to their memory. Your memorial gift will continue the work of the Arkansas Wildlife Federation and keep a loved one’s spirit alive through wildlife conservation. Honorarium Gift: Are you puzzled what to give friends or family members who “have everything?” Will an ordinary gift just not be enough? Then, consider making a donation to the Arkansas Wildlife Federation in their honor and acknowledge their special day, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, or whatever they are celebrating. Your gift is a special recognition to this individual or family in support of wildlife conservation programs. Gifts of $ 100 or more will receive wildlife print. All donations will receive a tax deductible receipt. Make a Difference “Forever Memorials or Honorariums” Right Now by Completing this Information Below: Name of honoree_____________________________________________________________ Name of donor______________________________________________________________ Address____________________________________________________________________ Address___________________________________________________________________ City_________________________________State_____________ Zip Code______________ City________________________________ State_____________ Zip Code______________ Visa_________ Master Card____________ Credit Card #_____________________________________________________________ Expiration Date______________________________ Memorial______ Honorarium_____________ Amount of Gift $______________________ *The Arkansas Wildlife Federation can accept checks, and Master Charge or VISA Credit Cards * Designation of Gift____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ We now accept MC/Visa/AMEX/Discover Thank you for supporting wildlife conservation! Send to: AWF, 9108 Rodney Parham Rd., Suite 101, Little Rock, AR 72205; or call 501-224-9200 20 - Arkansas Out-of-Doors • September/October 2012 Butt Why so Much Fuss About Cigarette Litter? by Adam Roberts “It is just one cigarette butt!” How many times did I used to hear that? The interesting thing is that I do not hear it anymore, at least not in Hot Springs. Things are changing for the better, but we still have a very long way to go regarding the most littered item in the world. Yes, the cigarette butt is the single most littered item in Arkansas, the USA, and the world and that is very bad news for wildlife. The butts are often eaten by wildlife in mistake of a food item and that can be deadly as they do not digest, filling up vital space in smaller creatures that can cause starvation. Then there are concerns over the toxicity of the filter and tobacco remnants. There have been studies that looked at this possible danger. The best known of these was by Kathleen Register and published in “Underwater Naturalist, Bulletin of the American Littoral Society.” This study looked at the filter alone and with tobacco remnants. The evidence indicates that the toxic chemicals leached from discarded cigarette butts present a biohazard to the water flea at concentrations of more than 0.125 butts per liter, or about one butt per two gallons of water. The leachate from the remnant tobacco portion of a cigarette butt is deadlier at smaller concentrations than are the chemicals that leach out of the filter portion of a butt. The presence of the remnant tobacco from just one-half a cigarette butt per liter was enough to kill 100% of the water fleas! Now, water fleas may not be that interesting a creature, but they are important and occupy a critical position as they transfer energy and organic matter from primary producers such as algae to higher consumers, including fish. So, they are not good for wildlife, but are they a big problem? The sad answer is a huge yes! There are about 5.6 trillion cigarettes sold globally every year; 360 billion are sold annually in the United States. Of these, 99% of the 360 billion cigarettes sold have cellulose acetate (plastic) filters; at least one-third of those, 120 billion, are discarded into the environment. All those butts add up to being a very real problem for wildlife. There is another factor in the danger to wild life; fire. Discarded cigarettes can start very destructive, deadly, and injurious fires. More than 900 people in the United States die each year in fires started by cigarettes, and about 2,500 are injured. Nationally, annual human and property costs of fires caused by careless smoking total about $6 billion. These figures do not allow for the unusual and drought ridden year we have just suffered. There seem to be no real figures on the estimated numbers of wildlife deaths due to these fires, but I have spoken to several experts in wildlife management and they guess the numbers would be in the millions. The situation looks pretty grim at first, but there is a light, or perhaps I should say a red glow, at the end of the tunnel. Smokers want to do the right thing. If you give them the tools to make the correct action possible, preferably with a small reminder, they will change their behavior. Is that just wishful thinking? We have been studying cigarette litter in Hot Springs for five years and I can prove to you that smokers will do the right thing if reminded to do so. For example, Lake Ouachita was the focus of one of the largest Cigarette Litter Prevention Studies supported by Keep America Beautiful in 2011. This massive undertaking with 42 test sites (and 191 miles between the sites!) was made possible by a grant from Philip Morris USA, an Altria company, with additional support from RAI Services Company. Each of the sites in the study that was developed by the Hot Springs/Garland County Beautification Commission were randomized to receive either the full intervention including: “Do Not Litter Cigarette Butts” signage in four types/two languages, and over 50 cigarette ash receptacles. The major partner in this study was the Corps of Engineers Rangers, who distributed free pocket and portable ash trays to all smokers 18 years of age and older at camping, picnic and boating sites. These intervention sites were also visited by the “butt-mobile,” a vehicle fully wrapped with a cigarette litter motif. This vehicle was used to distribute more awareness materials including bumper stickers, and more from a mobile (solar powered) information booth. The other half of the sites had no intervention and formed the placebo sites in order to fairly and accurately measure the effectiveness of the program. The result of this undertaking was a 96% reduction in cigarette litter at the intervention sites. This shows a marked difference when compared with the 54% change in the placebo sites. All the sites were also evaluated for general litter using the KAB Litter Index system. Although most of the sites scored well to begin with, there was still a significant reduction of 38% in overall litter at the intervention sites. This compares with a slight reduction at the non-intervention sites of 14%, due to the volunteer actions. The 38% reduction in litter also fits well with anecdotal evidence supplied by Tad Cooper, the General Manager of Echo Canyon Resort & Marina. He stated, “This effort was successful in reducing not only cigarette butts and ashes, but all types of litter. It seems that drawing attention to the cigarette litter issue caused our visitors to take note of all their littering habits and act accordingly. In fact, I have estimated that all types of litter, both in our marina and parking areas, have dropped by at least 40% since the start of the program! Thank you for your efforts in this regard.” This year, we looked at twelve various sites within the city. All twelve sites were studied for 11 weeks. There was a 38% reduction in sites with signage only compared to the placebo sites. Even better were the sites with signage and free ash receptacles installed. These had a 68% reduction compared to the placebo sites, and these sites also saw reductions in overall litter. I think the case has been made that if you remind smokers not to litter with signage, it will help, but if you make ash receptacles available, most smokers will do the right thing, and as a bonus, general litter will also drop! The answer to the problem is to be part of the solution. If you are a smoker, take a pocket ashtray with you. If you own any kind of an establishment, make sure you have a “Please do not litter cigarette butts” sign and an ash receptacle near your entrance. We can all make a difference; we all have to make a difference for our one small, blue world. Sources: “The Environmental Burden of Cigarette Butts,” Tobacco Control, April 2011, (http://tobaccocontrol.bmj. com/content/20/Supp_1.toc); “The Impact of Tobacco on the Environment,” Legacy Factsheet, April 2010 (www. LegacyforHealth.org); ”Tobacco and the environment,” ASH.fact sheet, 2009 (www.ash.org.uk); CA Dept of Public Health’s Butt Waste “Toolkit Project,” (www.toxicbutts. com); “Tobacco Watch,” Framework Convention Alliance, 2010 (www.fctc.org) Adam Roberts is with Hot Springs Garland County Beautification Committee and helps organize the annual e-Day Festival in downtown Hot Springs. Hot Springs/Garland County Beautification Commission,500 Mid-America Blvd., Hot Springs AR 71913, 501/655-2161, www.hotspringsgreen.org Arkansas Out-of-Doors • September/October 2012 - 21 Leading Publishers Partner with SFI in Responsible Forestry MILWAUKEE, WI - Four leaders of the North American publishing industry announced today they will partner with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) to help spur the growth of certification to preserve and protect forests. Time Inc., the National Geographic Society, Macmillan, and Pearson will become Founding Partners of the SFI Forest Partners Program. The alliance was announced at the SFI annual conference in Milwaukee, attended by foresters, land owners, conservation groups, First Nations, industry and government agencies. SFI Forest Partners allows market leaders to support certification, as well as landowners and manufacturers facilitate forest certification and the certified sourcing of forest products. Partners will work collectively with the SFI community to make certification more efficient and accessible by providing resources for activities such as shared consulting expertise, group certification or audit coordination. “A decade ago, Time Inc. was one of the first companies to make a public commitment to use 80% certified fiber. Progress beyond that goal has been hampered by the limited availability of adequate supply,” said Guy Gleysteen, Senior Vice President of Production at Time Inc. “SFI Forest Partners lets us have a direct impact on the growth of forest certification and the responsible sourcing of forest products.” By the end of 2014, SFI Forest Partners aims to certify five million acres (two million hectares) of forests to the SFI 2010-2014 Standard. By the end of 2017, the Forest Partners Program hopes to certify 10 million acres (four million hectares) of forest across the United States and Canada. It will also seek to certify more small and medium-sized mills to SFI certified sourcing or chain-of-custody certification. “We believe strongly that we, as publishers, have a role to play in encouraging responsible forestry practices,” said Hans Wegner, Chief Sustainability Officer for the National Geographic Society. “We know that humans are deforesting the globe, particularly in the tropical regions of the world, at a clip of approximately 2 percent a year, a trend that is completely unsustainable. We may well be the last generation with the opportunity to reverse that trend.” “Sustainability is a core mission for Macmillan,” said CEO John Sargent. “By committing to the use of certified fiber sourced from well-managed North American forests we are ensuring responsible, environmentally-friendly forestry while also supporting the most efficient global use of recycled fiber. Third-party certification instills confidence that we are making informed choices that keep domestic forests healthy, rural communities strong, and preserves fragile forests in other areas of our world.” “Forest Certification is an increasingly important tool in the ongoing struggle to create a sustainable world. Trees absorb carbon. Well-managed forests help address deforestation, protect and enhance biodiversity, and underpin sustainable livelihoods,” said Rich Glicini, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, Pearson. “Five years ago we made a commitment to climate neutrality for our directly-controlled operations. Helping to promote responsible forest management practices complements that commitment and continues to be a priority for Pearson companies.” “The SFI Forest Partners Program builds on an innovative pilot project in Maine that resulted in an additional 1.4 million acres/570,000 hectares certified to the SFI 2010-2014 Standard,” said SFI President and CEO Kathy Abusow. “The Maine project also resulted in 100,000 acres of forest lands certified to the American Tree Farm Standard. We look forward to building on that initiative with these four founding members of the Forest Partners Program. Plum Creek, a Friend of The Natural State By Ethan Nahté Plum Creek Timber Company is one of Arkansas’s largest private landowners with nearly 724,000 acres of forestland in 22 counties. Founded in 1989, the company entered Arkansas in 1996 after an acquisition from Riverwood. Plum Creek is proud to be one of the largest suppliers of raw materials to the state’s forest products industry, which contributes approximately $2 billion annually to the Arkansas economy. The company directly employs approximately 45 people, and partners with about 85 contractors. Plum Creek supplies approximately 45 customers in Arkansas. Their customers manufacture a variety of wood, pulp and paper products that serve the everyday needs of people worldwide. Plum Creek works in partnership with local and state governments to ensure they meet or exceed all forestry rules, regulations and environmental laws. They were the first company in the nation to go above and beyond mandatory guidelines to have all of its timberlands third-party certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® Standard, a comprehensive forestry management program that combines sound business practices and environmental responsibility. They are involved in Arkansas’ biomass and renewable energy industries, including being a major supplier of wood chips for use as biofuel. Plum Creek also knows the value of reforestation. In 2011, they planted more than 16 million seedlings in Arkansas, and the company plants approximately 60 million seedlings each year nationwide. The same year, the Plum Creek Foundation provided approximately $58,000 in financial support to various organizations in the state, and the company awarded several thousand more in scholarships to Arkansas students. While its core business is timber, Plum Creek also manages some of its lands for conservation, recreation, natural resources and community development because they realize that some of its lands have special values. As part of their business, the company seeks opportunities to protect special areas through conservation planning, land sales and easements. Nationally, they have formed partnerships to protect over 1.4 million acres of land and water. Plum Creek has partnered with national organizations, like The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Trust for Public Land, as well state and local agencies like the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission (ANHC) to conserve important areas of biological diversity. Story continued on page 23... 22 - Arkansas Out-of-Doors • September/October 2012 September/October 2012 ISSN0884-9145 POSTMASTER: Send form 3579 to: 9108 Rodney Parham Rd. Suite 101, Little Rock, AR 72205 Arkansas Wildlife Federation Officers and Board of Directors October, 2011 to September, 2012 Arkansas Out-of-Doors OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE ARKANSAS WILDLIFE FEDERATION Arkansas Out-of-Doors is published 6 times per year by Arkansas Wildlife Federation, 9108 Rodney Parham Rd. Suite 101, Little Rock, AR 72205. Third Class postage paid at Russellville, AR and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address change to Arkansas Out-of-Doors, 9108 Rodney Parham Rd. Suite 101, Little Rock, AR 72205, or call 501-224-9200. This is the official publication of the Arkansas Wildlife Federation. Printed matter includes hunting and fishing news, sporting information, articles on pertinent legislation, with special emphasis on environment and pollution problems. All Arkansas Wildlife Federation members are entitled to receive one copy of each issue of AOOD for one year. Permission is granted to reprint any news article or item printed in Arkansas Out-Of-Doors with credit, please. Executive Director�������������������������������������������� Ethan Nahté Editor in Chief����������������������������������������� Wayne Shewmake Layout/Design������������������������������������������Chris Zimmerman ZimCreative Views and opinions, unless specifically stated, do not necessarily represent the positions of the Arkansas Wildlife Federation. Deadline Information: Unless other arrangements are made with the editor, copy for club news, features, columns and advertising must be in the Arkansas Wildlife Federation office by the close of business (noon) on the 20th of the month preceding publication. Thank you for your cooperation. Executive Committee President: Wayne Shewmake, Dardanelle 1st Vice President: Ellen McNulty, Pine Bluff 2nd Vice President: Jerry Crowe, Dardanelle Treasurer: Gary W. Bush, Marion Secretary: Lucien Gillham, Sherwood Executive Director: Ethan Nahté Cane Creek Hometowner’s Association Jessica Thompson, Sec./Treasurer – Scranton, AR Board of Directors At Large Clay Spikes, Benton Charles W. Logan, M.D., Little Rock Lola Perritt, Little Rock Odies Wilson III, Little Rock Jimmie Wood, Dardanelle Larry Hillyard, Dardanelle Gayne Schmidt, Augusta Bobby Hacker, Little Rock Mike Armstrong, Little Rock Chrystola Tullos, Rison Friends of Bigelow Park Regional Directors District 1: --vacant- District 2: Patti Dell-Duchene, Augusta District 2 Alternate: Linda Cooper, Augusta District 3: Jeff Belk, Fayetteville District 4: --vacant- District 5: Mary Lou Lane, Dardanelle NWF Region: David Carruth, Clarendon NWF Special Projects: Ellen McNulty, Pine Bluff NWF Regional Representative: Geralyn Hoey, Austin, TX University of the Ozarks - Clarksville Jamie L. Hedges, Director of Outdoor & Evironmental Experiences President Emeritus and First Lady Emeritus: Bob and Rae Apple, Dardanelle National Wildlife Federation Delegates: Wayne Shewmake, Dardanelle Ellen McNulty, Pine Bluff ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT Ralph Oldegard, Mt. Home Larry Hedrick, Hot Springs Charles McLemore Jr., Bryant Affiliate Clubs: ATU Fisheries & Wildlife Society Tyler Sanders, President - Russellville, AR Arkansas Chapter of American Fisheries Arkansas Trappers Association Gary Helms, President - Texarkana, AR Creative Ideas President: Sharon Hacker - Little Rock, AR Friends of Pontoon Park Friends of Delaware Park Greene County Wildlife Club Rick Woolridge, President - Paragould Little River Bottoms Chapter, Arkansas Wildlife Federation Vickers Fuqua, President Mike Young, Secretary & Treasurer Westark Wildlife G. David Matlock, Fort Smith White River Conservancy Gayne Preller Schmidt, Augusta Yell County Wildlife Federation James Manatt, President – Dardanelle Yell County Youth Conservation Club Randy Cole, Dardanelle, AR Arkansas Wildlife Federation Staff Executive Director - Ethan Nahté Editor in Chief - Wayne Shewmake Contributing Writers – Wayne Shewmake, Ethan Nahté, Gordon Bagby, Dr. Robert Morgan, Johnny Sain, Jr., July A. Doyle, Adam Roberts, John H. Schulz, AGFC, NWF Contributing Photographers – Ethan Nahté, Dr. Charles Logan, Mike Humphrey, Johnny Sain, Jr., Wayne Shewmake & Bob Shewmake Arkansas Wildlife Federation Address: 9108 Rodney Parham Road, Suite 101 Little Rock, Arkansas 72205 Office: 501-224-9200 // Cell: 501-414-2845 Arkansas Out-of-Doors • September/October 2012 - 23 Story continued from page 21... Below are some of the projects Plum Creek has completed in Arkansas: Red Cockaded Woodpecker (RCW) Plum Creek’s Habitat Conservation Plan for RCW included the establishment and management of a 3,069 acre conservation area in Union County, dedicated to the protection of this unique species. The conservation area is adjacent to Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge and helps support the refuge’s RCW population. This land was sold to The Nature Conservancy. Warren Prairie Natural Area (WPNA) WPNA, located in Drew County, consists of salt slick barrens, saline prairies, flatwoods and bottomland hardwood. The property is now owned by the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission with adjoining lands owned by The Nature Conservancy. Plum Creek has provided pairs of RCWs to Natural Heritage to help establish a new RCW population at WPNA. Over the years, Plum Creek has protected and sold parcels of WPNA to both ANHC and TNC. Wilcoxon Forest Wilcoxon is located in Ashley County. The area contains virgin stands of loblolly and shortleaf pine, with some of the trees over four feet in diameter, 130 feet tall and greater than 350 years old – including the National Champion Shortleaf Pine. To increase visitor enjoyment and access, Plum Creek worked with Hamburg High School to establish walking trails and a roadside park. Arkansas Game & Fish Commission (AGFC) Plum Creek has two AGFC Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) on their lands: Casey Jones WMA in Ashley and Drew Counties, and they own much of Lafayette WMA in Lafayette County. Virtually every acre they own in Arkansas is available to sportsmen through either WMAs or recreational lease agreements. It’s obvious that Plum Creek takes the responsibility of forestry and their management practices very seriously. It’s also obvious that they are a cooperative company that works closely to help conserve Arkansas’s wildlife and natural areas. This is one of the reasons that Plum Creek Timber Company was selected as AWF’s Forestry Conservationist of the Year. AWF salutes Plum Creek for their efforts. 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