Wetland Losses Point To Importance Of Protecting The Prairies

Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Ducks Unlimited says a documented drop in wetland numbers in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) during a recent 12-year period could add up to a loss of breeding habitat for 100,000 duck pairs. A new study by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) on the status of prairie wetlands in the United States found the PPR lost more than 107,000 wetland basins from 1997 to 2009.

“What’s even more concerning for waterfowl is we know this loss trend is continuing,” said DU Chief Scientist Scott Yaich. “Our research points to wetland numbers and health as being one of the most important factors in determining populations for waterfowl. Waterbirds, shorebirds and other wildlife are also dependent on healthy wetlands.”

In the United States, the PPR, with its extensive wetlands, extends from Iowa up and west to northern Montana. The area supplies upwards to a third of the continent’s breeding waterfowl population. The FWS wetlands inventory cites the PPR loss of close to 95,500 acres of emergent wetlands and more than 568,000 acres of grasslands.

“The small, seasonal wetlands are the most important in terms of breeding waterfowl habitat,” Mr. Yaich said. “These shallow wetlands are full of the kinds of protein food ducks need to produce eggs. The wetlands also provide necessary food for ducklings.”

Wetlands also provide benefits to people, including filtering out impurities and controlling flooding. Mr. Yaich points out that the report demonstrates the importance of restoring the Clean Water Act provisions that once protected isolated wetlands in the prairies. “The future of waterfowl populations depends on stemming wetland loss,” Mr. Yaich said. 

TWRA Requests Public Input For 2019 Fishing Regulations

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is asking for comments for its 2019 fishing regulations. "This is an opportunity for the public to share ideas and concerns about fishing regulations with TWRA staff," officials said. The comment period concerning fishing regulations will be open until April 22. Public comments will be considered by fisheries managers and may be ... (click for more)

2018 NASP State Championships Set For March 28-29 IN Murfreesboro

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will host the National Archery in the Schools Program 12th annual state championships, March 28-29 in Murfreesboro. The NASP State Championships will be returning to the Tennessee Miller Coliseum for the ninth consecutive year. Close to 2,000 students representing more than 130 schools are expected to participate. "Many of the ... (click for more)

Alexander Says Chickamauga Lock Construction Fully Funded For 4th Consecutive Year

Senator Lamar Alexander on Wednesday said the government funding bill will fully fund construction of Chickamauga Lock for the fourth consecutive year, providing up to $78 million – which is more than twice the amount of funding the project received last year.   Senator Alexander said he has made completion of Chickamauga Lock one of his top priorities as chairman ... (click for more)

Former Juvenile Court Magistrate Says Gay Marriage Is "Nothing You Put In Air Quotes"

A former magistrate at Juvenile Court, who claims she was fired by Judge Rob Philyaw because she is openly gay, said Wednesday that gay marriage "is nothing you put in air quotes." She referred to County Attorney Rheubin Taylor asking her about her ceremony in marrying another woman and raising his hands to form quote marks. Elizabeth Gentzler is suing Hamilton County, Judge ... (click for more)

Avoid Underage Drinking And Other Prom Drama

My high school prom took a dramatic turn when two guys got their tuxedo jackets mixed up. One of them belonged to my date, who kindly offered to keep my wallet in his pocket. That’s the jacket another young man mistakenly grabbed off the back of a chair before heading to an underage drinking party that got shut down by police well after midnight—as kids scattered in every direction.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Famed Freitas Speech

Several weeks ago a member of the Virginia House of Delegates (that’s what Virginia calls the state legislature) stood up and before that body responded to a claim by a Democratic lawmaker that Republicans were pro-Second Amendment and segregationists. Nick Freitas, who did two tours in Iraq with our Army’s Special Forces and has talked candidly about losing friends to terrorist ... (click for more)