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
Nonprofit Organization U.S. Postage Paid Permit 128 Russellville, Ark. 72801
The Natural State Darkened by Oil Spill Photo by Eilish Palmer Lady with a Camera Photography
2 - Arkansas Out-of-Doors • March/April 2013
Arkansas Wildlife Federation Mission Statement
To advocate for the sustainable use of Arkansas’ wildlife habitats and natural resources for future generations.
TRASH: Yours, mine, and everyone’s problem March 16, AWF partnered with 35 Little Rock Air Force Base volunteers who wanted to help AWF and give back to their community. We all met at our new location on Bingham Road about 8 am to get started. AWF had already had a work cleanup day on the property last year. We filled up a 40 yard dumpster donated by Waste Management. We also hauled off about 50 tires that had been dumped on the land, taking them to America’s oldest tire recycler, Davis Rubber Company.
This year we got another 30 yard dumpster from Waste Management, filling it up and over. We also collected another 30 more tires on our property as well as another 60 tires on the state’s property along our property line, as we didn’t want to have those tires polluting the land immediately next to our land. I want to thank the volunteers from Little Rock Air Force Base for their help and support, and Waste Management for donating the dumpsters. I don’t understand why someone wants to dump their trash on somebody else’s property instead of properly disposing of it. In the first place, most of it could have been recycled instead of just dumping it. Secondly, it also pollutes the land, the watersheds such as creeks that run into the rivers and lakes that we all get our drinking water from, not to mention where many of us enjoy fishing. Thirdly, it looks ugly to everyone who passes by. I realized a long time ago that we are a throwaway society. When we have a good job and money, we just throw things away and most of the time we do not try to recycle items. Americans are very fortunate that we have the freedom and rights we have that was given to us by our forefathers who fought and died for those rights, but we need to take better care of Mother Earth for future generations. Society needs to try harder to do what we can to preserve our land, water and air. Whether you believe in “Global
Warming,” “Climate Change,” or “Go Green,” it is yours and mine responsibility to do what we can to help preserve it all for the next generation to enjoy. I would like to ask you to try and recycle, or upcycle, all you can for your kid’s future. There are recycle centers all over the state, and most within easy access to you. If there isn’t a center within easy driving range, why not save it up and make a trip once a month to the nearest center? To learn more on how you can recycle contact AWF Or visit these sites for recycling in your area: • Waste Management Recycle America: http://www.recycleamerica.com/
• Pulaski County Regional Waste & Reduction District: http://regionalrecycling.org/pulaski.php • Keep Arkansas Beautiful: http://www.keeparkansasbeautiful.com/
• Earth911.com: http://search.earth911.com/ • Cell Phones for Soldiers: http://www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com/ • ADEQ: http://www.adeq.state.ar.us/
Thanks for your support. Wayne Shewmake
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Arkansas Wildlife Federation P.O. Box 56380 Little Rock, AR 72215 (501) 888-4770 email@example.com www.arkansaswildlifefederation.org
Arkansas Out-of-Doors • March/April 2013- 3
Pegasus Oil Spill Update by Ethan Nahté If you live in Arkansas, by now you are probably more than aware of the tar sand oil spill on March 29th from ExxonMobil Company’s Pegasus Pipeline breaking. I have heard remarks from others outside of the state, and even outside the country, who have heard a little about the situation. Seemingly, since the event is not in their immediate areas, the story was only a blip on the radar in their news markets. Driving down I-40, the oil can be smelled a mile or more either direction before actually reaching the areas where the oil recovery tankers; the government SUVs; and the large number of police, security, and AGFC vehicles line the access road alongside the interstate, and the roads leading to the affected areas. Overall, there are over 600 people working around the clock to try and get the situation under control. Still, one can drive by the cove on Highway 89 or down Dam Road and see the booms and skimmers lying along the surface of the water, containing the oil as best it can while machinery and pumps work to remove the oily water. It’s understandable that they don’t want people in the way as they work, but
it’s another story when they seemingly are keeping away organizations and the media, as if they have something to hide. Even the FAA put a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) out on April 1st after KARK-TV flew out in a helicopter to obtain footage for a news story. The NOTAM placed a five-nautical-mile flight restriction around the Mayflower site. All aircraft flying below 1,000 feet, the NOTAM said, were prohibited from entering the area unless given permission by Tom Suhrhoff, an aviation advisor with ExxonMobil. The online aerial image from Greenpeace probably didn’t help the situation either. A lot of people called foul, claiming that ExxonMobil was attempting a media blockout and trying to prevent the world from discovering what was really going on. Officials from ExxonMobil denied the claims. The FAA ban was lifted on April 5th. According to reports, the break was 2 inches in diameter and ran for a length of 22 feet, primarily located beneath the Northwoods subdivision neighborhood in Mayflower, Arkansas. “The pipeline rupture is substantially larger than many of us initially thought,” said Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel.
As Arkansas Community Reels from Tar Sands Oil Spill, Wildlife Remain in Peril from Wildlife Promise By: Miles Grant (reprinted & photos used by permission from NWF) Four days after Exxon Mobil’s Pegasus pipeline sent tar sands oil flooding through a neighborhood in the small Arkansas town of Mayflower, the fumes still burned my nostrils — like fresh asphalt with a bite. As Geralyn Hoey, the National Wildlife Federation’s South Central regional representative, pulled our car up to the police checkpoint, the officer guarding the entrance to the subdivision told us we weren’t allowed in without Exxon Mobil’s permission. Over at the “Unified Command Center” set up in
a nearby warehouse, Exxon Mobil representatives told us they wouldn’t allow us in “for your own safety.” From that subdivision last Friday, the tar sands oil flowed down a storm drain, through a creek, and into a cove just before Lake Conway, a major sportfishing haven. Exxon Mobil crews are making a stand in that cove, hoping to keep the oil from flowing through a culvert under AR-89 and into Lake Conway. But that cove is also where tar sands oil-covered wildlife keep turning up — a fact Exxon Mobil can’t hide. Community Hit Hard Here in Mayflower, everyone’s happy to
Reports have varied from 5,000 barrels of oil to 12,000 barrels and in excess of 28,000 barrels of oily water, as well as 2,000 cubic yards of oiled soil and debris. An US barrel is generally considered equal to 42 gallons, which means that 5,000 barrels would total a minimum of 210,000 gallons of oil that has soaked or seeped into the soil in Mayflower, or made its way into the water in the coves below Lake Conway. AGFC maintains that the water in the main body of the lake is still safe for fishing and shows no signs of contamination. A little over two weeks after the accident, ExxonMobil removed 52 feet of pipe and it has been sent to an independent third-party laboratory to determine the cause for the pipe
bursting, which caused more than 20 homes to be evacuated. Hopefully investigators will come up with a solution. Granted, the pipe has been there since the late 1940’s, and things do break down over time. The problem is that this size and type of pipe supposedly wasn’t meant to carry the heavy crude which is now covering the streets, coves, and animals in a thick, black coat. The Pegasus pipeline was meant to carry a much finer and refined oil. Would the pipe still have ruptured even if it had been carrying the finer oil? Maybe the investigators will be able to determine that, but odds are it was probably going to break down at some time or another; nothing is forever. Story continued on page 5
talk about how the spill has impacted them personally — but ask them to go on camera and they clam up. They know Exxon Mobil now has them over a barrel: the tar sands spill has left their homes somewhere on a scale between devalued and worthless, and an Exxon Mobil settlement is their best hope of getting that money back. Joined by David Carruth, an Arkansas resident and member of the National Wildlife Federation’s board of directors, we walked into the local Hess gas station/bait shop to see if local sport fishermen had any insight into how local wildlife was faring. The man at the counter told us he lives on Starlite Drive, ground zero of the tar sands spill. He’s staying in a Holiday Inn Express in the next town over on Exxon Mobil’s tab while the cleanup continues. “We just bought our home and the place next door for my wife’s mother. I thought sure we’d be there forever,” he said while showing us photos on his iPhone of tar
sands oil flowing through his front yard, Easter decorations still visible on the home next door. “Now we don’t know when we’ll be allowed back home. And if we decide to sell, who’s ever going to want to buy it?” He said the subdivision’s developer told them about the water and natural gas lines running under the area, but he says he doesn’t remember any mention of an oil pipeline. Continued on page 4
4 - Arkansas Out-of-Doors • March/April 2013
Work Day on Bearcat Hollow by Wayne Shewmake Part of the US Forest Service plan for Bearcat Hollow is to plant native plants and trees in the area for wildlife. AWF, along with our volunteers, have been the workhorse on getting the job done. February 23rd we had a work day to plant 1,500 Chickasaw and American plum tree seedlings on some of the hillsides in Bearcat Hollow. These two native plum trees have been found in Arkansas since settlers came to this country. They are a very good source of food for wildlife because most wildlife will eat their fruit, plus they will provide some shelter and habitat for some animals, especially birds. Planting the trees on the hillsides will also help prevent erosion due to wind and rain. We had planned this work day for about two months to get volunteers to come up to the Ozark highlands and help us plant the plum trees. Wouldn’t you know it, Arkansas had an ice storm come through that same week and covered the trees and ground for most of the Northern part of the state, including Bearcat Hollow. Well, we had our plans to plant the plum trees and we had a date set to do it with our volunteers. AWF director-at-large Bobby Hacker and a few of the volunteers from University of the Ozarks came and camped out the cold, damp night before. Hacker was in a camper, while most of the students camped in their tents, and instructor Jamie L. Hedges braved the teen temperatures out on the ground with just a sleeping bag. Most of the AWF members and ATU Fisheries and Wildlife Society members got there on Saturday morning about 8 am while the University of the Ozarks students were playing frisbee in the field. It was 22 degrees Fahrenheit with a light wind. Trees were still iced over and some ice still covered the ground and shaded portions of the already rough road. We got busy and fixed a big breakfast for everyone and talked about what we were going to do. Plans were to plant plum tree seedlings on three different parcels of land on steep hill sides. After a big breakfast we divided up and went to the
fields and got started. We had 57 volunteers show up that morning to help us even with the cold and ice. I was very pleased and a little surprised, but very grateful. With all of our volunteers it didn’t take long to get the job done. Most of us were back in camp by noon where the camp cooks had steak and chicken foil packs (thanks to Tyson Foods) with a lot of vegetables ready to pull off the coals and eat. Some of the students had not had a foil pack until they came up to Bearcat to help us on this project. After trying them I think most of them will be fixing them for their kids one day. Thanks to head cook and AWF member Lola Perritt, we also had chili and soup. I want to thank our volunteers from Arkansas Tech University and University of the Ozarks. We could not have done it without your help and support. I also want to thank AWF board members for their help: Bobby Hacker, Jerry & Debbie Crowe, Lucien Gillham, Lola Perritt, and AWF Executive Director Ethan Nahté. Other volunteers that I would like to thank for assisting that day were Elliott Glass, NWTF biologist; USFS - Dwayne Rambo and Jim Dixon along with his two daughters; Kirby Carlton and Greg & Dalton Woods - RMEF; and Ralph Odegard, retired USFS. I also want to say I have been working on Bearcat Hollow Project for four years now and I am starting to see a lot more wildlife than in the beginning. I am also seeing a lot more vegetation on the ground year round, food for wildlife. It gives me a great thrill to go up there and see deer, elk, bears, and turkeys and to know we played a part in that. I feel like we will leave some wildlife for future generations to enjoy. Thanks to all of those that came to support conservation for wildlife. If you would like to volunteer please contact AWF, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 501888-4770. (Editor’s Note: On the last weekend of April, a dozen volunteers from the Little Rock Air Force Base camped out and planted an additional 400 plum trees at Bearcat Hollow, putting the total number of trees planted at 1900.]
Continued from page 3 I mentioned that Exxon Mobil and other tar sands transporters haven’t been paying into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, claiming the provisions only cover conventional oil, not tar sands oil. He shook his head sadly. “My father landed on Omaha Beach. Back then, folks had a sense of civic duty.” Wetlands Coated in Tar Sands Oil From there, we headed to the cove to get a closer look. A homeowner pulled out her phone and showed us photos she’s taken of oiled birds and a muskrat in her backyard. She said she called state officials to report the oiled wildlife but was told they didn’t have the resources to respond. She then called the HAWK Center, which rescued several ducks. Yesterday — four days after the spill — Exxon Mobil finally set up its own wildlife rehabilitation center with an oiled wildlife hotline (1-800876-9291) and took over cleaning wildlife from HAWK. The homeowner led us to the spot on the waterline where she found the oiled wildlife. Sure enough, David spotted an oiled duck that scurried into the thick brush. We alerted rescue crews, but a duck in marshy underbrush is a needle in a haystack. We pushed through the marsh around the edge of the cove, seeing a steady stream of oily spots and finding some tar balls. We then came upon a huge area of oiled marsh with cleanup crews working to remove as much tar sands oil as possible. Two workers approached David and I thought for sure they’d tell us to scram. But it turned out they were wildlife rescuers asking if we’d seen any oiled wildlife. “I can’t believe how thick this stuff is,” one told David. “It’s like road tar — it’s nothing like motor oil.” They estimated wildlife rescuers had found about 30 oiled ducks and other birds, a half-dozen oiled venomous snakes, and an oiled muskrat. They’d also spotted an oiled beaver out in the marsh, but said it was impossible to catch. The sight of the heavily oiled marsh was a tragic reminder that cleaning 100% of this thick, sticky tar sands oil will likely be impossible; the impacts will be felt for months and possibly years to come. The National Wildlife Federation will continue to monitor the impacts of the Arkansas tar sands oil spill. See more photos on Flickr and keep checking back to Wildlife Promise for updates. Take Action It’s time for America to take a stand against tar sands oil – the risks to our wildlife, communities and clean water are just too great. Please take a moment now to ask President Obama to say no to the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
Arkansas Out-of-Doors • March/April 2013- 5 Story continued from page 3 No excuse has been given for the accident at this time but that comes as no surprise. Until an investigation is done, and probably until ExxonMobil’s legal team decide upon the best answer to release to the public, no answer is really expected. Many groups and organizations such as NWF (AWF’s parent organization), members of AWF, The Tar Sands Blockade, The Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and others have visited the site, but answers have been limited to most of the organizations. Agencies, such as the EPA, ADEQ, ADH, and AGFC are updated three times daily, so I have been told. These updates include information on the clean-up process, environmental reports, and the number of animals found in the need of assistance or deceased. McDaniel has seemingly put a lot of pressure in getting the facts from ExxonMobil. He and his office have repeatedly visited the site and have so far received over 12,500 pages of documents to review regarding the situation. McDaniel said he retained a firm to conduct an independent analysis of the cleanup process. He’s also retaining technical advisers to provide independent air sampling and other scientific data. He requested $4 million from ExxonMobil to cover those and other costs. ADEQ has also been monitoring the air quality and surface water monitoring in a number of different areas of the cove. Arkansas Game & Fish Commission also Authorized AGFC Director Mike Knoedl to employ third-party contractors with expertise in oil spill remediation to assist the AGFC in the wake of the Mayflower oil spill. When first visiting the site, McDaniel stated to news crews that he came away with a headache after visiting the neighborhood and site. According to some media personnel, McDaniel had invited the media to “tag along” when he went on his tour but Faulkner County sheriff’s deputies stopped the media less than two minutes into the tour. Some media claimed they were threatened with arrest if they did not comply seemingly because ExxonMobil had changed their mind about allowing the media on site. Once again, someone seems to be trying to prevent the media and the world from discovering what is going on. Quite honestly it makes one wonder how accurate ExxonMobil’s report will be once they determine the cause of the rupture. It also begs the question of who is really in
charge, law enforcement or a company with more money than most third world nations? Many homeowners are not only concerned about the value of their property, which none of them were even aware that a pipeline ran below their property, but of the risk to health for themselves and their children. Some of them have already placed their homes up for sale. The same concerns echo throughout the area for the residents wondering how safe the lake and the fish will remain. According to AGFC, “Cleanup is almost complete in the affected section between North Main Road and I-40. Following cleanup, the process of remediation will begin and will include restoration of the site to its previous state. Water sampling confirms the main body of Lake Conway remains oil-free. The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and ExxonMobil are continuing to monitor water samples. Further assessments also show there is no oil in Palarm Creek, which is located south of Lake Conway. “ Officials with Central Arkansas Water approved a measure April 11th, asking ExxonMobil for a plan to move an oil pipeline away from an area that drains into the main source of drinking water for Little Rock and several other communities. Mayflower’s drinking water supply comes from Greer’s Ferry Lake, about 65 miles east of Mayflower. The pipeline does run through part of the Lake Maumelle Watershed, the area that drains into the main drinking water supply for approximately 400,000 people throughout central Arkansas. The pipeline comes within about 600 feet of Lake Maumelle’s shoreline. U.S. Representative Tim Griffin sent a letter supporting the pipeline move, stating that he was concerned that steepness in the Lake Maumelle watershed could “exacerbate” contamination of the lake if oil spilled in that area. It only took him 18 days after the event to do something that might actually protect the people and the watershed. Griffin has been a big proponent for the passing and building of the Keystone XL Pipeline, even throughout the Mayflower fiasco. Griffin has stood firm in interviews since the March 29th incident, declaring that the pipelines are the safest and best way to transport oil. He also said on a radio station interview, “I think some people are trying to say, well if there is a car crash no more cars. If there is an accident with a pipeline,
no more pipelines. If we follow that logic, we are all going to be riding bicycles. That might be fine for some folks but it may take a while to get to Memphis on a bicycle.” He believes opponents are using the Mayflower accident as a way to push their agenda. So using Griffin’s logic and example about cars, I guess one could assume that if a pipeline hasn’t broken, whether it is following its established usage or not, then that makes all pipelines safe and everyone should have one running in their backyard, through their watershed, and throughout the city parks and playgrounds. It will be interesting to see if ExxonMobil submits to the subpoena from McDaniel’s office to preserve and turn over paperwork on April 17th from everything they have discovered so far. And if they do produce paperwork, will it be everything or will it be censored? vital parts missing? facts doctored or changed? Who outside of ExxonMobil would ever know? A battle is already brewing between claims made by Sierra Club and the findings of an independent third party that makes a special material for oil cleanup against ExxonMobil. Sierra Club released a statement that the findings show that the oil has reached the main body of Lake Conway, while ExxonMobil and ADEQ stand strong that their testing shows no proof and that the main body of the lake is still unharmed by the oil as of April 24th, just two days after Earth Day and two days before Arbor Day. The spill has made a big enough drop in the bucket to gain the attention of musican/ environmentalist Neil Young, who made a trip to Mayflower in his white convertible 1959 Lincoln. Shelli Russell, who blogs on MySaline.com, saw the rocker driving along with a companion through the backroads and checking out the situation. She managed to talk with the man known for writing/ performing protests songs, both on his own band Neil Young and Crazyhorse, Buffalo Springfield, and with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The irony is that Young is in a massive car that was once a gas-guzzler. He has had the car converted by the LincVolt team (lincVolt.com) and the antique gets a whopping 100 MPG, despite being 19.5 feet in length and tipping the scales at 2.5 tons. That beats out some of the current hybrids for MPGs at a considerable size/weight difference. It also makes one wonder if Young will write a new song about the South (You
may remember that “Southern Man” was a big hit for Young) and shed a little light on the murkiness of tar sands crude oil. AWF would like to thank Eilish Palmer for the usage of her photo on the cover. The image, taken at HAWK Center, is iconic. Unfortunately, many people, companies and entities decided to “borrow” the photo from HAWK’s Facebook page and claim it as their own, or at the very least neglect to give credit to Palmer or HAWK Center. We also appreciate the photo from University of the Ozarks student Lauren Ray, who is also president of the university’s Ozarks Outdoors club. The non-profit HAWK Center, which you may have read about in my interview with executive director Lynne Slater in the November/December 2012 issue, was the go-to for rescuing the variety of birds and mammals that were covered in the oil. ExxonMobil had nothing set up and seemed little concerned with the health and well-being of the animals. Fortunately, Slater and dozens of volunteers, including many from nearby University of the Ozarks, immediately pitched in and began doing what they could for the animals. Donations of money and/ or supplies from individuals as well as the Walmart stores in Russellville, Dardanelle, and Clarksville helped HAWK Center make it through the crisis. Slater said the HAWK Center provided three days of animal care before the responsibility was taken over by the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, a paid company out of Houston area,. The HAWK Center was also on standby for four days. During their time of caring for the 11 ducks and a muskrat, all bit one mallard drake survived. As of April 17th, over 220 live animals have been captured and transferred to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. On a positive note, Hendrix College Chamber Players performed a recital on Earth Day, April 22nd, with the proceeds going to benefit the HAWK Center. In addition, the HAWK Center is phasing out their 24/7 pager number. The new phone number is 479-222-0528 and will still be a 24/7 number to call for injured animals. So here’s hoping that ExxonMobil holds good to their promises of cleanup and reparation, that the environment returns to a safe and normal quality, and that the powers that be put our ecology and environment first and foremost before a few temporary jobs.
6 - Arkansas Out-of-Doors • March/April 2013
Corps Recognizes AWF
by Ethan Nahté AWF was presented with an award during the January 12, 2013 quarterly meeting. Miles Johnson, Program Manager for Recreation with the Corps of Engineers, ES, Administration out of the Russellville project office presented AWF with a “Certificate of Appreciation” for their work and effort, along with the diligent work and effort of four AWF affiliates, to keep Corps of Engineer parks open that were due to close last year. Pontoon, Bigelow, Delaware, and Cane Creek parks were all scheduled for closure. Thanks to the hard work by AWF president Wayne Shewmake and members of the communities surrounding each park, their discussions with the Corps of Engineers managed to form an agreement to keep the parks in these small communities open. It may not seem like much to some people, but these small parks are areas to picnic and/or to launch boats for fishing. Not only is that important for the residents that utilize the parks, but it is important for the businesses within those small communities. Visitors using these parks stop for fuel, supplies, to eat and more, bringing extra revenue to the communities. Not only is the revenue and business important, but the affiliates keep the parks maintained instead of letting a wonderful recreational area be locked away and abandoned to disuse. It would take away a vital area for sportsmen and women, as well as children, who enjoy getting outdoors. AWF is proud of their affiliates and is proud to be recognized by the Corps of Engineers for their efforts.
Snakes by Idun Guenther
The popular saying “The best kind of snake is a dead snake,” has been heard countless times by me. Sadly, this is the notorious mentality concerning these legless reptiles. Circumstances surrounding why the majority of people tend to think of snakes in a negative way may stem from many different myths and just not knowing the facts about snakes. Surprisingly, not all myths about snakes are linked to a direct evil. In fact, there are more positive associations in mythology about serpents than negative ones. In Native American cultures, snakes are respected and symbolized as life-giving forces, gifts of knowledge, and connections with the spirit world. For example, the Ojibwa culture believed that snakes symbolize patience and healing. One of my favorite symbolic descriptions of snakes is: if you approach a snake it will try to get away, but it will bite if it’s threatened. If you see a snake in the woods or on a trail, walk around it or avoid it. What is the need to pursue and kill it? What would this world be like if everyone destroyed a living animal just because we disliked it or it was simply in our way? When it comes to the popular saying “Ignorance is bliss,” Thomas Gray may have been mistaken when it comes to snakes. In this case, ignorance is key to making bad decisions. Snakes are not all evil, venom-spouting, human-chasing, killing machines. They are very misunderstood and under-represented when it comes to education in conservation and wildlife management. Many people may not realize that snakes play an important role in the environment and removing them for silly reasons like fear or dislike is not in our best interest. Snakes are an integral part of the food web; they are essential for controlling rodent populations. Think back to the “bubonic plague,” where rodents were carriers of the fleas that caused 1/3 of the European population to succumb. Rodents also do a lot of damage to crops and personal property. When rodents get into your home, they can pose serious health issues to you and your family. Breathing in dust from contaminated rodent droppings and urine can cause hantavirus pulmonary
syndrome, Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis, or leptospirosis. Snakes help keep rodent populations in check and, thus, reduce the likelihood of rodents running out of natural areas to inhabit and invading people’s homes. That’s why most rodent infestations happen in heavily urbanized areas where snakes are virtually absent. Pest species including insects and other invertebrates are also prey items to several snake species. Some types of kingsnake will even eat other snakes including copperheads and rattlesnakes. So again, not all snakes should be viewed as “bad.” If you appreciate the splendor and beauty of the outdoors, even if you aren’t a snake lover, you should learn the quick difference between venomous and non-venomous snakes. Be aware of your surroundings when you are out hiking and use common sense – don’t go out of your way to destroy a part of nature that someone else may enjoy. Since snakes are considered a non-game species, it is illegal to kill them (yes, even venomous ones) in Arkansas (see www.agfc.com Code of Regulations for details). If snakes get into your yard, think twice about killing them. You can call a wildlife damage control officer to remove the snake, so that it can be moved away from your home and avoid needless killing. Teach your children about the facts and our future generations will learn to respect not just snakes, but all wildlife, and make the right choices to conserve and protect our living environment. The six venomous snakes in Arkansas are: Timber Rattlesnake, Diamondback Rattlesnake, Pygmy Rattlesnake, Cottonmouth (aka Water Moccasin), Copperhead, Coral Snake. First, if it has rattles – it’s venomous. That takes care of the first three. Look at the head shape – venomous snakes have a larger, rounded head that is bigger than their body – like when you make a fist and compare it to your arm. Non-venomous snakes have a head that is about the same thickness and shape of the rest of their body. One exception is the coral snake – it has bright red and yellow markings and black bands = warning coloration! Coral snakes are fairly small and quite rare, so encountering them often is unlikely. Idun Guenther is a Wildlife Biologist with WVURC and the USDA/NRCS Field Office
Arkansas Out-of-Doors • March/April 2013- 7
Gordon Bagby AGFC Education Specialist Central Arkansas Nature Center April in Arkansas is the most anticipated time of the year by turkey hunters because the spring hunting season opens during the month. The season is opening later this year than in the past to allow more hens to breed and hopefully more poults to survive. The youth hunt for ages six to 15 years old is April 13-14 in most of the state (Zone 1A is closed). For hunters 16 and older, the season opens April 20 and runs until May 5 in most zones (check for exceptions). The statewide bag limit is two bearded turkeys with a limit of one per day. Jakes may not be taken with the exception of youth hunters ages six to 15 may shoot one jake as part of the two bird limit. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission released the 2013 Turkey Hunting Guidebook in March. Printed copies are available at AGFC facilities and hunting retailers. The guidebook is also available at the agency website at www. agfc.com. Hunters should study the guidebook carefully to know all regulations before hunting. AGFC Turkey Program Coordinator Jason Honey reports that most of the state enjoyed successful poult hatches last spring. Several preceding years had cool, wet weather during the turkey hatching period which kept most poults from surviving in those years. Honey says if successful hatches occur again this spring, a widespread increase in the turkey population should occur. That is great news not only for turkey hunters but other wildlife enthusiasts who enjoy seeing the beautiful birds. Spring also brings back the enjoyment of fishing for many people. Whether it be at a small pond or large impoundment or river, many anglers are returning to the water after the winter months. Arkansas is filled with places to fish, so wet a line somewhere soon and take a kid with you! In fact, the Game and Fish Commission stocks numerous ponds in urban areas across the state to make fishing more accessible. AGFC’s Family and Community Fishing Program coor-
AWF HAS MOVED!!! The property donated by the Logans is AWF’s new home!
dinates this effort at over 30 locations. You can learn more about FCF destinations at www.agfc. com or by viewing the panfishing display in May at the Central Arkansas Nature Center. A display in July will highlight the Arkansas Wildlife Federation, so plan ahead to visit and see it. The AWF/Creative Ideas student “Wildlife of Arkansas”2013 art winners will be displayed at each AGFC nature center this summer so you can visit and view the display. It will be at Central Arkansas Nature Center (Little Rock) in May, Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center (Jonesboro) in June, Arkansas River Valley Nature Center (Ft. Smith) in July and Delta Rivers Nature Center (Pine Bluff) in August. The awards ceremony will be at 6:30 pm, May 3rd at the Central Arkansas Nature Center. The public is invited to attend this free event and support Arkansas students. The Central Arkansas Nature Center will be open during the Riverfest event May 25 – 26. Please visit if you attend the celebration! Upcoming Special Events at Central Arkansas Nature Center Compass Orienteering, April 27, 10am – noon. This free seminar will teach teens and adults the basics of compass usage including using maps and plotting points. Units will be available to use at the seminar. Register to attend by calling the nature center at 501-9070636. Fishing Lake Conway Hotspots, June 11, 6:30 – 7:30 pm. AGFC’s lake manager and biologist will describe the lake bottom, depth limits, structure and the environmental effects on fish behavior. This will enable anglers to better understand when and where to successfully fish the lake. Reservations to attend may be made by calling the nature center.
New Mailing Address: P.O. Box 56380 Little Rock, AR 72215
In Memorium ROBERT APPLE Robert Edward Apple, 87 of Dardanelle passed away peacefully on February 16, 2013 after a lengthy illness. He was born in Dardanelle on June 5, 1925 to the late Harrison and Sadie Clark Apple. He was a graduate of Dardanelle High School, attended Arkansas Tech University and received both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from the University of Arkansas. He joined the Marines during World War II serving with the 1st Marine Division in the South Pacific. He later taught agriculture, chemistry, and sciences for 18 years in high schools and college in Arkansas and Florida. He has been a distinguished leader in conservation all his adult life serving as President and Executive Director of the Arkansas Wildlife Federation; he was the South Central Regional Executive with the National Wildlife Federation for 20 years. After retirement he resumed management of the family farm raising corn, soybeans, wheat and cattle and continued his work in conservation. Included in his many endeavors and awards are: • Conservationist of the Year for Arkansas Wildlife Federation • Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame Inductee • Member of Conservation Committees for Governors’ Rockefeller, Bumpers and Clinton • Instrumental in environmental battles and projects such as saving the Buffalo River, Cache River and Crooked Creek He was preceded in death by his parents and one sister, Margaret. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Ramona, one son, Robert E. Apple, Jr. and wife Jayne, of Baton Rouge, LA, one daughter Robin Apple of Maumelle, two grandsons, Robby and Brian Apple, two nieces and one nephew. He was an avid hunter, woodworker and antique car restorer.
8 - Arkansas Out-of-Doors • March/April 2013
Outdoor education helps minority students close gap in environmental literacy Environmental education programs that took middle school students outdoors to learn helped minority students close a gap in environmental literacy, according to research from North Carolina State University. The study, published March 22 in PLOS ONE, showed that time outdoors seemed to impact AfricanAmerican and Hispanic students more than Caucasian students, improving minority students’ ecological knowledge and cognitive skills, two measures of environmental literacy. The statewide study also measured environmental attitudes and pro-environmental behavior such as recycling and conserving water. “We are interested in whether outdoor experiences can be part of a catch-up strategy that can help in narrowing the environmental literacy gap for minority students,” said lead author Kathryn Stevenson, an NC State graduate student who has taught outdoor education in California and high school biology and science in North Carolina. Researchers tested the environmental literacy of sixth- and eighth-grade students in 18 North Carolina schools in the fall and spring. Half of the schools studied had registered an environmental education program with the state. Using a published environmental curriculum, such as Project Learning Tree, Project WET or Project WILD, helped build students’ cognitive skills, researchers found. Learning in an outdoor environment improved students’ ecological knowledge, environmental attitudes and behavior. “This is one of the first studies on a broad scale to focus on environmental literacy, which is more than mastering facts,” said co-author Nils Peterson, associate professor of fisheries and wildlife in NC State’s College of Natural Resources. “Being environmentally literate means that students learn cognitive skills so that they can analyze and solve problems, and it involves environmental attitudes and behaviors as well.” Girls and boys appeared to have complementary strengths that contributed to environmental literacy. Boys scored highest on knowledge, while girls led in environmental attitudes and cognitive skills. Sixth graders showed greater gains in environmental literacy than eighth graders, suggesting that early middle school is the best window for environmental literacy efforts, Stevenson said. Teachers’ level of education played an important role in building environmental literacy. Those with a master’s degree had students with higher levels of overall environmental literacy. Teachers who had spent three to five years in the classroom were more effective at building students’ cognitive skills than new teachers. “Efforts are needed to engage veteran teachers in environmental education,” Stevenson said.
In a follow-up to the study, Stevenson is studying coastal North Carolina students’ perceptions of climate change. Note: An abstract of the paper follows. “Environmental, Institutional, and Demographic Predictors of Environmental Literacy among Middle School Children” Authors: Kathryn T. Stevenson, M. Nils Peterson, Howard D. Bondell, Angela G. Mertig and Susan E. Moore Published: March 22, 2013, in PLOS ONE Abstract: Building environmental literacy (EL) in children and adolescents is critical to meeting current and emerging environmental challenges worldwide. Although environmental education (EE) efforts have begun to address this need, empirical research holistically evaluating drivers of EL is critical. This study begins to fill this gap with an examination of school-wide EE programs among middle schools in North Carolina, including the use of published EE curricula and time outdoors while controlling for teacher education level and experience, student attributes (age, gender, and ethnicity), and school attributes (socio-economic status, student-teacher ratio, and locale). Our sample included an EE group selected from schools with registered schoolwide EE programs, and a control group randomly selected from NC middle schools that were not registered as EE schools. Students were given an EL survey at the beginning and end of the spring 2012 semester. Use of published EE curricula, time outdoors, and having teachers with advanced degrees and mid-level teaching experience (between 3 and 5 years) were positively related with EL whereas minority status (Hispanic and black) was negatively related with EL. Results suggest that school-wide EE programs were not associated with improved EL, but the use of published EE curricula paired with time outdoors represents a strategy that may improve all key components of student EL. Further, investments in teacher development and efforts to maintain enthusiasm for EE among teachers with more than 5 years of experience may help to boost student EL levels. Middle school represents a pivotal time for influencing EL, as improvement was slower among older students. Differences in EL levels based on gender suggest boys and girls may possess complementary skills sets when approaching environmental issues. Our findings suggest ethnicity related disparities in EL levels may be mitigated by time spent in nature, especially among black and Hispanic students. Editor’s Note: For more information contact Dr. Nils Peterson @ email@example.com or 919515-7588
Arkansas Audubon Society 2013 Halberg Ecology Camps Where Young People Learn About Natural Science What is it? This 6-day Arkansas Audubon Society camp offers young people an opportunity to study the natural environment in the field. Students study such subjects as mammals, snakes, birds, insects, geology, botany and aquatic biology in the beautiful Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas. The professional staff includes a registered nurse and a lifeguard. Adult staff are with campers at all times to ensure their safety, including overnight in cabins. Why is this camp important? It provides children with a special outdoor experience and helps them appreciate and understand the natural environment. Who may attend? Any 11 or 12 year old youth interested in learning about the outdoors. Fifty junior students are enrolled each week plus twelve senior students who have been invited back from the year before. Twelve senior students are invited to a third year advanced ecology camp at Mt. Eagle near Clinton. What about safety? The Arkansas Audubon Society rents Camp Clearfork from the U.S. Forest Service for 2 weeks each June during which time the entire camp is closed to outsiders. Our staff of over 20 professionals, many of whom are school teachers, ensures that the 62 camp youth each session are in a protected environment, well fed, and learning many new things about nature and its interactions. When and where will it be held? Session one of the 2013 Halberg Ecology Camp will begin Sunday, June 9 and end Friday, June 14; session two will begin Sunday, June 16 and end Friday, June 21. Both sessions will be held at Camp Clearfork, in the Ouachita National Forest, on U. S. Highway 270 two miles west of Crystal Springs. It is the responsibility of the parents to bring the child to the camp and pick them up after camp is over. What does it cost? Each junior student pays $300 to attend the camp for the week. Tuition pays for an incredible staff including pairs of instructors teaching classes with 8-10 students, a full time registered nurse, an activities director, camp rental, food, insurance, and all the necessary equipment and supplies. The Audubon Society provides the remainder of the $450plus needed for each student. Some partial and full scholarships are available from local organizations and assistance is available in case of need. Anyone in need of assistance must fill out an application. Each camper receives a field guide and a T-shirt. What about recreation? The camp offers unique recreational opportunities including team sports, swimming, hiking, and canoeing.
Arkansas Out-of-Doors • March/April 2013- 9
Trail Tales By Johnny Sain, Jr.
Truth in the Swamp by Johnny Sain, Jr.
The blackwater eddy continued long after the paddle stroke. Tiny green duckweed swirled around the center in concentric rings. The miniscule whirlpool and the gentle wake of the canoe were silent. Just the way I like it. I was alone among the cypress trees in a swamp that I won’t mention by name. There’s nothing special about this swamp except that hardly anyone goes there in the summer and I’d like to keep it that way. Not that a few words about tranquility would persuade anyone to brave the mosquitos and cottonmouths to experience it, but there’s something to be said for discretion when it comes to lonely places. The paddle is my chosen method of locomotion, but I could strap a trolling motor to the canoe. Getting back to the small lake surrounded by this swamp would be quicker with a trolling motor and that means more time for fishing. I don’t really come here to fish though. There’s better fishing with less effort in water closer to home. I’m in reasonably good shape so the physical toll of paddling isn’t too bad, but I could save some energy with the motor. From a purely pragmatic standpoint, the motor is a better option. But, I don’t go to the swamp for pragmatic reasons. In an ironic twist,
pragmatism is the lesson learned from the swamp this day. The canoe cuts through the tannin-stained water and though I’d chosen transportation that forces me to slow down, my paddle stokes come quicker as the urge to explore swells. So, I put the paddle down and just float. Within minutes a wood duck hen followed by six cotton-ball ducklings swim within 30 yards of the canoe. Suddenly, a large olive colored head emerges from the swamp and slurps up the last duckling in line with no more disturbance than a large ripple. A long undulating fin identifies the predator as a grinnel, or bowfin for those of you that know its proper name. Mama duck and siblings of the unfortunate never notice. I doubt the hen will ever realize that one of her young is gone. It’s an unforgiving world and many species reproduce in large numbers because of it. The surplus feed the predators and the big circle keeps on turning. I paddle further into the swamp and think about the little drama that unfolded in front of my eyes. I question the fairness; why some must die so that others can live. I question my own motives as a hunter and angler. But, questioning is futile. It is what it is. Who am I to debate the cycles and laws that have been in place since the beginnings of life itself? Who am I to question nature’s methods that transport energy from one form to another?
We refer to nature as if its somewhere “out there,” separate from us modern humans living in developed countries. Some of us try to create buffers from the harsh reality of life on Earth. We try to give human attributes to animals, thinking that on some level they appreciate our mercy when it’s given and that they would willingly do the same for us if the roles were reversed. But, that’s not how it works and this type of thinking leads to all sorts of wellintentioned yet detrimental practices. Practices that are far from real conservation Real conservation looks at nature for what it is and considers natural laws as opposed to the Disneyland perspective. I point to the grinnel and the duckling as exhibit “A.” The ducks have multiple hatchlings because the food chain requires it. The welfare of an individual organism -- no matter how heart wrenching -- does not take precedence over the survival of the species, the health of the habitat, or balance in the environment. That’s nature’s way. I guess I could have tried to save that duck. I could have spent a lot of energy paddling over and trying to clock the grinnel
in the head. Heck, I could declare war on grinnel everywhere and start my own antigrinnel organization to save the ducks…one at a time. Never mind that Arkansas has a 40 plus day duck hunting season with a three per day wood duck limit and an estimated 59,000 duck hunters. You can do the math. In contrast to that way of thinking, I could look at the big picture. Saving one duck from a natural death –and violence is the face of natural death for most wild animals – is pointless and takes focus away from the real issues facing wood ducks and wildlife in general. I understand that the real enemy of ducks is habitat loss and unchecked small terrestrial predators. I understand that conservation is not about healthy individual animals, but healthy populations that thrive in healthy ecosystems. I understand all of this because I look at the data from wildlife professionals with a mind that’s not cluttered by misplaced emotional attachment for one duck. Let’s remember these priorities. And, let’s check our emotions when deciding where to give our dollars and our effort in the name of conservation.
Nomination for Conservation Awards Reminder by Ethan Nahté A reminder to our readers, and to those that our readers may know that know of someone worthy of nominating for the annual AWF Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards, that nominations are currently open. You can find a nomination form in this issue of AOOD or can request a form to be sent via email. Let us know who you think has gone that extra mile in conservation for the great state of Arkansas. This year we have hopefully clarified the rules and the categories a little better. Please make certain that you send nominations to AWF’s new address: P.O. Box 56380, Little Rock, AR 72215 or firstname.lastname@example.org postmarked/emailed by midnight June 15. Any nominations received after the 15th will not be considered.
10 - Arkansas Out-of-Doors • March/April 2013
April 2013 -- Inclement Weather by Bob Morgan It’s Saturday morning, March 23rd, and I’m in my red truck headed east on Highway 412 toward Huntsville. The temperature is in the mid-30s, it’s foggy, and a light mist is falling. Winter is making its last stand. The forecast is rain. I’m nursing myself through the last couple of days of a cold. Let’s just say it’s a perfectly miserable day. The green canoe is still leaning up against the fence in the back yard. Back in “the day,” I would have been headed out to some headwater stream in the Ozark Mountains for a day of whitewater. Not anymore. These days, my speed is a little less energetic. The fact is I’m headed to Huntsville to teach the 2013 crop of Master Naturalists about our water resource. After four years of doing this gig, I have the routine down. Here’s how it goes: We spend half of the day in a classroom, then we have lunch, and then we head out to a local creek to get some hands-on experience. Heaven help me, but I’m secretly praying for the rain to come on in so I can declare inclement weather and forego the afternoon session. No such luck, though. It stays cold and misty. The Master Naturalists are a special group of people. To start with, they dedicate ten Saturdays in late winter and spring to learning about our ecosystem. Then they each pledge to give 40 hours per year of volunteer service to some environmental cause. The program is not just about water; they cover the gamut of the natural sciences. Classes include astronomy, geology, climatology, herpetology, ichthyology, entomology, ornithology, mycology, hydrology, eco-regions, mammals, tree identification, native plants and wildflowers, and nature journaling. At the end of it all, they can tell you what each of those –ologys are, and they can discuss each in depth. The students range in age from mid-twenties to midseventies. They hail from a variety of professions and political persuasions. Overall, they tend to be very knowledgeable people with educational backgrounds from high school graduate to doctoral level. The morning went well. We discussed the special properties of water, then followed
the flow from precipitation down to the watershed into our streams and finally to our lakes. We don’t bother going all the way to the ocean. This is Arkansas after all. I kept looking to the sky hoping for rain. After I finish talking about lakes, Jason Kindall, my co-conspirator in this operation and executive director of the Beaver Watershed Alliance, gives a lesson on stream biology. He focuses on the bugs that live in the stream. Noon came, we ate our peanut butter sandwiches, and … no rain. Then 12:30 came, still no rain so we headed out to Pine Creek in the Madison County Wildlife Refuge for our instream session. The temperature was low 40s, light mist. At least there wasn’t a lot of wind. Pine Creek is a beautiful little Ozark Highlands stream. It’s spring fed so the water is crystal clear and cold. The stream only flows a couple of miles before it joins the flow of Kings River. The spot where we hold the training has a bluff perhaps 50 feet tall and set back from the stream. There are several caves in the area, too. I pull up in my red truck, park, and get my waders out of the bed. These are the waders that I used when I was doing research on streams back in graduate school. I notice a small waterfall, a couple of feet high, and above that, a slab rock where it is easy to cross the stream. In a couple of steps, I remember why I haven’t been using these waders. Henceforth, they will be referred to as my sieves. My feet are going to get soaking wet. That’s just great, I think. Oh well, at least I had the foresight to wear some good, thick wool socks. The students dutifully follow me across the stream. These guys are hard-core! If only they knew how much I was suffering. (Ok, maybe I’m being a little dramatic here). Streams are wonderfully complex ecosystems. To fully appreciate stream ecosystems, you have to look past the surface. Then you can see the complexity of the flow creating diverse habitat opportunities. When you look deeply into a stream, you can understand the importance of the bed material and why it is what it is. You start to see the interaction between the stream banks and the stream
itself. In short, you see that there is much there besides just water. The objective of the in-stream exercise is to make the students aware of that complexity, to encourage them to think critically about the different aspects of streams and to increase their awareness of the various stream characteristics. The exercise starts with a discussion of the watershed. We had just driven down from the headwaters and the stream flowed along the road most of the way. Few had noticed the beaver dams. Like I said, the objective is to increase awareness. After discussing the watershed, we lay out a study “reach” two riffles and two pools long, then we walked the stream. The assignment is “notice things.” We look at the different flow conditions: pools, glides, riffles and runs. We look at the condition of the banks, searching for signs of erosion. We look for large woody debris and we look at the bed material. The students are starting to get the idea. They start to point things out themselves. When we finish the walk, I ask them to take out their journals and draw a sketch of the stream, then to fill in any important data and their thoughts. The point of the exercise is not to make them artists but to increase their awareness of the place. Next, we complete a habitat ranking for the stream. The ranking looks at 20 different characteristics of streams and provides criteria for scoring each characteristic. The scores are then added to give an index of habitat quality. All 20 of the students are now in the water measuring rocks, estimating percentage of riffles versus pools, and so on and so on. When the habitat assessment is complete, Jason takes over. The class collects samples
of the aquatic community by kicking up the gravel and capturing what washes out in a net. (Some folks call this “bug kickin’.) They take their catch to the shore. Then they start sorting bugs by species. The highlight of the day is an immature Ozark salamander. The bugs are sorted out and a score applied based upon the diversity of the community. This year we were overwhelmed with small mayflies. Perhaps we just happened to be there the day they hatched. The last exercise is to measure the flow in the stream. Flow is the product of the crosssectional area of the stream and the velocity of the water. Cross sectional area can be measured with a tape measure and a graduated walking stick. To get the velocity of the stream, we have to float oranges downstream over a specified distance. By measuring the time required for the orange to float through the distance, the speed or velocity can be calculated. Several trials have to be done to get an accurate estimate of velocity. My voice is fading rapidly. Thankfully, Angela Danovi from Ozark Water Watch is there to help out. By 4 o’clock, my voice is gone. We pack up our gear and head for our trucks. The students are talking about how they never realized there was so much to a stream. I pull off my wading sieves, wring out my wool socks, and put on dry socks and shoes. Then I get into my red truck and head back to Springdale. As I head home, the rain starts to fall in earnest. I am now pleased that I didn’t let a little inclement weather spoil a good day in the Ozarks. Aren’t you? To learn more about the Arkansas Master Naturalist program, go to their website: http://home.arkansasmasternaturalists.org.
Arkansas Out-of-Doors • March/April 2013- 11
AWF Winter/Spring Appearances by Al Wolff The cold and wacky weather hasn’t slowed down or deterred AWF from making appearances since the last issue of Arkansas Out-of-Doors. It never seemed to fail that most of the events always fell on a day filled with storms, be it ice or rain. Members have been staying quite busy fulfilling requests to attend events. Last issue we told you about the Big Buck Classic and the Mid-America Science Museum Home School Day. We also had photos of the 150th anniversary celebration of the battle fought at Arkansas Post, which Ethan Nahté and Lola Perritt spent the weekend at teaching families about Arkansas’ endangered, extinct, and extirpated plants and animals as well as teaching children, as well as some adults, how to make pine cone bird feeders they could take home and hang up for our migrating friends. Nahté also helped to judge the elementary science fair at the Mayflower school system, then stayed to set up a table for that evening’s choir and science fair event. Again, he taught children how to make pine cone feeders and discussed AWF, explaining the organization’s goals, what AWF does, and on-the-ground projects such as Bearcat Hollow and LOViT. Later in the month of February, Wayne Shewmake and Gary Bush, along with other volunteers, manned a booth at the annual Arkansas Sportshow in Jonesboro. They increased membership in AWF by talking with attendees who visited the AWF booth. They also gave away a shotgun in a drawing. (I would also like to take a moment to mention that at the Big Buck Classic in January other volunteers included Lucien Gillham, Bobby Hacker, and a few of the ATU Fisheries & Wildlife Society students.) During the first day of the Sportshow, Nahté was across the state, busy speaking with the Arkadelphia Rotary Club. He also visited the science departments at both Ouachita Baptist University and Henderson State University. Shewmake and Nahté also attended a CFLRP meeting in Russellville with members of the US Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy, and other groups. Nahté left for a portion of the meeting for an appearance he had to make at University of the Ozarks the day before volunteers were to
plant 1,500 plum trees (see story in this issue) at Bearcat Hollow. Shewmake then followed up on a request in March and visited the Arkansas Rivers Association in Jonesboro. Greg Watts, president of the group, had requested he come and speak to them about the Bearcat Hollow Cooperative Project. Shewmake also attended a science fair in Conway and helped with the judging, spending most of the day at the event. Perritt and Nahté visited Conway in early April to do a presentation to home-schooled students and their families, discussing invasive/non-native species of plants and animals, as well as bringing a few animals for the children to look at and touch. They also donated nuttall oak trees to those families that wanted to take a seedling home and plant it for the upcoming Arbor Day. Nahté followed this up with an Earth Day presentation for Garland County 5th graders, discussing the importance of trees as food and habitat with over 600 students plus their teachers and chaperone parents. AWF provided over 500 pine trees to give to students who wanted to take one home and plant it. While there, Nahté also met with some of Garland County’s Master Gardeners and donated approximately 100 nuttalls oaks to them. AWF received a tree request from The Traildogs, which Nahté met with, and donated over 300 nuttall oaks and bald cypress to be used along the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail. Meanwhile, Shewmake, Gillham, Hacker, and Jerry Crowe went back up to Bearcat Hollow and camped out along with volunteers from the Little Rock Air Force Base, planting another 400 plum trees over Earth Day weekend. On Earth Day, AWF received a request for materials for the first ever Earth Day event at the Joy of Peace Lutheran Church in Hot Springs Village. Nahté provided the church with copies of Arkansas Out-of-Doors and the updated version of AWF’s Bearcat Hollow brochure. AWF is limited to how far we can spread ourselves, but if you would like for us to come speak with your school, organization, club, etc. then contact us at email@example.com or at our new phone number, 501-888-4770 to place your request. The further in advance we receive your request, the better.
Corps Cautions Lakeside Residents About Spring Cleaning
HEBER SPRINGS, Ark. -- The Army Corps of Engineers is reminding all persons with property bordering public land around Greers Ferry Lake to know where the property line is and avoid “spring cleaning” on government land. No work can be performed on government property without prior written approval from the Corps. This includes cutting vegetation. Storing personal property is prohibited (i.e. boats, trailers, lawn furniture, etc.) on public property. Anyone with personal property on public land or water should remove those items. Also, placing structures on public land is not allowed. Officials advise all adjacent landowners to contact the Corps before starting work. Only certain alterations can be authorized, and violators are subject to a range of penalties under the law for unauthorized activities. It is up to adjacent landowners to seek out the boundary line and avoid unauthorized activity, just as they would avoid encroaching on any neighbor’s land. Greers Ferry park rangers are assigned areas of the shoreline to patrol for unauthorized activities. Once unauthorized activities are discovered, the adjacent landowners are contacted and advised how to resolve the violation. In some cases, citations are issued that could require appearance before a federal magistrate. The government property line is marked around the lake with white metal fence posts set near round brass survey markers placed at ground level. It runs straight between consecutive survey markers and its presence is indicated by white lines painted on trees. The trees, not usually on the line, just indicate that the line passes near. In many instances the boundary line falls in the water at normal lake elevation. This gives the false perception that some adjacent landowners receive preferential treatment. In reality, they own to the water’s edge. For more information about use of government property, call the Greers Ferry Project Office at 501-362-2416 or stop by the office located near the dam on Hwy 25, three miles north of Heber Springs.
Beaver Lake “Secchi Day” Water Monitoring Results
Hundreds showed up for the 7th Annual Secchi Day on Beaver Lake, held Aug. 18, 2012! In all, 33 teams of citizen scientists participated in the event. All 35 potential sampling sites were sampled, most in duplicate. Extreme drought conditions this year, opposed to the heavy spring rains and flood discharge of 2011, yielded greater Secchi depths from the Horseshoe Bend area of Beaver Lake to the Dam. The greatest Secchi depth was at Beaver Dam yielding 5.65 meters (approximately 18.5 feet), and the lowest Secchi depth was at the War Eagle arm yielding 0.35 meters (just over 1 foot). This year’s results were similar to 2007, which was one of our other dry years. Please join us on Aug. 17, 2013, for the 8th Annual Secchi Day on Beaver Lake. See a full report on results at www.bwdh2o.org. Secchi Day on Beaver Lake is made possible by 11 partners who participate from start of planning till debriefing. These partners are: Audubon Arkansas, Beaver Water District, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Beaver Lake, the U.S. Geological Survey, the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, Hobbs State Park, Arkansas Master Naturalists, the Association for Beaver Lake Environment, Beaver Watershed Alliance, Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, and Ozarks Water Watch. Secchi Day is one of the premiere water public awareness and education events in Arkansas.
12 - Arkansas Out-of-Doors • March/April 2013
Pharmaceuticals: The link between what makes us well and the quality of our water resources
by Barbara Miller
When we are sick or need help to make us healthier, where do we turn? We are fortunate to have available antibiotics, antidepressants, birth control pills, seizure medications, cancer treatments, pain killers, tranquilizers, and cholesterol-lowering drugs to aid us. But the presence of these drugs in our waterways is not a good thing. According to the Teleosis Institute (2008), over 80 percent of waterways tested in the U.S. show traces of common medications. The most common of these are antidepressants, anticonvulsants, antibiotics, hormonal drugs, and mood stabilizers. Our current wastewater treatment systems were not designed to remove these. These compounds return to our waterways even after treatment in the wastewater treatment facility. Thanks to modern technology, we are able to detect these compounds in smaller concentrations today. So how do these get in our water supply? There are a number of explanations. For one thing, there is widespread lack of knowledge of how to dispose of these drugs properly. Drugs may be flushed down the toilet when
no longer needed and find their way into our water bodies. Additionally, our bodies do not assimilate 100% of these drugs, and when eliminated they enter our waterways. Incomplete assimilation of drugs in animals provides another path of entry to our waters. Veterinarians use drug treatments in their practice, and most poultry, dairy, beef and hog farms use antibiotics in their operations. Also, some drugs may be added in the factory production of animal feed, providing a possible unnoticed source of water contamination. We know how the compounds react individually, but what is the effect of their reacting in a synergistic environment? Could they create an entirely new chemical compound? Just what are the effects of these compounds in our waters? A U.S. Geological Survey study of fish in rivers and streams around the country shows that a large percentage of male bass now have feminine characteristics. Scientists have called the study the biggest survey of this gender-bending condition in U.S. waters. Although they can’t be sure of the cause, they do suspect industrial and pharmaceutical chemicals are the culprit. To learn more about the survey mentioned
LRAFB Helps AWF by Ethan Nahté If you read the President’s Letter this month, you already know that military personnel from the Little Rock Air Force Base gave AWF a huge helping hand with cleaning up on nearly 32 acres that is our new property and office location. Senior Airmen Damien Powell, a member of the 314th Operations Group at Little Rock Air Force Base, contacted AWF to let us know that his group, the Little Rock AFB Rising 6 and Crossroads Café did volunteer projects around the state to help give back to the community. All but two of the 30—40 volunteers serve at LRAFB. The other two were civilian friends of one of the members. They worked alongside a handful of AWF members for a few hours before being treated to a foil pack lunch of venison or chicken thanks to the cooking of Lola Perritt and a
few LRAFB volunteers who stayed to help her with K.P. duty. “Rising 6 is a group focused on professional development for all E-6 and below on base,” says Powell. “Crossroads Café is to provide a home away from home for Airmen and is part of the base Chapel. Both of them also have a commitment to volunteer in the base and local community. The base itself has been volunteering in the community since it was built.” AWF’s current secretary, Lucien Gillham, once related a story, when he was the Deputy Base Civil Engineer with the USAF and based at LRAFB. The base was nationally recognized for their recycling efforts, taking The Whitehouse Closing the Circle Award for Leadership and Federal Environmental Stewardship in 1994. He was one of the members in charge of the effort and states that Mike Ramsey went to Washington,
above, please visit: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112888785 Studies are also being conducted to see if environmental chemical exposure is one of the factors implicated in earlier sexual maturation in girls. The data is inadequate to provide the information we need to assess the extent to which chemicals contribute to early onset puberty. The problem of drug detection in waterways is not just occurring in the United States; it is a global problem. So what can WE do? Take part in a local drug take back program. Call your local police department or sheriff department for information in your area, or go to the National Take Back Initiative Collection Site http://www.deadiversion.usdoj. gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html to find a location. Don’t flush drugs, and do not place drugs in garbage. Drugs placed in the garbage can then enter the groundwater through the leachate from landfills. The EPA is attempting to set standards for drugs found in waterways but it is very difficult because of possible synergistic effects. What is a safe level for drug X or drug Y? What will happen when/if these drugs inter-
act? This is yet to be determined. How to establish these standards is a daunting task. In the meantime, new methods to remove pharmaceuticals that are already in our waterways are being explored. One of these is the use of sound waves. The effectiveness of using sound waves depends on the volume of water and which pollutants are present. Ultrasound treatment can eliminate microorganisms and pharmaceutical pollutants from water bodies. Wetland treatment might prove to be an effective means to reduce the discharge of the compounds into the environment. Wetlands can promote removal of pharmaceutical compounds through a number of mechanisms, including photolysis, plant uptake, microbial degradation, and sorption to the soil. The rate of removal and the degree of removal need further study and documentation. [Editor’s Note: To learn more about pharmaceuticals as an emerging contaminant, attend one of the Project WET pharmaceutical workshops that are held at various locations throughout the state. Contact Barbara Miller, 501.683.5407 or firstname.lastname@example.org. ar.us, for information. Ms. Miller heads the Pharmaceutical and PCP National Project WET team. She was the 2011 AWEA Jim Bailey Memorial Educator of the Year Award in part for her work on this issue and was the featured Project WET coordinator in Project WET USA Newsletter, January 2013.]
D.C. to accept the award for LRAFB. Some volunteers expressed dismay at how “trashy” people could be while cleaning up tires; old tarps; large and small pieces of furniture and household items; bottles, cans, and jugs filled with household cleaners, oil, and other common chemicals; old cars and car parts; and about anything else that people can throw away. The belief was expressed on more than one occasion that those caught and found guilty of littering should not only have to pay a fine, but spend several hours of community service cleaning up litter. Hopefully that would deter those guilty persons from littering again. A lot of people simply don’t realize that not only is it unsafe and hazardous to the environment, but that millions of tax dollars are spent every year cleaning up litter. People who don’t want to pay to take their garbage to proper facilities still pay in the long run, whether they know it or not. Some of the volunteers did get a chance to see marbled salamanders and a variety of
birds, as well as some of the beauty of the wetlands the property contains. Powell said, “A lot of people expressed interest in future volunteerism with Arkansas Wildlife Federation.” AWF certainly welcomes any of them, whether they volunteer as a group or as an individual civilian. Powell concludes, “My goal in doing any volunteer work is to get people together to make a difference. So yes, I see a pile of garbage and that sickens me too, but I also see an opportunity to get people working together to clean it up.” There is still some garbage that needs to be cleaned up, but thanks to the efforts by AWF members last year and the AWF members and LRAFB members that volunteered this year, the land is looking a whole lot better. AWF has also been working with Pulaski County Recycling and will be hauling over 100 tires to Davis Rubber Company where the tires will be properly recycled for possible usage as fuel in paper mills, mulch, or in children’s playgrounds.
Arkansas Out-of-Doors • March/April 2013- 13
USFWS Announces $882.4 Million in UserGenerated Funding to State Wildlife Agencies Submitted by US Fish and Wildlife Service More than $882.4 million in excise tax revenues generated in 2012 by sportsmen and sportswomen will be distributed to state and territorial fish and wildlife agencies to fund fish and wildlife conservation and recreation projects across the nation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today. These funds are made available to all 50 states and territories through the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration programs. Revenues come from excise taxes generated by the sale of sporting firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, fishing equipment and tackle, and electric outboard motors. Recreational boaters also contribute to the program through fuel taxes on motorboats and small engines. “The sporting community has provided the financial and spiritual foundation for wildlife conservation in America for more than 75 years,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. “Through these programs, hunters, anglers, recreational boaters and target shooters continue to fund vital fish and wildlife management and conservation, recreational boating access, and hunter and aquatic education programs.” “The financial support from America’s hunting, shooting sports, fishing and boating community through their purchases of excise taxable equipment and hunting and fishing licenses is the lifeblood for funding fish and wildlife conservation; supporting public safety education; and opening access for outdoor recreation that benefits everyone,” said Jeff Vonk, President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks. “Fish and wildlife can be conserved, protected and restored through
science-based management and it is critical that all these taxes collected be apportioned to advance conservation efforts in the field.” The Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Program apportionment for 2013 totals $522.5 million. The Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Program apportionment for 2013 totals $359.9 million. As a result of the statutorily required sequester, these apportionments have been reduced by 5.1 percent, or approximately $39.2 million. Additional Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration grant funding to the states has also been reduced, for a total sequestration-related reduction of approximately $44 million. The Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program reimburses up to 75 percent of the cost of each eligible project while state fish and wildlife agencies contribute a minimum of 25 percent, generally using hunting and fishing license revenues as the required non-Federal match. Funding is paid by manufacturers, producers, and importers, and distributed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program to each state and territory. For information on funding for each state, visit http://www.fws.gov/home/feature/2013/pdf/ Master_apport_table_Final_2013.pdf. The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Programs have generated a total of more than $15.3 billion since their inception – in 1937 in the case of the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Program, and 1950 for the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Program – to conserve fish and wildlife resources. The recipient fish and wildlife agencies have matched these program funds with more than $5.1 billion. This funding is critical to sustaining healthy fish and wildlife populations and providing opportunities for all to connect with nature.
Hog Farm Permit Causes A Stink
The National Parks Conservation Association calls permitting process flawed for hog farm on Buffalo National River Tributary. The National Parks Group urges U.S. Department of Agriculture and Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality to pull permit. On March 29th, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) responded to a written request from the National Park Service (NPS) seeking clarity around a permit that was issued earlier this year for a hog farm along Big Creek – a tributary that empties into Buffalo National River just 5 miles downstream. An analysis of the process by which C & H Hog Farms, Inc. obtained a loan guarantee suggests that the permit was issued without proper consultation of the Park Service – a requirement of the Farm Service Agency for projects located below or above a national river. “Based upon the Farm Service Agency’s own guidelines, the entire permitting process for the hog farm was flawed and the decision should be thrown out,” said National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) Senior Program Manager Emily Jones. “This hog farm could do real damage to the resources at Buffalo National River. If a proper review was completed, the environmental assessment would have shown the impacts.” The hog farm would hold as many as 6,500 animals and generate roughly 2 million gallons of waste annually, which could impact the Buffalo River downstream. The operation could harm several endangered or threatened species in the region, including the gray bat and the endangered snuffbox mussel. Under Endangered Species Act regulations, federal agencies must ensure their actions don’t jeopardize the continued existence of listed species. In addition to failing to consult with the Park Service on impacts to the river, the Farm Service Agency did not submit a determination of effects on endangered species to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as required by law. The Buffalo National River is America’s first national river. In 2011, over 1 million visitors to the river spent over $38 million in surrounding communities, creating jobs, attending festivals, and supporting local businesses. Canoe and kayak enthusiasts, equestrians, hikers, fisherman, and birders enjoy the 132 mile free flowing river. Elk, deer and turkey, along with more than 300 species of fish, freshwater mussels, insects, and aquatic plants depend on the Buffalo, America’s first National River. A hog farm could jeopardize this economic benefit for the State of Arkansas and impact local communities. “On behalf of the National Parks Conservation Association’s over 800,000 members and supporters, we call on the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality to work cooperatively to pull this permit,” said Jones. “Buffalo National River is a national treasure, and the necessary precautions must be followed to ensure it is protected for future generations.” To view the Farm Service Agency response, click here. A public comment period will be held at the Carroll Electric Building on Hwy. 7 in Jasper at 6 PM on May 8. A petition against the hog farm can be found in the sidebar on the website buffaloriveralliance.org.
14 - Arkansas Out-of-Doors • March/April 2013
Wildlife Management in the Grassland by Idun Guenther For many of us, spring is an important time of year. It represents new beginnings, growth, and life. It should also be a time for us to be aware of the importance this season represents for several species of wildlife. Small mammals are stirring, deer and turkey are producing young, and millions of birds are migrating from South and Central America to nesting grounds in Arkansas and other states. Across the country, many of us have noticed a decline in populations of many wildlife species, especially birds that inhabit early successional fields, pastures, and grasslands. Haying and grazing are two important components that directly affect wildlife in actively managed grassland ecosystems. When a field is hayed, food and cover for wildlife are almost instantly removed. In actively grazed pastures, livestock create disturbance for longer periods of time, remove cover for wildlife, and may trample chicks and/or nests. Yet, many issues like these can be easily mitigated with a well-developed grassland management plan. A plethora of studies has been conducted on effects of management practices in grasslands on wildlife. The findings have been thoroughly analyzed by biologists and federal agencies to reach a consensus with landowners on recommendations to improve grasslands not only for hay yields and pasture productivity but also for wildlife. The agency I work for, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), provides valuable information that helps landowners develop management plans aimed at improving soil, air, water quality, as well as wildlife habitat. Some of the following recommendations developed by NRCS and other agencies can give our wildlife some much needed help, but will also benefit livestock, increase forage and grassland productivity, and improve overall quality of the habitat. The way hayfields are managed is highly dependent on the grass species grown there as well as the overall goal for production. Two main types of grasslands found in Arkansas are cool-season and native warm-season grasses. Cool-season grasses include tall fescue, bromes, and orchard grass. Some common native warm-season grasses are Indiangrass, big and little bluestem, gammagrass, and switchgrass. Both grassland types have advantages: cool-season grasses have longer growing seasons, can be established quickly and provide greater yields for livestock forage, whereas warmseason grasses provide a better structural component, food source, and cover for nesting birds, small mammals, and other wildlife. The questions that need to be answered now are when? how? and how often?
For Arkansas, the primary nesting period for birds is between May 1st and July 15th. With that in mind, we do consider that haying is time sensitive and restricting mowing during these months is not always economically practicable for a landowner. But if timing is an issue, this is where the how can be answered. Simply changing the pattern of mowing can make a tremendous difference to allow wildlife to escape haying equipment. Mowing a field from the center to the outside gives animals a chance to escape into edge habitat or other fields. In the first cycle mowing, leaving a 30 foot buffer from the outside edges of a field is a good strategy that will provide temporary wildlife cover. The remaining buffer can then be mowed at a later date after the bird nesting season is over. Strip mowing is usually recommended during March 15th to May 1st, but no more than 1/3 of the standing vegetation in the field should be removed in any one year and mowed strips are rotated annually. Strip width depends on how large the field is, but a general rule of thumb is to leave un-mowed strips at least 50 feet in width. Mowing an entire hayfield is not recommended but, if necessary, the recommended dates are between July 15th and August 15th. Cool-season grasses should not be cut shorter than 6 inches and native warm-season grasses should have at least 10 inches of standing height remain. For pastures, grazing techniques either involve keeping cattle in a specific field for a long period of time (continuous) or rotating them between two or more pastures/paddocks (rotational grazing). Rotational grazing is a more wildlife friendly management technique opposed to continuous grazing. Pastures in this system have time for “resting” and regrowth from grazing pressure of livestock. Overall productivity of the grassland system is increased and good for wildlife, too. This does not imply that continuous grazing should be discouraged. However, when fields are overstocked and/or poorly managed, the continuous grazing technique can lead to little or no cover for wildlife, less forage production, and overall reduced quality of pastures. Thus, continuously grazed pastures that are not managed properly can be detrimental to surrounding habitat and alter the entire composition of the pasture itself. There are certainly some trade-offs to managing for wildlife in a grasslands that are hayed or pastured. The financial impacts are always a concern, but there are several federal incentive programs that can be of assistance. Of course, more time and effort is required. Yet, the overall benefits of managing for wildlife should outweigh the cost of potentially losing some of our feathered and furry friends forever. Saving our grassland wildlife is worth it to me and I hope it is worth it to you.
2013 Wildlife of Arkansas Student Art Traveling Exhibit by Ethan Nahté The annual “Wildlife of Arkansas” Student Art Traveling Exhibit will open with an awards ceremony Friday evening, May 3 at 6:30pm at the Witt Stephens, Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center (602 President Clinton Avenue, Little Rock, AR 72201-1732). The ceremony is free and open to the public, especially to the friends and families of the 52 winners in this year’s competition. The competition is a collaboration between Arkansas Wildlife Federation and their affiliate Creative Ideas, as well as the generous space provided by Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Nature Centers. The number of entries increased by approximately 50% this year with over 600 entries submitted. There was also an increase in the number of schools and counties across the state that submitted compared to previous years. The winners will be announced in the next issue of AOOD and the 1st place winners will be showcased in the centerfold in the same issue. There is a possibility that a calendar of the winning works, 2014 Wildlife of Arkansas Calendar of Art, will be available for purchase at the opening and will continue to be on sale throughout the year. Although you will be able to see the winning art in AOOD or on the AWF Facebook page, the art really needs to be witnessed in person to fully appreciate the talent of these young people. The AGFC Nature Centers are free of charge and offer a variety of educational and informational items for the entire family to enjoy in addition to the art show. For those who cannot make it to the ceremony, you will have the opportunity to view the winning art for nearly a month at one of four locations throughout the state, thanks to the hard work of Creative Ideas president Sharon Hacker who worked closely with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission to expand this event into a traveling exhibit for the first time. The exhibit will travel throughout the AGFC Nature Centers, showcasing the top 4 works of art in each grade K-12. “Wildlife of Arkansas” Traveling Exhibit Opening w/Awards Ceremony Exhibit May 3 - 29: Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center, Little Rock Exhibit June 2 - 28: Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center, Jonesboro Exhibit July 2 - 26: Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center, Fort Smith Exhibit July 30-Aug 23: Governor Mike Huckabee Delta Rivers Nature Center, Pine Bluff
Arkansas Out-of-Doors • March/April 2013 - 15
Bring Back the Monarchs
by Rita Littrell, Ph. D. Was it really only seven summers ago in September when I had driven all the roads in our area of Northwest Arkansas in search of that beautiful bright orange flower known as butterfly weed? I had containers full of hungry monarch caterpillars that were finishing off the stems of butterfly weed from our plants so I really needed more food. Watching the death of any of Mother Nature’s creatures is truly a challenge for me -- and I had more than 100 caterpillars. Every time I went to cut milkweed, I found it covered with caterpillars. So I put the caterpillars in my containers to protect them from predators such as birds, wasps, spider and others. Ninety-five percent of caterpillars do not make it to their final stage of metamorphosis -- a butterfly. I found no butterfly weed, or milkweed of any variety, by the roadsides, so I sent out a desperate plea to every gardener I knew. Cindi Cope to the rescue! I barely knew Cindi at that time, but she rushed a whole bag of milkweed to me. Well, this did not look like any variety of milkweed I had ever seen, so I questioned her about it. Cindi assured me it was milkweed, so I rushed home to feed my very hungry caterpillars. That late Friday afternoon I dumped the milkweed on my deck and took out the 100+ caterpillars. My intent was to dump their frass (otherwise known as poop), fill their containers with milkweed, and to replace them. But they, in unison and very quickly, ran to the milkweed and began devouring it. Well, I knew one thing -- it was indeed milkweed. How could I possibly know this? Monarch caterpillars only eat milkweed. It did not take them long to completely devour the new food, but my hope was that most of them would now be large enough to form their chrysalis. The lady mowing our yard had stopped her mower to watch. Her comment was, “Too cool for business,” – a phrase that was new to me but expressed her amazement at the scene unfolding before us. I love Eric Carle’s book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar that teaches counting as each day the caterpillar eats more and more things. It is accurate in one sense. The caterpillars do eat and eat and rest and then eat again. In real life, they shed their skin
when they are resting. This is called an instar. They do this five times. But the part of the story that is not accurate is that the caterpillar eats anything. In the real world of nature, mother butterflies of any species lay their eggs on one or two types of plants known as host plants. The caterpillars are very picky eaters who will only eat the host plant for their species -- and the mother knows this. Dear friends of mine from our butterfly enthusiast group, Jack and Mary Ann Bardwell, tell of a spring day when a strong wind blew in a tattered female monarch butterfly. She had flown a long distance from Mexico. They had but one sprig of milkweed just peeking out of the ground in their garden. The butterfly lay on her side and deposited the eggs on the only milkweed sprout she could find. The host plant for monarchs is milkweed. The plant necessary for butterfly metamorphosis is called the host plant. The female lays the eggs on the host plant for their species so the caterpillar will have the food source available as soon as it emerges. The caterpillar will remain on the host plant eating until it is ready to turn into a chrysalis. At this time, the caterpillar will move to a high location with an overhang. At our house, it is difficult to clean the soffits because of the number of chrysalides hanging from them. The truly amazing feat of the monarch butterflies is that these delicate and magical insects migrate to central Mexico each fall; hibernate in a very small area; mate in late February; and then migrate back to the United States. They are the only insect to migrate such a long distance. The butterfly will die after carefully gluing her eggs on the host plant. The metamorphosis occurs and the emerging butterflies will continue the migration towards Canada. The monarch butterfly that arrives in Mexico the following winter will be four generations removed from the one that overwintered the previous year. Due to this cycle, in Arkansas, we have the opportunity to see the monarchs in the spring on the northern flight and again in the fall on the southern migration. I am always amazed by the fact that the monarchs show up just as the milkweed is up and ready to serve as a host plant. The butterfly weed blooms bright orange just as the monarchs are passing through. The Monarch Watch website shows more than twenty milkweed varieties that grow in different climates and soils. The species of milkweed changes as the butterflies make the 2,500 mile journey across Mexico, the United States and then Canada, but there is a native variety of milkweed to provide nectar
and to host the metamorphosis. A variety of native nectar plants provide the food and energy needed to sustain the butterfly during their journey. Last spring and fall, I had a total of nine monarch caterpillars. This was the smallest number since I started butterfly gardening ten years ago. I was surprised but thought maybe they had missed my Monarch Way Station for some reason. In mid-March, the World Wildlife Fund-Mexico/Telcel Alliance, in collaboration with Mexico’s National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) announced that the monarch colonies that overwinter in Michoacan, Mexico had declined 59% from the previous year. The 1.19 hectares is the smallest since scientists started recording the numbers in 1975. In 1997 the monarchs covered 20.97 hectares. I have heard delightful stories of large flocks of monarchs nectaring in fields of fall wildflowers or covering pine trees as they take their nightly rest during their return flight to Mexico. I wonder if my son will ever see those flocks of monarchs that have been reported from years gone past. Reading the report from The New York Times confirmed my fears that the drought combined with Americans’ lack of awareness about the needs of these fairylike creatures was destroying them. They were silently disappearing. Our ignorance of our natural environment was destroying the habitat of the monarch as well as many other butterflies. The irony is that Arkansas is The Natural State. Continued on page 24
LRAFB CLEANUP Photos by Wayne Shewmake & Ethan Nahté
Tree planting Photos by Wayne Shewmake & Ethan NahtĂŠ
18 - Arkansas Out-of-Doors • March/April 2013
How to Take Care of Your Purple Martins by Tim Mangan In the January/February 2013 edition of Arkansas Out-of-Doors there was an article describing how to attract Purple Martins to your residence. It talked about the type of martin housing to install, where to place it in your yard, predator control and additional attractants to use to help get a martin to look at your housing as a possible nesting site. This follow-up article will address what steps you can take as a “martin landlord” to help your martins have a successful breeding season before they head back to their wintering grounds in South America in August. It is now April and hopefully you have some martins staying at your site. (if you do not have any martins at this time, do not despair. You can still attract martins to your site through May.) Any martins you have at your site will be spending their time getting settled in, looking for a mate and protecting their nesting cavity. April is also the month the second year martins (those born last year) start arriving and they will be looking for a nesting site. Less than 10% of the second year martins will return to their natal birth site so these will be the martins you will be wanting to attract to start your colony if you have not had martins in previous years. Second year martins can cause a lot of havoc at your site. There will be fighting between second year males and older males which arrived at your site in late February and throughout March. Second year males will be trying to take nesting cavities away from the older martins who will protect their nesting cavities with a vengeance. In most cases a second year male is no match for an older more experienced adult male. One technique to help alleviate some of the fighting is to erect
a second martin pole with a martin house or gourds when the second year males start arriving. This will provide the second year male a place to call his own and allow him to go out and try to find a mate for the nesting season. As mentioned in the previous article, you will want to have a supply of oyster shells or egg shells available for your martins. Your martins, especially the females, will feed on the shells throughout the season. Oyster and egg shells are a source of calcium and provide additional nourishment in the development of the eggs for the female. Keep a supply of oyster or egg shells available for your martins throughout the season. Oyster shells (pullet size) can be obtained from most grain and feed stores at minimal cost. If you elect to use egg shells, be sure to bake them in the oven for about five minutes before offering them to your martins. Baking them will kill any germs in the membrane lining the inside of the shell. Once baked, remove the lining, crumble up the shells real fine and then place in a bowl positioned on or near your martin house. Purple Martins are aerial insectivores, meaning they feed only on flying insects. Some of the insects making up the martins diet are dragonflies, beetles, flies, midges, bees and flying ants. Contrary to popular belief, martins do not eat a lot of mosquitoes. This is mainly an advertising ploy by some manufacturers of martin houses to get people to buy their product. There are times, especially in March and April, when the weather is not conducive for flying insects. This occurs when the temperatures drop below 45 or 50 degrees, continuous rain or snow lasting for several days. A martin can sustain itself for a couple of days without feeding by ingesting its own body fat. After three or four days without feeding, they will
perish due to starvation. A martin landlord can help their martins survive during prolonged periods of not being able to feed by offering them crickets flipped from a plastic spoon. Accepting crickets is an unnatural act for a martin and they must be trained to accept supplemental feeding in this manner. After a couple of days of not being able to feed, your martins will be perched outside their house with their feathers fluffed and wings drooping. They will now be hungry enough to start training them to accept crickets. Start flipping crickets high over your martin house and after 10-20-30 or more flips, one martin will eventually swoop down and grab the cricket before it hits the ground. Once one martin takes the cricket the others will quickly join in with the supplemental feeding. A search on the internet will provide several companies who sell live crickets. A couple of the more popular suppliers are Flukers and Hurst-Young. You should be able to order a thousand 1” crickets for around $20. When the live crickets arrive, just put them in
your freezer. If the time arises where you need to use them, pull out about 100 crickets, place them in the micro-wave for about 10-15 seconds and they are ready to flip to your martins. Frozen crickets will retain their nourishment value for up to two years. Depending on weather conditions and age of the female, egg laying will commence, on average, around the first week of May. If you notice your martins going to the tops of trees, tearing off a leaf, and taking it into the nest, this is an indicator that egg laying has started or is about to start. The female will use the leafs to cover her eggs when she leaves the nest to feed. An adult female will lay between 4 to 6 eggs. A second year female, one born the previous year, will lay between 2 to 4 eggs. Continued on page 25
Arkansas Out-of-Doors â€˘ March/April 2013- 19
Bass Fishing Event to Support Wounded Warrior Project
The Wounded Warrior Project, in cooperation with the Arkansas Wildlife Federation, Yell County Wildlife Federation, Russellville Advertising & Promotion Commission, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and Lake Dardanelle State Park are pleased and proud to announce the forth coming:
WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT LAKE DARDANELLE - BASS FISHING TOURNAMENT June 8, 2013 8:00 A.M. - 1:00 P.M. This Fishing Tournament, held at the Lake Dardanelle State Park, 100 State Park Drive, Russellville, Weigh-in Pavilion, on Saturday, June 8, 2013, in honor of our nations Wounded Warriors, who have served our country in the Iraq and Afghanistan military operations. Wounded Warriors will be paired with local volunteer Boat Captains and spend a day on the waters of Lake Dardanelle enjoying the beauty, outdoor experience and hopefully succeed in catching fish. It is expected that the River Valley will be host to Wounded Warriors from all across the nation, who have journeyed to Russellville and Lake Dardanelle to enjoy the great outdoors! On Friday evening, 6 P.M. under the Big Tent at Lake Dardanelle State Park, the Wounded Warriors will be treated to a hamburger & hot dog meal, meet and greet fellow Warriors, local volunteers and Boat Captains, where they will get acquainted, partnered or teamed together for the Fishing Tournament on Saturday. Saturday morning, starting at 7:00 A.M., the Wounded Warriors and Boat Captains will be treated to coffee & donuts, partner up with Boat Captains for the Tournament start at 8:00. There will be a ColorĘźs presentation and pledge by a local Color Guard, prior to the start of the tournament at 8:00. Weigh-in will be at 1:00 P.M. The fishing tournament format is strictly wide open with all fish species qualifying. There will be Wounded Warrior awards in all categories. At 2 P.M., after the weigh-in, the Yell County Wildlife Federation will be providing a catfish dinner and drinks, for the Wounded Warriors, Boat Captains and volunteers. Boat Captains & Bass Clubs with boats and equipment from throughout the River Valley & state are volunteering for this very worthwhile and rewarding project. There are numerous Local Partners and National Sponsors. WOUNDED WARRIOR APPLICATION: John Boerstler - email@example.com or 904-383-0920 SPONSORS & CONTACT INFO: Wayne Shewmake - wayne093@ centurytel.net or 479-229-2298; or Andy Thomas - firstname.lastname@example.org or 479-890-7474 VOLUNTEER BOAT CAPTAIN - SIGN-UP INFORMATION: Ron Knost - email@example.com
Latest Data from Mayflower Oil Spill (provided by ADEQ 4/26/13) The information at http://www.adeq.state.ar.us/hazwaste/mayflower_oil_spill_2013/default.htm relates to a pipeline spill in a residential neighborhood that occurred in Mayflower on March 29. The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality is among a number of state agencies who have been on site since minutes after the spill was reported. The response has been a coordinated effort between EPA, ADEQ, the Arkansas Department of Health, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Faulkner County, the city of Mayflower, the responsible party (ExxonMobil) and many others. ADEQ is closely reviewing the cleanup and has had inspectors conducting sampling at a number of locations in a cove of Lake Conway and the main body of the lake. The Department will continue to monitor the surface water in the impacted areas and post regular updates. Continuous air quality monitoring is being conduct-
ed by both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and ExxonMobil. The air monitoring data from both EPA and ExxonMobil have been reviewed by the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH). ADH has concluded that the data results are similar. Overall, air emissions in the community continue to be below levels likely to cause health effects for the general population. On-going air monitoring will continue throughout the local community and in the evacuated neighborhood as needed while cleanup efforts continue. EPA and Exxon will continue to monitor the air in the impacted areas and provide regular updates to the data on the ADEQ website. Data should take no longer than 36 hours from collection to when the data is posted to the website, to allow for Arkansas Department of Health to ensure its quality review of the information.
20 - Arkansas Out-of-Doors • March/April 2013
Commission sets 2013-14 deer hunting seasons LITTLE ROCK – The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission set the state’s deer hunting seasons last week, with modern gun deer season opening Nov. 9, archery season opening Sept. 28, and muzzleloader season opening Oct. 19. The deer season dates are part of the 2013-2014 general hunting regulations approved during the Commission’s monthly meeting. Season dates for the 2013-14 deer hunting season: Archery: All zones: Sept. 28-Feb. 28, 2014. Modern Gun: Zones 1, 1A, 2, 3, 6, 6A, 7, 8, 8A, 10 and 11: Nov. 9-Dec. 1. Zone 4: Nov. 9-10. Zone 5: Nov. 9-10 and Nov. 16-17. Zones 4A, 5A, 14 and 15: Nov. 9-Dec. 8. Zones 4B and 5B: Nov. 9-17. Zones 9, 12 and 13: Nov. 9-Dec. 15. Zone 16, 16A and 17: Nov. 9-Dec. 25. Muzzleloader: Zones 1, 1A, 2, 3, 4A, 5A, 6, 6A, 7, 8, 8A, 10, 11, 14 and 15: Oct. 19-27 and Dec. 14-16. Zones 9, 12, 13, 16, 16A and 17: Oct. 19-27 and Dec. 29-31.
Zones 4, 4B, 5 and 5B: Closed. The statewide Christmas holiday modern gun deer hunt is Dec. 26-28. Youth modern gun deer hunts will be held Nov. 2-3 and Jan. 4-5, 2014. A private land antlerless-only modern gun deer hunt in zones 1, 1A, 2, 3, 6, 6A, 8, 8A, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 16A and 17 will be held Oct. 12-16. The Commission also approved a pair of changes to bear hunting regulations for Bear Zone 2, moving the zone’s archery bear season opening day to Oct. 1 and reinstating a 150-bear quota for the zone. The 2013 elk hunting season will take place in two segments, Oct. 7-11 and Oct. 28-Nov. 1. The first segment of elk season previously has been held in September. The Commission also set deer season opening dates for 2014. Archery season will open Sept. 27, 2014; muzzleloader season will open Oct. 18, 2014, and modern gun season will open Nov. 8, 2014. To see a summary of the 2012-13 hunting regulations, go to: http://www. agfc.com/enforcement/Pages/EnforcementRegulations.aspx
White bass? Yes, they are good for the table LITTLE ROCK – It’s the white bass time of the year, and Arkansas waters are loaded with them. When the fish make spawning runs up rivers and creeks feeding into lakes, they can be caught in abundance. White bass are fighters at the end of a line, especially light line. They will take a variety of live baits, minnows in particular, and an assortment of lures – small crank baits, spinners, jigs. But some people turn up their noses at eating white bass. “They taste fishy.” “Too strong.” “Not good to eat.” “Trash fish.” And other Arkansas anglers just smile and prepare white bass for the evening meal or to go into a freezer. According to fishermen at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, the common way to deal with white bass for cooking is to fillet them then use the tip
of a sharp knife to cut out the strip of red or dark flesh. It is not difficult, and this strip is also common in the white bass cousins – striped bass and hybrid bass. It is what gives the “strong” taste. With this strip of red gone, prepare the fillets as you would most any other freshwater fish. A second treatment method is more involved. Put the fillets, red streak and all, in a pan and cover it with buttermilk Let the pan sit in a refrigerator for a couple of hours then remove, discard the buttermilk and cover the fillets with a half and half mixture of white vinegar and water. Let this sit for an hour or so then pour off the liquid and rinse the fish then pat dry with paper towels. With either treatment, the white bass fillets will be ready for your choice of cooking routes.
WELDER WILDLIFE FOUNDATION Sinton, Texas
MASTER OF SCIENCE FELLOWSHIP / ASSISTANTSHIP GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP/ASSISTANTSHIP to begin the fall 2013 semester that would lead to a Master of Science from Texas A&M UniversityKingsville, Kingsville Texas. The student chosen for this program will be required to complete course work and a thesis at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, as well as an assistantship in the Conservation Education Program at the Welder Wildlife Foundation located on the Welder Wildlife Refuge near Sinton, Texas. The student’s thesis research will focus on investigating historical and current roles of women in the wildlife profession, and the challenges women have faced in their careers. Fellowship stipend is $14,000/yr plus $900 insurance stipend. The assistantship will be broken into 2 segments and completion of the graduate fellowship/ assistantship program will take approximately 3 years. The student will be on a Welder Wildlife Foundation Fellowship while at the university and on salary while at the Welder Foundation. Housing will be provided while working at the Welder Foundation. As an assistant in the Welder Foundation’s Conservation Education Program, the graduate student will help plan and conduct on-site and outreach education and training programs for
public school and university students, and will assist the Education Program Coordinator with programs for adults and teachers. The graduate student will also assist with workshops, field days, symposia, public tours, preparation of educational materials, and maintenance of museum displays and biological collections. Applicants must have a B.S. or B.A. degree in a biology-related field (e.g., Wildlife Biology, Ecosystem Science, Natural Resource Management, Zoology, etc.), and minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and combined GRE score of 1100 (300 on GRE new scale). A strong background in wildlife or range ecology, conservation, and management is important. Ideal candidates would have excellent written and interpersonal skills, a strong work ethic, and sincere interest in education and working with people. To apply, please send the following materials via email attachment to Dr. Selma Glasscock, firstname.lastname@example.org: (1) Cover letter explaining career goals, academic interests, and preferred sub-disciplines of study, highlighting relevant experience, (2) a resume, (3) names/addresses/email for three references, and (4) GPA and GRE scores (unofficial ok).
Deadline for applications is May 30, 2013. To apply or for further information please contact: Dr. Selma Glasscock Assistant Director Welder Wildlife Foundation P.O. Box 1400 Sinton, TX 78387 361-364-2643 email@example.com www.welderwildlife.org
Dr. April Ann Torres Conkey Assistant Professor Department of Animal, Rangeland, and Wildlife Sciences Texas A&M University-Kingsville MSC 228 Kingsville, Texas 78363-8202 (361) 593-3715 April.Conkey@tamuk.edu
Arkansas Out-of-Doors â€˘ March/April 2013- 21
Tumble finishing your Crater finds by Waymon Cox
Greetings from Crater of Diamonds State Park! While talking to a few visitors after a recent diamond mining demonstration, a man asked me what other rocks and minerals could be found at the park. He said that he wasnâ€™t here necessarily to find diamonds but to collect other rocks and minerals that could be polished or cut. While some people come here with their hearts set on finding a diamond, many visitors understand that other rocks and minerals found here can also have value, depending on what is done with them. Rock tumbling, or tumble finishing, is a process used to beautify many Crater rocks and minerals to enhance their personal or monetary value. The most common tool used in tumble finishing is the rotary rock tumbler, a machine which uses a rotating rubber or plastic barrel and abrasive grit to turn rough rocks and minerals into beautiful, polished specimens. The rock tumbler emulates natural forces, such as ocean waves or river rapids, which grind and shape rocks and minerals over a very long time. Two to three abrasive grits, as well as a polishing compound, are added to tumbler over several weeks to smooth and shine the stones much faster than nature can. Water is also used in the barrel as a lubricant, allowing the stones to move easier and helping prevent heat buildup during the process. Beginning with coarse grit, the stones are tumbled 24 hours a day and inspected on occasion to check their progress. Each week the stones and barrel are thoroughly cleaned (outdoors, to keep household pipes from clogging with used grit), and the stones are returned to the barrel with finer grit to continue removing rough surfaces. During the third or fourth week, an ultrafine pre-polish is typically used to make the stonesâ€™ surfaces as even as possible. Lastly the pre-polish grit is replaced by a polishing compound to give the stones a beautiful shine. This final step usually takes seven to ten days before the stones are completely polished. Continued on page 23
22 - Arkansas Out-of-Doors • March/April 2013
March/April UPCOMING EVENTS
"Wildlife of Arkansas” Student Art Contest Awards Ceremony and Exhibit
Friday, May 3, 2013, 6:30 PM Witt Stephens Jr, Central Arkansas Nature Center, Little Rock, AR
The annual Arkansas student art competition, co-sponsored by AWF and Creative Ideas, will present awards to this year’s winners at the AGFC Nature Center in the River Market area. The ceremony is open to the public. Two new things to note at this year’s event – the sale of 2014 calendars featuring this year’s winning art; a traveling exhibit. All of the museums are Free Admittance, so please visit one near you and enjoy the 52 winning pieces of art from students all across the state. Opening Awards Ceremony, May 3 @ 6:30 PM Exhibit May 3 - 29 Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center, Little Rock Exhibit June 2 - 28 Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center, Jonesboro Exhibit July 2 - 26 Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center, Fort Smith Exhibit July 30 - August 23 Governor Mike Huckabee Delta Rivers Nature Center, Pine Bluff
2013 Arkansas Audubon Society (AAS) spring convention Friday-Sunday, May 3 – 5, 2013 Hilton Garden Inn, Conway, AR
Hear the inspiring story of Wisdom—a 60-year-old albatross who survived the Japanese tsunami—The convention will feature birding field trips, ornithology student presentations, and keynote speaker Darcy Pattison, author of Wisdom, The Midway Albatross. Furthermore, participants will enjoy a silent auction, door prizes, and opportunities to network with other wildlife enthusiasts.
Friday registration lasts from 4 - 6 p.m. in the Cypress/Juniper Ballroom. Convention registration is $20 per person. To reserve a room at the Hilton Garden Inn, call 501-329-1444. The convention is open to non-members. Children under 16 are free. Meals are an additional charge. A downloadable brochure about the society, convention registration form, and complete meeting agenda are available at http://www.arbirds. org/. Questions? Contact Karen Holliday at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PUBLIC MEETING ON HOG FARM PERMIT SET FOR JASPER
schools, places of worship, and various ecosavvy groups. The event is full of family fun, food, entertainment, and kids’ activities all focused on earth friendly practices. This is a great green day out for the entire family. The best part about the event… admission is completely free! Whether you’re “green” and want to see the latest in environmentally sound practices and new ideas (and meet other people like you) or whether you just want to learn some new “green” tips and practices, this is the event for you. You will discover all kinds of intriguing exhibitors with eco friendly products to purchase and green practices to start implementing in your daily routine.
Wednesday, May 8, 2103, 6:00 PM Carroll Electric Cooperative Building 511 E. Court Street, Jasper, AR
Project Wet, WOW, and Wild Events! See the ADEQ calendar in this issue for a current list of upcoming events!
The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality will hold an informational meeting in Jasper to provide information on a permit issued for C & H Hog Farms to operate in Mount Judea. ADEQ staff will make a presentation on the permit and will be available to answer questions. The Department granted coverage in August 2012 to C & H Hog Farms under a General Permit for Concentrated Feeding Operations (CAFOs). C & H Hog Farm, which is under construction, is the first facility that sought coverage under the CAFO General Permit and to date is the only facility that has been approved under the General Permit. Information on the C & H facility can be viewed online at www.adeq.state.ar.us. Viewers should first select databases in the blue tab, then select “ADEQ Facility and Permit Summary (PDS).” To pull up the information, viewers can type “C & H” in the facility name and hit search.
Merritt Park Kid’s Fishing Derby Saturday, June 1, 2103 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM Merritt Park in Dardanelle Contact http://yellcountywildlife.org/
Sunday, May 19, 2013, Rain or Shine 11:00 PM– 3:00 PM New Farmer’s Market area in Historic Downtown Hot Springs AR e-day Festival is an environmental event hosting almost one hundred environmentally conscious businesses, non profits,
Spring Lake Kid’s Fishing Tournament Saturday, June 8, 2013 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Spring Lake in Yell County This year marks the 25th anniversary of this event! Contact http://yellcountywildlife.org/
Wounded Warrior Project Lake Dardanelle Bass Fishing Tournament
Friday – Saturday, June 7-8, 2013 Rain or Shine Friday events begin @ 6:00 PM Saturday Events begin @ 7:00 AM Lake Dardanelle State Park
AWF, AGFC, YCWF, Russellville Tourism & Visitor’s Center, and Lake Dardanelle State Park are honoring the Wounded Warriors with the 1st Fishing Tournament of its kind in Arkansas. The event is more of a derby than a tournament, with all fish species (not just bass) qualifying for weigh-in. Friday night will see the Wounded Warriors matched up with boat captains at a hamburger and hot
dog cookout. Saturday morning begins with a Color Guard ceremony. Weigh-in will commence at 1:00 PM. A catfish dinner will begin at 2:00 PM. Boats and Boat Captains are still needed, including pontoon boats or party barges that wheelchairs can easily access. If you are military personnel that served from 9/11 to the present and have been wounded, you must contact the Wounded Warrior office (listed below) to register. Sponsors are welcome, but no one will be allowed to sell items/services at the event. It is strictly a “fun day” to honor our military. Contacts: Sponsors/Donations – Wayne Shewmake @ email@example.com or (479) 229-2298 or Andy Thomas @ andy. firstname.lastname@example.org or (479) 890-7474 Boat Captains – Ron Knost @ email@example.com or (479) 857-3474 or Andy Thomas @ firstname.lastname@example.org or (479) 890-7474 Wounded Warrior Application Contact – John Boerstler @ email@example.com or (904) 383-0920
Arkansas Audubon Society Halberg Ecology Camp
Sunday-Friday, June 9-14, 2103 (Session 1) Sunday-Friday, June 16-21, 2103 (Session 2) See Flyer in this issue for more details For more information visit: http://www. arbirds.org/halberg_ecology_camp.html
AWF Conservation Achievement Awards Nominations Deadline
Sunday, June 15, 2013
Midnight (CST) is the deadline for electronic submissions or postmarks for snail mail submissions for nominations for the annual Conservation Achievement Awards. Please send all nomination forms and supporting material to firstname.lastname@example.org or AWF, P.O. Box 56380, Little Rock, AR 72215. For questions contact AWF at the email address above or call 501-888-4770
AWF Annual Conservation Achievement Awards Banquet
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Arkansas Out-of-Doors • March/April 2013- 23 Continued from page 21 Popular “polish-able” rocks and minerals found at the Crater include jasper, agate, quartz, and conglomerate. Most of these can easily be found in the park’s diamond search area and come in an assortment of shapes and sizes that are perfect for tumbling. Rock tumblers are fairly inexpensive to own, meaning that almost anyone can enjoy this fun hobby! Right now I am tumbling a batch of stones to give to kids and use in programs during the summer. As I clean and check the stones each week, I am always eager to see how they are progressing. The entire process of tumble finishing can last a month or more from start to finish, but the beautiful results are well worth the wait! Search area last plowed: March 6, 2013 Doors open at 5:30 pm—Dinner at 6:00 pm The Center of Bryant in Bishop Park 6401 Boone Road Bryant, Arkansas Come help celebrate this year’s conservation winners. Menu TBA but will most likely include roasted Cornish hen, fried quail, other game meats, vegetables and all the fixin’s. Participate in the silent auction, be in the running for door prizes, and bid in the liveauction. This year’s live auction will once again include a Youth elk hunt permit courtesyof AGFC! Tickets now available through the AWF office or through AWF board members - $40 Couple or $25 Single. Contact (501) 888-4770 or email@example.com for more information or to order your tickets in advance.
5th Annual Conway EcoFest
Saturday, September 14, 2013 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM Rain or
Shine Laurel Park, Conway, AR Food, Fun, Music, Magic and an Exploration of Our Environment! Come spend
Most recent significant March 23, 2013
Arkansas Wildlife Federation P.O. Box 56380, Little Rock, AR 72215
Telephone: (501) 888-4770
Diamond finds for the week of March 17, 2013 (100 points = one carat):
“Your voice for hunting, fishing and conservation since 1936”
March 17 – Adam Hardin, Barberton, OH, 27 pt. yellow
Arkansas Out-Of-Doors Advertising Agreement
March 19 – James Ummel, Houston, AR, 9 pt. white March 20 – Ron Cudmore, Berryville, AR, 3 pt. brown; Jim Graham, Prescott, AR, 5 pt. yellow, 12 pt. yellow; Mikhail Hentz, Lamoni, IA, 3 pt. white March 21 – Peeka Traver, Mountain Home, AR, 3 pt. white a day to celebrate our connections to our environment. If you would like to be part of helping to develop any part of this exciting event, please contact us at http:// www.conwayecofest.com/ or call Debbie at 472-0901.
Bearcat Hollow Volunteer Day
Friday-Saturday, September 2728, 2013 Bearcat Hollow/Ozark Mountains Near Lurton, AR Once again, the last Saturday in September is National Public Lands Day. Why not spend your weekend enjoying the beauty of the Ozarks while helping AWF and our cooperative partners (i.e. NWTF, NFF, RMEF, AGFC, USFS, ATU Fisheries & Wildlife Society, University of the Ozarks and others) in our effort to help nature? Feel free to camp out, or you can show up early on Saturday morning. To volunteer and for more details contact Wayne Shewmake @ (479) 229-2298 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or the AWF office @ (501) 888-4770 or email@example.com
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
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
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. Mailing date near the end of May. July-August issue, reserve space by July 1. Camera-ready art due by July 5. Mailing date near the end of July. September-October issue, reserve space by Sept. 1, Camera-ready are due by Sept. 5. Mailing date near the end of September. November-December issue, reserve space by Nov. 1. Camera-ready art due by November 5. Mailing date near the end of November. Advertising layout and space: Advertising may send a slick or a black and white copy of a previous ad, a negative for black and white ads, a color key and four-color separations for color ads, or ads may be sent on a disk on CD (PDF, JPEG or EPS) to the Arkansas Wildlife Federation. We utilize 90-line screen, right reading, emulsion down. The AWF can assist in making the ad for the client. Depending on amount of time to layout ad, there may be additional fees for this.
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
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�����������������������������������
24 - Arkansas Out-of-Doors • March/April 2013 Continued from page 15 According to MonarchWatch.org, development in the United States is consuming 6000 acres a day resulting in a loss of 2.2 million acres of natural habitat per year. The overuse of herbicides along roadsides and elsewhere is killing diverse plants that support monarchs and other pollinators in the name of beautifying our roadsides. The adoption of genetically modified corn and soybeans have further reduced monarch habitat. The push for biofuels has resulted in more corn fields and therefore even less milkweed. The unusual weather including the draughts of the past two years have further diminished the quantity of milkweed available to support the migration as well as nectar plants. The Mexican government has been working to stop illegal logging which threatens the oyamel forests of Mexico where the monarchs hibernate during the winter. They have made progress in recent years. In Mexico, the issue centers on poverty and the need to log for a living or to conduct eco-tourism in the Monarch sanctuaries. In the United States, it is a matter of education and a lack of knowledge
about the environment. What Richard Louv, in his book Last Child in the Woods, terms Nature Deficit Disorder. We unknowingly institute policies and practices that are destroying the habitat of the monarch – as well as other beneficial insects and pollinators. Butterflies are enchanting. They add value to our world because of their beauty. But butterflies, moths, bats and bees are significant pollinators needed for production of our food. More than 90 percent of all plants need a pollinator to distribute pollen in order to set fruit and seeds. Many of these pollinators are threatened by our current environmental practices. You might ask -- what can I do? According to Chip Taylor, from Monarch Watch at the University of Kansas, we need a comprehensive plan to manage the marginal areas or edges of fields, developments and roadsides that support monarchs, other pollinators and many forms of wildlife. In Northwest Arkansas, the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks is leading the Bring Back the Monarchs Campaign by planting demonstration gardens to educate the public and by growing native
ADEQ Event calendar
host and nectar plants to plant along the Razorback Greenway, roadsides and other areas that can support these native plants. I challenge other regions of Arkansas to join the campaign. I wonder why, in Arkansas, we can’t seed milkweed along roadsides, especially those newly constructed. Or plan the mowing cycle so as not to harm the butterfly weed. Or leave many areas natural and educate our citizens to take pride in the varied grasses and plants along the roadside rather than nicely mowed ditches. These ideas seem so simple yet so effective. If we can get patches of native host and nectar plants started and stop the indiscriminate use of herbicides; and if we can teach our citizens to enjoy the natural state of roadsides, we could bring back the monarchs if we act quickly. Individuals, schools and businesses can plant milkweed. Certify your garden as a Monarch Way Station and post signage for educational purposes. Just maybe, in two to three years, I could have more than 100+ hungry caterpillars crawling across my deck once again. Will you help me to bring back the monarchs?
For more information, please visit: Monarch decline – http://www.nytimes. com/2013/03/14/science/earth/monarch-migrationplunges-to-lowest-level-in-decades.html?_r=0 Butterfly milkweed - http://www.monarchwatch.org/milkweed/guide/tubero.htm Milkweed varieties - http://www.monarchwatch.org/milkweed/guide/index.htm Monarch population - http://monarchwatch.org/blog/ Bring Back the Monarchs - http://monarchwatch.org/bring-back-the-monarchs/ Check out episode SciFri: Monitoring the Monarchs of podcast Science Friday Audio Podcast. Click to play: http://www.podtrac.com/ pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/sciencefriday/scifri201304126p.mp3 [Editor’s Note: Rita L. Littrell, Ph.D. is a Director at the Bessie B. Moore Center for Economic Education, an Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, and a board member and education co-chair of the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks]
TYPE OF WORKSHOP
Project WET and WOW, the Wonders of Wetlands
Cossatot State Park 1980 Highway 278 West Wickes 71973
June 5, 2013
9 AM – 3:30 PM
Register through Shelley Flanary: firstname.lastname@example.org (870) 385-2201
Project WET Arkansas hisTOURy Workshop
Meet each day at FLWCRNC in Jonesboro, AR
June 11 --13
8:30 AM until approximately 4:00 PM June 11 and 12 – end approximately 2:30 on June 13
Pharmaceuticals, Water Quality and Project WET
Paragould Light, Water and Cable Paragould, AR
June 18, 2013
8:30 AM – 4 PM (extra time allotted for lunch and tour)
Registration form required with $50 fee by check only. Contact Barbara Miller email@example.com (501) 683.5407
Pharmaceuticals, Water Quality and Project WET
Mid America Science Museum Hot Springs, AR
June 27, 2013
8:30 AM – 4 PM (extra time allotted for lunch and tour)
Register through: Barbara Miller firstname.lastname@example.org (501) 683-5407
Language Arts and Project WET
Blytheville Primary School Blytheville, AR
July 10, 2013
9 AM –3:30 PM
Register through: Barbara Miller (501) 683-5407 email@example.com
Project WET and WOW, the Wonders of Wetlands
Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area 20201 East Highway 12 Rogers, AR 72756
July 17, 2013
9 AM – 3:30 PM
Arkansas Dept. of Environmental Quality 5301 Northshore Drive, North Little Rock – Commission Room
July 23, 2013
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM Time allotted for lunch break – on your own
Register through: Barbara Miller (501) 683-5407 firstname.lastname@example.org
Project WET and WOW, the Wonders of Wetlands
Delta Rivers Nature Center 1400 Black Dog Road Pine Bluff, AR
July 25, 2013
9:00 AM -- 3:30 PM
Register through: Barbara Miller (501) 683-5407 email@example.com
Pharmaceuticals, Water Quality and Project WET
Little Maumelle Wastewater Treatment Facility 24924 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock
8:30 AM – 4:00 PM –extra time allotted for lunch and tour
Register through: Barbara Miller (501) 683-5407 firstname.lastname@example.org
Healthy Water, Healthy People – Special focus Project WET workshop on stormwater
Register through Lisa Ellington: email@example.com (870) 239-7795
Register through: Barbara Miller (501) 683-5407 firstname.lastname@example.org
Arkansas Out-of-Doors • March/April 2013- 25 Continued from page 18 It is not uncommon for an adult female to lay up to 8 eggs but this is not the norm. The female will lay one egg each successive morning till her clutch is complete. Her eggs will be solid white. The female will not start incubating her eggs till the last or next to last egg is laid. By waiting to start incubation till her clutch is complete all the eggs will hatch within a one or two day period. This way all the babies will be the same size when competing for food from the parents. Incubation last 15 days before the eggs start to hatch. Once hatching takes place, both parents will spend the day feeding their young. As the hatchlings get older, especially when a nest contains 4 to 6 babies, the feeding process is non-stop from sunup to sundown. Martin hatchlings will start fledging from the nest anywhere from 26 to 32 days of age. They leave the nest flying and the parents will then spend the next week or two teaching them how to feed, drink and bathe all on the fly. Once all the nestlings have fledged, the parents will continue to bring their young back to the nest each night anywhere from one or two days up to two weeks. It all depends how safe the parents feel the nest is from predators. It is important for the landlord to be able to conduct regular nest checks every 5-7 days while he has martins at his site. Obviously, to conduct nest checks, you must have a martin pole that allows you to lower and raise your martin house. By conducting regular nest checks, the landlord will be able to watch for any problems. Nest checks tell you when eggs are laid, thus allowing you to determine when eggs will hatch and when fledging should occur. You will also be able to see if any species other than martins are using your martin house to nest. This will primarily be starlings and sparrows. As mentioned in the first article, you cannot allow starlings and sparrows to nest in your martin house. Starlings will kill your martins and sparrows will peck holes in martin eggs and kill martin babies. Regular nest checks can also reveal if you have a problem with mites. If you notice mites in your martin nest, you can control them with an application of 5% Seven powder. A lot of martin landlords will apply Seven powder to their nests before the martins arrive. Another application is applied after all eggs have been laid and a final application when the nestlings are about 10 days old. To apply Seven powder to the nest, just lift the nest up and place about
a half teaspoon of powder under the nest. This will help prevent mites from taking over a nest. Conducting regular nest checks does not bother the martins. The more time you spend around your martins, the more they will become accustom to you. Nest checks should be conducted between mid-morning and mid-afternoon. If you have a martin pole that can be lowered and raised, be mindful of all impending storms. Many martins have been lost due to poles bending and crashing to the ground during storms containing high winds. If you have a storm forecasted for you area, lower your martin housing down to around 6’ or 8’. This will not bother your martins to have their housing lowered. When you do lower your martin house make sure the orientation remains the same. If the house gets turned more than a few degrees the martins become confused as to which nest cavity is theirs. Never lower your martin house after your martins have come in for the night and are in the nest. This could cause your martins to flush from the house and not return thinking a predator was trying to get them. If a female was incubating her eggs, she might not return causing her eggs to fail. Once your martins stop bringing their young back to the nest, they will roost in trees. Purple Martins use martin houses only for breeding. Starting around mid-July, Purple Martins will start gathering in large roosts prior to making the long migration to South America. If the martins are not threatened, they will use the same roost each year. In Arkansas, the largest martin roost is located on “Bird Island” at Lake Ouachita outside of Hot Springs. The roost will start forming in July and remain active to around mid-August. Martins arrive each evening at the roost about an hour before sundown and spend the night in the trees on the small island. Each morning, after sunup, they will return to their nesting site where they will feed throughout the day before heading back to the roost. The Lake Ouachita Visitors Center offers boat tours each year to go out and watch the martins return to the roost. They offer several boat tours each week while the roost is active. (Bird Island can also be viewed from Lake Ouachita Vista Trail [LOViT].) Optimal time to take a boat tour out to Bird Island is from the last week in July through the first week in August. During this time period, it is not uncommon to see as many as 30,000 martins returning to the roost each night. Anyone interested in
taking a boat tour to see the roost should contact the Lake Ouachita Visitors Center for pricing and schedule. Reservations are encouraged as the tours fill up quickly. Many martin landlords would like to have their martins banded. A federal permit issued by the U.S. Geological Survey’s Bird Banding Laboratory is required to band birds. Unfortunately, there are only a handful of licensed banders nationwide who are able or willing to band martins. Martin nestlings are banded when they are between the ages of 12 to 22 days old. If there are any martin landlords in the Hot Springs area who have a large martin colony, performs regular nest checks and would like to check on the feasibility of having their martins banded, contact Mr. Mangan at email@example.com. RESOURCES Anyone wanting to attract Purple Martins to their site and learn how to care for them should check the Purple Martin Conservation Association website at www.purplemartin.org. This organization is dedicated to Purple Martin landlords and has thousands of members. It offers a forum for beginners to ask questions, research engines and the PMCA store where you can purchase martin houses, gourds, poles and miscellaneous equipment needed to help the beginner get started. Another excellent source to obtain a variety of quality martin housing and related miscellaneous equipment is Creative Universe Enterprises at purplemartinproducts.com. Locally, quality purple martin houses and poles can be purchased from the Wild Bird Center located in the Cornerstone Shopping Center in Hot Springs.
[About The Author: Tim Mangan is an active member of the Purple Martin Conservation Association and the Association of Field Ornithologists. He has authored several articles published by the Purple Martin Conservation Association’s national magazine and he holds a Master Bander Permit from the federal government to band Purple Martins. While living on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs he started and maintained a Purple Martin colony ranging from 45 to 50 pairs. He currently bands between 800 and 900 martin nestlings annually in Arkansas and Louisiana. Mr. Mangan asks if anyone sees a banded Purple Martin to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org]
26 - Arkansas Out-of-Doors • March/April 2013
Big Tine Fortified Deer Blend Provides Nutrition for Bigger Herds, Bigger Bucks and Bigger Racks (submitted press release) Big Tine Fortified Deer Blend is a year-round deer food supplement that provides the nutrition necessary for bigger herds, bigger bucks, and bigger racks. Powerfully attractive, Big Tine has a tantalizing cherry aroma and flavor that deer come back for day after day. Big Tine is an enticing mix of wholesome grains, and is the only premium deer blend fortified with the Whitetail Institute’s Imperial 30-06™ Mineral and Vitamin Supplement. With 11 vitamins and minerals Big Tine enhances growth, and helps antlers reach their maximum potential. It also provides anti-oxidants and essential fatty acids to improve health and longevity. Big Tine is specifically formulated for year-round feeding, and to meet the seasonal nutrition needs of deer. It is the only deer feed that contains attractants, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals. Big Tine is premixed, with no other additives necessary, and can be placed on the ground or used with any type of feeder. Big Tine is available in 10 lb. and 40 lb. bags, as well as 25 lb. blocks. Once deer try it, they’ll be back for more. For more information call (765) 569-4636, or go to www.facebook.com/bigtine to see feedback from Big Tine customers. Big Tine 10 lb. EZ-Carry Field Pouch - $8.99 MSR Big Tine 40 lb. Damage Resistant Polywoven Bag - $19.99 MSRP Big Tine 25 lb. Block - $14.99 MSRP About Scott Pet Big Tine Fortified Deer Blend is produced by Scott Pet, Inc. Since 1975, Scott Pet, Inc. has been manufacturing and distributing a diverse range of quality products including pork skin dog chews, a healthier alternative to rawhide. Other lines include Natural Treats, dog accessories, premium deer blend, and Wild Bird Seed. Scott Pet, Inc., headquartered in Rockville,
Indiana, was established in 1975 by T.E. Scott, an avid canine enthusiast. As a lifelong hunter and dog trainer, Scott spent years studying the habits of dogs and their handlers in order to engineer and develop products to suit their needs and enhance the hunting and training experience. Scott Pet product lines have expanded to include basics and accessories for everyday dog needs, healthy chews, and natural treats. We are now one of the largest producers of natural treats in the world. Beginning as a three-person garage operation, Scott pet has grown to an employee base of 140. We now manufacture and distribute over 4,000 items, and are the most diverse manufacturer in the industry. Much of our product line is made in the U.S. Our nylon and leather products are handcrafted at our facility in Rockville, Indiana. Many of the skilled craftsmen who make these products have worked here 20 years or more. Recent major developments include the 2013 relocation of our treat processing operations from Tishomingo, Oklahoma to a new and larger facility in Newport, Indiana. The move is a boon to the local economy, and will create up to 80 new jobs by 2014. Scott Pet has been a pioneer in the pet products industry. From the curved buckle which we introduced over 30 years ago, to the adjustable collar, to the suitcase style fold-up crate (which are now industry standards), to our more recent stand up wild bird seed packaging, we are always looking to “build that better mousetrap”
Lake Conway’s fish deemed safe for consumption MAYFLOWER – The bream are biting at Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir. So are the crappie. And so are the bass and the catfish. These fish are safe to eat, according to the Mayflower Incident Unified Command, a coalition of public and private organizations leading the work on the oil spill at Mayflower. “Fish in the main body of Lake Conway have not been affected. There is a series of seven containment booms deployed in the cove to protect the main body of Lake Conway. Tests on water samples show the main body of Lake Conway is oil-free,” the Mayflower Incident United Command said. The rupture of a pipeline carrying heavy crude oil on March 29 created a threat for the lake, but quick action by local crews with heavy moving equipment resulted in an earthen levee that stopped the oil from reaching the main body of the lake. This levee was thrown up just a short distance from a cove of the lake east of Interstate 40 and south of Arkansas Highway 89. Massive cleanup efforts are ongoing in the affected Northwoods subdivision in northern Mayflower and on the ditches and the small creek leading to the lake. Fishermen are working the lake
as they do every spring since the nation’s largest state-built lake was completed on July 4, 1951, by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Bream fishing, especially for bluegill, was the early main attraction on Lake Conway. Largemouth bass and catfish came on strong then crappie developed into a strong angling feature a bit later. The lake has produced largemouths in excess of 13 pounds, crappie over 3 pounds and flathead catfish upwards of 50 pounds. Changes over the past 60-plus years have affected the lake and altered some of the patterns fishermen follow. The dense cypress stands of what was the Palarm Creek Bottoms have mostly disappeared. Siltation has reduced the water’s depth in places. A lake management plan, drafted with the input of a citizen’s advisory committee, is in operation to maintain steady water levels, to reduce excessive growth of vegetation and to remove or renovate abandoned or deteriorating pier, boat houses and other structures on the lake’s shoreline. Lake Conway has a number of public accesses and two public fishing piers. A nursery pond on its eastern side is used to augment natural reproduction of fish in the lake.
Arkansas Out-of-Doors • March/April 2013- 27
Trumpeter Swan Killed by Cpl. Clayton Rogers Arkansas Game and Fish Commission I was working duck hunters on Ed Gordon Point Remove Wildlife Management Area in Conway County one morning in early December. Cpl. Robbie Stout, a Perry County wildlife officer, called me about 9 a.m. and sa`id hunters leaving Remmel Marsh reported that someone had killed a swan and attempted to kill another one. Stout said sent Pope County Wildlife Officer Jamie Jackson to the area to look for the suspects and wanted to know if I could help. I told him I could be in the area shortly, and started toward the marsh. As I was driving, the radio dispatcher from Little Rock called with information from other informants – the suspects might be driving a four-door Chevrolet pickup. After I met Stout, I drove to Blackwell and then to the Oak Tree Access to look for the suspect’s vehicles. While I was driving, I tried to call the hunter who reported the vehicle description, but didn’t get an answer. I found the suspects’ vehicles at Oak Tree Access and called in the license plate numbers. A few minutes later, Jackson called and said he found the suspects – with a dead swan. I returned to the main access area at the marsh, and met up with Jackson and Stout; we compared notes. The suspects told us one of them shot at the swan, knocked it down and it had fallen into a hole where other hunters were set up. The second group of hunters said they shot and killed the bird after it landed near their decoys. The suspects said they thought the bird was a snow goose. We wanted to be sure we had correctly identified the bird. We checked our sources, which Stout used to positively identify the bird as a trumpeter swan. We checked federal regulations to see if anything dealt with shooting swans. I called Karen Rowe, the AGFC’s nongame migratory bird program coordinator. She said the bird had been on the Endangered List, but had been removed from all lists since its population had bounced back. After reviewing the regulations and possible charges, all three suspects were cited for hunting out of season. Each was assessed a bond of $620 and 12 hunting/fishing violation points. All of the suspects pleaded guilty to the charges in Conway County District Court. As for the bird, it was photographed, weighed (23 pounds) and stored for the court date. We will request it be confiscated by District Court Judge Bart Virden, and forfeited to the state to be used for educational purposes. The hunter who alerted officers about the dead swan received a $375 reward. Report violations by calling the AGFC’s Stop Poaching Hotline, 800-482-9262. This article appeared in the March/April 2013 issue of Arkansas Wildlife magazine. To subscribe, call 800-283-2664 or visit www.agfc.com.
28 - Arkansas Out-of-Doors • March/April 2013
AWF ANNUAL CONSERVATION ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS NOMINATIONS For more than 50 years the Arkansas Wildlife Federation has honored Arkansas’ greatest conservationists and most passionate wildlife advocates at its annual Conservation Achievement Awards program. These Conservation Awards are presented to individuals and organizations who have made outstanding contributions to protecting wildlife through education, advocacy, communication and on-the-ground conservation. The categories listed below are open for nomination by the general public. Please note that AWF, along with AGFC, presents some awards at the annual banquet that are not open to public nominations. Not all categories may be awarded each year.
HAROLD ALEXANDER CONSERVATION of the YEAR AWARD The highest conservation achievement award presented by the Arkansas Wildlife Federation is given in memory of Harold Alexander - one of the foremost authorities and experts in Arkansas on conservation activities. Requirements for nominees to be considered: • A conservationist, professional or volunteer, whose contribution to an environmental field has been sustained over a period of several years • A person whose contribution to conservation is of such significance as to be known statewide, or nationally • A conservationist whose contributions are not necessarily related to a single issue or effort, but who has, over a period of time become known as a person whose activities and influence bring about positive changes in matters affecting the environment • A conservationist who, by this recognition, would serve to create a broader interest in conservation and by example, encourage others to outstanding accomplishments on behalf of our state’s natural resources REX HANCOCK WILDLIFE CONSERVATIONIST of the YEAR AWARD Rex Hancock was one of Arkansas’s premier wildlife conservationists who worked tirelessly on behalf of wildlife and wildlife habitats in the White River and Grand Prairie region of Eastern Arkansas. The Arkansas Wildlife Federation has named this special award in memory of Dr. Rex Hancock for his outstanding contributions to wildlife conservation in Arkansas. This award is for outstanding contributions to the management, enhancement and restoration of wildlife resources in Arkansas. Dr. JOHN L. GRAY FORESTRY CONSERVATIONIST of the YEAR AWARD In June 2007, Arkansas lost a giant in the forestry field with the death of Dr. John L. Gray. Dr. Gray served on the Arkansas Wildlife Federation Board of Directors for many years and chaired the Forestry Committee. At the July 2007 AWF Board meeting, the Forestry of the Year Award was renamed in memory of Dr. Gray. This award is for demonstrating outstanding leadership in the management of our state’s forest resources. Fish and wildlife management and best management practices must be a major component.
CAROL GRIFFEE CONSERVATION COMMUNICATOR of the YEAR AWARD Any environmental conservation organization understands the importance of publicity and media support to educate the general public about important issues regarding the environment. This award was renamed in 2011 in honor of Carol Griffee for all of her remarkable work as a journalist and conservationist. The Arkansas Wildlife Federation selects annually an individual or organization that has provided outstanding media news articles or programs that keep the general public informed of environmental issues and needs that impact The Natural State. This may include radio, TV, social media/internet, or print – including cartoonists. CORPORATE CONSERVATIONIST of the YEAR AWARD This is awarded for significant efforts by an Arkansas business or corporation toward environmental restoration/habitat stewardship, including providing lands for wildlife conservation and public recreation; conservation education/awareness; wildlife and fisheries management or other natural resource programs; or pollution abatement. Efforts must be voluntary, involve employees and go above and beyond compliance with mandatory programs. For significant achievement by a business in (This category is to honor a company, not an individual person.) CONSERVATIONIST ORGANIZATION of the YEAR AWARD This award is for outstanding conservation achievement by a state or local organization, including but not limited to civic organizations, environmental groups, sportsmen’s clubs, garden clubs, etc., in addressing significant natural resource management and environmental quality challenges. Arkansas Wildlife Federation affiliates and nonaffiliates are both eligible. CONSERVATION EDUCATOR of the YEAR AWARD This award is for outstanding performance in conservation education by a professional or volunteer. Those eligible in this category include individual teachers of the natural sciences; schools with a class or focus dedicated to science, nature or conservation; instructors on fish and wildlife management or environmental design and management; facilities/museums with a focus on various aspects of environmental education. Emphasis should be on teaching and working with students or the public rather than on research or administration. Instructors of boating or hunter safety are not eligible for this award as they are recognized by the AGFC at this event.
WATER CONSERVATIONIST of the YEAR AWARD This award is for outstanding contributions to the management, enhancement and restoration of fisheries resources; or for outstanding efforts toward improvement of water quality or conservation in Arkansas.
STUDENT CONSERVATIONIST of the YEAR AWARD This award is for a young Arkansan who has demonstrated a personal commitment to conserving the state’s resources and protecting the environment and by demonstrating leadership and accomplishment in conservation. The nominee must have been enrolled in a school (including university or college, or home-school), as recognized by the state of Arkansas within the nomination time period. Youth groups qualify.
AWF Awards Program Rules and Procedures 1) Winners may not be named in every category. Recognition will be based primarily on accomplishments from July 2012 – June 2013. Prior records may be considered, but this will be left up to the judges. Immediate past winners are not eligible to succeed themselves in the same category of accomplishment for which they were recognized the previous year. 2) Nominations may be hand-delivered, sent by USPS mail or other delivery service, or via e-mail to the Ar-
and worthy of recognition. The essay is required and should not exceed 3 single-spaced typed pages. Information such as past recognition, organization memberships, etc. may be appended to the essay. Documentation of accomplishments such as newspaper clippings, letters of support, photos, etc. should be included as a supplement to the essay. If a nomination is submitted for more than one category, a separate nomination form and complete essay must be submitted for each category entered. Non-electronically submitted essays and supporting documentation can be delivered as a
kansas Wildlife Federation at the address on the nomination form or to email@example.com. They must be postmarked on or before midnight June 15, 2013 or received electronically by 11:59 PM CST on June 15, 2013. Any nominations not meeting the deadline will not be considered. 3) Attach the Nomination Form to the nominee's essay of achievements. The essay should be a narrative description of the nominee's accomplishments, including an explanation of their significance or impact and why the nominee's accomplishments are important
paper hard copy or in a digital format (i.e. flash drive or CD-Rom). Please provide a contact name, number and/or e-mail for nominee so that we may notify them if they are selected. 4) Nominations that do not meet all standards and criteria will be held until sender can be notified to obtain the information required. Please be certain to include your contact information if we have further questions. Program judges may declare any nomination ineligible if proper documentation and supportive materials are not included. The decision of the judging committees will be final.
Arkansas Out-of-Doors • March/April 2013- 29
AWF ANNUAL CONSERVATION ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS NOMINATION FORM: NAME OF NOMINEE:���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� AWARD:���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� NOMINEE'S ADDRESS:�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������
All nominations must be mailed to AWF by June 15, 2013 to be considered. AWF, P.O. Box 56380, Little Rock, AR. 72215, 501-888-4770
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: Arkansas Wildlife Federation, P.O. Box 56380, Little Rock, AR 72215; or call 501-888-4770
30 - Arkansas Out-of-Doors • March/April 2013
March/April 2013 POSTMASTER: Send form 3579 to: P.O. Box 56380, Little Rock, AR 72215
Arkansas Wildlife Federation Officers and Board of Directors October, 2012 to September, 2013
OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE ARKANSAS WILDLIFE FEDERATION Arkansas Out-of-Doors is published 6 times per year by Arkansas Wildlife Federation, P.O. Box 56380, Little Rock, AR 72215. Third Class postage paid at Russellville, AR and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address change to Arkansas Outof-Doors, P.O. Box 56830, Little Rock, AR 72215, or call 501-888-4770. 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 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 Bobby Hacker, Little Rock Mike Armstrong, Little Rock Chrystola Tullos, Rison Regional Directors District 1: --vacant- District 2: Patti Dell-Duchene, Augusta District 2 Alternate: Linda Cooper, Augusta District 3: --vacant- 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 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 Jared Schluterman, President - Russellville, AR Arkansas Chapter of American Fisheries Arkansas Trappers Association Gary Helms, President - Texarkana, AR Cane Creek Hometowner’s Association Jessica Thompson, Sec./Treasurer – Scranton, AR
Creative Ideas President: Sharon Hacker - Little Rock, AR Friends of Pontoon Park Friends of Bigelow 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 University of the Ozarks - Clarksville Jamie L. Hedges, Director of Outdoor & Evironmental Experiences Westark Wildlife G. David Matlock, Fort Smith White River Conservancy Gayne Preller Schmidt, Augusta Yell County Wildlife Federation James Manatt, President – Dardanelle Wounded Warriors 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, Gordon Bagby, Dr. Robert Morgan, Johnny, Sain, Jr., Ethan Nahté, Al Wolff, Tim Mangan, AGFC, Barbara Miller, NWF, Miles Grant, Rita L. Littrell, Ph.D., Idun Guenther Contributing Photographers – Dr. Robert Morgan, Lauren Ray, Eilish Palmer, Mike Wintroath, Ethan Nahté, Shane Easterling, Tim Mangan, Wayne Shewmake, Andrew Lee Stevens Arkansas Wildlife Federation Address: P.O. Box 56380 Little Rock, Arkansas 72215 Office: 501-888-4770 // Cell: 501-414-2845
Arkansas Out-of-Doors • March/April 2013 - 31
Wildlife and Wetlands Three Years into the Gulf Oil Disaster
well were found in plankton even after the well was capped. Killifish residing in coastal marshes showed evidence of physiological impairment even at low levels of oil exposure, and corals hundreds of years old on the Gulf floor were killed by oil from the Gulf oil disaster. A recent study found that very low levels of exposure reduced hatch rates and survival in fish such as mahi mahi, and resulted in impaired cardiac de04-02-2013 // Douglas B. Inkley velopment and swimming performance in (reprinted by permission of NWF) the fish that did survive. Three years after the Deepwater Horizon Furthermore, recent laboratory studies drilling rig exploded and dumped more than have found that the mixture of oil and the 200 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf dispersant Corexit can prevent coral larvae of Mexico, wildlife and wetlands are still re- from building new parts of a reef and was as much as 52 times more toxic than oil alone covering. How are they faring? This report gives a snapshot view of six on rotifers, a microscopic grazing animal at wildlife species that depend on a healthy the base of the Gulf’s food web. Gulf and the coastal wetlands that are critiThree Years Later, Much is cal to the Gulf’s food web. It describes different sources of restora- Still Unknown tion funding and provides initial suggestions Other oil spill disasters have taken years as to how this funding can be used to im- to reveal their full effects, and often reprove the outlook for the species discussed covery is still not complete decades later. Nearly a quarter-century after the Exxon in the report. Valdez spill in Prince William Sound, Spotlight Species: Bottlenose Dolphin In August 2011, scientists did a comprehensive health examination of a 16-year-old male bottlenose dolphin. This dolphin—dubbed Y12 for research purposes—was caught near Grand Isle, a Louisiana barrier island that was oiled during the Gulf oil disaster. Like many of the 31 other dolphins examined in the study, Y12 was found to be severely ill—underweight, anemic and with signs of liver and lung disease. The dolphins’ symptoms were consistent with those seen in other mammals exposed to oil; researchers feared many of the dolphins studied were so ill they would not survive. Seven months later, Y12’s emaciated carcass washed up on the beach at Grand Isle. More than 650 dolphins have been found stranded in the oil spill area since the Gulf oil disaster began. This is more than four times the historical average. Ecosystem Wide Effects? The poor health of dolphins—an animal at the top of the Gulf’s food chain—suggests ecosystem-wide effects of the oil. The same may be true of sea turtles, which also continue to die in alarmingly high numbers. Components of oil from the Macondo
clams, mussels, sea otters and killer whales are still considered “recovering,” and the Pacific herring population, commercially harvested before the spill, is showing few signs of recovery.
Note: The rating system in this report looks at the overall picture of the status in the Gulf of Mexico, including the impact of the oil spill, the historical status, and what the future seems to hold based on current trends.
Published on May 1, 2013
This issue focuses heavily on the Mayflower oil spill from the break in the ExxonMobil Pegasus Pipeline. Other features include more informa...