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In support of Chris, AKA "small minded thinker", I don't think he is
suggesting that we pave over Squaw Creek and put up condos.  This
drought has probably caused more shorebird habitat than I have ever seen
in Missouri, where,? right where it traditionally was, before we built
dikes at Squaw Creek or dams at Smithville....The Missouri River.  Right
now is full of sandbars, yes probably not as many as would have been
there prior to the Army Corps., but still many many square miles of
flats and more than you would ever find at Squaw Creek.  Since Squaw
Creek is just yards from the Mighty Mo., I believe Chris is correct, the
birds will move there, not as ideal for birders but great for birds.

Roger McNeill
KC MO

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Fisher [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
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
[log in to unmask]
----- Original Message -----
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
> Shawnee, KS
> [log in to unmask]
>
> -----Original Message-----
>  Sent: Tuesday, August 19, 2003 5:01 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Squaw Creek Conditions
>
> The propane pump has been started but how long it will run is unknown.

> Tank has enough propane to run for 1 more day. No propane donations
> have been received so this means that the source of matching funds for

> propane will not have any donations to match. Electric pump near
> Mallard Marsh will be started as soon as some necessary dike repair
> can be finished. Contractor work still prevents automobile access to
> the refuge office. IT MAY BE NECESSARY TO CANCEL THE SEMI-ANNUAL
> WORKDAY SCHEDULED FOR SEPTEMBER 13th.
>
> George L. Scheil
> Raytown, Missouri
>
>
> ---
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