I've been spreading the word to the kids I work with on the KS side & have even spoke to parents about it.  I've been using my domestic ferret as an example, the children have responded very well once they see him - so hopefully bugging their parents to write & e-mail.  When the children hear the word "extinction" and can see a living example (despite being a completely different, but somewhat similar species - the ferret was also a surrendered pet), it does affect them more I believe.  I've used my Amazon for years to describe the sad fate of the Carolina Parakeet.  Teaching the importance of conservation while their young and perhaps the next generation will be much more respectful & careful about the environment!!  Or at least that's my goal, hopes, & dreams.

Dan Cowell
-- - Programs to Enhance Appreciation of the Natural World
 .  816-807-4748 . [log in to unmask]  . . 

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Edge 
  To: [log in to unmask] 
  Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 10:39 AM
  Subject: Re: Ks Senate Resolution 1711: Prairie Dog Ecosystems

  With all due respect to our Kansas friends who are educated and aware of ecosystem dynamics, it is probably unrealistic to expect KS legislators to understand and/or support ferret population requirements.  

  In Kansas, landowners who do not wish to exterminate the prairie dogs on their own property are sued and people are brought in to kill them.

  In Kansas, prairie dog "hunting" is a sport.  While birding at Cimarron National Grasslands (Morton Co.), I observed a "sportsman" sitting in a canvas chair, beer cooler beside him, rifle mounted on tripod, taking pot shots at every prairie dog that lifted its head.  This is a legal activity.  Prairie dog or ferret, they're both vermin, right?

  In Kansas, Lesser Prairie Chickens are still hunted despite declining population.

  I wrote a Kansas governor asking for limitations on crane hunting after the incident in which Whooping Cranes were "mistaken" for Sandhills.  Some changes were made (now being challenged, I hear).  

  Perhaps letters/emails from Missourians would be listened to by Kansas legislators, but there is an inherent risk of such communications having an effect opposite of the intent.

  Edge Wade
  Columbia, MO
  [log in to unmask]

  On Feb 19, 2013, at 8:35 AM, Greg Swick wrote:

    Dear MoBirders,
    I wanted to update you on the rapidly changing situation in Kansas regarding the reintroduction of the Black-footed Ferret. John Barnhardt is a GOAS member whose parents own one of the reintroduction sites. I believe that this is truly a Missouri bird issue as well as a Kansas issue.
    Below I have posted the text from a statement that John's sister Rebecca made to the Kansas legislature yesterday. It's a beautiful piece, reflecting back to her work long ago when she displayed a precocious understanding of predator/prey relationships as a nine year old. It reminds of why it is so important for us at ASM to encourage young people to share their passion for the out of doors so that we can ensure that we continue to have staunch supporters of wildlife, like Rebecca, among us. More importantly, it conveys the urgency with which Audubon of Kansas, USFWS, other conservation groups and us face in defending bird and mammals species from the new "extinctionist" movement. 
    If you have time, please take a moment to to write email letters and/or make phone calls to Kansas state senators. They can be as simple as asking each senator to vote "no" on SR 1711, or one can elaborate more fully on one's personal or professional views. Many of us in Missouri have looked upon the beauty of a Kansas Prairie Dog town, and experienced species like Burrowing Owls and Ferruginous Hawks that depend upon them. So, it's a Missouri bird issue, too.
    Text of Rebecca Barnhardt statement below. Apologies ahead of time to any who feel this is an inappropriate post,
    Good birding,
    Greg Swick
    Ozark, Missouri

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