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

The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
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