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Thread: Pheasant Habitat Summit Available Online

  1. #1
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    Default Pheasant Habitat Summit Available Online

    For those that cannot attend the South Dakota Governors Habitat Summit on Friday Dec, 9th. There will be a few options for those folks to see the video of the conference on even watch it live.

    Governor?s Pheasant Habitat Summit Slated for Friday
    Over 500 people will gather in Huron this Friday, Dec. 6, for Gov. Dennis Daugaard?s Pheasant Habitat Summit.
    The Governor?s Pheasant Habitat Summit will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Huron Crossroads and Convention Center and the Huron Arena.
    The event will feature morning speakers. Attendees will then be asked to break into small groups to consider the question: ?What can be done to maintain and enhance existing pheasant habitat as well as increasing pheasant habitat in South Dakota?"

    Registration for the summit has closed, but individuals who do not attend the event will be able to watch a live presentation on the Internet. South Dakota Public Broadcasting will host a live webcast of the morning lectures, and a link to a recording of the event will be available from the Public Broadcasting website at Sdpb.org/live.
    If you would like to provide comments after viewing the webcast, please feel free to do so at,pheasanthabitat@state.sd.us
    Pre-meeting information, the agenda and the live webcast can also be found on the Game, Fish and Parks Department website at http://www.gfp.sd.gov/pheasantsummit/default.aspx.
    The video of the meeting and post-meeting information will also be available at the Department?s website following the summit.

  2. #2
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    First let me give my disclaimer. I know little to nothing on the subject, but that has never stopped me from putting my two cents in. I think spending a bunch of money on land and or rent would be a no go for a small state like South Dakota. With the crazy Washington mandates for ethonel it makes it very attractive to put more and more land to the plow. One thing that I thought of is restricting or stop the mowing of road side ditches. I read someplace that as much as 30% of hens nest in these areas. I know that there would be a lost to some farmers for feed and maybe some cost to townships for increase cost in snow issues, maybe not. As so many things it boils down to money. At least this is something the state could implement right a way with little out of pocket state funds. I told you I didn't know much on the subject.
    Chris help me out here.
    Chip

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chip View Post
    First let me give my disclaimer. I know little to nothing on the subject, but that has never stopped me from putting my two cents in. I think spending a bunch of money on land and or rent would be a no go for a small state like South Dakota. With the crazy Washington mandates for ethonel it makes it very attractive to put more and more land to the plow. One thing that I thought of is restricting or stop the mowing of road side ditches. I read someplace that as much as 30% of hens nest in these areas. I know that there would be a lost to some farmers for feed and maybe some cost to townships for increase cost in snow issues, maybe not. As so many things it boils down to money. At least this is something the state could implement right a way with little out of pocket state funds. I told you I didn't know much on the subject.
    Chris help me out here.
    Chip
    You're onto something with the ditches.. they provide a ton of habitat. In Iowa, we're getting to the point where a lot of counties are only mowing a shoulder swipe to help maintain infrastructure and allow for snow removal. It has been a big money saver and obviously good for the birds. Preliminary reasearch done by counties and DOT has shown that mowing can/does actually hurt road conditions, especially when blowing snow is involved. We're not all on the same page, yet, as there are 99 counties and everyone manages their ROW differently.

    Iowa actually passed a mowing law that prohibits mowing 'for the hell of it' until July 15... the only problem is that nobody is enforcing this. Local politics. I've pasted a press release from one of our counties on the mowing law.

    "The County Secondary Road Department would like to remind residents, landowners and roadside maintenance crews of Iowa's roadside mowing restrictions. The restrictions prohibit the recreational mowing of roadside ditches each year prior to July 15 in order to protect habitat and nesting within the rights-of-way of state and county jurisdictional roads. Exceptions are built into the law to allow for maintaining sightlines and controlling weeds.

    Iowa Code 314.17 was amended in 2010 and now includes county secondary roads as well as state primary and interstate highways. The legislation moved the ?no-mow? date from July 1 to July 15 to provide an additional two weeks of hatching and development of young birds. Studies have shown a significant increase in nesting success (more nestlings ready to fledge) given this extra time. With the 2010 amendment to the law expanded to include county secondary roads, an additional 500,000 acres of vegetated right-of-way statewide are protected.

    Studies show that for pheasants, 39 percent of nests are un-hatched by July 1 and likely destroyed with a July 1 mowing. By July 15, 22 percent of nests are un-hatched; so delaying two weeks allows an additional 17 percent of nests to hatch. Many songbirds nest in roadsides and stand to benefit from the law as well. Roadsides become even more valuable for habitat as high annual row crop prices reduce the number of acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program.

    There are some exceptions built into the law to allow for maintaining sightlines and for controlling weeds. Cutting for hay is not among the exceptions.

    The law reads as follows:

    Mowing roadside vegetation on the rights-of-way or medians on any primary highway, interstate highway, or secondary road prior to July 15 is prohibited, except as follows:

    Within two hundred yards of an inhabited dwelling.
    On rights-of-way within one mile of the corporate limits of a city.
    To promote native species of vegetation or other long-lived and adaptable vegetation.
    To establish control of damaging insect populations, noxious weeds and invasive plant species.
    For visibility and safety reasons.
    Within rest areas, weigh stations and wayside parks.
    Within 50 feet of a drainage tile or tile intake.
    For access to a mailbox or for other accessibility purposes.
    On rights-of-way adjacent to agricultural demonstration or research plots.
    In an intensely agricultural state such as Iowa, with little ground left otherwise undisturbed, the law serves as a reminder to those who do not need to mow their ditches to mow only the shoulder and leave the rest for the birds. Too much mowing weakens the native vegetation that ___ County is establishing in roadsides along secondary roads. And driving tractors on roadside slopes often tears up the turf thereby creating openings for weeds. For more information on nesting in roadsides, click here.

    New "Prairie Restoration" signs have been placed along some roadways throughout the county. The signs, funded by a grant from Iowa's Living Roadway Trust Fund, not only serve to highlight native roadway plantings, but also serve to remind passers-by of the new right-of-way mowing restrictions.

    County Roadside Vegetation Management Program

    The County Secondary Road Department mows the shoulders along the county's secondary roads to help delineate the road surface. The County also spot mows and spot sprays selected plant species in accordance with its annual right-of-way vegetation management comprehensive plan. New plantings are mowed mid-summer to help establish the perennial permanent cover. Tall vegetation left within the right-of-way on wider roadways after mid-summer serves to retain rolling and skipping snow during winter months."

  4. #4
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    Jan 2012
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    Belle, In addition to the early mowing, how many guys here in Iowa are taking the next step and are bailing the ROW? It sure varies across the state, but I agree ROW might be the only cover around.

  5. #5
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    Road ditches need to be mowed. They don't need to be mowed until after the main nesting season is done. We pay taxes to the middle of the road and I will mow my road ditches before the snow falls. I am not going to be trapped so I can't get out in case of an emergency or the fire truck can't get in. Ditches are not the answer. It is about Monsanto, ethanol and crop insurance. I don't know how you are going to out lobby Monsanto, but that is a more needed approach than worrying about ditches.

  6. #6
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    Got a chance to watch some of it today. It was very informative. looking forward to when it is available for review on-line.

  7. #7
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    I just got back from Huron. It was an interesting day with some good suggestions. Probably no silver bullets but at least somebody is looking for answers.

  8. #8
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    Oct 2010
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    Can you provide your thoughts on the day?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tanner10 View Post
    Can you provide your thoughts on the day?
    We listened to several speakers in the morning. I picked up a few new things.
    One is there might be a plan to include native pasture in future CRP. That would provide an alternative to turning it in to cropland. CRP does not appear to be going to get bigger, but we already knew that, they just confirmed that. In the afternoon we broke up into small groups. We tried to come up with ideas on the federal, state, local and personal levels. The governor is looking for ideas and he now has a list to look at and see what might be practical. Personally I did not think that there were any earth shaking ideas, but there were some thoughts on how to make CRP more effctive and attractive such as in the years that CRP is to be clipped it may not have to be burned but could be used by the landowner and that would be an incentive that does not cost taxpayer dollars. It was a good starting point and I appreciate that the state government is looking beyond itself and listening to sporstmen and landowners and anyone else that had something to say.

  10. #10
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    The speakers were excellent and I learned a ton. They broke us into groups and I had high expectations we would come up with some good ideas on how to grow habitat.

    I don't know what happened but our group of 20 people came up with "Predator control".

    Needless to say I did not raise my hand when asked for unanimous support.

    I did get more educated and learned what the feedback is going to be when you have a state run function, dealing with issues concerning habitat conversion on PRIVATE LAND, focused on a species owned by the PUBLIC.

    Good things will come of this function but honestly. Predator control. I would consider this a "derailing concept".

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