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. 


The Trail Of Tears And The Road To Civil War Hike Offered On Sept. 12

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park invites the public to attend a special hike at Moccasin Bend National Archeological District on Saturday, Sept. 12, at 2 p.m.    Participants should take the Manufacturer’s Road exit off Highway 27 and drive west, following the “Special Event” signs to the Brown’s Ferry Federal Road trailhead off Moccasin Bend Road. ... (click for more)

East Tennessee Dove Season Opens With A Bang

With shotguns in hand and hats shading heads, over 1,000 East Tennessee hunters harvested nearly 5,000 doves on fields leased or owned by TWRA during Tuesday’s opening of the mourning dove hunting season.  Dove hunting on opening day is a longstanding tradition in the state as hunters brave the dust and heat with hopes of filling their bags with a limit of 15 birds.  ... (click for more)

Trustee To Be Appointed To Oversee Hutcheson Medical Center Bankruptcy With Focus On Sale Of Fort Oglethorpe Hospital

A trustee will be appointed to oversee the bankruptcy case of Hutcheson Medical Center with a focus on getting the financially-strapped Fort Oglethorpe hospital sold. The U.S. Trustee's Office had filed a motion asking that the bankruptcy be dissolved due to the debt rising to $6.3 million since the bankruptcy was filed last November. However, all parties finally agreed it was ... (click for more)

Civic, Political Leader Mai Bell Hurley Dies At 87

Civic and political leader Mai Bell Hurley has died at age 87. She was the first woman to serve on the Chattanooga City Council. Ms. Hurley was also a longtime advocate for the arts and a leader in United Way. She was a leader in Chattanooga Venture that led to the redevelopment of downtown and the riverfront.  She most recently served on the Library Board. ... (click for more)

Does The Signal Mountain Town Council Take Its Constituents As Fools?

You've got to hand it to the Signal Mountain Town Council. In their scheme to change the zoning on Signal Mountain from 1/2 an acre to 1/4 an acre they get more creative by the day in coming up with justifications for doing something a majority of their constituents are squarely against.   They started off by hiding behind a poor widow who had fallen on hard times. She had ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Every Child Must Watch This

In the course of my day, I read different websites, am sent all kinds of neat videos and I love the jokes I get. But when I logged onto my ever-bulging email account Thursday morning, I happened across the scariest, most terrifying video I have ever watched. There is a website I check called “Atchuup” that boasts “cool stories daily.” Some are pretty good but this one nearly knocked ... (click for more)