Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Why I like the real Christmas tree

The real Christmas tree is the Real McCoy...

* millions of Christmas trees are grown as "crops"...many people think that they are cutting trees that is a negative to the environment. Just like an annual crop of "anything", nursery or plantation grown trees serve a similar purpose. The big difference is that it takes at least 7-8 years before a tree is ready to be cut for a Christmas tree. In the meantime they also are providing many environmental benefits.
* trees that are cut on national forests, tree farms, or other natural woodlots, contribute toward timber stand improvements
* finding (whether in the lot or out in the woods) your perfect tree is a traditional connection with your natural world and your family...a great day our for all
* real trees are a "renewable resource"
* real trees can be recycled and provide mulch or be used in reclamation efforts
* add your own reasons:.............................

Monday, November 2, 2015

Friday, October 30, 2015

Why are we now losing another tree to insect attack in the West?

Cone collecting may be a hobby for some, but it is serious business for the U.S. Forest Service.

NEAR MARSHALL PASS, CO – Within the San Isabel Forest, at just about 10,000 feet, Robert Beauchamp is adding on a few dozen more.
"These trees are a little wispy up top, so you feel movement a lot," he said.
Beauchamp is a professional cone collector. He scales trees of all heights to collect the cones containing precious seeds -- seeds of trees that are now in peril.
"If they are open cones, you don't want them. The seed has already been dispersed," Beauchamp said. "The cones you want are closed, or just starting to push apart."
It's all part of an effort by the U.S. Forest Service to protect Engelmann Spruce Trees, which are now under siege in Colorado from the spruce beetle. Part of the San Isabel National Forest is on the leading edge of the spruce beetle outbreak and foresters said that outbreak is heading north within Colorado.
Those beetles already killed off trees across millions of acres in the state. The U.S. Forest Service says it is the largest outbreak of them ever recorded.
"Almost all of the mature spruce trees, probably within sight of where we are standing, within one to two years, they'll all be dead," said Alex Rudney, who is with the U.S. Forest Service, based at the Salida Ranger District. "A lot of these trees have been infested this year. They'll start next fall and into winter, turn yellow, to brown, to gray -- and the needles will fall off."
That makes collecting seeds from the still living trees so crucial. They're collecting 40 bushels of cones; each bushel contains about 1,200 cones. It sounds like a lot, but not all of the seeds will make it into seedlings, which are needed to preserve the genetic diversity of Engelmann spruce and the forest.
"Trees are like people – they're different," Rudney said. "Each tree has a certain amount of real specific genetic information, that's maybe different than trees from other areas."
Back up in the tree, Robert Beauchamp knows the fruits of his labor today, may not be fully realized until decades from now.
"We're helping keeping the forests going," he said.
Once they are done with the collection, the cones will be taken to the U.S. Forest Service nursery in Nebraska. The seeds will be stored and some will be used to create new seedlings, which can be planted within one to two years.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

I just bought my duck stamp...why you should too!

The Federal Duck Stamp (Migratory Bird Stamp) is 81!

The story of the Duck Stamp (from the 1934 Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Act)
has a colorful History . Last year's Ducks Unlimited magazine (July/August issue) printed a story on the 80th anniversary of the Federal wetlands conservation program.
Since I was a teenager hunting waterfowl in the Dakotas, the Duck Stamp was always part of the "required license" I needed before I could go afield. 
The History of the Duck Stamp is one that all Americans should be aware of. Again, the American hunter contributes to the success story of the "North American Waterfowl" populations. Of course, anyone can "purchase" the duck stamp (at most U.S. Post Offices). Of course I encourage you to also do so.

As an upland bird hunter and waterfowl enthusiast (hunted for many years when I was younger),
I am especially supportive of wetland area management conservation. Waterfowl production areas (purchased with duck stamp proceeds) are not only for waterfowl, they benefit ALL WILDLIFE. For without water, life is not sustained. 
Some of the best upland bird hunting can be experienced around Waterfowl Production Areas.
As a supporter  of Pheasants Forever (on Board of Metro Denver Pheasants Forever, Habitat) and Ducks Unlimited, I encourage all North Americans to also support these efforts to benefit wildlife and our precious natural resources.
As stated in the DU articles, "nearly 98 percent of every duck stamp dollar goes to support on-the-ground habitat conservation."

Monday, April 6, 2015

Don't Like Daylight Savings Time? Blame New Zealand entomologist

A mentor for us all...

One year ago this month, Rubin Carter, died a free man. So what?
This man was an inspiration to me and should be to every free man in the world.
Just as what Abe Lincoln died for, so have many of our heroes and mentors in the free world.
Here's to you Rubin and thank you for being a HURRICANE for justice!
and I paraphrase from somewhere that I heard this: 
" is a man that was convicted of a crime he did not commit in New Jersey in the late 1960's, spent 20 yrs. in prison, and today can say that
"Life is Magical".

Now that is something to write home about!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

How Many More Monuments Will President Designate?

After Browns Canyon, will Obama designate more and why did he designate this one?
My opinion of Browns Canyon as a National Monument, is that it is overkill designation.
It will bring more rafters to be sure...way too many already! Will have impact on the resource, already the most popular and accessible river in the country.
What do you think?
Browns Canyon is awesome and wildlife abounds...what's next?