Week of April 15, 2013

Quote of the Year
For Your Health
Misc New Fishing-Boating Products
Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

2nd Amendment Issues
General
Lake Huron

Illinois
Michigan
New York
Ohio
Wisconsin
Other Breaking News Items

 

       Weekly News Archives

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       New Product  Archives

Quote of the Year

Quote of the year

"All vets are mentally ill and government should prevent them from owning

firearms"

Senator Dianne Feinstein


 

For Your Health

Mobility Shoes’ take a Load Off for Knee Osteoarthritis Suffers

New research suggests that patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) who wear flat, flexible footwear (mobility shoes) had significant reduction in knee loading—the force placed upon the joint during daily activities. Results published in Arthritis & Rheumatism, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), show that long term use of the mobility shoes helped OA patients adapt their gait, or how they walk, which improved knee loading, even when the mobility shoes were no longer worn.

 

More than 27 million Americans over the age of 25 have some form of OA, which causes painful swelling and stiffness in the hand, foot, knee or hip joints, according to the ACR. A 2006 study by Hootman et al. published in Arthritis & Rheumatism projects that doctor-diagnosed arthritis will swell to 67 million U.S. adults by 2030. Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 16% of adults 45 years of age and older are burdened with symptomatic knee OA.

 

In their previous studies, Dr. Najia Shakoor and colleagues from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois found that walking barefoot

as well as with ‘mobility shoes,’ which are designed to mimic barefoot mechanics, was linked to reduced knee loading compared to when walking with regular footwear worn by participants. However, the authors thought the long term effects of the specialized footwear needed to be evaluated.

 

Findings suggest that by 24 weeks participants wearing mobility footwear saw an 18% reduction in knee adduction moment (KAM)—the load on the inner or medial aspect of the knee when walking (where most people develop knee OA) compared to baseline knee loading in their own footwear. No significant difference in KAM was found between walking with mobility shoes and barefoot. Compared to baseline, analyses indicate an 11% and 10% reduction in KAM for OA patients walking in their own shoes and barefoot, respectively, suggesting the mobility shoes may have “re-trained” participant’s gait.

 

“Patients with OA who use flat, flexible footwear may experience a significant reduction in knee loading with continued use," concludes Dr. Shakoor. “Our investigation provides evidence that footwear choice may be an important consideration in managing knee OA."

 


Endometriosis Treatments Lower Ovarian Cancer Risk

A novel study shows women who undergo surgical treatment for endometriosis have a lower risk of developing ovarian cancer. According to results published in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, a journal of the Nordic Federation of Societies of Obstetrics and Gynecology, hormonal treatments for endometriosis did not lower ovarian cancer risk.

 

Endometriosis is a common, and often painful, gynecological disease 

where tissue normally found inside the uterus, grows elsewhere in the body. According to the World Health Organization this estrogen-dependent disease affects roughly 14% of women of childbearing age. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that more than 5.5 million women in North America have endometriosis, and if left untreated can cause infertility in up to 40% of women who are unable to conceive. 

Endometriosis: Risk factor for ovarian cancer? - MayoClinic.com

 


 

Misc New Fishing-Boating Products

All-New Toyota Tundra Debuts

Toyota unveiled its all-new 2014 Tundra during the 2013 Chicago Auto Show Media Preview. The Tundra is the third vehicle that Toyota has released in the last 10 months and is a full-size pickup truck aimed to appeal to luxury buyers. According to Toyota, the Tundra is built to accommodate all lifestyles, from an urban city to rugged terrain.

 

“We listened to what the customers were telling us while redesigning the

 

Tundra,” said Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager, Toyota Division. “Full-size pickups are a way of life.”

 

Toyota expanded the Tundra lineup to include two new premium trim levels, now offering buyers five options. Toyota is hoping these new line additions will target the increasingly expanding range of truck consumers who are seeking upscale features.

 

Georgia’s Bone wins Southern Open on Flash Mob Jr.

Major B.A.S.S. tournament won by throwing a castable umbrella rig

By Lawrence Taylor

For the first time in history a major B.A.S.S. tournament has been won by an angler throwing a castable umbrella rig (CUR), specifically the YUMbrella Flash Mob Jr. Georgia’s Patrick Bone weighed in 65-pounds, 4-ounces over the three day Southern Open tournament held April 4-6 on Tennessee’s Douglas Lake.

 

These rigs, which feature multiple arms for the attachment of up to five jigheads rigged with swimbaits, have come under fire by many pro anglers as being too effective. Like spinnerbaits, crankbaits or any other tool in a bass angler’s arsenal, however, there is a time and place that the rig is most effective. Catching tournament-winning stringers doesn’t come from simply tying one on and catching three fish per cast all day long.

 

Plus, as Bone proved, there are differences in the many versions of CURs available, and just like with any other lure category, size, action and other lure characteristics make the key differences that catch fish. Bone threw the diminutive Flash Mob Jr. all three days of the tournament.

“I caught every fish I weighed in on the Flash Mob Jr.,” he said. “The size and those flashing blades were the deal. Just about everyone in the tournament was throwing some type of umbrella rig.”

 

In the Douglas Lake Open with most of the approximately 180 pros throwing a rig, 21 anglers did not weigh in a fish during two days of fishing, and 51 anglers brought less than 6 pounds to the scales. Seventy-five pros brought in less than 10 pounds.

 

If all an angler has to do is tie one on and fish jump in the boat, wouldn’t everyone have caught 25 pounds a day? There is no argument from anyone, however, that the CUR is a highly effective bass lure when fished at the right time and place. Like a spinnerbait, however, for best results the angler still must select the right size and action, as well as rig it with the most effective soft plastics.

 

The YUMbrella Flash Mob Jr. is a downsized rig with five stainless steel lure arms. No. 3 willowleaf blades are positioned at the mid-point of each of the four outer arms to provide extra flash and vibration. With no extra weight in the head, shorter lure arms and a lighter overall weight, the Flash Mob Jr. is less strenuous to cast than a full-sized version, yet creates the image of a full-sized school of baitfish.

 

Refining any lure to make it more effective than your competition is

essential no matter the technique. Bone used 4- to 5-inch swimbaits in

two different color patterns to catch his winning bass. “I had two rods on

the deck during the tournament,” Bone said. “One was for stained water and the other for clearer water. For clear water I like swimbaits that are somewhat translucent, and for the dirtier water I use the more solid colors like white.”

 

Bone threw the clear-water rig on 20-pound fluorocarbon and the dirty water rig on 65-pound braid.

 

Because Douglas Lake is in Tennessee, a state with a 3-hook restriction, Bone used hookless swimbaits on the top two lure arms, two ¼-ounce jigheads on the bottom lure arms and a 1/8-ounce jig for the center lure arm. The two heavier bottom jigheads provide the balance needed for the Flash Mob Jr. to run straight in the water.

 

He caught his bass in water 8- to 10-feet deep, targeting transition areas the fish were using as they migrated into spawning areas. He positioned the boat so he could cast parallel to the bank (or at most a 45-degree angle) so he could keep the rig in the right water depth the maximum amount of time.   “I started reeling as soon as it hit the water,” Bone said. “I retrieved it at a slow, constant pace, just ticking the rocks but not letting it get down in them or it would get hung up. I didn’t use any twitches or add any rod action.”

 

Bone didn’t catch tremendous numbers of fish each day, but his Flash Mob Jr. did catch the right ones. He boated 11 keepers on Friday, eight on Saturday and just 6 fish on Sunday, but all of the fish he caught were quality 3- to 5-pounders.

 

Mark Hicks, a Bassmaster.com columnist and tournament angler, fished the Southern Open as a co-angler and said that most competitors he saw were throwing smaller-sized CURs with willowleaf blades. Hicks said the two boaters he rode with did land a few fish on different versions of umbrella rigs, but that he never really got the bite going.

 

“I may have messed up,” he said. “Most of the guys were running dummy rigs on the top two lure arms, but I cut off the top wires, and I think that was a mistake. There is no doubt that the rig catches quality fish, and this was not an easy bite at all. Patrick (Bone) had something going, though. He was fishing behind guys and still catching fish.”

 

The Flash Mob Jr. has become the most-popular CUR in YUM’s extensive lineup of rigs and is available everywhere fishing lures are sold -- including Wal-Mart – for less than $13. Bone said he’d tried a variety of CURs from different manufacturers, but threw the Flash Mob Jr. at Douglas for one major reason.   “It was the confidence factor,” he said. “I have a lot of confidence in that rig.”


 

Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

Browning High Grade Citori 725 Shotguns

Morgan, UT- Beginning in 2013, Browning will introduce a new High Grade Program. Each year, two exquisite firearms will be added to the line. These limited editions will include additional engraving, gold accents, high-grade wood and other features that separate them from standard models. Two Citori 725 models are kicking off the program for 2013. They include a Grade III and Grade V, both in 12 gauge with 26" or 28" barrel lengths.

 

The new Grade III 725 receiver has a silver nitride finish and features high-relief engraving of pheasants on the left and mallards on the right with a dog on the 

 

bottom. The stock and forearm feature Grade III/IV walnut with gloss finish and sharp 20 lines-per-inch checkering. Suggested Retail is $3,729.99.

 

The Grade V 725 High Grade receiver features full coverage, high-relief engraving with gold enhanced pheasants on the left and mallards on the right. The stock and forearm feature Grade V/VI walnut with sharp 22 lines-per-inch checkering. The Grade V also comes with a High Grade Canvas/Crazy Horse Leather gun case. The case has a solid wood frame, canvas covering and features high grade leather on the borders, handles and fastening straps. The liner is made of soft wool and the case has solid brass hinges and combination locks. Suggested Retail $5,599.99.

 

For more information on Browning products, please visit the website at www.browning.com.


Public Approval of hunting highest since 1995
The National Shooting Sports Foundation reports that a new survey shows 79% of the American public approve of hunting. This marks the highest level of support for hunting since 1995, according to data compiled by Responsive Management, an independent research firm.

 

The nationwide scientific survey showed the public’s approval of hunting rose five points in the past year, up from 74 % in 2011. The survey, conducted in February 2013 using random digit dialing and supplemental cellular telephone sampling, was the fifth in a

series of similar surveys by Responsive Management to track trends in public approval of hunting since 1995.

 

Support for hunting has remained generally consistent during this time–73% in 1995; 75% in 2003; 78% in 2006; 74% in 2011; and a peak of 79% in 2013.  One thousand Americans 18 years old and older were surveyed to achieve a sampling error of plus or minus 3.00 percentage points. More than half (52%) of those surveyed strongly approved of hunting. At the other end of the spectrum, 12% of Americans disapprove of hunting. Another 8% neither approve nor disapprove (total does not equal 100% due to rounding).


 

General

Surge Protective Devices Onboard Vessels

We've all seen them and used them; surge protective devices (SPDs), more commonly known as surge protectors or power strips help protect our expensive electronic devices from being damaged from excessive currents and allow us to deliver power to multiple devices simultaneously.

 

This safety alert addresses the use of certain electrical protection devices onboard vessels and the inherent risks they may cause. Most commercially available SPDs are designed for use ashore and will interrupt only the hot conductor when a surge occurs. What does that mean for the ship owner/operator? It means that while these devices may provide protection in our homes and offices, these same devices may be a fire risk onboard vessels.

 

A marine casualty investigation of two separate stateroom fires onboard a U.S. Flag Container ship revealed that the sources of the fires were attributed to the use of SPDs plugged into a lighting circuit. It was discovered that a ground had developed on another circuit that was connected to the same distribution panel providing power to the staterooms. This ground created an imbalance of voltage between the two power conductors supplying the SPDs which caused excessive currents, overheating, and subsequently, a fire. In this instance, even if the SPDs automatically tripped as designed, only one power conductor would have been secured while the other would continue to provide power, possibly shorting to the device's ground wire and the structure of the vessel.

 

For shipboard applications, it is critical for a device to interrupt both power

conductors. Underwriters Lab Standard - UL Marine 1449 - addresses this issue and applies to the use of SPDs.

 

The Coast Guard recommends that vessel Owners, Operators, Class Society Surveyors, Insurers, and other inspection personnel examine the risks associated with the use of SPDs aboard their vessels, and if necessary ensure their organizations have policies and procedures relating to their use.  Vessels should have defined procedures for checking the condition and grounding capabilities of personal/portable electrical equipment, and trained shipboard personnel should be assigned to check and approve all SPDs in use or brought on board for compatibility with the vessel's electrical distribution system prior to use. Routine checks of switchboard and distribution system 120 VAC ground detection systems are necessary to detect the presence of grounds that may cause similar circumstances with non-marine type SPDs. These recommendations are not mandated rather just an advisory based on lessons learned from the casualty.

 

This document is provided for informational purposes only and does not relieve any domestic or international safety, operational or material requirement; developed by the Office of Investigations and Casualty Analysis, U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, DC.  Questions can be addressed to  HQS-PF-fldr-G-PCA@uscg.mil.


Free Bass Pro Shops Kids’ Outdoor Skills Challenge Event

Bass Pro Shops Kids’ Outdoor Skills Challenge Event will include free activities, prizes and crafts at 54 Bass Pro Shops locations (excluding Branson, MO and Miami, FL).

 

Kids are invited to join the fun at their local Bass Pro Shops during back to back weekends of fun, starting the weekend of Saturday, April 20th and Sunday, April 21st from Noon to 4pm and then again, Saturday, April 27th and Sunday, April 28th.  The event offers exciting challenges such as casting pond accuracy, soft or youth archery, knot tying and a backpack competition.  The first 100 kids to complete a punch card each day will

 

receive a free flashing wristband.  Plus, complete all the challenges for a chance to spin the prize wheel (while supplies last.  Styles may vary). 

 

In addition, crafts are offered from 1pm – 4pm each event day to give kids a chance to get in on the action with free activities like fun coloring sheets and various crafts - while supplies last. 

 

Go to: www.basspro.com for a complete list of locations participating in the Bass Pro Shops Kids’ Outdoor Skills Challenge Event. See store for details as events, activities and crafts vary by location.


31 Major Hunting/Wildlife Organizations Pen Letter on Gun Control’s “Unnecessary Restrictions”

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), 31 of the most influential organizations in the outdoors expressed their concern over restrictions to gun ownership. The list of signatories includes many prominent groups, including:

Archery Trade Association
Boone and Crockett Club
Campfire Club of America
Catch-A-Dream Foundation
Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation
Conservation Force
Dallas Safari Club
Delta Waterfowl
Masters of Foxhounds
Mule Deer Foundation
National Rifle Association
National Shooting Sports Foundation
National Trappers Association
National Wild Turkey Federation
North American Bear Foundation
North American Grouse Partnership

Orion, The Hunter’s Institute
Pheasants Forever
Pope & Young Club
Quail Forever
Quality Deer Management Association
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Ruffed Grouse Society
Safari Club International
Texas Wildlife Association
U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance
Whitetails Unlimited
Wild Sheep Foundation
Wildlife Forever
Wildlife Management Institute
Wildlife Mississippi

 

The letter addresses the issue of tragic shootings such as the one that occurred in Newtown, and mentioned five things that the organizations support:

·  Improvements to the already-existing National Instant Criminal

Background Check System (NICS)

·  Strict enforcement of existing firearm laws

·  Changes to the treatment of the mentally ill

·  Improved security in schools

·  Community-based “family watch” programs that seek to deal with potential problems before they occur

 

Beyond these five points, the organizations oppose any “unnecessary restrictions” to the procurement and possession of firearms. The letter states that those restrictions had “no foundation in addressing the factors that led to this tragedy or like tragedies” and furthermore will impact an industry that adds billions to the national economy. According to the letter, shooting sports participants contributed $5.4 billion to the conservation of America’s wildlife and hunter education system since 1991. This “user pays-public benefits” partnership provides the country with what is internationally viewed as one of the most successful conservation programs in the world.

 

The letter also reports that roughly 98,752 people are employed by the firearm industry, which produced $31.84 billion in 2012 alone.

Senator Reid is currently heading up a gun control package colloquially referred to as a “universal background check” measure, building off a bill by Senator Chuck Shumer (D-NY). Many gun owners’ associations and hunting advocates oppose this proposal due to its intrusion on private transfers.

 

 According to Safari Club International, Senator Shumer’s bill could make a number of transfers illegal, including:

·         Lending a friend a firearm on public land

·         A student taking temporary possession of a firearm in a hunter safety class outside the range

·         Lending a firearm to a friend in any location where hunting is not permitted, such as a suburban neighborhood

·         Inspecting a gun at a convention or trade show

 

Another group opposing the proposal is the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), who the Daily Caller reports as having “serious concerns” with the bill. A spokesman for the group states that the ACLU is concerned that the bill will threaten both privacy and civil liberties.

 

You can read the letter here in its entirety, courtesy of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action.


 

2nd Amendment Issues

Memo calls for national mandatory gun registration & confiscation

The National Rifle Association has obtained a Department of Justice memo calling for national gun registration and confiscation.  The nine page “cursory summary” on current gun control initiatives was not officially released by the Obama administration. 

 

The DOJ memo (downloadable here as a PDF) states the administration “believes that a gun ban will not work without mandatory gun confiscation,” according to the NRA, and thinks universal background checks “won’t work without requiring national gun registration.”  Obama has yet to publicly support national registration or firearms confiscation, although the memo reveals his administration is moving in that direction. 

 

The memo stands in stark contrast to the administration’s public stance on so-called gun control.  White House spokesman Jay Carney said last month that laws proposed by Obama would not “take away a gun from a  

single law-abiding American.”

 

The NRA declined to explain how it obtained the document.  The memo was written by the acting director of the Justice Department’s National Institute of Justice, Greg Ridgeway.  It is dated January 4, two weeks before Obama mounted his attack on the Second Amendment following the Sandy Hook massacre.  Ridgeway came to the Justice Department from the RAND corporation. 

 

The memo says universal background checks on firearms purchases may help the government push to control and eventually outlaw firearms, but it would lead to an increase in illegally purchased guns.  http://static.infowars.com/2013/02/i/general/nij-gun-policy-memo.pdf

 

Washington Times: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/feb/23/nra-uses-justice-memo-accuse-obama-admin-wanting-c/


CCRKBA Calls for background checks on all Elected Officials

Citing the many scandals involving elected officials, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear arms has called for universal

background checks on elected officials. "If you compare the

percentages," said the CCRKBA's Alan Gottlieb, "the rate of criminal activity by politicians is probably far higher than the rate of crimes committed by the general public."


PTR to Move from Connecticut

The migration has started

This past week an historic and highly controversial bill was passed by the State of Connecticut which will have far reaching consequences to the state, its citizens, and businesses. The bill we refer to is Bill No. 1160, AN ACT CONCERNING GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION AND CHILDRENS SAFETY. This bill purports to reduce gun violence by banning hardware responsible for less than 3% of homicides in 2011 ; and claims to increase children’s safety by restricting the ability of those most responsible for it – their parents – to defend them.

 

As a firearms manufacturing firm, our industrial roots reach deep in the State of CT. Along with other companies in the trade, we were deeply apprehensive at the hurried process to develop new gun laws and fearful that it would generate unintended consequences for our industry. On Thursday April 4th 2013, upon reading the full text of Bill 1160, our worst fears were confirmed. What emerged was a bill fraught with ambiguous definitions, insufficient considerations for the trade, conflicting mandates, and disastrous consequences for the fundamental rights of the people of CT.

 

The magnitude of the constitutional and economic importance of this bill is such that the disregard for public input (in the final version), and the haphazard production of the legislation should be insulting to any citizen or business in CT. It should be a shock to us all that such landmark legislation could be written in one week, and seen by no one (including the rank-and-file legislators) prior to its emergency certification. Having been present in the deliberations in both legislative chambers, it was clear that a majority of our legislators had not even read the bill – and those that had read it had only a cursory understanding.

 

The process with which this legislation proceeded, along with the language that resulted gives us no confidence that this will be the last violation of our rights in our beloved home state, and we only hope that this does not set a precedent at a national level.

 

The rights of the citizens of CT have been trampled upon. The safety of its

children is at best questionably improved from the day of the tragedy that

triggered the events that lead us here. Finally, due to an improperly drafted bill, manufacturing of modern sporting rifles in the State of CT has been effectively outlawed. With a heavy heart but a clear mind, we have been forced to decide that our business can no longer survive in Connecticut – the former Constitution state.

 

Furthermore, we feel that our industry as a whole will continue to be threatened so long as it remains in a state where its elected leaders have no regard for the rights of those who produce and manufacture its wealth. We are making a call to all involved in our industry to leave this state, close your doors and show our politicians the true consequences of their hasty and uninformed actions. We encourage those in our industry to abandon this state as its leaders have abandoned the proud heritage that forged our freedom.

 

Although PTR has not decided upon a specific relocation site at this time, over the coming weeks the company will be actively considering offers from states that are friendly to the industry. We hope to have a site identified within the next six weeks, and hope to have our move completed by the end of this year. We plan to keep our business partners informed on the status of our move throughout this process in order to affect a smooth transition.

 

We have extended the invitation to join us in the move to all of our employees, as well as all of our vendors. We are pleased to say that we currently have commitments to move from a majority of our employees, which includes ALL of our management personnel, engineering staff and skilled gunsmiths.

 

It is our hope and sincere belief that this move will represent a step forward for the company; and that by bringing our expertise and core personnel to combine with the business friendly policies, and a motivated local labor force from a state that respects industry and the second amendment that we can expand our operations and not only maintain – but increase the quality and reputation of our products.

 


 

Lake Huron

2013 Lake Huron Fisheries Workshops

Michigan Sea Grant in partnership with other agencies and local fishery organizations will be hosting three evening regional workshops across Lake Huron’s coastline.

 

Workshops are open to the public, and will provide valuable information for anglers, charter captains, resource professionals, and other community members interested in attending. Workshops will include information and status updates on Lake Huron low water levels and fish populations and angler catch data, resurgence of native species such as Lake Huron walleye, forage fish surveys and results from the Lake Huron predator diet study, updates of fisheries management activities, among other Lake Huron related topics of local interest.

 

In addition, discussions will include expansion of Atlantic salmon stocking, important increases in natural reproduction of many species and several topics of interest locally.  Meetings will be held in the evenings from 6-9 pm.

 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Ubly Fox Hunter’s Club - Ubly, MI

 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

 Wiltse’s Family Restaurant – Oscoda, MI

 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

 Les Cheneaux Sportsman’s Club – Cedarville, MI

 

Workshop details are available online: www.miseagrant.umich.edu/explore/fisheries/fishery-workshops/

 

Workshops are no cost to participants, how-ever pre-registration is requested.

To register, contact:   Val Golding, (989-354-9870, goldingv@alpenacounty.org  

 

Program information or questions, contact: Brandon Schroeder, Michigan Sea Grant, 989-354-1056, schroe45@msu.edu.

 


 

Illinois

DNR to Host Series of Open Houses throughout Illinois on Deer Management

Questions and comments from the public are encouraged

  SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois DNR has scheduled a series of open houses for the public to ask questions and receive information about Illinois' deer herd this June.  DNR staff will be on hand at each meeting to discuss the deer management program, hunting regulations, and surveillance/management of chronic wasting disease.
 

The open houses from 4 – 7 p.m. at the following locations and dates:

·   June 3 – Rockford Public Library (East Branch), 6685 East State St., Rockford, IL

·  June 4 – Hickory Hills Discovery Center (Twinleaf West room), St. Charles Park District, 3795 Campton Hills Road, St. Charles, IL

·  June 5 – Champaign County Farm Bureau Auditorium, 801 Country

Fair Drive, Champaign, IL

·  June 6 – John A. Logan College (TDR room), 700 Logan Drive,

Carterville, IL

·  June 11 – PASA Park, #1 Pasa Park, Barry, IL (off I-72 west of Pittsfield)

In addition to the open houses, the IDNR will post all materials presented at the meetings on the Department’s website and provide opportunities for hunters, landowners, and other members of the public to review them and provide comments.

 

More information and details will be available at the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov as it becomes available.

 


 

Michigan

Restoring fish, flow in the St. Joseph River watershed

Since the beginning of time – or at least since before 1863 – the St. Joseph River has meandered unfettered for 210 miles from its origins at Baw Beese Lake in Hillsdale County to Lake Michigan at the cities of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor. Considering the numerous tributaries flowing into the St. Joseph River, the watershed encompasses more than 1,800 stream miles.

 

Before 1863, when the city of Niles constructed the first dam on the river, fish moved freely throughout the river system. Since that time, numerous man-made impediments to fish passage have been constructed on the river and streams in the watershed. By the late 1990s, there were 190 registered dams on the St. Joe and its tributaries as well as uncounted unregistered barriers.

 

Although these dams have provided some economic and recreational benefits, they have adversely affected fish communities by blocking spawning migrations, interfering with seasonal movements, and fragmenting populations. Dams also influence fish habitat by blocking downstream movement of large woody structure and detritus (e.g., small pieces of wood and leaves), disrupting the sediment balance above and below impoundments, altering flow regimes and channel dimensions, and elevating stream water temperatures.

 

Many of the dams across Michigan are near the end of their life expectancy and no longer fulfill their original purposes. These dams are excellent candidates for removal.

 

In 2010, the Potawatomi Resource Conservation and Development Council received a grant through the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Fish Passage Program to identify such dams within the St. Joseph River watershed. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) assisted with this effort, along with personnel from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Southwest Michigan Planning Commission (SWMPC), Friends of the St. Joseph River Association, United States Army Corps of Engineers, various conservation districts and two private consulting firms (Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr, and Huber, Inc. and Streamside Ecological Services, Inc.).

 

This conglomeration of governmental agencies and other organizations has come to be called the Fish Passage Group.

 

The Fish Passage Group compiled information from existing sources into a centralized database. It was not feasible to conduct field reviews for all of the dams, so a ranking system was used to identify which of those dams merited site inspections. During 2011, inspections were completed

at 43 dam sites. Out of this sample, the Fish Passage Group determined

that 22 dams no longer exist or have been bypassed and do not function as migration barriers for fish. Fourteen of the remaining dams were identified as high-priority candidates for removal. During the next phase of the process, the DNR or partner organizations will contact the owners of these dams to determine if they are interested in removal.

 

The DNR has already assisted with several dam removal projects in the St. Joseph River watershed. For example, DNR Fisheries Division staff partnered with the DNR Parks and Recreation Division’s heavy equipment crew to remove the Jonesville Dam on the upper St. Joseph River in January 2011.

 

The DNR also provided funding and technical assistance for the removal of the Watervliet spillway and diversion dams on the Paw Paw River during fall 2011. This large-scale project involved the collaboration of multiple organizations (including Environmental Consulting & Technology, Inc., SWMPC, the Nature Conservancy, Two Rivers Coalition and the City of Watervliet) and funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, USFWS, and Berrien County.

 

The DNR and partner organizations are working to eliminate these barriers to fish passage.

 

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the DNR and SWMPC helped the Berrien County Road Commission obtain a USFWS Fish Passage Grant to replace one particularly bad crossing on a small tributary to the St. Joseph River near the town of Buchanan.

 

A perched culvert has hindered movement of fish into this cold-water stream. The culvert was also undersized, and water overtopped the road after major storm events. During fall 2012, this crossing was replaced and grade-control structures were installed downstream. These improvements have reduced the risk to public safety and will allow salmon, steelhead and brown trout to access valuable spawning and nursery habitat.

 

It took more than a century for humans to construct all the barriers in the St. Joseph River watershed. Removal of those barriers will not occur overnight. With help from a wide range of partners, the DNR has begun the process of reconnecting stream reaches and restoring fish populations in this major river system. Over time, fish movement in the St. Joseph River system will return to a more natural state of affairs.

 

To find out more about how the DNR manages dams, visit www.michigan.gov/dnrdams.  


 

New York

DEC Launches Shooting Range Grant Program

Grants Program Application Period is open through May 31

Grants Available to Improve Public Access to Non-Profit or Municipal Shooting Ranges across the State

In an effort to support recreational opportunities for sportsmen and women across the state and to promote safe and responsible use of firearms, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner (DEC) Joe Martens, in partnership with the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Saratoga County, today launched the Shooting Range Small Grants Program. This effort, which encourages the development, improvement and operations of shooting ranges, is tied to Governor Cuomo’s Open for Hunting and Fishing Initiative.

 

Funding for 2013 includes $65,000 for matching grants at a three to one ratio to eligible non-profit or municipal shooting ranges across the state. Funding for the program is derived from a federal tax on firearms and ammunition, made available to state fish and wildlife agencies for their sportsman education activities.

 

“Shooting ranges provide important benefits to the hunting, recreational shooting, and competitive shooting communities,” said Commissioner Martens.  “Governor Cuomo supports these grants to ensure the hunting communities have access to ranges to improve and practice their shooting skills. With publicly accessible shooting ranges being in high demand, the Shooting Range Grants Program will prove to be a popular supportive program.”

 

“Shooting ranges are a key to the future of shooting and hunting enabling new generations to learn to safely and responsibly handle firearms in a positive learning environment,” said Bill Schwerd, New York State 4-H Shooting Sports Coordinator. “We are excited about the opportunities these grants will generate across our state. Youth and adults will learn the skills needed for a lifetime of positive experiences on the field and in the range. Cornell Cooperative Extension in Saratoga County is pleased to work with DEC on this statewide initiative. Shooters of all ages learn

 

about New York’s diverse nature environment and with an emphasis on
science and technology while honing their shooting skills.”
 

Ranges are used for developing firearms and archery familiarity and proficiency necessary for safe and ethical hunting, and to promote the careful use of firearms and archery equipment. Competitive shooting and active shooting develop skills beneficial to hunters and the law enforcement community while cultivating sportsmanship and participation in a healthy, challenging environment.

 

DEC and the Cornell Cooperative Extension program of Saratoga County have worked closely with stakeholders to gather ideas and suggestions for this program. To be eligible to apply, applicants must demonstrate five years of successful range operation and be willing to provide a publicly-accessible place for hunters, shooters, and archers to practice and improve their skills. Proposals should include ways to introduce newcomers or keep current and past participants involved in organized shooting sports.

 

Projects will be selected annually through a competitive grant process, with allocations ranging from $1,000 to $15,000. To learn more about the goals and eligible projects within the program and to obtain the Program Guidelines and Application Packet, visit the Shooting Range Small Grants Program page at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89577.html.  The 2013 Shooting Range Small Grants Program application period is now open until May 31, 2013.

 

Governor Cuomo’s NY Open for Hunting and Fishing Initiative is an effort to improve recreational activities for in-state and out-of-state sportsmen and sportswomen and to boost tourism opportunities throughout the state.  This initiative includes the streamlining of hunting and fishing licensing and reducing license fees, improved access for fishing at various sites across the state, and increasing hunting opportunities in various regions.  For questions or comments: Melissa Bailey at mrb323@cornell.edu or call 315-793-2515.


DEC Offers Options for landowners with too many Geese

Canada geese are a valuable natural resource and a source of recreation and enjoyment to bird watchers, hunters and others.  Flocks in flight this time of year are a welcome sign of the change in seasons.  However, local-nesting or “resident” geese have become year-round inhabitants of parks, ball fields, waterways, farms, residential areas and golf courses, where they can cause problems and the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has information available on its website on how to cope with nuisance geese.

 

Property owners can find tips to prevent or reduce problems with Canada geese on DEC’s website at www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7003.html.  Several options are available to alleviate damage and nuisance caused by resident Canada geese during the spring and summer months.  DEC issued a General Depredation Permit (GDP) that allows the disturbance or removal of adult or juvenile Canada geese or their nests or eggs under certain situations and conditions without having to apply for individual state and federal permits.

 

Geese should be chased away from an area as soon as they arrive in the spring and persistently chased until they permanently leave the area. Once geese start nesting in mid-March to mid-May, they will be less likely to leave the area.  Assuring no birds are physically harmed, anyone may scare or chase geese without a special permit. If doing so within three miles of an airport, it is required that the airport manager be contacted at least 72 hours in advance so they can be on the lookout for any flocks that may be dispersed in the direction of the airport.

 

Egg-addling

To prevent successful goose nesting, “egg-addling” may be conducted in any area of New York State.  Egg-addling involves the technique of treating goose eggs to prevent hatching, either by puncturing the eggs or coating them with 100 percent corn oil.  After registering on-line at https://epermits.fws.gov/eRCGR/, one may oil or puncture any number of nests or eggs of Canada geese from property they own manage or have property owner permission to perform egg-addling activities on.  This technique prevents the development of the embryo inside the egg without causing geese to immediately abandon the nest or start a new nest until it is too late in the summer for them to do so.  Egg-addling will not reduce the overall goose population but it can provide relief for property owners where geese may want to raise their young. 

 

Anyone living in a community where geese have become over-abundant is encouraged to participate in this activity to help slow the growth of local goose populations and reduce the need for more drastic action to alleviate conflicts. Visit DEC’s Nuisance Canada Geese page for more information about this control option and the technique of addling eggs: http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7003.html.

 

Government/Community Partnerships

In some cases, landowners can have problems with Canada geese that are not nesting on their property.  In those situations, DEC encourages local landowners, local officials and others in a community to cooperate

on a community-wide plan to address the problem of overabundant Canada geese.  One key is determining where the problem birds are coming from and reaching out to property owners where geese nest to get their permission to locate and addle eggs.  Encouraging opportunity and access for goose hunters in the fall is another key.

 

In addition to the options above, farmers, airport managers and managers of drinking water supplies or swimming areas are encouraged to take advantage of special federal regulations that allow them to take juvenile Canada geese before the open hunting seasons.  These are special provisions established in 2007 by the USFWS to help alleviate the growing problems with Canada geese across the country.  No federal permit is required, but authorization from DEC must be obtained in advance and specific timeframes and special conditions apply.  Any geese captured must be killed, not released elsewhere. DEC does not allow relocation because resident Canada geese are overabundant throughout the state, and relocation would simply redistribute or add to problems caused by geese. 

 

Wildlife Permits

Special permits from DEC and USFWS are required to take Canada geese to help with problems not covered by one of these categories, such as general nuisance problems on private property.  For more information about applying for an individual federal permit, review the federal regulations at: www.fws.gov/permits/ or call USDA Wildlife Services (518) 477-4837.  USDA Wildlife Services provides information and management programs, including capture and removal, to people experiencing problems with Canada geese or other migratory birds. They can assist with the federal permit application process.  If you are authorized to take geese by an individual federal permit, DEC’s general depredation permit automatically provides the state authorization you need to proceed. 

               

New York’s “resident” Canada goose population is estimated at more than 200,000 birds statewide, despite the annual harvest of more than 50,000 geese during open hunting seasons.  Many more “migrant” Canada geese pass through New York to their northern Canada breeding grounds.  Access for hunters remains the most important method for managing the size of the resident and migrant goose populations.  In addition, special provisions and permits for resident geese offer further opportunity to individual property owners, farmers, local governments, homeowner’s associations and others.

               

For more information about Canada geese, or options available to help prevent or reduce problems with Canada geese, visit the Nuisance Canada Geese web page of DEC’s website (www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7003.html#Permitting), or contact one of DEC’s regional wildlife offices.  Specific information about permit requirements can be found at: www.dec.ny.gov/docs/wildlife_pdf/nygoosepermitinfo.pdf.  A list of regional offices is also available on DEC’s website at: www.dec.ny.gov/about/558.html.


 

Ohio

ODNR and Farmers work together to protect Lake Erie

Healthy Lake Erie Fund puts conservation practices on more than 35,000 new acres

COLUMBUS, OH – Less than a year after it was implemented, the $3 million Healthy Lake Erie Fund has enabled farmers to place agricultural nutrient reduction practices on more than 35,000 acres of farmland in the Western Lake Erie Basin watershed.

 

“I am proud to see farmers taking advantage of resources that will protect one of Ohio’s greatest natural resources, Lake Erie,” said ODNR Director James Zehringer. “The money from the Healthy Lake Erie Fund is being used to reduce nutrients in Ohio’s waterways from agricultural sources, and many producers are realizing these practices still result in viable and even more profitable farming operations.”

The Healthy Lake Erie Fund is administered by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) in cooperation with local soil and water conservation districts through the Ohio Clean Lakes Initiative. ODNR, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Ohio EPA established the Ohio Clean Lakes Initiative based on recommendations made in the Directors’ Agricultural Nutrients and Water Quality Working Group report the agencies released in 2012. The main goal of the Ohio Clean Lakes Initiative is to reduce Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in the Western Lake Erie Basin by implementing and installing nutrient reduction Best Management Practices (BMPs).

 

The Healthy Lake Erie Fund has incentivized several agronomic practices

 

such as cover crops, variable rate fertilizer applications, nutrient

incorporation and controlled drainage structures. Farmers participating in the Ohio Clean Lakes Initiative are required to conduct soil tests to determine the nutrient levels compared with the requirements for their next crop. They also must follow Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations to determine the appropriate amount of fertilizer to apply to their fields.

 

More than 35,000 new acres of farmland in Henry, Wood, Putnam, Defiance and Hancock counties are currently using these new conservation practices, with more farmers expected to participate this year. In addition, some funds were allocated to soil and water conservation districts to provide technical assistance to farmers. The ODNR Division of Soil and Water Resources plans to designate some of these farmers as “ambassadors” so they can share their experiences and help expand the adoption of additional practices throughout the Western Lake Erie Basin and the rest of Ohio. 

 

The money was secured for the Healthy Lake Erie Fund by Senator Randy Gardner. By the end of fiscal year 2013, ODNR will have spent almost $2.45 of the $3 million appropriated. The department requested in House Bill 59 that the remaining $550,000 be re-appropriated to continue this important work, focusing specifically on monitoring nutrient loads in the Maumee watershed to track effectiveness of the conservation practices.

 


ODNR Awards more than $574,000 to 24 Communities for Marine Patrols

COLUMBUS, OH – Twenty-four Ohio communities will receive a total of $574,711 in from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) to support local marine patrol units. These assistance funds provided by the ODNR Division of Watercraft represent a continued effort to keep Ohio waterways safe and enhance recreational boating experiences.

 

The 2013 Marine Patrol Assistance Grants will help local law enforcement agencies provide emergency response to boating-related incidents, conduct routine waterway patrols and purchase safety equipment for use on marine patrol vessels. The recipient agencies are located in counties throughout Ohio, which include large urban areas such as Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton and Montgomery counties, as well as smaller communities such as Knox, Pickaway and Scioto counties.

 

In 2012, Ohio had a record 435,310 registered recreational watercraft, ranking ninth nationally. Among this total are a rapidly growing number of

registered canoes and kayaks that has more than doubled since 2001

and now represents one of every four watercraft registered in Ohio. As many as 3 million Ohioans enjoy recreational boating statewide each year on the Ohio River and Lake Erie, as well as on numerous inland lakes, rivers and other waterways. Additional boating information and a list of Marine Patrol Assistance Grant recipients is available online at ohiodnr.gov/watercraft.

 

The ODNR Division of Watercraft administers Ohio’s boating and scenic rivers programs. The funding to support local marine patrol units comes from the state’s Waterways Safety Fund, which is comprised of the state motor fuel tax, watercraft registration and titling fees, as well as funds provided by the U.S. Coast Guard. The ODNR Division of Watercraft oversees watercraft registration and titling operations, provides funding to local communities for education, enforcement and boating access facilities, educates the public and enforces boating laws on Ohio’s waterways.


 

Wisconsin

Cabela’s to hire 200 to Staff New Green Bay, Wis Store
Applications being accepted now, according to GM Steve Farone

SIDNEY, Neb. (April 8, 2013) – Cabela’s jplans to hire approximately 200 full-time, part-time and seasonal employees to staff its new Green Bay, Wis., store scheduled to open this summer.  Applications are being accepted now and interviews will begin April 22, continuing through April 26.

 

To apply, visit www.cabelas.jobs, click on “Apply Now,” then “United States Jobs,” and select “Green Bay.” Follow instructions to log in. Applications must be submitted online. Applying does not guarantee an interview.

 

Most employees are expected to come from Green Bay and the surrounding area. Typically, Cabela’s attracts applicants with detailed knowledge about the outdoors and an aptitude for customer service.

“Cabela’s is looking for employees who will deliver legendary customer service, and who will be excited about sharing their passion and knowledge of the outdoors with our many loyal customers across the area,” said Steve Farone, general manager of the new store.

The 100,000-square-foot store is located at 1499 Lombardi Ave N near Lambeau Field in the Village of Ashwaubenon in Brown County. It is Cabela’s third Wisconsin store, joining the Richfield and Prairie du Chien locations. In addition to thousands of quality outdoor products, the store will feature a mountain replica, aquarium, indoor archery range, dynamic wildlife displays, Gun Library, Bargain Cave, Deli, Fudge Shop and Sportsman’s Hall of Fame displaying Wisconsin trophy animal mounts.

 

Currently, Cabela’s operates 43 stores across the United States and Canada. The company has announced plans to open an additional 12 stores by the end of 2014.


 

Other Breaking News Items

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The real Sandy Hook Conspiracy- Disarm America

It would be very easy to think that the threat to our 2nd Amendment freedom is over now that the "assault weapon" ban has been removed from the proposed national anti-gun legislation. All we have left in the current version are "universal background checks, and everyone supports that, right? Wrong! Nobody wants guns in the hands of criminals and those who would harm others, but statistically those people don't get their guns through legal channels, any legal channels. All this new "universal background check" scheme will accomplish is the creation of national mandatory gun registration system

 

 

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