[CT Birds] Ruffed Grouse etc / Conservation

holmses at cox.net holmses at cox.net
Sat Nov 1 20:24:17 EDT 2014

Maybe we should all buy duck stamps?  Who knows how many other marsh and wetland species will benefit?
---- Joseph Cala via CTBirds <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org> wrote: 
> Coming from a hunting background I feel the need to interject into this
> discussion and present the other side of the argument here, even though
> Keith touched on a few points.
> One summer bird count encompassing 1400 hours is not the be all end all of
> bird counting.  A quick look on ebird for this year shows over 20 reports
> for Ruffed Grouse with numerous locations showing more than one sighting.
> We all know that not everyone uses ebird, so these are certainly not the
> only sightings for this year.
> That doesn't even to begin to discuss how easy it is to walk right by any
> number of 'game birds' and never see them -- which certainly factors into
> the numbers that are seen and reported.
> On a different note, the State of CT is not interesting in wiping out a
> game bird that attracts hunting dollars. Grouse population isn't dependent
> upon the bag limit or number of hunters, but rather the available habitat
> they have, which is limited.  If you have issues with the population in the
> state, contribute conservation dollars to the state so that areas can be
> managed for them.
> It's frustrating to see some many 'birders' vilify hunters in general as
> some ravaging band of lunatics that shoot and kill everything in sight and
> take full or excessive bag limits.  Real hunters are the exact opposite of
> that, and many bird areas in the state simply would not exist without
> hunting conservation dollars.
> Ducks Unlimited, for example, has conserved more than 13 million acres of
> habitat since 1937.  81% of dollars brought in by DU goes directly to
> wetlands conservation and education.
> The Pittman-Robertson act of 1937 added an 11% excise tax onto firearms and
> ammunition sales which has resulted in billions of dollars of federal aid
> being available to states.  Connecticut received almost $9M in funds from
> this program in 2014 alone.
> The CT 'Duck Stamp' program has resulted in 3145 acres of wetlands being
> protected in the state and over $1.2M in sales directly from purchases of
> the stamp.  It's also resulted in almost $2M in matching federal funds that
> go directly towards wildlife conservation in this state.
> Just to make a point -- Connecticut Audubon's 2013 annual report shows
> total revenues of $3.9MM, HALF of what the state of CT received from the
> Pittman-Robertson federal funding.  And of that nearly $4M CT Audubon
> received, 80% of that is spent on education and only 20% on conservation.
> Point is that hunters and hunting/shooting related activity contribute a
> MASSIVE amount towards conservation in this state.  Instead of vilifying
> hunters for hunting, perhaps we as 'birders' need to follow in their
> example.  A 'Duck Stamp' is $13 -- if we can afford bags of seed every
> month we can surely afford a $13 stamp.  If you're against the Duck Stamp
> for some reason, contribute directly to CT Audubon.  If you like waterfowl,
> contribute to Ducks Unlimited or Delta Waterfowl.
> And finally if you're concerned about Ruffed Grouse, contribute to the
> Connecticut Ruffed Grouse Society and help them help the grouse reclaim
> proper habitat.
> Joseph Cala
> Willington, CT
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