Thanks for your thoughtful comments.  I am glad to hear of the work being done to bring back Bachman's Sparrow  and to expand the range of Swainson's Warbler in your area.   I am currently very much involved with giant cane restoration at Drury-Mincy CA, and know that that particular Conservation Area and IBA has done much to lure back the species.
I wasn't thinking when I failed to realize that the presence of the elk may very well be one of the missing elements in an ecosystem that supports Bachman's Sparrow's preferred savannah habitat.
If I know that resources are being used to restore endangered and recently extirpated species of birds in Missouri and that the presence of elk may even facilitate this effort, I can easily support the reintroduction of elk.  I certainly support the presence of wolves in Yellowstone and surrounding areas, and have personally witnessed a pack feeding on a young bull mouse they killed in the Lamar Valley a couple years ago.
Thanks for increasing my awareness,
Greg Swick
Ozark, Missouri

On Mon, Aug 9, 2010 at 1:21 PM, Mike Doyen <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
I live in the Ozarks and I see first hand the work being done to build habitat for both the Bachman Sparrow and Swainson's Warbler, and from what I see the Swainson's Warbler restoration programs by both MDC and National Forest is going very well. Building large Pine Savanna for the Bachmans will take more time and money but it is under way and I do not doubt that in the long term it will successful.
The Elk Restoration into Pecks Ranch and LAD properties will have a positive impact on opening up much needed glades and Savannah habit which are critical for the return of the Bachman Sparrow.
Black Bear is already back in this area and the Elk also is native to the Ozarks, this will be a good thing. It is like the reintroduction of the Wolf into Yellowstone, very controversial but as we are all seeing it has helped bring the Yellowstone back into balance.

I bird this area often and am very familiar with both Pech Ranch CA and LAD properties and I for one support the reintroduction of the Elk and have sent in my comments saying so. Thanks for the heads up Phil

Mike Doyen
Rolla, MO
Bird by bird I've come to know the earth.
Pablo Neruda.

--- On Mon, 8/9/10, Greg Swick <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

From: Greg Swick <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Elk restoration--public comment period
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Monday, August 9, 2010, 12:51 PM

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:

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

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

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