Sad!!!!

RK Special K

New member
This sums up my previous post:

PF should consider itself as VERY temporary with the shorter-term job of truly, permanently, restoring pheasants..........FOREVER!!!!!!!

PF temporary. Pheasants forever. Job done!
 

quail hound

Moderator
How would you propose this land is managed? 60 million acres will take a lot of management. Maybe 60 million acres would be better suited to restoring prairie grouse and buffalo populations.:cheers:
 

RK Special K

New member
Can anyone really say that habitat and numbers in the eastern states hasn't been on a steady decline for the past 40+ years despite the efforts of PF and others to stop the inevitable?

It's a cost-benefit issue. There simply isn't enough vast, open, unpopulated areas in the east to provide a secure and sound foundation to significantly restore numbers.

Oh, you may postpone it on continually smaller and smaller pockets but it will constantly be under the tremendous pressure of encroachment.

Basically I think of it like this: It's us OR pheasants. Consider this:

Michigan has 13 million people.

SD has about 800 thousand.

ND has about 600 thousand. Less than 1/20th of Michigan's!

In the east, WE occupy the would-be habitat!

Just recently, with CRP, SD made a tremendous recovery to "hey day" status from 2006 to 2010. Why? Because they had the "raw material" to build on. Lots of unpopulated, lower cost land as far as the eye can see.

On the contrary, even with CRP available to the eastern states, the decline continued in a straight line from the inception of the CRP program in 1985 until now. Why? Because its foundation is BAD. Shoddy and flimsy. Why didn't CRP take hold in the eastern states? Because the land is way to costly to simply grow grass on it. Have to farm the hell out of it or build a sub-division on it.
 

RK Special K

New member
An apartment building with lots of rowdy, non-paying tenants takes a lot of management and maintenance.

On the contrary, a field of grass isn't completely maintenance-free, but it's about as low as it gets. In the soil bank years, we didn't have all these fancy grasses that CRP requires - it was just left fallow - weeds and grass grew tall and birds flourished. How fancy does it need to be?
 

SDJIM

New member
How would you propose this land is managed? 60 million acres will take a lot of management. Maybe 60 million acres would be better suited to restoring prairie grouse and buffalo populations.:cheers:
Yep an Ivy League prof. wanted to turn all of this into a Buffalo Commons--reduce the population to around 2000 for the Dakotas, KS, OK, NB, eastern CO, and others I forget :eek:----I didn't think much of that idea either. :(
 

RK Special K

New member
Quail Hound.......

The eastern states are a HUGE money pump for PF. They preach the "gospel" of restoring birds there to keep this pump going strong. Meanwhile, since their inception in 1982, they have had 32 continuous losing seasons in the east. "But if you just keep sending us money, don't worry, we're going to restore birds in the east to the "hey day' level. You simply aren't sending us enough money". Since us easterners have such a nostalgic attraction to the days long gone, we buy it.

It's been VERY clear for MANY years that the decline in the east is CERTAIN to continue. Short of removing 80% of the people and planting 15% of it to grass, it will not happen.
 

RK Special K

New member
PF should be more upfront, honest, and realistic about the situation in the east.

"Look, we can't restore birds in the east but we CAN create a HUGE pheasant paradise out west. We CAN expand "pheasantland" way beyond the core of SD and ND to anywhere that has a good foundation to build numbers on - now that's doable but we need your support to accomplish it".

If they made this directional shift with a time frame to get it done, my pocket book is open.
 

quail hound

Moderator
Yep an Ivy League prof. wanted to turn all of this into a Buffalo Commons--reduce the population to around 2000 for the Dakotas, KS, OK, NB, eastern CO, and others I forget :eek:----I didn't think much of that idea either. :(
I said that tongue in cheek Jim. I'm just trying to figure out how RK's plan would work. Large tracts of prairie grass would be easier to implement and manage but less effective as pheasant habitat. Field edges, marginal areas, creek buffers, wetland areas in smaller tracts would make for better habitat but would be harder to implement with public access in mind.
 

quail hound

Moderator
In other words. 60 million acres in 10-80 acre tracts would equal lots of good pheasant habitat but a nightmare to effectively manage where as a few huge tracts of prairie would be easier to take care of (once established) but would be better suited as grouse and bison habitat.
 

RK Special K

New member
There needs to be a checkerboard mix of about 10-15% grass(in 100 to 600 acre parcels) together with 85-90% cropland. NOT just a few HUGE parcels of native prairie - that won't work.

The "management" of fields left fallow or even seeded can't be that extensive. Let's not make that part of it more complicated than it is. If it stops soil erosion and hens can nest there, it's good to go.
 

RK Special K

New member
Quail Hound......

Please explain the "nightmare" of management that fields of grass presents.

You talk like it's more complicated than designing a mission to Mars.
 

quail hound

Moderator
Buy manage I'm not just talking about the fire, plow, axe, and cow aspect ( though I believe that is a big part of it) but also implementation, public access, public relations, ownership issues etc... A lot of states have a no net gain clause for public land and you know federal lands are under attack from the right. I might be with you on this plan RK (assuming Ca is allocated 1/2 million acres or so), I'm just trying to figure out how we get it done thats all.:cheers:
 

quail hound

Moderator
Quail Hound......

Please explain the "nightmare" of management that fields of grass presents.

You talk like it's more complicated than designing a mission to Mars.
Grasslands need regular disturbance to stay healthy and productive, free of thatch and invasion of woody cover. These issues were once dealt with naturally by grazing animals and fire but now must be taken care of manually. Good brood cover, just as important as nesting cover, is even more dependent on regular disturbance.
 
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RK Special K

New member
I believe we get WAY to wrapped up in modern "over manipulation, over management, special tweaking, etc., etc.

The first successful release of wild birds was in the Willamette Valley of Oregon in 1891. Birds EXPLODED in numbers. This area had some crops and lots of unkempt, ragged, wild weed/grass fields. Nothing "managed" there - somewhat similar in the soil bank days. Cropland was left to go back to ravages of nature. And we all know what happened to the bird numbers. Almost had to call in the military to help curb the numbers.

I would not consider CA a part "pheasantland" - don't think it has enough of the right foundation to build on. But I'm really not that familiar with CA as a potential bird mecca. Are there vast, low-populated areas that support grassland habitat?
 

quail hound

Moderator
No problem John. I thought those posts were discussing the pheasant problem as a whole and not really exclusive to one area but I understand.
 

wesslpointer

New member
Robert and RK, Wess is interested in his specific area and Idahos lack of interest in keeping pheasant hunting of good quality. Heck, I heard Idaho used to be one of the best.
Let's keep this discussion on topic and respect for his passion for his home state.
Thanks
jsdriggs, THANKS! I thought I was clear. I was only talking about their management skills not Biologists per say . I think Biologists would agree they have little interest or proper training in the management end of their duties .
 

wesslpointer

New member
There's definitely something going on with wild pheasants in many areas of the country besides habitat loss and predation. I think we're getting close to a solution or solutions though.

A few months back I spoke with the good folks who are working on the Illinois wild pheasant study at Illinois State University Urbana-Champaign. They are now at the point of writing up a report on their findings/discoveries and recommendations for the ILDNR. Maybe, once a solution is (hopefully!) found, the findings will become nationwide??? We'll go from there I suppose.
Are they any closer to a solution? The small great flying Pheasants of SW North Dakota should do well at mud lake. To bad there is not a group In Eastern Idaho willing/wanting a huntable population of wild pheasants.
 
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