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Anecdotally, as to the advantage of this information being available to area
managers/employees at MDC and DNR, which a previous poster listed as an
advantage... I can think of an experience I had where I was absolutely
floored by the knowledge of an area manager on an area I frequented
regarding the CACHE project.
I called the Northeast regional office about two years ago when I was back
up in Kirksville to talk to the area manager for Union Ridge CA (which was
an emphasis area for the first two years of the project, I think) because I
had a few questions about the area. Having never talked to him previously, I
was surprised that when I introduced myself, he mentioned that he had seen
my name on the CACHE reports and was quite glad to get a chance to finally
talk to me. He actually had a few questions about things I'd seen/hadn't
seen on the area and it was obvious he was thrilled to get some quality data
from other observers about the wildlife using his area and was familiar with
my visits (parts of north central MO are areas of low birding pressure, to
say the least).

I wasn't an employee of the MDC nor had I had any particular connection with
this person, so I was pretty pleasantly surprised to know that the data in
the system was being so carefully monitored given I was just an "average
Joe."  As for whether that happens in every instance, I have no idea, but I
would guess that in most areas (especially areas where lots of habitat work
is being done or places listed as areas of emphasis) CACHE reports probably
get monitored pretty regularly.

This experience cemented my belief in many of the positive things about the
CACHE system and also really made me a believer that folks within the MDC
really do enjoy getting constructive feedback from birders about what the
see and perceive. For this reason, I try to leave commentary in the
"comments" section of the CACHE reports about whether birds seem to be
reacting to habitat modifications or where rare or declining birds
(especially breeders) were found, and would suggest it to others as well.

Phil Wire
St. Louis Co.
[log in to unmask]

Exciting to see Big Creek CA made the list for stage V!

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