Sunday, February 18, 2018

Pheasant phorecast: phowl phucked



Do you see those dead fuels at the mouth of the Big Sioux River and the lack of snow in northeastern South Dakota?
In fact, Roberts, Grant, and Codington counties have received less than half normal amounts of moisture this winter. And this lack of moisture has caused the moderate drought category to cover all of northeast South Dakota. Parts of western South Dakota is still under the severe drought. And these dry conditions are really causing problems. The latest Crop Progress and Condition report rated 21 percent of winter wheat at poor or very poor. Rivers and streams were at or below normal levels. And if the dry conditions continue, the fire danger season may creep up soon than usual.
Read the rest here.

Kristi Noem and Marty Jackley have both panicked outlining radical steps to preserve habitat for the Chinese Ring-necked Pheasant, an invasive species that crowds out native wild turkeys.
“Get the youth involved, that’s a big part of it. This is the year my daughter shot her first pheasant at age 11; we should do everything we can to get our youth involved in this tradition,” Jackley said. [KSFY teevee]
They're just employing magical thinking. That dead zone at the mouth of the Big Sioux River is an indication that the basin is beyond fixing.
Last year, South Dakota landowners applied to enroll more than 42,000 acres during the regular sign-up for CRP, but only two landowners and 101 acres were accepted. That’s right, only two landowners.
Read the rest here.

Which part of ecocide don't you understand?
“Even the good habitat is lacking in birds,” said Eric Rasmussen, a soil conservationist for the National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) office in Ipswich. “It’s one of the first years when guys like Tony Julik are seeing it.” Signs of distress are everywhere: dried-out swamps, a sickly corn crop, cattle grazing on the thinnest of stubble and baby pheasant hens so small they look like doves.
Read the rest here.

As this species is wiped out by industrial agriculture revenues in South Dakota continue to slide.
So far this year, about 4,600 fewer people have purchased South Dakota non-resident, small- game hunting licenses, which allow people to hunt ring-necked pheasants in the state. That represents a roughly 9 percent decline in non-resident license sales in the state. It also means a $556,000 revenue shortfall for the state’s Game, Fish and Parks Department. That’s a big deal because the department largely is funded by the sale of hunting and fishing licenses.
Read more about red state collapse here.

Robert Schneiders is the author of two books on the environmental history of the Missouri River.
As for pheasants, they don’t stand a chance. Although the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Department claims pheasant numbers rebounded somewhat in 2014 and 2015, because of two back-to-back warm winters, the overall trend looks bleak. Why? Because urbanization and industrialization of rural Dakota isn’t slowing, it’s accelerating. Consequently, habitat is going to continue to fall under the plow, bulldozer and backhoe. And there is nothing, and no one, who is going to stop it, especially not Gov. Dennis Daugaard and his lame pheasant recovery task-force. [op-ed, Robert Schneiders]
During the flooding of 2011 Schneiders appeared on Bill Janklow's idea of public radio where he forecast the death of the Missouri River as a living ecosystem.
According to Pheasants Forever Biologist Brian Teeter, this lack of fire has resulted in negative consequences in the health and diversity of our prairies and forests which are critical to our wildlife and agricultural economy. “You don’t have to travel very far to see that the eastern red cedar is rapidly expanding and is negatively affecting our grazing lands but there is also less obvious benefits that range from improving wildlife habitat to increasing forage quality.” Teeter noted.
Read the rest here.
Imagine a dumpster full of pheasant carcasses with just the breasts cut out. That’s what my friend found after the governor’s hunt back in October, behind the processing place in Fort Pierre that handles the birds. [Kevin Woster, Outdoors in Keloland]
The bird is not wildlife but it is a canary in a chemically and genetically engineered coal mine.

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