Hoosier Conservation Newsletter Volume 1 No. 1
December 19, 2012
Conservation Day Conservation Day at the statehouse is on January 23rd! This is a great opportunity for wildlife enthusiasts and conservationists to speak with their legislators about the importance of protecting our natural resources and preserving our environment. The more people that attend Conservation Day, the bigger the impact, so it is important for everyone to try make it down to the statehouse. Remember, you must make your voice heard to make a difference! Learn more about Conservation Day and register for the event online. Don’t forget to stop by the statehouse on January 23rd and speak to your legislator. Photo credit to TNC.
Updating our Online Presence We are now working on updating our website and look forward to unveiling the redesigned site in early 2013. Our redesigned website will be easier to navigate with larger pictures and buttons and a more intuitive dropdown menu. In addition, we are editing and adding to the content so that indianawildlife.org can be your go-to site for wildlife and conservation information. Our activity on Facebook and Twitter will be more consistent and you will be able to stay abreast of all IWF and Indiana wildlife news through social media. Keep an eye out for these online developments in 2013!
Hoosier Outdoor Experience
Many thanks to the volunteers that helped make our booth at Hoosier Outdoor Experience a success!
Indiana Wildlife Federation 4715 W. 106th St. Zionsville, IN 46077 www.indianawildlife.org E: firstname.lastname@example.org P: 317-875-9453 F: 317-875-9442 Common Sense Conservation since 1938
Once again the Hoosier Outdoor Experience, held at Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park in Indianapolis September 15-16, proved to be a huge success. At this annual event, showcasing the multitude of ways to enjoy the outdoors, IWF helps children and families build birdfeeders for their backyards. It’s a way to bring nature home and one small way IWF can help kids connect with the outdoors. The children love to hammer and it’s fun to see their smiles of satisfaction when they finish the birdfeeder, complete with birdseed and a guide to local birds.
Mark Your Calendars
1/23: Conservation Day at the Statehouse 3/1 & 2: Marsh Madness—The Greene County Marsh Madness Festival in Linton celebrating the spring migration of waterfowl and cranes to Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area. 4/27: Earth Day at White River State Park, 11am4pm. 6/ 14 & 15: IWF Annual Meeting at Fort Benjamin State Park with a pitch-in dinner on the evening of the 14th, meeting and banquet on the 15th.
Hoosier Conservation Newsletter December 19, 2012
Backyard Wildlife Habitat By Nancy Tatum Are you ready to turn your backyard into a wildlife friendly habitat? There are many great reasons for transforming your land into a certified Backyard Wildlife Habitat—promoting native plants, providing a sanctuary for wildlife, attracting animals and insects to your yard, and reducing maintenance costs—but don’t just take it from us! Nancy, an IWF member, shares her experience: As I look out the windows of my family room I’m awed by what I see. Several years ago I planted native flowers and various trees and shrubs in our yard. I added a multitude of bird feeders, three birdbaths, three bird nest boxes, a squirrel nest box, several gardens and a brush pile. What has taken place in our suburban yard is nothing short of nature’s power and desire to flourish. All we need to do is invite nature into “our space” and it will come. A few of my friends wonder why my husband, Jim, and I tolerate “certain animals.” My answer is this, “All animals are welcome here. We do not discriminate.” Then there is the matter of what some would deem as weeds. They just happen to be two varieties of milkweed that were intentionally planted to attract monarch butterflies. Now our yard is a certified Monarch Waystation. Although all of us know squirrels build their own nests, we decided it would be fun to build a nest box and mount it on one of our trees. Many of our neighbors who walk the neighborhood have noticed the box and have stopped to ask about it creating the opportunity for good conversation, a great teaching moment and a chance to meet someone new. Jim and I were so excited to discover that a mama squirrel had taken up residence three years ago. She has since raised 14 babies in that box! It’s so exciting to see the young ones little faces peeking out of the entrance hole for the first time, then to watch them get braver and braver each day as they climb onto the top of the box and then to the tree branches. Next step….adulthood. The bird nest boxes are full all spring and summer. The pleasure of watching the parents bringing their babies to the feeders and teaching them how to be a grown up bird is sheer delight for us. Their songs and chirping bring sweet sounds to our backyard. It may seem like it was a lot of work to create this habitat. In reality, it took one season to establish this simple sanctuary. All that is required is a water source, shelter, a place to raise their young and a food source. Providing these four things qualified our yard as a Certified Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation, which can be obtained through the Indiana Wildlife Federation. I’m honored to be able to say wildlife chooses to come to our yard. Bringing nature to the forefront of our lives has brought us enjoyment and memories we’re sure to treasure. No matter how small you think your yard may be, it’s worthy of the title as a Certified Wildlife Habitat. If you want to know more about making your yard suitable for wildlife, contact IWF at 317-875-9453 or indianawildlife.org.
“ALL WE NEED TO DO IS INVITE NATURE INTO ‘OUR SPACE’ AND IT WILL COME.”
Hoosier Conservation Newsletter December 19, 2012
2012 Annual Meeting The 2012 Annual Meeting was held at Spring Mill State Park May 18-19. The evening before the Awards Banquet, friends and family gathered for an informal pitch-in complete with burgers, delicious side dishes and desserts. Glenn Lange and Steve VanZant staffed the grill and all enjoyed visiting and catching up. A special treat was the bald eagle that flew over just as we were sitting down to eat. Everyone agreed this informal gathering was one of the weekend highlights. Mark your calendar for the 2013 IWF Annual Meeting, June 14 & 15 to be held at Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park on the east side of Indianapolis. This will be a very special year. In 2013 IWF celebrates 75 years of Common Sense Conservation!
North Dearborn Conservation Club The North Dearborn Conservation Club was recognized as the Affiliate of the Year at the Annual Meeting held last May. Since 1937, North Dearborn CC has shown good leadership and an outstanding conservation effort on behalf of the stateâ€™s natural resources, environment, education and wildlife. The NDCC deserves a very special thank you for their role in making possible the birdfeeder activity at Earth Day and Hoosier Outdoor Experience. Each year club members spend hours of time cutting the wood and pre-drilling nail holes (I cannot tell you how important this isâ€Ś.it takes a small child a long time to drive 8 nails through solid oak!). The Club also provides the screen and hardware, a complete birdfeeder kit, ready for a family to construct and enjoy.
Hoosier Conservation Newsletter December 19, 2012
2013 INCA Legislative Priorities The Indiana Conservation Alliance, made up of members from approximately 30 conservation groups across Indiana, met on Nov. 30th to discuss which legislative priorities will be pursued in 2013. o The first priority will be to raise conservation funding for the Indiana Heritage Trust which funds public land acquisition, and Clean Water Indiana, which focuses on soil and water conservation. We will work on securing funds for these groups to continue acquiring and protecting land, and pursuing multi-district conservation projects. o For some time now IWF has been promoting P-Free fertilizer and educating the public on the problems caused by excessive use of phosphorus in lawn care. INCA has decided to make it a legislative priority to require retailers, distributors, and licensed lawn care providers to provide consumer educational information on the residential use of lawn fertilizer containing phosphorus. Learn more about our P-Free campaign on our website. o Another priority will be improving public transit for central Indiana, providing residents and visitors with more “green” options for a car-free commute. o The fourth priority that INCA voted to focus on will be the continued fight to prevent the legalization of shooting deer in fenced enclosures, often referred to as “ canned hunting”. Read an updated report on canned hunting below. Please plan to attend Conservation Day Jan. 23rd at the State House to help IWF and INCA educate legislators and advocate for these important conservation priorities. Make your voice for wildlife heard! Tell your Representative and Senator where you stand on conservation issues. (Register through the link on page one of this newsletter.)
Update on “Canned Hunting” – Shooting Deer in Fenced Enclosures As this legislative session prepares to get underway, we are watching to see if once again legislation will be proposed to legalize the shooting of deer in fenced enclosures, often referred to as “canned hunting”. We, along with many other conservation organizations, oppose this. The key points are outlined below. Hunting preserves violate ethical standards. Hunting captive deer that cannot escape from enclosed pens violates the principle of fair chase. Hunting preserves undermine Indiana’s long held wildlife management philosophy that all wildlife are held in public trust and managed by the state for all citizens. Hunting preserves threaten wildlife health. The health of Indiana’s wild deer herd is threatened when captive deer are held in high-density populations and disease occurs. Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) o CWD is a contagious neurological disease that quickly spreads among captive herds and is transmitted by animal-toanimal contact or animal-to-soil contact. o Soil contaminated with CWD carries the disease vector, called prions, for years, and deer must be excluded from the area to avoid spreading the disease. o There is no cure for CWD. Death is always the result. Bovine tuberculosis The interstate transportation of deer to hunting preserves also contributes to health concerns. o Hunting preserves often import deer from out of state to meet the demand for trophy bucks. If the deer carries CWD, the disease can jump to the receiving state. Hunting preserves threaten Indiana ’s economy. Deer hunting in Indiana contributes over $400 million annually and supports >2300 jobs. Anything threatening Indiana’s wild deer population would have a negative economic impact. CWD management in Indiana would cost the state huge amounts of money. o Disease surveillance programs must be dramatically increased and new disease management steps must be taken at the state’s expense. o The 2012 federal budget for both CWD surveillance activities and the study of prion disease was cut, pushing the financial burden to the states. o 23 states now have CWD in wild and/or captive deer populations and have spent literally millions of dollars of their state’s natural resources budget to combat CWD. Most sportsmen and women do not support canned hunting. A 2007 IDNR Division of Fish and Wildlife survey reported Indiana deer hunters responded 3.75 to 1 they were “extremely concerned” or “very concerned” about canned hunting verses those who responded “not concerned”.