Here is a recap of the Hunter’s Meeting at the Bear River Bird Refuge this week.
• Bob addressed their efforts along with land owners in developing the Bear River Watershed Conservation Area. Putting this in place does not mean that more water will make it to the Refuge but it will keep critical water in areas where it is needed for agriculture and wildlife use rather than allowing all of it to go to residential and commercial development
• Katie addressed the Phrag study and some of the findings thus far. Part of this was the challenges an organization faces in getting a burn permit
• Bob shared that as of this past week they have been granted a certain dollar amount for Phrag control for 2014
• He discussed the benefits grazing has had on the Phrag. A hunter in attendance who raises cattle and has marsh land within his property commented that he grazes his cows on the Phrag once everything is iced over with great success. He and the Refuge biologist were to visit more in depth about this after the meeting. There was also talk of visiting with other ranchers about this possibility
• Another hunter in attendance has been working with the DWR here in Box Elder County on a plan to treat Phragmite stands outside the refuge boundaries near the blocks within Bear River Bay
• We talked about Carp and how they are controlled on the Refuge. Katie pointed out that the new water control structure leading to Unit 1A in the L canal is designed to lessen the number of carp that can get downstream. They plan to install more of these as needed and as funds allow
Lastly and for special note to everyone;
• The Refuge will be calling on hunters to assist in Phrag spraying come June and July. They will need both air boats and Mud Motor’s
o Chuck Harsin will be posting information about this in other social media outlets and will be sure this information is emailed to the different associations so we can be sure to get the needed volunteers to help at these times
• There was discussion of having a volunteer cleanup day within the hunting Areas come this April. The Refuge management seemed positive about this possibility
• Lastly, Bob asked if there would be interest in the hunting community for a day spent with the Refuge Manager for a behind the scenes tour of the inner workings of the Refuge
We hope more hunters will be able to attend this and other public meetings related to hunting. The meeting was more successful due to the comments of hunters in attendance. We encourage you to be a part of these discussions in your areas so we can help preserve, promote and extend these hunting opportunities not only for ourselves but others in the future.
Best of luck out there!