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So... what’s your thoughts on helping the Mallards

Discussion in 'California Flyway Forum' started by mark seaters, Apr 8, 2021.

  1. Mort

    Mort Elite Refuge Member

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    We are not going to change the climate, so that leaves hunting regulations and habitat. With the stroke of a pen, you can change hunting regulations. To change habitat, takes money and the will to make the change. Land owners make money off their land in one way or another. Most land owners are not going to change the way they manage their lands unless they are benefitting from it. Politicians aren't going to back changes in the way they do business or require others to do business, unless it means money or votes to benefit them and what their party believes in. If you want to make a change you had better back some larger organization than yourselves.
     
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  2. 7pntail

    7pntail Elite Refuge Member

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    ^^. So true. And they are water intensive, and provide zero duck habitat. Another two hundred acres going in right behind my house. Hated to see it. You are seeing almonds all over the valley.
     
  3. API

    API PAF-CA Flyway Moderator

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    Indeed. There are essentially two approaches to setting direction... From Top down or Bottom up.

    “Bottom up” is user based and is dependent upon consensus for setting goals. Inability to commonly agree upon goals destroys consensus and thus makes setting bottom up direction unachievable.

    The default approach is top down direction from those who “know best”.

    Too often top down direction happens and it mostly happens because the results of attempting bottom up direction is unsuccessful at reaching consensus.

    We shoot ourselves in the butt. We have to own that.
     
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  4. black brant

    black brant Senior Refuge Member

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    Lower klamath already has thousands of acres of proven habitat and infrastructure.
    Getting water on it will produce a lot of mallards.
    Not the whole fix but we would see results quickly.
     
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  5. Calikev

    Calikev Elite Refuge Member

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    I guess I am going to be the glass is half full guy:

    1. Get LK water again (it will happen at some point)
    2. Continue to fund the Presley Program (provide nesting cover and they will come)
    3. Establish a comprehensive Management plan that involves Federal, State and Private organizations from each region (put $$$ toward habitat that can offer the most nesting/brood/molting benefits and not more seasonal wetlands for wintering birds)
    4. Foot the bill for abatement costs for refuges that cannot manage water aggressively year round as a result of those costs


    None of this is earth shattering stuff. It is all very feasible if there is commitment there. Most of this is already in the works and being discussed at various levels. One positive that will come from this deal with the CWA this past week is the emphasis on the fact we have a mallard problem in CA. We can fix some of that. We can't fix climate change, so it is important to start with the low hanging fruit and hope we have the infrastructure in place to capitalize in high water years.

    Kevin
     
  6. Sweatliner

    Sweatliner Elite Refuge Member

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    Wanted to sleep on it before I commented.

    I think what happened was some exceptionally passionate folks went a bit too far. Members got involved and reminded them to work from a science base. Here we are now.

    CWA is a tremendous organization but at times, like any other organization, mistakes get made.

    What to do about it? Throw in the towel? Or get involved and see what you can do to help steer the wheel. Look at what you folks were able to do by simply speaking up. Honestly it was really impressive to see so many come together and work towards a common goal.

    I’m not giving up on them. I’ve seen the good that they do and know where I’d like to see change. I’ll keep speaking up for the public land hunters along with some other great folks. By the way there’s going to be a lot more public land hunters this season with so many places not getting water.

    I do think it’s fair to say we need to pay closer attention to OUR ( as in everyone’s ) organization. The day of the meeting I wasn’t on the call, “ too busy “. I need to be more involved myself.

    I’ll be posting up some ways to get involved coming up. Sending in a check is great and all but I think we can do more.
     
  7. enzinn

    enzinn Senior Refuge Member

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    I like the comprehensive approach. I don't know why, because it will likely be large and unwieldy. But the idea of forcing everyone to integrate their management and maybe even pursue outcome based performance metrics for solutions sounds like a good direction.

    The other issue that California hunters are grappling with is the constant onslaught of targeted anti-hunting bills being ghost written by HSUS lobbyists. Will funding from the hunting community dry up as they continue their full court press to ban all hunting and fishing in California?

    Would it be possible for the start up of a California organization that does nothing but drum up even more funds for habitat acquisition and management?

    As others have already pointed out, even habitat acquisition might not work without the properly timed delivery of water at different times of the year. And those deliveries already have a backlog of users waiting in line annually for allotments.

    I spend most of my time hunting in Montana now, but even Montana has not escaped habitat, water and political issues. They just aren't as far along as California in this situation and they don't have 40 million people who mostly live in cities. But the same water and habitat issues are starting to plague the High Plains states now.
     
  8. KID CREOLE

    KID CREOLE Elite Refuge Member

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    Varmints?

    I have a good friend who does a bit of rice farming in the valley. Every egg that a hen lays on his property is eaten within two days.

    The mallard issue is complicated
     
  9. Calikev

    Calikev Elite Refuge Member

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    Honestly we have one heck of a habitat footprint in CA now. We need to start getting real here. We aren't just a migration dependent State. We have the unique opportunity and always have had it to produce birds in CA. I always admired Tom Phillips enthusiasm, although it was a bit of a stretch to think we could raise a million mallards. He was a big advocate of creating more oak riparian areas and utilizing acorns to feed birds. It was someone who was excited about "what could be".......something sorely missing with all the negativity now.

    The type of stuff we need to happen is just converting habitat we already have over to "production grounds". This goes against many management approaches. The USFWS does not agree to the approach of managing from a gun barrel and created grounds specifically to raise a species so hunters have more to shoot. So we have to be better at how this gets approached. What other benefits to wildlife get from converting habitat over? We can replicate what we have lost and consider it "restoration" and not interrupting the natural order of things. Farming practices have both harmed habitat and substituted it so we have a complex reliance on farming as part of helping us raise more waterfowl here in CA.

    So the organization we need is one primarily focused on production. Tunnel vision on it as we have enough habitat focused organizations that do all of the other things.
     
  10. Sweatliner

    Sweatliner Elite Refuge Member

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    Good post Mark. While it is tough for a single individual to make an impact things happening like this below show what can happen when we support organizations we believe in.

    https://www.calwaterfowl.org/wp-con...heat-harvest-program-2020-final-report_sm.pdf
     
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