I'm fuzzy on a couple of 'factoids' and wanted to share my confusion
with those interested.  All others can hit DELETE now.

Much of the discussion has focused on the benefits to shorebirds
resulting from the propane-powered water pump at Squaw Creek.
Interestingly, we learn last year's pumping efforts 'began late in the
fall' (well after the peak shorebird migration but before the peak
waterfowl hunting season).  During the peak of the shorebird migration
last year, the soil was described as 'dry (with) many open cracks'.
With all due respect to the long-time manager at Squaw Creek, are we to
believe this is a commitment to shorebird management?

Fast-forward to this year.  The pump has been running, yet the soil is
described only as 'fairly moist'.  Again, with 2000 gallons per minute
pumping into the refuge, 'fairly moist' soil apparently has not resulted
in viable shorebird habitat.  MOBIRD reports I've read painted a grim
picture of Squaw Creek.  So, where did 2,000 gallons of water per minute
go!??  We learned the Snow Geese will have enough water when they come.
Hmmmm . . .

When you write that check for propane to pump water into non-existent
shorebird habitat, not only is it tax-deductible, you MAY receive a nice
'Thank You' card from this fall's goose hunters!

Chris Hobbs
Shawnee, KS
[log in to unmask]

Subject: Squaw Creek Water Conditions

Since I started this subject some time ago, I have received several
replies, both pro and con. To those, I have replied off list. To update
those who are interested in shorebirds, I furnish the following:
    Last year in late fall, we started pumping water into the refuge. We
received many donations for propane, including several tanks of propane
from the Mound City supplier and also several tanks from
Conoco-Phillips, who furnish propane to the Mound City  supplier. As a
result, we actually pumped over 162 million gallons of water to the
wetlands which was wonderful, since the soil was dry and had many open
This year, we would like to pump water while the soil is fairly moist.
Our pump needs propane, which is more economical than diesel fuel, and
it consumes about 130 gallons of propane each day. The pump delivers
2,000 gallons of water per minute- it has a 12 inch discharge, and it
makes a difference. The sad part of the situation is that we have
received NO donations for propane which indicated many birders are not
interested in shorebirds. We presently have sufficient water for the
snow geese when they arrive but evaporation is going on at a rapid pace.
Donations for propane are tax deductible and we thank all who donated
funds for propane last year. It is strange but the Refuge System does
not allow the refuge to budget for propane but they have been able to
pay for repairs to the pump-which are considerable.

George L. Scheil
Raytown, Missouri

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