I think the point is that the money from CACHE and SPARKS is money that MDC and DNR already had.  It's just able to be redirected to the specific projects because of the contribution of data from ASM.  Licenses and duck stamps would put additional monies into the respective systems.  Also, numbers of duck stamps are not really used for enumeration of hunters since many of them are purchased by collectors and everyone knows that.  Unfortunately, since hunting is a declining sport, duck stamp purchases have declined about 30% since the 1970s.

Can't speak for Doug, but I don't think he meant that only those who buy duck stamps are supporting NWRs.  I think he meant that a whole lot more additional money could go toward supporting habitat conservation by purchasing them.  CACHE money is a drop in the bucket for NWRs and most of the CACHE money won't be spent on NWRs, rather it will be used toward a variety of projects managed by either state or federal agencies or partnerships of varied entities.  ASM is a small non-profit as Jim stated and we're not talking large amounts of money although I'm sure it is helpful and well-appreciated.  Also, I don't think most NWRs are managed specifically for hunting - all wildlife benefits.  You can't support one type of species without considering the entire ecosystem and food chain.

We are indeed very lucky in MO to have the MDC and to have it fairly well-funded as well.  CACHE and SPARKS are a terrific way for birders to support habitat conservation without having to contribute money directly.  The "step further" to me is to actually spend extra money by purchasing duck stamps, licenses, etc.; to contribute to organizations that spend wisely to make a difference; to physically help with local restoration or habitat maintenance projects; and to make direct donations toward conservation programs.  (And yes, I know not everyone can do all of those things.)

It's all good - let's get back to birding reports...

Linda Williams
Liberty, Clay County, MO
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---- June <[log in to unmask]> wrote: 


CACHE is not a step behind Duck Stamps.  If anything it is the "step  
further" because it gives support to public land management  
strategies that are broader than promotion of game bird hunting.   
Total purchases of Duck Stamps provide statistics easily used to  
indicate support of citizens for hunting interests.  CACHE use  
identifies the growing number of citizens who, for the most part are  
not anti-hunting, and appreciate the contribution to bird habitat  
made by hunting interests, but who also recognize the need for  
management that goes a step further and manages for all birds, not  
exclusively for game birds.  CACHE use identifies a growing number of  
folks whose specific right to access  public lands for observation of  
birds  is equal to the rights of hunters, but whose rights are not  
always recognized by local management.

I take issue with your implication that only those who buy duck  
stamps are "assuring these treasures will be here for future  
generations."  There are many ways to help make that guarantee, and  
you don't corner the market,  IMHO.

June Newman
Carrollton, MO

On Aug 17, 2009, at 5:20 PM, Doug Willis wrote:
Yes, we are VERY lucky to have the Missouri Department of  
Conservation public lands and programs. CACHE is fine, but why not  
take it a step further and buy a hunting/fishing license and truly  
support MDC?! Also, documenting the hypothetical bird in question for  
the Missouri Bird Records Committee would add to the ornithological  
record in an even more substantial way. Want to support Big Muddy  
NWR, Mingo NWR, Squaw Creek NWR and Swan Lake NWR? Buy a duck stamp  
and join the rest of us in assuring these treasures will be here for  
future generations.
Doug Willis
Liberty, MO
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