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Discussion in 'Idaho Flyway Forum' started by ML Racing Mules, Apr 14, 2014.

  1. ML Racing Mules

    ML Racing Mules Refuge Member

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    Mules need Fed
    I said it was a long trip for a Half Day Event DU put on at the Roberts property.

    No where did I say a half day HUNT.

    Also as I said I already had a pack trip planned for that weekend.

    :confused:

    :z
     
  2. IFSteve

    IFSteve Elite Refuge Member

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    I will be very interested to see just how the management of the old Western Wings property turns out. If they do make it a semi refuge with some areas open to the public then super.

    For the record I still support DU but I am a much stronger supporter of Delta. Some of DU's policies are outdated and have been proven to be flat out wrong, specifically their stance against predator management.
     
  3. Boeinguy737

    Boeinguy737 Senior Refuge Member

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    Gentlemen,

    Ducks Unlimited has one primary goal: Habitat Conservation. "Filling the sky with waterfowl today, tomorrow, and forever". I believe in DU. I believe in it's mission and goals. And I believe they are a very efficient organization, putting 83% of the money on the ground, 14% into fundraising and R&D, and only 3% into Admin and HR.

    I donate my time, my money, my products, and my efforts to the organization where I can. My occupation only allows time for me to serve at a local level, but I do know many State Level members. So with that, here's what I know about the plans for the Western Wings acquisition from the State Level Officers I do know.

    The property was acquired through the DU RLA program. The plans are to develop/improve the habitat from it's current state...that will be a long term project. The buildings will be refurbished and improved as well. Once the buildings are completed, they will be used for DU retreats and meetings, as well as other public/Govt./civic meetings and functions as well. The area will be open to hunting for the public, with areas probably set aside as rest areas (refuge). Once the project is considered complete it will be sold. That sale could be to the State of ID with the intent of keeping it open as a public asset, or it could go to a private entity. The two goals of land acquisition through the RLA are to (1) improve waterfowl habitat through restoration and (2) raise further funds for DU through the sale of said property after the habitat has been improved. Both of these goals will be met.

    There has been zero, zilch, no talk of making this project a private hunting area for "important DU" donors. That idea is simply the result of pure rumor, conjecture, envy and resentment. Do such things sometimes happen? Yes..."but". And that "but" is that this occurs on private land where the landowner has the discretion to do with his property as he/she desires. Wealth has it's privileges, and one of those privileges has always been land ownership. Nothing new there. So often, when DU improves "Private Habitat" for the benefit of the ducks, it often benefits a wealthy individual also...because that's who owns land. And no, I'm not a man of wealth and privilege...just a working stiff that likes to hunt ducks, and do what I can for the birds I love and live to hunt.

    I'll try to answer any other questions you might have. But, realize I'm not a state or national level player, nor am I a representative of DU with my presence here.

    GDF
     
  4. IFSteve

    IFSteve Elite Refuge Member

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    Thanks for the reply. The issue is whether or not one believes that using DU dollars to improve habitat on private ground that is closed to the public is a good thing or not.

    Like most things in life the answer is "well it depends." There are certainly situations (perhaps most even) where improving habitat is so beneficial to waterfowl production that even though it is on closed private land it still has tremendous value to the waterfowling community in general. The prairie pothole region being an obvious example.

    However, in my opinion, there are also times when improving habitat on private ground is NOT the right thing to do. The Western Wings property COULD be a prime example. If the habitat and grounds are improved and the land stays open to the public for hunting then I will believe that this project was an excellent use of the money I give to DU. If on the other hand the property is enhanced and ultimately sold to a private entity that closes it off to the public then I will be in the camp that believes that is a poor use of the money I give to DU.

    The Western Wings property is not critical nesting, staging, or wintering grounds so it is hard to argue that any habitat enhancement is good for the general waterfowling community. So if it becomes a private refuge/hunt property down the road that will negatively impact my waterfowling opportunity. Now certainly if DU does sell it that direction then one would hope that its because they made some significant financial gains that would be put to more broad benefit elsewhere.

    Bottom line for me:
    Gets enhanced and stays available to the public = good thing.
    Gets enhanced but becomes closed to the public = not a good thing.
     
  5. Boeinguy737

    Boeinguy737 Senior Refuge Member

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    Steve,

    Good points, and well taken.

    On the pro side...if habitat is improved and land goes to a public entity, everyone wins as I see it.

    On the con side...If the habitat is improved and the sale goes private, the place will hold ducks that should/could improve the adjacent area's hunting...especially when the birds are moved off by the owners hunting it. (As Salt has stated) Regardless, the habitat has been improved locally, more ducks may be attracted and held locally that "may" improve local hunting, and money has been raised for more habitat improvement by DU. Partial win.

    I guess nothing will/can please everyone, but the bottom line for DU is habitat improvement. That takes two ingredients: suitable habitat to improve and money. Let's hope DU creates a great property, and the state takes steps to secure it for the citizens of the area. Perhaps we hunters can push that agenda when the time comes...

    Thanks for the thoughtful, well stated response.

    GDF
     
  6. IFSteve

    IFSteve Elite Refuge Member

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    What I am trying to figure out is how the hunting at the WMA will improve if the WW property goes private. The enhanced private ground will certainly old birds but I can't imagine it getting more pressure than the WMA. In fact, what I am afraid would really happen is that the birds will leave the WMA and hang out on the private ground. That is a good piece of property and if managed right and hunted lightly then all the birds will sit over there while us yahoos sit in the WMA watching emptier skies than we do now. I hope I am wrong!
     
  7. Toothshucker1

    Toothshucker1 Senior Refuge Member

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    Your not wrong Steve. I've seen the exact phenomenon you are talking about with Obendorf's property over here in the Parma area (don't think DU has had much to do with it) and also with the Deer Island Stock Ranch near Astoria, Oregon (big DU project at one time). Both hold ridiculous amounts of birds, and due to relatively light hunting pressure, the birds only leave to feed (if in the right field(s) you might have a shot) and then return to roost. I used to be a big time DU supporter but they treated a friend of mine that made them a lot of money very poorly, and I just got tired of helping fund the construction of lavish private duck clubs.
     
  8. Boeinguy737

    Boeinguy737 Senior Refuge Member

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    I would love to hunt on Obendorff's property...but highly doubt I'll ever have the chance. I have had some great hunts in the "vicinity" of Obendorff's place. On the first hunt there, I remember making the comment, "This is kinda like hanging out with a rock star, and picking up the crumbs!" I'm convinced all the birds were a direct result of birds off of his place. I also know someone that has exclusive access to hunt directly adjacent to O's property...and they have unbelievable results.

    Any refuge will have prime opportunities nearby. Stale birds will know the score, fresh birds will move routinely and provide opportunity. One need only look at the value of property near refuges to verify that. The presence of a high concentration of ducks will provide some opportunity, where the lack of any concentration will not.

    Not here to argue. All I know is that the biologists at DU see value in Western Wings as a valuable habitat for ducks in Eastern Idaho. The DU accountants see it's value for raising further funds to create more habitat. DU is simply trying to fulfill it's Mission Statement through the Western Wings acquisition....as they see it.
     
  9. IFSteve

    IFSteve Elite Refuge Member

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    The problem with your point is that you are comparing hunting on private property that is next to THE private property or a refuge Not even close to the situation we would be talking about here.

    Hunting a pressured public WMA next to a private Shangri La isn't remotely close to the scenario you are describing.
     
  10. goosepond

    goosepond Senior Refuge Member

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    And I'll make my point that i tried to above with a similar situation in the Mississippi flyway where private land was purchased by a land conservation group(s) and turned the ag lands back into natural habitate and the affect it had on so many long time hunting clubs along the Illinois River and still does was unreal because it never did and cant be hunted. Just a refuge for the birds and cut down the harvest dramatically on every club up and down the river from this place and still does have an impact. Here is a link to the property I'm talking about. You can read it for yourself. I know every situation is a little different, but, public vs private like that can really hurt being that close.

    http://www.wetlands-initiative.org/what-we-do/dixon-waterfowl-refuge.html
     

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