The Book is a Good read

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The Book is a Good read

Postby feathhd » Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:56 am

The Tittle of the Book You are looking for is: Conservation In Ricelands of North America.

I highly recommend that Iowa Waterfowlers get a copy and read it and think about some of the issues with in the cover of the book and how they might relate to the present Iowa Landscape and how we go about conservation efforts today.

The book is a Good Read from front to back. I have personally read it 5 times and every time I learn something New or look at something in wetland & waterfowl habitat management different. In my case I look at some of the uses / applications and information related and recognize that the same practice can be used on other residual stubble and provide the same benefits to other Crop production / farmers and the secondary byproducts benefiting Migratory species and other wildlife of Iowa who has seen 90 plus % of it's native wetlands, seasonal and permanent disappear.

I also look at present land use policies with in the state of Iowa and recognize their impact and limitations placed on traditional conservation practices. Is there potential to influence policy with some of the information with in this Book? I think so. Could it provide some solutions where traditional conservation practices are not obtainable in Iowa? I think so.

I read a chronicle sometime ago that talked about habitat conservation practices carried out on the landscape and how the USDA & USFWS would potentially use said revenue resources to maximize landowner participation / enrollment. In it one of the ideas was to share the revenues with landowners that the activities generated. Associating a value to the activities and revenues generated to be shared with landowners. What a concept I thought and then I started to wounder how the present landscape in Iowa would look like if in Fact the idea was implemented or better yet how the landscape in every state might look like Today if it had.

For me anyway it is a deep issue that I view as a means to Mitigate the Negative consequences of Native migratory habitat losses and the ever changing technology that transforms the landscape and advances the abilities to maximize production on ground that in the past wasn't suitable for production but by technology advances has become available for crop production purposes.

Present land use policies also have played a huge roll in these changes why at the same time traditional conservation programs / practices haven't adapted or changed enough to be Competitive out on the landscape. The Limitation.

There is only so much that can be done by traditional Conservation practices because other policies and land use trends are the driving force behind those limitations. As the years go by traditional conservation restoration cost rise further putting greater limitations on how much can be done. The dollars that use to reach 1000's of acres a year now reach even less.

Here is what I think folks and think about it in Iowa anyway. We use to have over 6 MILLION acres of Native wetlands. 6 Million. Over 97% has been lost to crop production or some other land use. Traditional Conservation restoration over the past 100 years by some numbers that I have seen suggests we have only Restored about 65k acres. In a habitat restoration conservation discussion about what might be our states Restoration & protection threshold it was said at best we could DBL what we have today. At best based on other policy limitations that impact conservation implementation out on the Iowa landscape. Now even if my numbers are off as that information is about 5 to 6 years old, it does tell you just how far short we Truly are in our ability to permanently secure and restore wetland habitats in Iowa. It was also said it could take 500 years to reach our DBL capacity. Just trying to recall the information folks. I may be off a little but the true reality of that message speaks volumes.

Now lets get back to the sharing the revenues bit with landowners. Think about it. In the past few years we have seen associated recreational revenues data and it is used in a way to show just how vital recreational activity and revenues associated are to the states economic engine. Thats all fine in an effort to make the case for more traditional conservation funding revenues but in my opinion there is 1 big problem. 95 plus % of the Iowa landscape is held in PRIVATE hands and by an article a few weeks ago most of the Iowa landscape is committed to CROP production.

Yes recreational economic revenues are vital to the state but if very little of those revenues are coming back to the landowner what the hell does he or she care what the value is to the state? They are working the landscape to make a living, provide for their families and be able to send their kids off the college, buy homes, build them for their kids future. Where in there is any of that Recreational Economic Revenue help them achieve that objective?

I think in Iowa's case we need to re-evaluate our position as to how do we reach 95% of the landscape that is and most likely will remain out of the reach of Traditional Conservation Practices / Measures so that the true potential of recreational economic activity can be reached but most important is the ability to integrate New Practices into the Iowa working landscape the Benefits the Iowa Farmer and certainly Iowa's Migratory Habitat Status.

Anyway I got way off track in publishing the link folks but I did want to leave you with some thought process if in fact you think about getting a copy of that Book. Just remember 1 thing as you read through it, replace every word that has rice in it with Corn or Soybeans, Genetically modified crop residual like BT corn or other. We may not be able to reach the 6 million acres lost but I do believe that we can reach some with in that 95% that Traditional Conservation practices will NEVER TOUCH. The estimate is about 10% and that is based off a conversation I had personally with one of the TOP Ag researchers / professors of Iowa over technology implementation on the Iowa landscape.

All I know folks is after my 1st read of the Book, I looked at the potential out on the Iowa landscape in a much different perspective. I truly do believe that if we as Waterfowl Sportsmen are to secure our place out on the Iowa landscape and restore the historical heritage that once was one of the most dominate aspect of the Iowa landscape and Waterfowl History books, WE TRULY DO have to BRING OUR COUNTER PARTS INTO THE FOLD AND MAKE THEM A BENEFICIARY in the Revenues Generated by the Activity.

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