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Jeez!  When I mentioned a 'single pump' in the context of the larger
'scheme of things', I didn't realize I came so close to trashing the
entire refuge system and all it stands for!  That's what happens when
you think small, I guess.   Bob, your hystorical explanation, as always,
really helped me understand.  Thanks!

Chris Hobbs
Shawnee, KS
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From: MO Wild Bird Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
Robert Fisher
Sent: Wednesday, August 20, 2003 1:06 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Squaw Creek Conditions

Chris Hobbs comes close to saying that refuges and management areas are
not
important for opportunistic migrants like shorebirds.  Chris  is
thinking
small. He sees the amount of shorebird habitat that may be created at
Squaw
Creek as one relatively minor resource and can't imagine how that might
make
much difference.

Refuges have only recently started to manage for shorebirds, and we may
not
yet have enough research to quantify how much they can benefit from it.
But
it is pretty clear that waterfowl -- also opportunistic species -- would
be
in much worse shape were it not for our refuge system. By analogy,
managing
public lands for shorebirds would be very important if it were being
done on
as wide a scale as management for ducks and geese. Making such
management
successful at a few places -- e.g. Squaw Creek -- can pioneer managing
more
waterfowl refuges to include shorebird habitat. That could make a
tremendous
difference.

Shorebirds need good stopover areas to regain strength and fatten up for
the
remainder of their arduous migrations. Channelization of rivers and and
consequent elimination of sandbars, plus draining of natural playas  for
agriculture (e.g. at Camden Bottoms, Ray County), appears greatly to
have
reduced stopover opportunities for shorebirds in our part of the
country.
Providing stopover habitat on public lands could begin to reverse that
process and enable much larger numbers of shorebirds to survive the
migration. If it works for ducks and geese, why not for shorebirds?

The Nature Conservancy is a wonderful outfit, and it is trying to help
East
coast migrant shorebirds by buying land in the vital, and threatened,
Delaware Bay area. It has also bought the "duck club" and surrounding
land
at Cheyenne Bottoms and has done a small amount of shorebird management
there. But nothing else it is likely to do in the central flyway would
create a fraction of the shorebird habitat that could easily be created
by
slightly altering management practices on public lands, especially at
existing waterfowl refuges like Squaw Creek. I can think of no better
example than Cheyenne Bottoms itself, which research has shown to be a
vital
resource for major portions of the populations of some shorebird
species.
Shorebird management there is many times more important than anything
the
Nature Conservancy is doing there.

Having  managers interested in managing public lands for shore birds can
make an enormous difference. Compare what Cheyenne Bottoms was like when
Marvin Schwilling was manager with what it became under his immediate
successors.

When I moved to Independence in 1972, Squaw Creek had the reputation of
being a great place for shorebirds. Harold Burgess' management may have
been
responsible. Squaw Creek's present manager, Ron Bell, is once again
interested in managing for shorebirds. He needs all the encouragement he
can
get!

Bob Fisher
Independence, Missouri
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From: "Chris Hobbs" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, August 20, 2003 8:13 AM
Subject: Re: Squaw Creek Conditions


> Don't fret too much!  Given the drought conditions and the
opportunistic
> nature of shorebirds and waterfowl, I doubt a single pump makes much
> difference in the scheme of things.  Birds will simply move on to
viable
> habitat elsewhere.  You might consider taking the money you would have
> contributed for propane and give it to the Nature Conservancy.
>
> Chris Hobbs


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