Monday, November 30, 2009

Vote John French for Conservationist of the Year

(left to right: Conservancy director of stewardship Art Talsma, Silver Creek Preserve manager Dayna Gross and Budweiser Conservationist of the Year finalist John French)

Silver Creek landowner John French has been named one of four finalists for the Budweiser Conservationist of the Year Award.

Winners are now chosen by vote.

You can vote on-line here: You must be 21 to vote, and may vote once. Enter your age on the web site and you will then proceed to the Conservationist of the Year site.

John French has been a loyal and dedicated volunteer on behalf of The Nature Conservancy, the Wood River Land Trust and other organizations. He has donated a conservation easement on his property at Silver Creek, been a leader in research and restoration efforts along the creek, chaired the Blaine County levy effort to fund wildlife habitat protection and has been a leader in the detection and control of invasive species at Hells Canyon and around the world.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Budweiser will make a $50,000 donation to the conservation organization of the winner's choice. If John wins, he has chosen The Nature Conservancy.

Please join us in recognizing John French for this tremendous honor, and vote today!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Endangered Turkeys?

Turkeys, turkeys, everywhere. From coast to coast, turkeys trot, strut and scratch in just about every suitable habitat.

But at one point, wild turkeys were indeed endangered.

How have their populations recovered so successfully?

Read the answer--and what it means for wildlife conservation--in my blog at Cool Green Science. --Matt Miller

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sage Grouse News

Get the latest news on sage grouse conservation around Idaho in fall newsletter. It includes information on the Owyhee juniper control project and a story by the Conservancy's ecologist, Alan Sands.

Sage grouse photo by Bob Griffith.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Long Distance Pronghorns

One of the longest mammal migrations remaining on the continent occurs in southcentral Idaho, a recent study commissioned by the Wildlife Conservation S0ciety and Lava Lake Institute found.

The study found that pronghorns annually move from the Pioneer Mountains across Craters of the Moon and the Idaho National Laboratory to the Beaverhead Mountains--a distance of 160 miles.

At one point, the migration path is less than 200 yards wide.

The Wildlife Conservation Society used radio collars and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to track the pronghorn movements.

This research demonstrates the importance of the Pioneer Mountains and Craters of the Moon area. Only 10% of the ranches in this area are protected by conservation easements. Energy development has been proposed.

Mammal migrations are among the most spectacular ecological phenomena on our planet.

The pronghorn is a survivor from the Pleistocene, an American original. Undoubtedly, these animals have been following this route for thousands of years.

Let's work together to make sure they can keep on moving. --Matt Miller

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ignite Boise

Five minutes, 20 slides. What would you say?

That's the premise of Ignite Boise, a fun event tomorrow night--Thursday, November 12--at 7 pm at the Egyptian Theatre in downtown Boise.

The Nature Conservancy's Matt Miller will be one of the speakers, with his presentation "How Eating Guinea Pigs Can Save the World (or at least part of it)," based on his experiences in South America.

While the event is advertised as sold out, all unused tickets will be released at 6:30 pm. The folks putting on this event say they have yet to have to turn someone away.

So come out and experience some inspiring, weird and innovative ideas from 15 Boise speakers. We hope to see you there!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Fall Fishing at Silver Creek

For most, fishing season may seem like a distant memory. But the season remains open through November 30 at Silver Creek Preserve.

And the fishing has been fantastic.

You can still find pods of large trout gulping mayflies and midges. Outdoor reporters David Sikes and Bryan Hendricks recently experienced a fantastic day on the preserve, catching several trophy trout. Read the story.

They had the best luck on tiny, tiny flies--like #26 baetis. This is not easy fishing, but there are still feeding fish and excellent hatches.

The crowds are mostly gone so you can have large stretches of stream to yourself. Moose and elk are easily seen, and large flocks of waterfowl circle overhead. On a beautiful fall day, Silver Creek is a great place to be. Get out and enjoy it!--Matt Miller

Monday, November 02, 2009

In The News

Congress yesterday approved funding for a Forest Legacy project that will fund conservation agreements that protect private working forests and wildlife habitat at McArthur Lake, located between Sandpoint and Bonners Ferry.

The funding will be used to purchase 3700 acres of permanent conservation agreements with the landowner, Forest Capital Partners, ensuring that the land will remain forest and provide public access, timber supply and jobs for the local economy.

The Nature Conservancy negotiated the easements. Read more.

Read the Spokane Spokseman Review's coverage.
David Sikes of the Corpus Christi Caller Times visited Idaho to see how the Conservancy works with anglers and hunters on conservation projects.

His story, Conservation Done Right, covers several of our projects in southern Idaho.