Private Lands Access: As part of the on-going effort to facilitate additional hunting access onto
Weyerhaeuser lands in Southwest Washington, Biologist Holman met with members
of the Yacolt Burn Sportsman's Club (YBSC). Details regarding hunting access
to Weyerhaeuser's lands were discussed. Specifically; safety, policy, and liability
procedures for WDFW work by volunteers; ALEA grant procedures; travel reimbursement
procedures; as well as logistics and expectations for the upcoming hunting seasons
were all discussed.
YBSC has maintained excellent
relations with Weyerhaeuser over the course of the past twelve years. With neither
support nor help from WDFW, this group of Clark County Sportsmen and Women have
opened and closed gates daily throughout various hunting seasons in the Yacolt
Burn. During a period of significant loss of hunting access to private industrial
forestlands, the volunteer group has maintained free public access to approximately
35,000 acres of forestland primarily located in GMU 568 (Washougal). This year,
YBSC has been awarded ALEA funds to reimburse them for their expenses associated
with facilitation of this hunting access.
Private Lands Access
Program Meeting: Biologist Anderson and Holman recently met with Private
Lands Biologists in Ephrata to learn more about the program. With recent budget
cuts to the Private Lands program, Region 5 biologists were given the task of
implementing the program, which is primarily in Klickitat County. Currently
we are contacting landowners in preparation for the upcoming hunting season.
In addition, Biologist Anderson has established contact with the Farm Services
Administration to learn more about contract extensions for the CRP program in
Klickitat County. We are pleased to report that all contract extensions have
been completed with landowners.
Mud Flow Hunt: Locks
and keys were secured this week for the hunters to pass thru the 3100 road to
the WDFW gate. Letters have been drafted advising the hunters of the organ collection
program and key issuance and return process. Sample bags have been ordered to
collect the heart and kidneys from cow elk to judge body condition. Tooth envelopes
have been received to extract a tooth to estimate age of the elk we collect
the organs from.
Band-Tailed Pigeon Surveys: Science Technician Ridenour along with Weyerhaeuser volunteer Sherrie Southern
completed the band-tailed pigeon mineral site survey at the Newaukum River site.
A total of 215 pigeons arrived at the mineral spring over the 7-hour survey
period. This is within the normal range of pigeons seen at this site.
turtles from the 2006 field season were released in the Columbia River
Western Pond Turtles: Juvenile turtles from the 2006 field season were released in the Columbia
River Gorge this week. A total of 53 turtles that over-wintered at the Oregon
Zoo were released at four different locations. New this year is the establishment
of a fourth population in the Columbia River Gorge in Skamania County. Establishment
of this population in the Gorge is one of the primary objectives for recovery
of the western pond turtle. With this new population, we will have achieved
our distribution goal for western pond turtles in the Columbia River Gorge.
A total of 16 turtles were released at this site and we would like to thank
Washington State Parks and Recreation for their participation in this project.
Streaked Horned Lark
Surveys: District 10 Wildlife Biologist Miller and Fish and Wildlife Technician
Ridenour assisted Scott Pearson, WDFW Science Division, and research staff with
Streaked Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris strigata) colored leg-band
re-sight surveys on 3 islands (dredge spoil depositions) in the Lower Columbia
River. The Streaked Horned Lark is a rare subspecies of the Horned Lark that
breeds and winters in Oregon and Washington. Genetic data indicate that the
Streaked Horned Lark is unique, isolated, and has little genetic diversity.
It has been extirpated from much of its range.
Remaining breeding populations
and their habitats face imminent threats posed by land development, incompatible
land uses, human activities, predation, and non-native species. Wintering populations
are potentially threatened by stochastic events and by a lack of suitable habitat
in the Willamette Valley. Very few of the sites used by the Lark for breeding
or wintering are protected and no sites are managed primarily for Larks. Currently
the Streaked Horned lark is recommended for endangered status in Washington.
Of the Larks observed, one was sighted with a metal leg band.
More information can be
found at: http://wdfw.wa.gov/wlm/research/papers/streaked_horned_lark/
Region 5 Deer Herd Composition
Surveys: Black-tail and mule deer herd composition surveys are nearly underway
in Region 5. The surveys are conducted annually during the period beginning
August 15 and continuing through September 30th. Wildlife Program Staff along
with volunteers will actively conduct surveys as well as documenting any deer
seen during other work (or play) activities. Any Region 5 staff member who is
interested is encouraged to collect these data as well.
Please contact Region
5 Office (360) 696-6211) for a copy of the survey form and further information.
Please be aware that it is extremely important to classify all deer observed,
i.e. don't just mention the big bucks or healthy does with two nice fawns. Thanks
in advance to anybody who helps the Wildlife Program out with this important
part of our deer management efforts in Region 5.
MOICC In Service: District Wildlife Biologist Miller, in his capacity as Master Instructor for
the Wildlife Management Program, attended a 2-day in-service training on the
Boat Safety program. Course curricula, equipment, logistics, and scheduling
were reviewed. A class schedule through April of 2008 was developed with most
of the classes in Olympia or Spokane. Summary of meeting was sent to Olympia
Administration with request for program input and direction.
REGION 5 WILDLIFE AREAS
Shillapoo Wildlife Area:
Wetland Management: Wildlife Area Assistant Manager Hauswald has been mowing
Reed Canary Grass in two Wetland Basins in the Vancouver Lake Unit to prepare
them for a disking treatment. We have had full water management capability in
these wetlands for two years, which enabled us to reduce reed canary grass dominance
and increase native plants in the basins. Last year for the first time one of
the wetlands was disked as a further canary grass control measure with impressive
results in part of the basin. A good portion of the wetland is now dominated
by Water Plantain and Wapato, which will provide a much better food source for
waterfowl this winter. A portion of the same wetland will be redisked where
further control is needed and a portion of a second wetland will also be disked
in hopes of obtaining similar results.
Region 5 Deer Management: Biologist Holman calculated the annual estimate of the Region 5 deer population
using the SAK (Sex Age Kill) model. The biologically based model uses hunter
harvest of bucks, buck mortality rates, doe mortality rates and fawn to doe
ratio to reconstruct the estimated pre-season deer population. Please see the
figure below illustrating the estimated deer population in Region 5 from 1991
Apparent upon examination
of the figure is the lack of young deer in the 2006 estimate. This is the result
of the lowest fawn to doe ratio recorded since the inception of regional productivity
surveys in 1995. Just 32 fawns per 100 adult does were recorded during the summer
/ fall 2006 survey effort. This is significantly below the long-term average
of approximately 55. The relatively severe winter of 2005-06 was apparently
detrimental to the regional deer population, causing reduced fawn production
in the summer of 2006. Accordingly, a somewhat reduced population of yearling
bucks will be available for harvest in the upcoming 2007 hunting season.
figure to enlarge
Klickitat Wind Power
Projects: Biologist Anderson has been working with Biologist Weiler from
the habitat division to address several existing and proposed wind development
projects in Klickitat County. Wind Power in Klickitat County has been developing
at such a rapid pace it has been difficult to adequately review all projects.
Of specific concern are the accumulative effects from the development of such
a high concentration of projects in a small, localized area. Currently, we are
working with Researcher Watson to develop an expanded raptor telemetry project
that looks at wind power impacts to nesting birds. Of particular interest are
wind power impacts to Washington ferruginous hawks. Two different wind power
companies have recently expressed interest in funding additional raptor work.
Bald Eagle Management
Plans: Science Technician Ridenour responded to a citizen's concerns regarding
a bald eagle nest and adjacent private land use practices in Lewis County. A
site visit was arranged with the private landowner to discuss Bald Eagle Management
Plan (BEMP) rules as outlined by the state Wildlife Commission in 1986. BEMPs
are to ensure the protection of nesting and roosting habitat on a case-by-case
basis. District Wildlife Biologist Miller will follow-up with the landowner
regarding any further action.
staff removed the sections of an Osprey nest that created a power outage
while allowing the remainder of the nest to provide for the ospreys until
Osprey Management: Biologist Anderson responded to an osprey nest/power line outage along the Columbia
River in Klickitat County. Wet branches in the nest caused this outage and the
local PUD needed to remove the nest in order to activate the line. Fortunately,
the osprey juveniles had recently fledged, although they were still actively
using the nest and pole. In addition, this utility line is source of power for
a Burlington Northern Railroad safety signal and needed to be put in service
ASAP. Biologist Anderson worked with the PUD and the Railroad to remove a portion
of the nest to reactivate the line while still giving the birds some nest structure
to utilize for the remainder of the season. After the osprey migrate from the
area in the next month, the PUD will place an artificial nest platform on the
pole to reduce future problems at the site. Plans are underway to construct
two additional platforms for other osprey nests that are located on power poles
along the Columbia River.
Wolf Conservation and
Management Plan Scoping: Region 5 and Olympia Wildlife Program staff hosted
the Wolf Conservation and Management Plan scoping meeting at the Water Resources
Education Center in Vancouver on Thursday evening with approximately 30 people
in attendance. A presentation on the background of the Agency’s effort
was provided and attendees were given the opportunity to provide their thoughts
and input at four listening posts on the following topics: Wolf Conservation,
Wolf-Livestock Conflicts, Wolf-Game Interactions, and Wolf-human Interactions
and Other Issues. Interesting discussions and questions ensued.
Region 5 Deer Management: Biologist Holman completed the annual Pittman-Robertson report for deer management
in Region 5. This effort summarizes deer management activities from July 2006
through June 2007 in the Region. Included in the report are details regarding
deer harvest, hunter effort, deer survey work, population estimates, etc. Those
interested in reading about past deer management efforts in Region 5 or any
other game management activities statewide should visit the Hunting
page on WDFW's website for an archive of these reports.