Friday, July 1, 2011

UPDATED This, that and the other: Holday weekend outdoors notes

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released a final revised recovery plan for the threatened northern spotted owl, stepping up actions that so far have helped stem but not reverse the old-growth forest raptor’s decline.

The revised plan identifies three main priorities for achieving spotted owl recovery: protecting the best of its remaining habitat, actively managing forests to improve forest health, and reducing competition from barred owls, a native of eastern North America that has progressively moved into the spotted owl’s range in Washington, Oregon, and northern California.

Concerns over increasingly confusing and restrictive gun laws along with the common bond firearms create among shooters and hunters across the entire spectrum of outdoor sports appears to be a driving force in why so many people are members of the National Rifle Association (NRA).

Who we stand behind - In a recent survey conducted as part of Southwick Associate’s monthly Hunter Survey, more active hunters and shooters claim membership in the NRA than any other organization.

The organization that received the next highest nod was the North American Hunting Club, while the dedicated conservation organization that received the next highest membership claim was Ducks Unlimited. The National Wild Turkey Federation and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation were next, respectively.

The survey findings basically mirror each group’s actual reported membership with the NRA claiming as many as 4.3 million members, while the NAHC has more than 850,000 and Ducks Unlimited close to 780,000.

Casting For Cash - When anglers were asked in a recent survey if they participated in fishing tournaments, it was discovered that for every one competing professional angler there are roughly nine fishermen who compete at least occasionally in amateur tournaments, says the Angler Survey.

Among those anglers who reported competing in tournaments in the past year, for every full or part-time angler that competes at the professional level, there are approximately three anglers who compete regularly in amateur tournaments and just over six who do it at least occasionally.

“Fishing tournaments are a great way for anglers at every skill level to compete and have a lot of fun. Looking at some of the more storied tournaments held around the country, purse winnings can be quite large for some of these events, which I am sure is a big draw for many anglers,” said Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates, which designs and conducts the surveys at, and

Just Ducky - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released its preliminary report today on breeding ducks and habitats, based on surveys conducted in May and early June.

Total duck populations were estimated at 45.6 million breeding ducks on the surveyed area. This estimate represents an 11 percent increase over last year’s estimate of 40.9 million birds and is 35 percent above the 1955-2010 long-term average.

This was only the fifth time in the survey’s history that the total duck population has exceeded 40 million.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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