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Dear David,

Rather than let Brad's e-mail message sit while you thought through your 
reply, you should've read it a few more times.  Brad answered every one 
of the concerns you raised in your first e-mail, and suggested that you 
contact the MDC staff and have them give you a wetland management 
educational tour.  Have you done so?  If not, please do so and then 
report back to MO-BIRDS about what you learned.  Wetlands are not static 
environments that remain the same over time.  Without the type of 
managment Brad described, there would be no good shorebird habitat there 
within a few years.  Also, the amount of available habitat will have 
tripled by next year.  Have some patience!!!

As for your gripe about the handicap blind, bring a camp chair next time 
you visit.

Respectfully,

Walter Wehtje
Columbia, MO.

David Becher wrote:

> Brad,
> I let this sit because I wanted to think my reply through rather than 
> risk starting an e-mail war.  However, I have to say that your message 
> only confirms my opinioin.  The MDC has taken an area that was for 
> years the only reliable breeding area in the immediate St. Louis area 
> on the MIssouri side of the river for a number of endangered wetland 
> birds inculding, King Rail, Least Bittern, and Pied-billed Grebe and 
> converted it into a third rate duck hunting area.  As for managing it 
> for shorebirds that is a joke.  Shorebirds are pouring through the 
> mid-west and there is no habitat at MTC for anything except Killdeer.
> Someone needs to remind them that there title is the Missouri 
> Department of Conservation, not the Missouri Department of Duck Hunting.
> David Becher
> Saint Louis
>
>
>> From: Brad Jacobs <[log in to unmask]>
>> Reply-To: Brad Jacobs <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: Marais Temp Clair
>> Date: Mon, 23 Jul 2007 13:58:00 -0500
>>
>> David,  I checked with the several MO Dept. Conservation staff from
>> local managers to planners and an administrator to get to the bottom of
>> your concerns about MTC.  For those of you who don't know Marais Temps
>> Claire Conservation Area (MTC) is located in St. Charles county.
>>
>> There is normally water during the summer in Pools 1 and 7. MTC is a
>> very small area and is mainly managed for spring and fall migrating
>> waterfowl with some management for shorebirds in the fall. In order to
>> manage them most of the pools have to be dry during the summer in order
>> to stimulate annual seed producing plants to grow and be flooded in the
>> fall.  In additional to waterfowl the area is teaming with rails during
>> migration too.  King rails, least bitterns, and other marshbirds have
>> been observed here by myself and other during the summer also.
>>
>> This year Pool 6 is dry because we have a grant to redo the levees
>> around the pool to increase the water surface from about 44 acres to
>> about 140 acres. Other pools may be dry as there is an annual battle to
>> discourage woody vegetation and to limit the River Bulrush which
>> sometime will dominate the vegetation in an area and crowd out other
>> native vegetation. When more areas were flooded during the summer the
>> exotic and woody invasion creates a major problem for the limited staff
>> in the area.  Also, there is considerable vandalism and other illicit
>> activities occurring in the area, so, walking seems to be the best
>> solution to control the damage levels.
>>
>> The disabled blind was constructed at the request of the disabled duck
>> hunters in St. Louis and designed by and independent disabled planning
>> committee in cooperation with the MDC engineers and designers. The low
>> roof design is to allow it to be concealed easily and has worked out
>> well in years past.  It is reserved for disabled persons to hunt
>> waterfowl.  The gate is open during waterfowl season. The hunters can
>> drive right up to the blind and park on the concrete pad and easily get
>> into the blind.  Disabled folks may use the blind all year long if they
>> call and ask in advance.
>>
>> The grass that surrounds the blind is Eleocharis spp. both a native and
>> non native species are likely present, and it is one of the best food
>> sources for migrating waterfowl, rails, and other seed eaters. MDC was
>> excited about the quantity and quality of this years production.
>>
>> Local staff are more than willing to meet on site with anyone and a
>> wetland management educational tour can be given to help everyone
>> understand what managers objectives are.  Please feel free to ask
>> question and talk to the managers about other species that you think
>> should be managed for also.  I am sure they will listen to and look for
>> ways to integrate your ideas into the overall management of the area.
>>
>> brad
>>
>>
>> Brad Jacobs
>> PO Box 180
>> Jefferson City, MO  65102
>> (573) 751-4115  Ext.3648
>> [log in to unmask]
>>
>>
>> >>> David Becher <[log in to unmask]> 07/21/07 2:30 PM >>>
>> Took a quick look into MTC today.  There is virtually no habitat for
>> any
>> water loving bird.  Except for one small pond and the drainage ditches
>>
>> everything appeared to be dry.  Along the exit road through the woods
>> to
>> Island Rd., I discovered what looks to me like another great example of
>> the
>> idioticy of Miss Conservation Dept.  Behind the closed gate where it is
>>
>> inaccessable to vehicles is a handicapped parking area with a short
>> boardwalk to a sort of a blind.  Unfortunately the blind is only really
>>
>> accessable if you are in a wheelchair since the head clearance is only
>> about
>> 4 feet.  What any accompanying a handicapped person is supposed to do
>> is a
>> mystery to me.  In any case, the blind looks out over an empty grassy
>> field
>> which contains nothing of interest.  This looks like a classic example
>> to
>> me.  Someone had a goal to add handicapped access to MTC and spent a
>> great
>> deal of money creating something of no value to anyone, while the area
>>
>> itself is allowed to degrade into uselessness.
>>
>> David Becher
>> Saint Louis
>>

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