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Preservation of 2.5 million acres


fisherking01

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State of Mn vows to preserve wetlands in the state,

to me this es equivilant to doing nothing to help the ducks. Why,

Because they are going to protect the watlands, Cattail sloughs that are here now. Most of these wetlands are too deep to have drained already, 8 feet of water is not conducive to duck production. Dry cattail sloughs are not conducive to duck production. So what benefit does this do for the ducks? Net change in production = 0.

If the state wants to enhance duck populations and production, they need to increase the level of productive wetlands, ones the duck can thrive on.

If you have read the papers and think their plan is for the ducks, it's not, just a bunch of talk designed to quiet the sportsmen concerned about the birds.

What's your take on this?

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I think it's meant to be a positive step in the right direction. If the land we have now is not preserved, there's no land available to improve tomorrow. True, some of the current acreage is not prime waterfowl habitat, but with the land safe from development opportunities are opened to improve those resources. Improving waterfowl habitat is not an overnight process.

While you can take farmland, add some trees, grasses for food and cover for pheasants in a matter of a few years; restoring wetlands can take a decade or two. It is likely to be much more expensive as well. If we (the State of MN) had the financial resources to begin substantial improvements today, we would. I think setting aside the land is a positive thing but I agree it's perhaps not as significant a step as the State would like sportsman to believe.

In order for us to improve our waterfowl habitat there has to be a greater awareness among sportsman with respect to what they can do. For example, the contributions from Minnesotans to Katrina victims provided them with millions worth of support. If such a strong push was made to improve habitat in our state, we would begin to see the improvements we all want. I would suggest supporting local groups such as DU with finacial contributions or least give them your time. This may be the best avenue available at this time to improve and preserve what we have today. Just my 2 cents.

Brian

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Restoring wetlands does not take a decade or two. It is a fact that they can be redily restored in less time than prarie or treed acres. Once a drained wetland is flooded it will support abundant vegitation and invertebrate populations in the first two years. The seeds of many aquatic vegitation can lay dormant in the soil for years until the conditions are right and then grow. I've been involved with many organizations and think most are positive for wildlife. I've also seen first hand the potential of reflooding drained wetlands.

As for preservation, it is a step in the right direction, I just don't think it should be sold to us as a plan for the ducks.

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I'll agree that restoring a wetland to its true potential can take many years. However, I could show you guys a low spot that was tiled and dry in 2004 that turned into a waterfowl mecca after the tile was plugged in the spring of 2005. Anyone that hunts around Artichoke Lake in western MN knows which one I'm talking about. Shallow water, cover, and food will bring the ducks.

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2.5 MILLION ACRES! Do you realize how much land that is? If my math is correct, that is roughly 3 Stearns counties? In my opinion, this is a very positive step. Fisherking makes an excellent point about not all wetlands being ideal for waterfowl. This is definitely true. If all of these acres aren't preserved, what will eventually happen with this land? Pheasants, Deer, etc... all benefit from this land aquisition. Not to mention there are local groups as well as national ones like DU working to aquire and develop land for future preservation.

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