[Tweeters] RE: habitat plus

Martha Jordan swanlady at drizzle.com
Fri Nov 15 17:37:07 PST 2013

Yes, it is a challenge for the watchers to be balanced with the those that
hunt in terms of funding available for critters and habitat. The agencies
are responding to both federal funds and local user funds from hunting and
fishing licenses.

For those who have driven either SR2 or the Old Snohomish-Monroe Road you
only have to look out into the valley and see lots of farmland, ponds, corn
growing, trees and more. Ever wonder what this 2,000 acres between
Snohomish and Monroe really is? It is a complex of private waterfowl
hunting clubs. And they are open to members to hunt less than the 90 days
that the waterfowl season is open (sometimes 1-2 days/wk) and they pay big
dollars to do so--at least $5,000/person/year for some clubs and much more
for others in this area. Yet, we all win here. The really great part of
this: for most of the year this is high quality wildlife habitat that no
agency could manage as well for productivity for birds and other creatures.
If it had not been for the economics of hunting this land would all be
nursery tree farms or something with a lot less ecological value for living
things and water flows. Last year the swallows, raptors, duck production,
mammals, amphibians, etc., etc. that use this area was spectacular and
abundant. I do not know any private NGO or agency that could maintain this
area year after year after year in top condition--funding is limited. This
is not a perfect place, just one that, for now, works well to keep quality
habitat available for a wide variety of species--both hunted and especially
those that are not.

How do we, the watchers, get counted: buy the Discover Pass. And to
support wildlife either get a special car license plate that supports
non-game species, and you can also buy a duck stamp == federal and state.
And there are other ways as well to contribute. The bottom line is that all
habitat areas require operating and maintenance costs. The government
agencies are finite and budgets are shrinking. Private and non-profits are
stepping up to the plate and we need them to continue.

Martha Jordan

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