Se ha denunciado esta presentación.
Utilizamos tu perfil de LinkedIn y tus datos de actividad para personalizar los anuncios y mostrarte publicidad más relevante. Puedes cambiar tus preferencias de publicidad en cualquier momento.


116 visualizaciones

Publicado el

  • Sé el primero en comentar

  • Sé el primero en recomendar esto


  1. 1. Page | 1 Swift and flooded waters may have halted paddlers from participating in the Missouri River Communities Network (MRCN) Canoe for Clean Waters event anticipated to occur on June 19 at Katfish Katy’s in Huntsdale, Mo. but the raging river didn’t completely destroy the day. As an alternative to Canoe for Clean Waters, which is postponed until October, Floody Muddy 101 was put on by MRCN to educate the public on the flooding of the Missouri River. This event featured speakers from MRCN, Missouri River Relief, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Columbia Fishery Resources Office (FRO) and Big Muddy National Fish & Wildlife Refuge (NFWR). Although the river’s state kept some potential participants away, those that did attend the event either by accident (via passing by on the Katy trail) or on purpose were able to indulge in several informative discussions and presentations. Rebecca Spicer, one of MRCN’s Missouri Clean Water AmeriCorps members, spoke on stormwater runoff and its route into the river. Spicer discussed how citizens can help filtrate and diverge this water by using techniques like rain barrels and rain gardens. More information on these devices can be found on MRCN’s Web site at Next to speak was Andy Plauck from the Columbia FRO. Among a variety of other activities, Plauck discussed in detail his office’s ongoing project of monitoring the pallid sturgeon and shovelnose sturgeon populations in the Lower Missouri River. The pallid sturgeon is a federally-listed endangered species and the Columbia FRO is working with other environmental agencies to help restore their populations. Continued on page 5. Missouri River flooding calls for a change of plans in river festivities Participants in Floody Muddy 101 observe the hydrology display of the Missouri River and discuss the river’s flooding activity with Park Ranger Tim Haller. Photo by Amanda Noel. Two girls take turns holding a false map turtle found seeking refuge from the flood on Big Muddy’s Overton Bottoms North Unit. Photo by Amanda Noel. AcroPDF - A Quality PDF Writer and PDF Converter to create PDF. To remove this line, buy a license.
  2. 2. Page | 2 Verrill observes a cleanup crew at the collection site in Buras, LA. USFWS photo. “Some of the birds were so covered in oil they were unable to be identified.” –Wes Verrill Big Muddy Law Enforcement Officer’s detail to the Deep Horizon Gulf Oil Spill During this tragic time while oil wreaks havoc on the environment in the Gulf of Mexico, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees, volunteers and other professionals are pouring into the Gulf to lend a hand. One of the hundreds of people recruited to help battle the oil spill was Wes Verrill, Law Enforcement Officer at Big Muddy National Fish & Wildlife Refuge (Refuge). On his detail, Verrill was assigned to coordinate with the Office of Law Enforcement Special Agents regarding collection of dead birds for the state of Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and Alabama. Verrill had only been stationed at the Refuge for about half a year before being put on detail for the oil spill. After two weeks of 16 hour days, 7 days a week Verrill flew back to Missouri for a couple days. Verrill only returned long enough to get settled in his government housing on the Refuge’s Overton Bottoms North Unit and stop by headquarters to fill Refuge staff in on his experience. Verril’s main duties were to document birds and other aquatic life coming into the collection site each day. From there, the birds would be cleaned and treated if they were not dead on arrival. The tar ball appearance of the birds coming into the facility only shows the physical toll the oil has taken on these animals. Not only does this black gunk prevent birds from flying for migration, escaping predators and the oil, it enters them internally damaging their lungs and digestive system. “Some of the birds were so covered in oil they were unable to be identified,” said Verril. The biggest tally of dead birds Verrill recorded in one day was 58. Although the bulk of Verrill’s work down in the Gulf was quite grim, he did have some positive experiences. Verrill’s law enforcement officer title served him well in the public relations side of the issue. While in Louisiana, Verrill served as security for CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, actors Scarlet Johansen and Ryan Reynolds, Animal Planet’s Jeff Corwin and the Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal numerous times. “The list goes on and on,” said Verrill. Probably the highlight of his security role was guarding the New Orleans Saints football team. “Seriously, I had oysters and chatted with Reggie Bush, Brew Breese and Jeremy Shockey!” Verrill reported. In addition to employees working the oil spill, Verrill says there are anywhere from 20 to 75 media press at the facility daily. On one occasion, Anderson Cooper filmed live for CNN at the facility. While the opportunity proved to be a good experience for Verrill, he said, the situation in the Gulf isn’t getting any better. Dead birds, turtles, dolphins and other marine life continue to be discovered day after day. Continued on page 8. AcroPDF - A Quality PDF Writer and PDF Converter to create PDF. To remove this line, buy a license.
  3. 3. Page | 3 As the clouds rolled in at Big Muddy National Fish & Wildlife Refuge’s (Refuge) Overton Bottoms South Unit in Overton, Mo. creating what felt like a gloomy day on the morning of June 11, things began to look just the opposite for one lucky bird of prey. A bald eagle named Screwball, for record purposes, had just recently recovered from its rehabilitation and was ready to be released back into the wild thanks to the Raptor Rehabilitation Project (RRP) through the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Several months earlier, Screwball was taken in by RRP after two of the bird’s toes had gotten caught in a leg hold trap. The owner of the trap found the eagle and contacted a Missouri Department of Conservation agent who then proceeded to hand the bird over to RRP. Jennifer Ballard, a veterinary student at the University of Missouri and volunteer for RRP, said she was glad the owner of the trap did the right thing. Once the eagle was in RRP’s care, they started treatment. Screwball had to undergo surgery to amputate the third and fourth digits on the bird’s left foot which had been severely injured by the trap. “While recovering from surgery, Screwball began to distribute its weight out, perch and use his foot like a normal bald eagle does,” said Amber Edwards, RRP volunteer coordinator. “We never trained the bird to balance. The bird did that all on its own.” The next step was to release the eagle back into the wild. Ballard said that the rehabilitated birds are usually released on MDC areas, which Overton Bottoms South Unit had been until the winter of 2009-2010 when the Refuge acquired the land. Wedge Watkins, refuge biologist, met the RRP volunteers along with the Refuge’s 2010 summer invasive plant control crew, Steve Fezekas, Brandon Mebruer, Matthew Schrum and crew leader Jestin Clark. Once Screwball was unloaded and the crate door was opened, it immediately jumped out and flew toward the Missouri River landing on a nearby tree branch. “The eagle did exactly what it was supposed to do,” said Watkins. Triumphant over their latest project, the RRP volunteers were off to release a second bird of prey on another parcel of land. These two birds only portray a glimpse of the countless projects completed and in progress by RRP. “Since 1972, our volunteer staff is comprised of doctors, veterinary students, MU faculty, MU staff, MU undergraduate students, and members of the community,” explained Edwards. “All volunteers help to keep the project going, from working with the birds in the Veterinary Hospital to working with the non releasable education birds [for outreach events].” Although the students are not yet veterinarians, “What we don’t know, we look up, research and contact experts to make sure we are doing the very best we can,” said Ballard. Project meetings are held by RRP every other Tuesday to discuss new cases and progress made on old cases. Presentations are also made by volunteers and scientific speakers are hosted at the meetings to discuss medical subjects, bird conservation, etc. Please see the RRP Web site for more details http://www.raptorrehab.missouri.e du/. Amanda Noel Biological Science Aid A bald eagle’s success story on Big Muddy NFWR Raptor Rehabilitation Project volunteers unload the eagle for release on Big Muddy’s Overton Bottoms South Unit. USFWS photos. AcroPDF - A Quality PDF Writer and PDF Converter to create PDF. To remove this line, buy a license.
  4. 4. Page | 4 2010 Missouri Junior Duck Stamp contest judging. USFWS photo. 2010 Best of Show winner Luke Coulter receives his certificate at the Junior Duck Stamp awards ceremony. USFWS photo. The 2010 Missouri Junior Duck Stamp first place winning artists were reunited on June 26 for an awards ceremony at the Runge Conservation Nature Center in Jefferson City, Mo. At the ceremony, the winners were awarded with their long awaited first place prize money courtesy of Bass Pro Shops. Approximately 30 people attended. The artists were encouraged to invite friends, family and teachers to the event. Judges, volunteers and staff of the MDC, FWS and Lake Arts Council were also welcome. After the award ceremony participants were treated to cake and punch. The cakes decoration featured all the artwork from the first place winners. Some artists took their artwork home on a piece of cake. Big Muddy NFWR Park Ranger and Coordinator of Missouri’s Junior Duck Stamp program, Tim Haller, and Refuge Manager, Tom Bell, spoke on behalf of the FWS and presented each winner with a certificate and a reusable tote bag. The prize money was awarded to the winners by Lake Arts Council president Julie Lentz. Bass Pro sends the prize money to the Lake Arts Council and the council makes the individual checks out to the 12 first prize winners. The winning artists were selected from 935 entries from across the state during the contest held March 25, 2010. Each first place winner received a $50 award and the best of show winner, Luke Coulter of Washington, Missouri, received a $500 award. Coulter went on to compete at the national competition in St. Paul, Minnesota on April 23rd . Retired University of Missouri artist Doug Ross, a judge of the Missouri Junior Duck Stamp artwork, taught a class after the award ceremony. Doug’s class went into details on drawing and painting waterfowl. Doug demonstrated various techniques on his methods in producing wildlife art. Doug previously won the Missouri Duck Stamp contest when the state of Missouri operated its own waterfowl stamp program. Doug also does freelance artwork in his retirement. A highlight to Doug’s presentation included a talk by Luke Coulter the state winner and Luke’s father Marty Coulter a professional artist. Luke talked about creating his artwork and Marty covered his teaching techniques. Marty’s other son Peter was a Best of Show winner in Missouri in 2005. The award ceremony highlights another successful year in the Missouri Junior Duck Stamp Program. The promotion of next year’s contest continues with the artwork being displayed across the state. The artwork was featured at Runge Conservation Nature Center during the month of June. Duplicate artwork was also on display at the Missouri State Capitol in June during a special session of the state assembly. The artwork will continue on display across the state at eight additional locations until it returns to the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge headquarters in March to be returned to the artists and the 2011 Missouri Junior Duck Stamp contest can begin a new season of success. Young Missourians get “ducky” across the state AcroPDF - A Quality PDF Writer and PDF Converter to create PDF. To remove this line, buy a license.
  5. 5. Page | 5 Young and old alike gathered at Flat Branch Park in downtown Columbia, Mo. on Wednesday, June 16 to attend the free Family Fun Fest held every third Wednesday of the month throughout the summer. The theme of this month’s Fest was the great outdoors. Big Muddy National Fish & Wildlife Refuge along with several other environmental organizations including the Missouri Department of Conservation and Columbia Fishery Resources Office gathered at the Fest to help educate the public about natural resources and the mission of their organizations. Tim Haller, Refuge Park Ranger, brought along the Refuge’s hydrology display of the Missouri River at Big Muddy’s Lisbon Bottom and Jameson Island units. This gave the crowd a visual representation of the flow of the Missouri River and how the surrounding floodplain is impacted during flood events like the present. Many of the Refuge units were completely underwater. Two of such units, Overton Bottoms North and South are located directly across the river from Katfish Big Muddy’s booth included an informative display and handouts promoting the Refuge and the National Wildlife Refuge System Katy’s. Although these flood events may seem disastrous to private landowners in the floodplain, they are crucial for native fish and wildlife species like the pallid sturgeon for instance who spawn in these floodwaters. Steve Schnarr, a Missouri River Relief manager, finalized the event by speaking to the crowd about statistics of river clean-ups carried out by his organization. Schnarr explained that flood events stimulate high waste accumulations due to water flowing through areas where waste as well as several animal pelts that were a big hit with the crowd. Other attractions at the Fest in addition to environmental organizations were a jump house, face painting and the Fishin’ Magician, a husband and wife duo that performed magic tricks with an outdoorsy theme for onlookers. Also at the event was Columbia’s KOMU news station that premiered the story on their nightly news show. To watch the video go to and search in the archives for Family Fun Fest. may be otherwise contained in addition to littering. To demonstrate this trash flow, Schnarr and several other members from Missouri River Relief watched the river one evening and recorded their observations. In just 10 minutes they recorded a total of 77 plastics bottles! “And that’s only as far as the eye could see,” said Schnarr. An outdoorsy father helps introduce wildlife to his children using Big Muddy's animal pelts on display. Photo by Amanda Noel. AcroPDF - A Quality PDF Writer and PDF Converter to create PDF. To remove this line, buy a license.
  6. 6. Page | 6 Left: Conservation Honors Program students listen to Park Ranger Tim Haller discuss the habitat on Big Muddy NFWR. Above: Students pose for a picture in the MU School of Natural Resources building. Photos courtesy of Conservation Honors Program. Like many students nearing their high school graduation, I was unsure of exactly which career path I wanted to travel down as a junior in high school. Lucky for those like me, the University of Missouri School Of Natural Resources (SNR) offers a great opportunity for Missouri high school juniors and seniors to gain exposure to the field of natural resources. For a week in July, SNR sponsors the annual Conservation Honors Program held this year from July 11 – 16. Once selected through an application process, students bunk in a residence hall on campus and go on various field trips experiencing what careers in conservation have to offer. All the while, they are able to interact with professionals in the field and their peers that share a common interest in the outdoors. The program acts as a form of recruitment for SNR, but can also be beneficial for students who choose not to go to MU like myself. Although I did not continue on track with the SNR, the program did impact me enough to stay in the field of natural resources and begin making connections with professionals at a young age. After being involved with the program I was nominated to become part of the Conservation Leadership Corps sponsored by the Conservation Federation of Missouri where I became involved with the political side of conservation in our state. This led me to choose to major in environmental studies at Columbia College where I have been able to stay active in outlets offered to SNR students like Columbia’s many parks and recreation volunteer programs including Columbia Aquatic Restoration Project (CARP) and TreeKeepers. I’ve also been able to participate in networking opportunities like the Missouri Natural Resource Conference. My activeness in the field of natural resources has helped me obtain a Student Temporary Employment Position (STEP) with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge. This summer I was given the chance to pay back the Conservation Honors Program for all the positive things it has brought me by participating as a counselor for the program. As a counselor I was able to see the behind the scenes of the whole Following the pathway to a future career in natural resources begins with the Conservation Honors Program AcroPDF - A Quality PDF Writer and PDF Converter to create PDF. To remove this line, buy a license.
  7. 7. Page | 7 Above: Students listen to a discussion about soils at Tucker Prarie. Left: Andy Plauck Columbia Fishery Resources Office. Below: Students trek through the forest at Prarie Fork Conservation Area. Photos courtesy of Conservation Honors Program. outfit. It brought back a lot of memories and it was great to help so many students gain a similar experience to what I had and see them begin to discover their place in the world. Since the time I had been enrolled in the program in 2006 several changes had been made. One year, the program had to be cancelled due to lack of funds and interest. This year the program was taken over by a new director, Amber Edwards, education consultant at Prairie Forks Conservation Area. Edwards had her hands full with the new position and assignment to supervise the program, but she was able to pull it off with success. To help corral the campers peer counselors were hired for the first time. Other counselors like me had participated in the program in the past and were anxious to get back in on the action. Many of the students exposure to natural resources was put on by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the University Missouri at various research centers and conservation areas. Students got the chance to speak with University professors, MDC and Department of Natural Resources employees as well as individuals from private sectors like Missouri River Relief and Stream Team. Although not originally planned, high river levels kept the group from paddling out on the Missouri River but allowed for time out of their busy schedule to interact with U.S. Fish & Widlife Service employees from the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) and Columbia Fishery Resources Office. Wedge Watkins, Refuge Biologist, and Tim Haller, Park Ranger, spoke to the students while on the Refuge. Watkins set up turtle traps in the Diana Scour on the Overton Bottoms Unit prior to the students visit and allowed students to wade in the water and pull the traps while on the Refuge. In addition to speaking with the students about aquatic species and their habitats, Watkins also discussed the Refuge’s ongoing bee study in cooperation with the Missouri Master Naturalist Program. Haller set up the river trailer display and spoke with the students about the river’s natural flow and the Refuge’s attempts to reestablish historic river conditions and habitat. Both Haller and Watkins also spoke about career opportunities with the Service as did Columbia Fishery Resource Office employees. Andy Plauck and Andy Starostka led the discussion at the Fishery Office and set up traps used for surveys for endangered pallid sturgeon. Plauck, Starostka and other crew members were able to catch several fish species earlier that day and had them on display for students. Although the jam-packed schedule, high heat and humidity left many of the students exhausted by the end of the week, they were able to gain experience from all realms of Missouri’s natural resources and were sent home filled with newfound knowledge and connections with professionals and peers in the conservation field. Amanda Noel Biological Science Aid AcroPDF - A Quality PDF Writer and PDF Converter to create PDF. To remove this line, buy a license.
  8. 8. Page | 8 Friends kick off the 2010 summer season Friends of Big Muddy NFWR met on Tuesday, May 11 at the recently obtained Overton Bottoms South Unit. The Friends group was able to utilize the shop on the premises for this meeting and host two Eldon High School student speakers. Jennifer Wellman, Eldon High School science teacher, is current secretary and very active member of the Friends group. Her students both presented on science experiments they had carried out and competed with at Lincoln University’s Science fair in Jefferson City, Mo. The first speaker presented on the effect a soil aerator tool had on the growth of fescue grass. The experiment, which took place over one growing season, showed that the soil aerator actually decreased the growth of the fescue field compared to her control field. The second student spoke about a macro-invertebrate study she carried out to test what types of organisms, based on their pollutant tolerance, were more prevalent in creeks in the winter versus the summer. The crowd was very impressed by both students’ presentations and helped advise them on how to strengthen their studies. For more information on Eldon High School’s science program, please see Science%20Department/ScienceCl ub.htm. After the students finished, Diane Oerly, Friends President, went over business and the group elected new officers. Oerly and Friends are currently working on obtaining a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to encourage birding on the Refuge. Also in the works is the installation of a permanent wildlife observing scope at Rocheport’s Les Bourgeois Winery which sits atop the Manitou bluffs directly across the river from Big Muddy’s Overton Bottoms North Unit. Mary Duncan member of the Friends of Arrow Rock, the town adjacent to Big Muddy’s Jameson Island Unit attended the meeting and asked the group if they would like to participate in a haunted trail event during Halloween weekend along Big Muddy’s Lewis and Clark trail on the Jameson Island Unit. In addition to this event, Friends of Big Muddy plan to participate in several trash pick- ups and Refuge maintenance opportunities. Other events include the first annual Canoe for Clean Water event where they will set up a booth in Huntsdale, Mo along the Missouri River and across from the Overton Bottoms South Unit of the Refuge. The Friends will also be assisting constructing a trail with Boy Scout Troop 4 from Columbia, Mo at the Overton Bottoms North Unit of the Refuge. The Friends of Big Muddy look forward to a successful season fresh with new ideas from the Regional Friends Conference attended by President Diane Oerly. She expressed some of her new ideas obtained from the conference and looks forward to bringing the Friends of Big Muddy up to the next level of support for the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge. Fortunately, British Petroleum (BP) is using a lot of resources to fix the problem. Verrill said that once the GPS coordinates of deceased birds are found, helicopters funded by BP are flown out, even if it’s just to pick up a single bird. If live birds are able to be captured, they are then treated and transported to safe havens in order to escape the oil, all courtesy of BP, said Verrill. Any supplies that Verrill has needed during his detail BP has funded including freezers for storage, collection kits, RV’s and even a Reefer truck. Despite BP’s effort, very little improvement has been made so far, according to Verrill. After a short return to headquarters, Verrill was sent back to the scene of the crime, for a grand total of 41 days to do what he could to defend the vulnerable fish and wildlife and their habitat in the Gulf from the relentless dark villain, oil. Amanda Noel Biological Science Aid AcroPDF - A Quality PDF Writer and PDF Converter to create PDF. To remove this line, buy a license.
  9. 9. Page | 9 Brandon is a senior at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo. majoring in natural resource management and minoring in wildlife management and GIS. He plans on going to graduate school after earning his degree at Lincoln. Brandon grew up on his family’s beef cattle farm in Rich Fountain, Mo. “I was raised to respect and enjoy the outdoors and for this reason I am an avid hunter and fisherman,” says Brandon who can be found in the “woods or on the banks of the nearest lake,” when not working on the farm or at his summer job at Big Muddy NFWR. “I have definitely enjoyed my time here [at Big Muddy NFWR] this summer, learning and experiencing new things,” says Brandon. Just a few of the things Brandon and the rest of the summer crew have experienced this summer include canoeing the flood waters of the Missouri River, spraying invasive plant species and sampling amphibian populations. In the future Brandon sees himself doing a lot more of this type of work as he plans to be a wildlife biologist in the Midwest or Western regions of the country. Steve Fezekas Brandon Mebruer Matthew Schrum Spotlight: Faces around the Refuge 2010 New Summer Employees Steve is a senior at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Mo. He is majoring in conservation enforcement and minoring in criminal justice. After graduating college he plans on becoming a game warden and hopes to travel and work out of state. Steve hails from St. Louis, Mo. He spends his free time doing anything outdoors including fishing, hunting, floating and he especially enjoys waterfowl hunting. The experience Steve has gained from Big Muddy NFWR has been great, he says. Steve has been able to gain insight on conservation law enforcement from riding along with Refuge Law Enforcement Officer Wes Verrill on the job. Matt is a senior at the University of Missouri – Columbia, pursuing a degree in fisheries and wildlife management. After graduation he would like to work as a biological technician for a few years before getting his master’s in something along the lines of biology or natural resource management. Matt is originally from Saint Francois County, Mo. In his spare time he enjoys hiking, fishing, camping and road trips. Prior to working at Big Muddy NFWR, Matt gained seven years of experience working with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources at Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park, Saint Francois State Park, Saint Joe State Park and the State Museum at the capitol building. Matt had a variety of jobs at these locations including maintenance, interpretation and serving as a tour guide. Manager: Tom Bell Assistant Manager: Dean Bossert Office Administrator: Molly Comstock Biologist: Wedge Watkins Park Ranger: Tim Haller Big Muddy NFWR Staff Law Enforcement Officer: Wes Verrill Maintenance: Randy Stenberg Wildlife Refuge Specialist: Jestin Clark Biological Science Aids: Bailey Yotter, Amanda Noel, Brandon Mebruer, Steve Fezekas, Matthew Schrum AcroPDF - A Quality PDF Writer and PDF Converter to create PDF. To remove this line, buy a license.