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Hi all,
Thanks Phil,
My initial reaction is why doesn't MDC consider a grand restoration effort for Bachman's Sparrow and/or Swainson's Warbler, instead of focusing on a large mammal that will inevitably cause injury and even possibly death on Missouri's road ways?   
 
I like elk as well as anyone, but I question whether these large mammals should be reintroduced into a relatively small geographic area.  We all know that MDC's effort in restoring giant Canada Geese and River Otters have been successful to a fault....  What if elk populations do half as well.  What can we expect?   And, being a bird advocate, a few hundred more Bachman's Sparrows in the state would be nice.
 
$.02 worth....
 
Good birding,
Greg Swick
Ozark, MO 

On Mon, Aug 9, 2010 at 11:53 AM, Philip Wire <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
MOBirders--
 
The Missouri Department of Conservation is currently considering reintroducing a small population of elk into the eastern Ozarks in Shannon, Carter, and Reynolds counties. There is a public comment period that ends October 1st. Extensive woodland/savanna/glade restoration work has been done in this area (benefitting many declining songbirds) and large grazers like elk usually help that process along. Their presence would probably also serve as an incentive to keep such efforts going. Here is a link to the page with information as well as a place for the public to send in comments...
 
http://mdc.mo.gov/landwater-care/animal-management/elk-restoration
 
Just my opinion... I did some surveys at Peck Ranch Conservation Area (in the heart of the proposed range) over several days in the summer of 2007 as part of a seasonal job and it was clear the MDC was taking restoration seriously. They were doing lots to open up former glades and woodlands. Given the role elk played in Missouri's landscape I think it would be a definite step in the right direction. There was a less detailed elk restoration plan that was shelved in the early 2000's due to concerns over chronic wasting disease and damage to private property, but it seems this plan addresses those issues pretty thoroughly. Check it out and comment one way or the other if so inclined.
 
Phil Wire
Bowling Green, Pike Co.
[log in to unmask]
 
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The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
ASM Website: http://mobirds.org/

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The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
ASM Website: http://mobirds.org/