Archive of Posts Prior to 2021-08-13 are bel0w- But the blog (our former home page) is active & kept current. The link to the blog’s URL is https://phas-wsd.blogspot.com

PRAIRIE HILLS AUDUBON SOCIETY (PHAS)  HOME PAGE as BLOG

Prairie Hills Audubon Society (PHAS) is run by volunteers. This page you are on – the home page, is up to date and is a google blog. .
 Many of the other pages on this web site have not been changed in  10 or 11 years, because we lacked volunteers who know how to edit them — we finally have learned some web design skills
.   We hope we can get our web pages fixed and updated soon and the other pages are slowly getting changed. 

This “home page” is managed like a blog, – items are added and deleted to this page to keep it timely. 
The Blog editing software misbehaves sometimes and alters the font type or font size or sometimes adds unwanted inches of space breaks and sometimes it just refuses to be fixed…sorry. I just don’t understand it — I need to learn some HTML editing skills.

Scroll down immediately below for an index of how this “blog” is ordered..


Home page: includes 2021 Deadlines and Events and also alerts, issue/project and current events discussions

Older posts are in “older posts” – scroll down it is red text in the lower right at the bottom above the maroon field.
https://phas-wsd.org/?p=827 

 Much older excerpts of the blog,  from 2015, 2014 and 2013 are found in blog archive which is shown as red text on a maroon background at the bottom,

MEMBERSHIP
Members can belong to only Prairie Hills Audubon Society or they can join both Prairie Hills Audubon Society (PHAS) and the National Audubon Society (NAS)
To join Prairie Hills Audubon Society & the National Audubon Society 
on-line – joining both at the same time go to

https://action.audubon.org/donate/chapter-membership

Our chapter code is V02, the 0 is a zero.  
If folks join the NAS directly without using this chapter link, if you live in our territory (much of western SD) you will become a member in our chapter, 
but we get no specific extra financial credit for the new membership dues.  We get a fixed grant of $565 dollars a year from the National Audubon Society and normally have about 210-230 joint members, which is about $2.50-$2.70 per member. 
Chapter only memberships are also available, for which you must mail checks to
 Prairie Hills Audubon Society, P.O. Box 788, Black Hawk, SD 57718.
Basic membership is $20, low-income is $10, scholarship memberships are available in exchange for volunteer work,
 with approval of Board in each instance.

Prairie Hills Audubon Society is a non-profit corporation and our purpose is to engage in such educational, scientific, literary, historical, charitable pursuits and purposes that will educate about, protect and restore the environment and natural heritage. All our purposes conform with the provision of Section 501c(3) of the tax code of the IRS.  The board of directors decides how the financial resources are spent, to further our mission and in compliance with the IRS requirements. 
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INDEX TO THE NEXT SECTIONS (ON THIS BLOG POST)

1. Events & Deadlines & Alerts in January 2021 & forward into 2021

1) Prairie Hills Audubon Society (PHAS) – the organization’s events, upcoming and  historic in the past year. Also recent chapter accomplishments.
2)  Then specific events in chronological order, – This section is arranged mostly in chronological order.    Alerts on beaver and otters issue for SDGFP Commision meeting are at- July 9th, 2021
Event notices may include written alerts on subject matter that is still relevant/active after the event & thus event/deadline notice may be left up even after the original  date has passed,  Some alerts with out-of-date deadlines are on the older posts page, which is another button to push. https://phas-wsd.org/?p=827 
3) Some recent news articles
4) Some recent alerts on state based issues , where there are no immediate deadlines – It has a section on timber issues in the Black Hills
5) Federal law and rule making – Info. on Federal  issues, such as  links to  NYTimes article on roll back of environmental regulations by Trump administration    (100 plus roll-backs), 
6) SD Legislature

IN THE OLDER BLOG POSTING (see a button on your screen in lower right, click on it)  – 

This hyperlink takes you to older posts.

OLDER ALERTS –  are in the older posts button:

1. SD River otters
2. Nest Predator Bounty Program
3. Mining
4.Greater sage grouse
A) SD Mountain Lion Plan Revision & Nebraska 2020 season revisions Alerts
B) Mineral Mountain Resources Exploration project
C) Pennington County – Croell Sand/Gravel Mine Issue

D) Non-meandered waters Alert
E) Alert on Resilient Landscape DEIS (Forest Service)

F) announcement of Petitions to list or de-list under ESA and :
G)  S3254/SB 114 (Land Trade Little Spearfish Canyon & Bismark Lake) & 
H).  SD Important Bird Areas
I)  Missouri River Recovery
J) to Sage Grouse Litigation filed by PHAS and others in February  2016
K) then goes to – suspended campaigns discussions, 

              

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BEGINNING OF PHAS EVENTS SECTION
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Section # 2 is on 
Prairie Hills Audubon Society  (PHAS) 
Meetings & Events, listing upcoming in 2021 
and historic meetings in 2020
Scroll past this section to get to other events that are in chronological order 

PHAS now has a Facebook page
Prairie dog photo copyright by Nancy Hilding

We schedule membership evening meetings some months…often towards later half of the month
PHAS membership meetings are scheduled at the end of the month – in the last week. The day may vary, but check here for 
events likely between the 25th-31st of any month.

PHAS schedules Zoom discussion & “working” meetings during most months that are not announced on this web page. but announcements are sent to members and friends who have expressed  past interest in some of the issues we follow – let us know if you want to be invited to “working’ meetings on topics we follow.

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Next Prairie Hi

The frequency of field trips in August will be less than the July rate of once a week.

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Monday, August 16th, 6 pm MT 
  Prairie Hills Audubon Society’s August Meeting
Topic: Mountain Lions in our Region 
and other issues related to SD Game Fish and Parks.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 854 3392 0233
Passcode: 534620

One tap mobile
+12532158782,,85433920233#,,,,*534620# US (Tacoma)
+13462487799,,85433920233#,,,,*534620# US (Houston)

Dial by your location – as far as we know all work in SD.
        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston
               +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
       
Meeting ID: 854 3392 0233
Passcode: 534620

Find your local number:



Photo by Justin Shoemaker (CC BY 2.0)


We will show the SDGFP powerpoint, shown to the SDGFP Commission in July, that provides updates on the GFP’s estimates of the Mountain Lion population on the SD side of the Black Hills. We will also discuss cougar management in SD’s Prairie Unit & on some tribal lands in SD.  We will discuss cougar management in Nebraska as the Pine Ridge Ecosystem exists in both States on both tribal/non-tribal land. We will also discuss cougar management in Wyoming, as the Black Hills is in both states.  
     Penny Maldonado of Cougar Fund will join us & staff of Mountain Lion Foundation has also been invited.  
   Time permitting we may briefly update folks on beaver & otter management issues, the proposed shooting range at Elk Creek/Elk Vale Rd. & other issues associated with SDGFP.  

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Saturday, August 28th, 2021 
Prairie Hills Audubon Society’s Field Trip
Birding along Rapid Creek west of Silver City, 

Morning Birding – 
Car pool to leave Founder’s Park, Rapid City at 7:45 am
(gather in north side of parking lot) to depart for Silver City

Alternatively meet at 8:30 am – at the Deerfield Trail’s trailhead west of Silver City
 Links for maps and information on the Deerfield trail:

 Audubon’s Field Trip Chair: Jedediah Beadle at jedediahbeadle@gmail.com, 207-310-4665
If you can’t get ahold of Jedediah, try Nancy at 787-6466. 
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Saturday, Sept 18th, 2021 
Prairie Hills Audubon Society’s Field Trips – Fall River

Join Rajni Lerman on Saturday, Sept 18th, 2021 to learn about the Proposed Fall River Interpretive Trail along Fall River in Hot Springs, SD. 

  Anyone interested in carpooling from Rapid City, contact Jedediah. Everyone else will meet at the Mueller Center Parking lot at 8:45 am.  The entire trial is approximately 2 miles of mostly easy walking along the paved Freedom Trail. There is a section, “Spur” trail that has some more challenging footing. There are plenty of exit points along the way. We will end at Chautuqua park. For more info. contact Rajni @ rajni1love@gmail.com, (303) 564-0787, Jedediah  @  jedediahbeadle@gmail.com,

If bad weather is expected, please check to verify the trip.



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Map of Sevey lake
Sevey Lake is on Elk Creek Rd., which bisects the Lake




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Wednesday June 30th 

Our June membership Zoom meeting will be about beaver
When: at 6:00 pm oMT n Wednesday June 30th 
Speaker: Michael M. Pollock of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is our speaker. 
Topic: Working with beaver for the benefit of people, fish, wildlife and biological diversity


Beaver play a vital role in maintaining and diversifying stream and riparian habitat and they are a keystone species. Michael will talk to us about beaver lives and beaver ecology, including the effects of beavers on physical and biological processes and other species.  He will talk about beaver restoration and non-lethal methods of mitigating unwanted impacts from beavers.  

Michael is a Research Scientist for the Northwest Fisheries Science Center and is well-known for using beaver to restore biologically diverse stream and riparian ecosystems. He has been studying and writing about the effects of beaver on ecosystems for 20+ years and pioneered the use of beaver dam analogues (BDAs) to work with beaver to restore streams.

Michael’s key publications include:
 “The Beaver Restoration Guidebook -Working with Beaver to Restore Streams, Wetlands, and Floodplains”https://www.fws.gov/oregonfwo/ToolsForLandowners/RiverScience/Documents/BRG v.1.0 final reduced.pdf
Using beaver to restore incised stream ecosystems
and just accepted in BIoScience, “Design criteria for process-based restoration of fluvial systems”

You can find out more about Michael at: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/contact/michael-m-pollock-phd


Topic: PHAS monthly meetings
Time: Wednesday June 30th, 6:00 pm, Beavers

LINK  TO RECORDING


Passcode: x2r6B!Y2 



Scroll down  a long wasyfor an alert on SD Game, Fish and Parks proposed changes to the beaver trapping/hunting season 

Other publications

Here is a web site that further explains what Michael Pollock was talking about – “the  Beaver Dam Analog”  (BDA) restoration.   It shows pictures  of the wooden stakes used to simulate and perhaps encourage beaver activity.
https://www.beaverinstitute.org/management/stream-restoration/

Video on  – Beaver Dam Analog – “Partnering with Beaver to Restore Fish and Wildlife Habitat”

Non-lethal control of wildlife, including beaver
In this webinar, Dr. Grassel discussed several non-lethal methods for wildlife management that have been used by the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe in South Dakota.

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Beavers: Dam Good For Songbirds

“The songbird has a friend in the beaver. According to a study by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), the busy beaver’s signature dams provide critical habitat for a variety of migratory songbirds, particularly in the semi-arid interior of the Western U.S.”  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081008151316.htm

More Beavers Equals More Birds – In Western Montana, Birds Flock to Beaver Ponds      https://blog.nwf.org/2018/04/more-beavers-equals-more-birds/

Here is a link to a page with references on Beaver
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 PHAS Meeting is Endangered Species Day May 21st.
Celebrate America’s 16th Annual Endangered Species Day on May 21st, 2021
PHAS will co-host west River SD’s
Endangered Species Day Celebration
It will be a virtual Zoom meeting this year.

Charlene Bessken of the USFWS in Pierre SD spoke to us about two topics

1. SD’s Federally listed species and give us updates on what has happened with SD listed species in the last 2 years.
2. SD’s bumble bees, which are listed or have been petitioned for listing – 
Listed:  Rusty-patched Bumblebee
Petitioned:  Western Bumblebee, American Bumblebee, and Variable Cuckoo Bumble Bee

Topic: Endangered Species Day Celebration
Start time: 6 pm MT

 Link to recording of meeting: https://vimeo.com/553605916

During the Zoom meeting today I promised I would post 2 links 

Letter about funding for USFWS

Endangered Species Coalition’s press release on Trumps rule making to weaken ESA regs 
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PHAS April Zoom Member’s Meeting.
Thursday April 29th, 2021
Zoom meeting 6:30 pm MT
2 topics: SD GFP & killing of predators and also BHNF overcutting of conifers.

8/10- Recording is  unavailable here, location is changing to vimeo

We showed a video film, “Cull of the Wild”
“The Truth behind Trapping” –
“The argument for ending animal trapping for profit, recreation or wildlife management.”
Here is a link to learn more about the film: http://www.bullfrogfilms.com/catalog/cull.html
Vimeo link to view the film: https://vimeo.com/268875305
Raccoon photo by S. Hillebrand
After the film we discussed the recent approval by the SD Game, Fish and Parks Commission 
of the Nest Predator Bounty Program at $500,000 per year for 2 years, with a $10 bounty per tail and with a bounty on 
raccoons, skunks, opossums, red fox and badgers. This is based on a misguided belief this will help increase nesting success of ground nesting birds such as pheasants and ducks. The state in the past two years has spent about 2 million on bounties  and a  live trap free give-away. In 2021 the season will be April 1st-July 1st. In 2022 the season will be March 1st-July 1st, but the first month will be for youth only (under 18 years old), who can trap/hunt for free.  During the the program, youth will be given some free live traps.  (Scroll down web page for more information on this program)
 
Time permitting we will perhaps also discuss some of these topics – (more info on items 1-3 is in older posts – scroll down).
1.  The 2020 delisting of river otters and the 2019 river otter trapping/hunting season. 
2. SD beaver trapping and beaver conservation
3. Mountain Lion hunting and bobcat hunting/trapping.
4. Reforms to SDGFP Commission functions.
2nd HALF
The last third or half of the program will be updates on and discussion about the Black Hills National Forest  Final  General Technical Report titled “A Scenario-Based Assessment to Inform Sustainable Ponderosa Pine Timber Harvest on the Black Hills National Forest.” 
The final report was issued on Tuesday 3/23/21.  BHNF had a webinar explaining the report on the morning of  April 7th.

To view or download the 4/7/21 webinar- where the report is explained: :  – https://vimeo.com/534976997




Old growth pine in the Sand Creek Roadless Area. Photo N Hilding
The Black Hills National Forest (BHNF) has released data from a Forest Inventory & Analysis that shows the BHNF is cutting trees faster than then forest growth replaces them. If current rate of cutting continues the live sawtimber volume will be depleted in the next several decades. To meet the current rate of cutting allowed by the Forest Plan, they need twice the standing live timber they have. The rate of cutting must be reduced to provide for a sustainable supply of timber, wildlife habitat, and other forest resources. Various laws require a sustainable logging program. 

Direct link to a report on this research released on 3/23/21 : –
 “A Scenario-Based Assessment to Inform Sustainable Ponderosa Pine Timber Harvest on the Black Hills National Forest”  
Link to many FS references on the overharvesting topic. 
At “Timber Stakeholder & Local Government Official Meetings” 
this  web site also has links to  recordings of 4 stakeholder meetings in April and May 2020 where issues are also explained/discussed: 
Link to Black Hills Forest Inventory Data
Here is February 2021 multi-party letter sent by PHAS and other groups and Oglala Sioux Tribe to the Forest Service
 about the overharvesting:
https://www.scribd.com/document/499857016/2021-02-16-BHNF-Regional-Office-Meet-Request-Re-BHNF-Sustained-Yield

  

 We had 4 meeting programs this past summer on the BHNF timber related issues and 

 April 29th will be an update/continued discussion   

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August Meeting by Zoom 
Time:  Thursday, August 27th, 2020, 6:30 PM MT
Topic: Black Hills National Forest - timber sustainability and the implications of overharvesting
Speakers: Mary Zimmerman, volunteer for the Norbeck Society; Dave Mertz, retired forester 
Dave and Mary will talk about the implications of over-harvesting on the forest. Their presentations may include some power-points, videos, discussion and answering questions.

                                             Link to recording of meeting: https://vimeo.com/539284610
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July PHAS meeting by Zoom 
July 31st 
Topic: Structural Stages and Species Viability, BHNF
Time: Friday July, 31st, 2020, 6:30 PM MT
Speaker: Kristopher Hennings, Forest Wildlife
Program Manager, Black Hills National Forest

 Link to recording of meeting:  https://vimeo.com/539354193
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September Meeting 
Time:  Tuesday, September 29th, 6:30 PM MT
Topic: Conservation of Black-backed Woodpeckers in the Black Hills
Speakers: Chad Hanson, Ph.D., research ecologist
Dr. Hanson will discuss the threats to the Black Hills subspecies of the Black-backed Woodpecker, including logging, fire suppression, and small population size due to limited suitable habitat. He will suggest key conservation steps that should be taken to ensure viable populations. 
 Link to recording of meeting: https://vimeo.com/539394878



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MAY 29th  by Zoom
 Friday, May 29th, 6:30 pm MT
 “Timber Growth and Yield Draft General Technical Report” 

– a report that documents the Forest’s not sustainable cut. 

Speaker: Jonathan Word, BHNF’s Natural Resources Staff Officer.
Link to his powerpoint
 Link to recording of meeting: https://vimeo.com/539407736

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Link to Norbeck Society videos about Black Hills National Forest


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Virtual meeting recording still on Zoom Cloud
Old meetings – History, recording still on Zoom cloud or vimeo

Prairie Hills Audubon Society
Monthly meetings are at the end of the month & use the same Zoom codes (recurring codes).
This meeting will get removed from Zoom cloud on May 21st and will eventually be transferred to vimeo
Prairie Hills Audubon Society
March Zoom Meeting
will be Cory Allen Heidelberger editor and publisher 
of  Dakota Free Press http://dakotafreepress.com
speaking about 


Initiative and Referendum in South Dakota – 
What is the status of our right to initiative and referendum
 after years of monkeywrenching from the Legislature and court challenges.
Wednesday, March 31st, 6:30 pm MT
PHAS Facebook Notice of this event
Discussion:
        For the last decade some members of SD government have worked to erode SD initiative and referendum (I & R) rights, with bills, resolutions and/or court cases. Cory has been following SD politics as a blog editor and publisher for years and has been writing about this erosion of our initiative and referendum (I & R) rights.  In 2019 he led SD Voice in an effort to place an initiative on the ballot to redress some of the egregious changes to I & R, but SD Voice failed to get enough signatures by the deadline to place the initiative on the ballot. However Cory, SD Voice and their attorney Jim Leach filed litigation in federal court in summer of 2019 and won twice. Part of the litigation is not yet resolved. 
        Seeing four more bills/resolutions on I & R  passing this year; PHAS is concerned with this continuous erosion. We also see the legislature in past & present passing or attempting to pass laws to overturn public vote on initiatives. We see members of SD government suing in court to overturn initiatives the voters voted into law. 
       We had asked Cory to ­help us explore this history.  He gave us an introduction and then we went  to question and answer.  We learned what is currently and will soon be required of circulators and petition sponsors.  What hassles and threats do they face, that we didn’t in the old days?  We learned to learn about expected constitutional amendments and I & R petition efforts for this coming year. We  discussed what we can all do to be more effective defenders of and advocates for initiatives and referendum rights in SD. 

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PHAS’s older virtual meeting recordings are stored on Vimeo
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February PHAS meeting (Historic meetings- recording on Vimeo )

Time:  Thursday, February 25th, 6:30 PM MT 
Topic:  Tribal Efforts to Conserve Biodiversity 
Speakers: Emily Boyd Valandra, Biologist, Rosebud Sioux Tribe’s Dept. of Natural Resources – Game, Fish & Parks,
Shaun Grassel, PhD, Wildlife Biologist, Lower Brule Sioux Tribe’s Dept. of Wildlife, Fish & Recreation.

Learn about the challenges and successes in conserving biodiversity on tribal lands in South Dakota.

Link to  vimeo recording: https://vimeo.com/553206710

—–


JANUARY Meeting (Historic meetings- recording on Vimeo )
 
Time:  Wednesday, January 27th, 6:30 PM MT (History)
Topic: Audubon Dakota – State Office Update 
Speakers: Megan Carter, Audubon Dakota, 
The National Audubon Society’s field office for SD & ND works on the restoration & conservation efforts at the Wolsey Crane Stopover Important Bird Area.  Audubon has community science projects across the country such as Audubon’s 121st Christmas Bird Count & the Winter 2021 Climate Watch survey (currently underway). Learn more about Audubon Dakota’s programs & how you can also help birds.  
Scroll down for Zoom details  
Link to recording of meeting https://vimeo.com/539435375


NOVEMBER PHAS ZOOM MEETING (Historic meetings- recording on Vimeo )
 
Time: Monday, November 30th, 6:30 PM MT
Topic: Title: Climate Watch: Monitoring Birds in a Changing Climate
Speakers: Kathy Dale, National Audubon Society’s Director of Science Technology

Audubon’s newest community science effort, Climate Watch, seeks to understand how birds are being affected by climate
change and to test the future range change predictions for U.S. species. Learn about Audubon’s Climate Watch program, the science that is its foundation and current results. Kathy will talk about Audubon’s ground-breaking work to model the future of birds’ response to climate change and the way you can help ground-truth how your birds are responding.

Link to recording of meeting https://vimeo.com/534141563/4aa562697d

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OCTOBER MEETING by Zoom (((Historic – recording on Vimeo )
Time: Thursday, October 29th, 2020, 6:30 PM MT
Topic: Recent Mining Issues in the Black Hills
Speakers: Lilias Jarding, Ph.D., Black Hills Clean Water Alliance
Hearing a lot about mining and potential mining in the Black Hills? It’s not an accident. We’re part of an international gold rush. Learn more about this, uranium mining, and a plan to protect the central Black Hills.
 Link to recording of meeting::https://vimeo.com/539427498


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September Meeting ((Historic – recording on Vimeo )
July 31st 
Time:  Tuesday, September 29th, 6:30 PM MT
Topic: Conservation of Black-backed Woodpeckers in the Black Hills
Speakers: Chad Hanson, Ph.D., research ecologist
Dr. Hanson will discuss the threats to the Black Hills subspecies of the Black-backed Woodpecker, including logging, fire suppression, and small population size due to limited suitable habitat. He will suggest key conservation steps that should be taken to ensure viable populations. 
 Link to recording of meeting: https://vimeo.com/539394878


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August Meeting by Zoom  (Historic – recording on Vimeo )
Time:  Thursday, August 27th, 2020, 6:30 PM MT
Topic: Black Hills National Forest - timber sustainability and the implications of overharvesting
Speakers: Mary Zimmerman, volunteer for the Norbeck Society; Dave Mertz, retired forester 
Dave and Mary will talk about the implications of over-harvesting on the forest. Their presentations may include some power-points, videos, discussion and answering questions.

                                             Link to recording of meeting: https://vimeo.com/539284610
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July PHAS meeting by Zoom (Historic – recording on Vimeo )
July 31st 
Topic: Structural Stages and Species Viability, BHNF
Time: Friday July, 31st, 2020, 6:30 PM MT
Speaker: Kristopher Hennings, Forest Wildlife
Program Manager, Black Hills National Forest

 Link to recording of meeting:  https://vimeo.com/539354193
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MAY 29th  by Zoom ( (Historic – recording on Vimeo )
 Friday, May 29th, 6:30 pm MT
 “Timber Growth and Yield Draft General Technical Report” 
– a report that documents the Forest’s not sustainable cut. 
Speaker: Jonathan Word, BHNF’s Natural Resources Staff Officer.
Link to his powerpoint
 Link to recording of meeting: https://vimeo.com/539407736

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 MARCH 31st by Zoom ( (Historic – recording on Vimeo )
Topic: Fight to Save the Greater Sage Grouse –  
Speaker:  Erik Molvar, Western Watersheds Project was the speaker
 Link to recording of meeting:  https://vimeo.com/539416766



HISTORIC MEETINGS 2020 & 2021

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HISTORIC 2020

HISTORY 2020 recordings are not on the Zoom Cloud or Vimeo
we will slowly be posting these to vimeo .  The next 3  inches  is spent listing old meetings,  recordings are not yet on vimeo.


APRIL 29th (Historic)
Topic: South Dakota’s River Otters
Time: Apr 29, 2020, 6:30 PM 
Speaker: Silka Kempema of SD Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Wildlife Diversity Program 

Nancy was a little late starting the recording and missed the first three slides, 
which included the title slide, a slide called Mustelid – which had 4 characteristics listed (carnivore, long body, short legs, scent glands) 
and a slide called Biology, which had 3 points.- (adapted to life in water, indicator of water quality, associated with beaver.)

(HISTORY)
 February 28th, – Face-to-face
 February’s membership meeting was on GFP program on Nest Predator Bounty Program 
at West River Electric Co-op building, 

We helped co-sponsor a cracker barrel in Piedmont on the second Saturday of February 2020 and 2021

OTHER PAST EVENTS
We  are having Zoom conferences for working meetings. Person’s that we know to be interested in topics are invited – they are generally not posted on web /Facebook pages. Contact Nancy if you want to be invited to discussion meetings…
we might be having on river otters, cougars, SDGFP  various plans such as NPBP, and BHNF timber issues just now.

We also used to have PHAS lunch or dinner meetings in some months  – 
at Hana’s Restaurant,  (Korean/Japanese food), on 3550 Sturgis Rd, Rapid City, however due to social distancing
we  have temporarily discontinued those. 

———-
Field trips occur when announced – however likely won’t happen till CDC improves outlook on Covid risk
 Board meetings are by conference call and members welcome. 
Contact – nhilding (at) rapidnet.com, 787-6779
We need new board members, contact Nancy if interested in service.
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We may shelter e-mail addresses by replacing @ with (at) 
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END  OF PHAS EVENTS SECTION
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BEGINNING OF Chronological list of events SECTION
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Brief index for next 2 parts
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LEGISLATURE was at Jan 12th, but moved to bottom of blog
After that is the rest of  Chronological section

Chronological section has
Chronological list of events
Blue text is passed, black text is  future.
YOU MUST SCROLL DOWN TO FIND tHIS SECTION

 
Chronological list of events
Blue text is passed, black text is  future.
 
 

PHAS monthly meeting on beaver
Deadline to comment on Cell Tower Construction Project, BHNF
Deadline to Comment to SD Water Management Board
PHAS Birding Field Trip OCW
Deadline Written Comments to SDGFP
Black Hills Sportsmen meeting
Deadline to comment on Ellsworth Airforce base EE/CA document

SDGFP Commission July Meeting
PHAS Birding Field Trip Sevey Lake
Jim Furnish speaks

PHAS Field Trip Rapid Creek

PHAS Field Trip Rapid Creek at Silver City

BHNF Moon Walk on Beavers
Meade County discuss shooting range project

Deadline Elk Action Plan  –August 16th 
PHAS Monthly Meeting, Monday August 16th – Cougars
PHAS Field Trip Rapid Creek at Silver City 8/28
SD GFP meeting, Sept 1st-2nd

 PHAS Field Trip Sept 18th


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January- Late May – Some Recent Past event – we keeDeadline Elk Action Plan

SD GFP meeting, Sept 1st-2nd
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January-Late May – Some Recent Past event – we keep up but move down the index

Audubon’s Annual Photo Contest (will recycle next year at similar times)
Cracker Barrel List, Statewide, mostly deleted
Great Backyard Bird Count (recycles annually) 
Advocates for the West Zoom Meeting – Sage Grouse (link to recording)
SD GFP Comm. Feb Meet – Zoom Meeting – Nest Predator Bounty Program Appropriations Approval, (link to recording)
BHNF Freeland CE Comment Deadline (Timber sale – not yet sold)
BHAB&E Workshop (Zoom) (link to recording)
BHNF Simon CE Comment Deadline on (Timber sale)
Norbeck Society Meeting   (recording link will be posted)
World Water Day (there will be recording)
Comment Deadline – BHNF trail proposal near Rapid City
BHNF Webinar (there will be recording)
SDGFP Commission Meeting (there will be recording)
Norbeck Society Meeting (there will be recording)
2021 Western South Dakota Hydrology Conference
John James Audubon’s Birthday
PHAS April meeting (recording)
Deadline submit comments on USDA climate policy
BHNF Aspen & Pine CE Comment Deadline on (Timber sale)

Endangered Species Day (ESD) Celebration (recording)
Nationwide ESD Chalk Drawing contest
Nationwide Pollinator Party

Climate Watch Spring Session
SDGFP Bioblitz
Advocates for the West Webinar – “Wolves in the West” (recording)
GFP Photo Contest Spring Session
GFP Commission June Meeting ) (recording will be posted)

HSUS Webinar on NE Lions (recorded)
NE Game and Park June Meeting (recorded)

Deadline to comment on Flying Monkey Salvage Sale,  BHNF
Sierra Club monthly meeting on bats
PHAS Field Trips to Whitney  Preserve



And more
scroll down  past legislature section – to  get to chronological order section.
, where items are listed in chronological order.  
The Legislative section is long, but now at the bottom of blog

======================================================================================

==================

The Legislative section has been moved to the bottom of the blog page,
 as it is now out-of-date

SD Legislature 2021

Jan 12th-March 11
with Veto day March 29th
INDEX

Legislative section (which is far below)  has
1. Reference links for the SD Legislature and other lobbyists/groups  (moved)
who have information relevant to environmental bills (moved)
2. Bill tracking for environmental and “good/bad government process” bills  (moved)
3. Bulk e-mail lists of all legislators and some committees (DELETED)
4. Information on some committees (DELETED)
5. Expired alerts on some bills (moved)
6. Inititive and Referendum Reference


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+++++++==========++++++++

INDEX to this section – 
scroll down 6 inches

Chronological list of events
Blue text is passed, black text is  future.

Late May forward
 

PHAS monthly meeting on beaver
Deadline to comment on Cell Tower Construction Project, BHNF
Deadline to Comment to SD Water Management Board
PHAS Birding Field Trip OCW
Deadline Written Comments to SDGFP
Black Hills Sportsmen meeting
Deadline to comment on Ellsworth Air force base EE/CA document

SDGFP Commission July Meeting

PHAS Birding Field Trip Sevey Lake
Jim Furnish speaks
PHAS Field Trip Rapid Creek
PHAS Field Trip Rapid Creek at Silver City

BHNF Moon Walk on Beavers
Meade County discuss shooting range project
Deadline Elk Action Plan  –August 16th 
PHAS Monthly Meeting, Monday August 16th – Cougars
PHAS Field Trip Rapid Creek at Silver City 8/28
SD GFP meeting, Sept 1st-2nd

 PHAS Field Trip Sept 18th

Older – but move down the index

Audubon’s Annual Photo Contest (will recycle next year at similar times)
Cracker Barrel List, Statewide, deleted
Great Backyard Bird Count (recycles annually) 
Advocates for the West Zoom Meeting – Sage Grouse (link to recording)
SD GFP Comm. Feb Meet – Zoom Meeting – Nest Predator Bounty Program Appropriations Approval, (link to recording)
BHNF Freeland CE Comment Deadline (Timber sale not yet sold )
BHAB&E Workshop (Zoom) (link to recording)
BHNF Simon CE Comment Deadline on (Timber sale)
Norbeck Society Meeting   (recording link will be posted)
World Water Day (there will be recording)
Comment Deadline – BHNF trail proposal near Rapid City
BHNF Webinar (there will be recording)
SDGFP Commission Meeting (there will be recording)
Norbeck Society Meeting (there will be recording)
2021 Western South Dakota Hydrology Conference
John James Audubon’s Birthday
PHAS April meeting (recording)
Deadline submit comments on USDA climate policy
BHNF Aspen & Pine CE Comment Deadline on (Timber sale)

Endangered Species Day (ESD) Celebration (recording)
Nationwide ESD Chalk Drawing contest
Nationwide Pollinator Party

Climate Watch Spring Session (annual event)
SDGFP Bioblitz (annual event)
Advocates for the West Webinar – “Wolves in the West” (recording)
GFP Photo Contest Spring Session (annual event)
GFP Commission June Meeting
HSUS Webinar on NE Lions (recorded)
NE Game and Park June Meeting (recorded)

Deadline to comment on Flying Monkey Salvage Sale,  BHNF
Sierra Club monthly meeting on bats
PHAS Field Trips to Whitney  Preserve


 
 

 

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Wednesday June 30th 

PHAS’s June membership Zoom meeting will be 
on Beaver  – Working with beaver for the benefit of people, fish, wildlife and biological diversity”
at 6:00 pm on Wednesday June 30th 
Michael Pollock of the NOAA is our speaker, 
He is one of the 4 authors of this book “The Beaver Restoration Guidebook”



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Wednesday June 30th 
June 30th  Comment Deadline
SDN Tower Construction Project
BHNF 
Comment deadline on the plan to build 2 rural fiber optic towers, one near Silver City and one near Rochford. These will provide 5G wireless and high speed broadband internet. Tower sites will be 50’ X 50’ fenced locations. Each site will contain a 120’ Monopole tower, a propane generator with propane tank and a communications shelter.These plans are proposed to be done as categorical exclusions. Contact Ben Schumacher at 343-1567 for more information. Scoping letter & maps 

There is a debate/disagreement over health risks of radio frequency radiation on people and animals.  Here are some links about such issues: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/12/191203162553.htm      –  

Send comments to: <comments-rocky-mountain-black-hills-mystic@usda.gov> with subject of SDN Tower Construction Project
 There is a Decision Memo availaable for this project

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July 1st Deadline – 
Letters needed to the Water Management Board in opposition to October restart of the hearing on water permits for its proposed uranium mine in Custer and Fall River Counties.
This hearing was started and was suspended in 2013, when Powertech agreed to wait to restart the process until its federal permits were in place.  Now Powertech’s request is to restart the hearing in October 2021. Two state agencies and  BH Clean Water Alliance have requested a slower process.
For details go to link  at BH Clean Water Alliance web page – It has an alert that explains the issues :

https://bhcleanwateralliance.org/2021/06/21/state-programs-come-out-against-powertechs-plan/


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July  3rd

Prairie Hills Audubon Society’s Field Trip – Birding at Outdoor Campus West

,Rapid City, SD Saturday, July 3rd, 2021 

Morning Birding – Gather at 8:00 a.m. at  — Outdoor Campus West (OCW), 
4139 Adventure Trail, Rapid City, SD.

Jedediah will lead folks in birding on the Campus. If some folks attending want to go to a 

secondary location after OCW birding is finished, that is a possibility that can be discussed on Saturday.
 For info.: Audubon’s Fieldtrip Chair: Jedediah Beadle at jedediahbeadle@gmail.com, 207-310-4665
If you can’t get a hold of Jedediah, try Nancy at 787-6466, phas.wsd@rapidnet.com
Jedediah intends to offer a birding field trip every weekend in the summer and early fall.
Field trips will be posted on PHAS web page (home page) and Facebook page.
We have created a list serve about birds for PHAS called – phas-birds@googlegroups.com.
Folks wishing to join list serve, contact Jedediah or Nancy

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July 4th DEADLINE WRITTEN COMMENTS SD GFP Hearing
SD Game Fish and Parks Commission

Written comments can be submitted at https://gfp.sd.gov/forms/positions/  To be included in the public record for July comments must include full name and city of residence and meet the submission deadline of seventy-two hours before the meeting (not including the day of the meeting). Sunday 7/4/21 at midnight CT

Scroll down to July 8th for  more details on beaver and otter trapping/hunting issues


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July 6th Lunch meeting. @ 11:45am
 Black Hills Sportsmen’s (BHSM)  

BHSM will have their first in-person meeting in over a year. It will be the first Tuesday in July (6th) at noon at the Rushmore Hotel in the usual meeting room on the first floor.  Kevin Robling Secretary of SD Game, Fish and Parks, is set to be the speaker. Lunch normally can be ordered, but you must pay for cost. https://blackhillssportsmenclub.com/pages/meetings , Cody Hodson  is president.- for info. Jeff Olson baetis605@gmail.com 

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July 8th-9th – second Thursday (skips July 1st & 2nd)  
SD Game Fish and Parks Commission Meeting

 UPDATE
July 8th-9th, SDGFP  Commission decided to move towards reducing beaver trapping in the Black Hills and will consider new amendments to the states trapping rules at a future meeting (maybe Sept 1st) . In the meantime it will  investigate options such as  closing the Black Hills Fires Protection district or subsets of that to trapping/hunting of beavers. It approved 365 day beaver trapping and the use of conibear (kill traps) during beaver trapping east river. It approved an otter season (east River) with 20 otter harvest limit. It moved forward a public petition to allow hound hunting of cougars on Forest Service grasslands and some  of SD GFP properties in the prairie unit., however they rewrote it in the rule proposal

Meeting details posted by GFP on this website just before the meeting and after the meeting:

SD GFP will be voting on changes to Beaver and Otter Trapping/hunting season and rules.
BEAVER TRAPPING/HUNTING SEASONS CHANGES
 
Proposals to expand the length of the  beaver season east river from 6 months to 12 months will be voted on. 
We ask folks to oppose this.  
Beaver talking points; 1) Beavers are very useful ecologically, creating habitat with their dam building.  2) Trapping of beaver results in incidental take of river otters and almost all if not all otters in SD are located east River. 3) Trapping of beaver is cruelty; it may result in the beaver (and otters) drowning to death.  4) Statute exists to allow folks in SD to trap beaver that are causing damage their property year-round.
SDCL 41-8-23. https://sdlegislature.gov/Statutes/Codified_Laws/2064159  This rule change is not needed to address conflict beaver.  5) SD GFP  program to promote non-lethal fixes to conflicts with beaver, is limited to teaching tree protection – ask them to fully promote non-lethal mitigation within their animal damage management plans. 6) GFP should start monitoring SD surface waters for signs of beaver & create population distribution data. They should consider beaver restoration where helpful.
Existing beaver season rule:
Body Grip/Kill Traps East River
They will also be correcting an oversight/typo to muskrat trapping season.
 They also say they will be aligning beaver trapping changes (above) with another trapping rule on use of  body grip/killing/conibear traps. We think they are extending permission to use kill/body grip traps to eastern SD for use in beaver trapping.  This might be significant (or not) with respect to animal cruelty issues as both leg hold and body grip traps are cruel. Are cruelty issues associated with either worse/better or the same? Water sets are allowed from the edge of the water.  Beaver may be restrained  fully under water, partially under water in shallows or on land.  Are cruelty issues associated with either worse/better or the same? In SD west River the trap check times are 3 and a partial day, east River the trap check time are 2 and a partial day. Traps set in water below ice, have trap check times of 5 and a partial day. Most states require 24 hour trap check times. Proposed rule https://gfp.sd.gov/UserDocs/nav/PRO2_2021_Trapping_Prohibitions.pdf
Admin rule to change – 41:08:02:01. Water-sets prohibited- https://sdlegislature.gov/Rules/Administrative/16944
Other related rule-  41:08:02:06.  Body grip trap restrictions.https://sdlegislature.gov/Rules/Administrative/16949 


Info on trapping –  videos on trapping
Link to explain what a conibear (body grip/killer) trap is,- this is presented by supporters of this trapping method:
Link watch video critical of  beaver trapping https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuwtB6izbS0
 “Cull of the Wild” “The Truth behind Trapping” – “The argument for ending animal trapping for profit, recreation or wildlife management.”, Vimeo link to view the film: https://vimeo.com/268875305
SD Administrative rules on trapping: https://sdlegislature.gov/Rules/Administrative/16982
OTTER TRAPPING/HUNTING SEASONS CHANGES
GFP will also be looking to approve another year of river otter trapping/hunting, but expanding/enlarging the harvest limit –  from the  2020 harvest limit of 15 otters up to 20 otters – Limit expands to 20 but only if the threshold of 15 dead otters is filled quickly (In the first 10 days of season).  The season is 11/1/2021 to 12/31/2021 or whenever limit is reached
Existing season rule- 41:08:01:08.05.  River otter trapping and hunting season established — Harvest limit — Tagging requirementshttps://sdlegislature.gov/Rules/Administrative/39778
 We also opposed the 2020 delisting of river otters by the Department , its’ 2020 decision to not attempt to reintroduce otters west River in the next 10 years and to institute trapping east River. We have a long section of alerts on river otter in the PHAS web site’s older posts section – these include some of our old alerts from 2020, which include otter alerts. 
SDGFP  2020 River Otter Management Plan – https://gfp.sd.gov/UserDocs/docs/otter_plan_2020-08-28.pdf
Otter Talking Points:
We object to the 15-20 harvest limit as:
1) Otters should never have been delisted in 2020 – we don’t think GFP have demonstrated that a large enough population exists to support this level of hunting/trapping. 2) We want otters reintroduced west river and any surplus east River otters should be moved west River not killed, 3)  They haven’t disclosed the monitoring promised in the Otter Management Plan – they have just given us info about the 15 dead otters killed by trapping in 2020. GFP should release such promised data to public and the vote on the 2021 season should be continued until public can review population monitoring data updates. 4) They haven’t reduced the beaver trapping season East River or West River as requested by us in 2020, and in fact want to increase the length of beaver trapping season  east river. This will increase otter deaths, as otters are associated with beaver and are incidental take from beaver trapping. 5) most trapping/snaring methods are cruel and otters may be trapped in water and may have been dying by drowning.
==
Written comments can be submitted at https://gfp.sd.gov/forms/positions/  To be included in the public record for July comments must include full name and city of residence and meet the submission deadline of seventy-two hours before the meeting (not including the day of the meeting). Sunday 7/4/21 at midnight CT
Commissioner e-mails – you can send to them any time.
List of members: https://gfp.sd.gov/commission/members/  There should be 8 members and there are only 6, our Governor is months late in making appointments to replace Commissioner. SD Law provides that there can be no more than 4 Commissioners of any party. Vacancies are for  “not-republican” Commissioners.. 
GFP’s Meeting  agenda, written public comments and other details posted by GFP on this website just before the meeting and after the meeting:
The Commission archives link — where clicking on little blue horns to the right of agenda item lets you listen to recording of past meetings to hear discussion of proposals/agenda items,   https://gfp.sd.gov/commission/archives/
They will be hearing the proposal for the Mountain Lion season for 2 years in July. The lion season will be voted on in Early Sept (first Wednesday – comment deadline of midnight on 8/28/21).  PHAS is concerned that the harvest limits in SD and Wyoming Black Hills are too high. We are concerned that there is a 365 unlimited hunt of lions outside the Black Hills and hound hunting is allowed. 
SDGFP 2019 Mountain Lion Management plan – https://gfp.sd.gov/UserDocs/docs/LionPlan_FINAL_2019.pd

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PUBLIC COMMENT ENDS JULY 9, 2021
EE/CA on  PFOS/PFOA
An Engineering Evaluation and Cost Analysis (EE/CA)

PFOS and PFOA are man-made compounds present in many products like nonstick cookware, stain resistant fabric and carpet, and some food packaging. They were also present in aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), a fire-fighting foam the USAF started using in 1970.The USAF replaced legacy AFFF in fire vehicles, stockpiles, and hangar systems with a more environmentally responsible formulation. Legacy AFFF was last used at Ellsworth AFB in November 2016.

From 2017-2020, 29 properties (served by 24 drinking water wells) were identified with PFOS/PFOA
above U.S. EPA’s Lifetime Health Advisory (HA). Local communities are concerned about potential adverse impacts from chemicals. The Air Force has a new EE/CA ready for review for those who are impacted by PFOS/PFOA. 

Links to the documents is posted below: 

The document currently out for public review is AR# 8707 on the Administrative Record website: https://ar.afcec-cloud.af.mil/

·         From the “Installation List” on the left, scroll down and select “Ellsworth AFB, SD”

·         Enter “8707” next to “AR#” and click “Search”

·         Click on the magnifying glass to open

·         Numerous other search blocks can be used to search for other documents

Send comments to Rita Krebs:
rita.krebs.1@us.af.mil

Rita Krebs, PG
Remedial Project Manager
AFCEC/CZOM
Offutt ISS, Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota
DSN 675-2688  Comm (605) 385-2688

Some folks support  establishing a Restoration Advisory Board (RAB).  You can find the document about Restoration Advisory Boards here: https://www.denix.osd.mil/rab/home/unassigned/rab-rule-handbook/RAB-Rule-Handbook_Final.pdf

Please CC  (Pennington County Commissioner Lasseter) on the public input email if you would like to keep him in the loop.   Commissioner Lasseter contact information. travis.lasseter@pennco.org or travis.lasseter@gmail.com, 605-391-0416. You can  also reach out to the Pennington County board of commissioners to request their involvement and for the board to request the base form a RAB.     https://www.pennco.org/boc_contactus or PCBOC@pennco.org

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Saturday Morning July 10th
PHAS Field Trip
 to Sevey Lake

Which is north of Rapid City
Folks will gather at Lowe’s parking lot  at 7:45-8:00 a.m. in early morning 
or at the Sevey Lake at 8:15 a.m.
Contact Jedediah, ‭(207) 310-4665‬, jedediahbeadle@gmail.com

Jedediah Beadle is PHAS’s  new field trip chair & plans to have a field trip every weekend – either Saturday or Sunday during summer-early fall.  PHAS has set up a new list serve: phas-birds@googlegroups.com   This list serve will be to discuss Prairie Hills Audubon Society (PHAS) field trips,  sightings of birds by list serve participants, hands-on projects & citizen science projects to benefit birds & issues associated with bird conservation in our region. 
For more information about field trips or to join the list serve contact: Jedediah –  jedediahbeadle@gmail.com or phas.wsd@rapidnet.com

====

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Thursday July 15th,
James Furnish does a press conference at the School of Mines

RETIRED FOREST SERVICE DEPUTY CHIEF  TO SPEAK ABOUT LOGGING ABUSE OF BLACK HILLS NATIONAL FOREST 


During a visit out of concern for the Forest,
Jim Furnish, Deputy Chief US Forest Service (Ret.) and author
(Toward A Natural Forest – Oregon State Univ Press 2015) spoke about 
the critical need to reform timber management on the Black Hills National Forest. 
Laws are being broken and the public is not getting the truth about their treasured Black Hills.

Norbeck Society recorded..go to their Facebook Page to watch the press conference statement

or  SDPB “In the Moment” 7/15/21 – covers several topics but at about 20:50 minutes includes an interview of Furnish  https://listen.sdpb.org/post/moment-jim-furnishs-new-memoir-and-doc-allegations

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Saturday, July 17th, 2021 
Prairie Hills Audubon Society’s Field Trip
Birding along Rapid Creek, 
Rapid City, SD

Morning Birding –
Gather at 7:30 a.m. at Founder’s Park, Rapid City (parking lot north side ) 
Jedediah will lead folks in birding along Rapid Creek,  accessed at the Park.
 Audubon’s Field Trip Chair: Jedediah Beadle at jedediahbeadle@gmail.com, 207-310-4665
If you can’t get ahold of Jedediah, try Nancy at 787-6466
Prairie Hills Audubon Society, P.O.Box 788, Black Hawk, SD 57718, phas.wsd@rapidnet.com, 605-787-6466, https://phas-wsd.org,   https://www.facebook.com/phas.wsd/

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Saturday, July 24th, 2021 
Prairie Hills Audubon Society’s Field Trip
Birding along
 Rapid Creek west of Silver City, 
 

Morning Birding – 
Car pool to leave Founder’s Park, Rapid City at 7:45 am
(gather in north side of parking lot) to depart for Silver City
Alternatively meet at 8:30 am – at the Deerfield Trail’s trailhead west of Silver City
 Links for maps and information on the Deerfield trail:
 Audubon’s Field Trip Chair: Jedediah Beadle at jedediahbeadle@gmail.com, 207-310-4665
If you can’t get ahold of Jedediah, try Nancy at 787-6466. Jedediah will be leading fieldtrips every weekend in the summer and early fall.

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Saturday,, July 24 – 

BHNF Moonwalk

Eager Beavers: Restoring Black Hills Steams One Stick At A Time

Presented by Corissa Busse, The Nature Conservancy

Learn about the power and future potential of stream restoration in the Black Hills area, the effects of this work across western South Dakota, and the role of beavers in this effort.

Moon Walk to host “Eager Beavers:

Restoring Black Hills Streams One Stick at a Time”

 

Rapid, S.D., July 12, 2021 — The Black Hills National Forest will hold its second Moon Walk program of the year on Saturday, July 24 at 7:00 p.m. This will be a ½ mile educational round-trip hike. Because of limited parking, visitors are encouraged to carpool.

 

Featured speakers Corissa Busse and Lori Brown, of The Nature Conservancy, will discuss the role beavers play in our ecosystem. “Beavers are nature’s ecosystem engineers!” said Busse. “They help restore and protect our landscape from drought, wildfire, and more – and create some of the most lush, diverse, culturally significant and wildlife friendly areas of the forest and prairies. But in many areas, beavers have been removed from our streams for centuries and need our help to recover.” Participants will learn about the power and future potential of stream restoration in the Black Hills area, the effects of this work across western South Dakota, and the role of beavers in this effort.

 

https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/blackhills/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD931268


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July 27th, Tuesday 
 Meade County Commission will discuss the proposed shooting range off Elk Vale Rd, just north of Elk Creek.  Meade County does not have zoning. Go to the County’s BoardDoc page for agenda of the meeting that will be posted the Friday before the meeting – Shooting range discussion is expected at 9:30 am
To submit written comments on-line:
1300 Sherman Street, Suite 212, Sturgis, SD 57785, 605.720.1625 | Fax: 605.720.1633

Map of proposed GFP shooting range, about 2.5 miles northeast of Sevey Lake

John Kanta at SDGFP knows about the shooting range.  Engineering plans have been drawn up. 

As federal funds are sought, a NEPA analysis may be done. Nancy Hilding can e-mail you a PDF of the drawings of Rapid City Firearms Range Complex
SDGFP Commission’s Resolution about land purchase can be found at link (The range will be in Meade not Pennington County): https://gfp.sd.gov/UserDocs/meetings/21-03_Resolution_-_Authorizing_purchase_of_Rapid_City_Shooting_Range_(3).pdf

 Some environmental issues associated with shooting ranges can be – noise from gun fire with hundreds of shooting positions, traffic increases on dirt roads, fire risk, lead contamination from bullets and impacts to ponds/creeks/ground water in nearby area.  There are several ponds or impoundments on or near edges of the property.  The range’s south boundary bisects a pond on an unnamed tributary of Elk Creek. The range is divided between Elk and Antelope Creek drainage basins, likely with at least some of the northeast-end of range would be draining to Antelope Creek and the south-end will be draining to Elk Creek.   As the crow flies the range is closest to Elk Creek, but as water flows toward the two drainages, it is closer to Antelope Creek. 

 In the pink map below, the range’s south boundary crosses the heart shaped pond just east of Elk Vale Rd, that sits on a tributary that flows southeast to Elk Creek – merging in several miles. It’s north boundary is near the slight bend in Elk Vale Rd at a mile and a quarter above that pond.  It is a half mile wide and a mile and a quarter tall.



Each of the smaller shooting bays may have 5 -10 shooting lanes/each. There are 29  such bays. The 200-400 ft bays may have 20 shooting position/each. The extra long bays may have 40 positions., The shooting clays have 12 positions/each.  Decibels from each gun fire are significant 150dB-163.2 dB and this  range could have more than 300 shooting positions. https://earinc.com/gunfire-noise-level-reference-chart/.
This range will be about 2.5 miles from Sevey Lake, a popular birding spot.

Fact sheet on Lead Pollution at Outdoor Firing Ranges:
EPA on BMP on managing lead at shooting ranges


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Monday August 16, 2021, 
elk action plan comment deadline

 The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) is seeking comments on the draft elk action plan.

All individuals interested in the management of elk in South Dakota have from now through August 16, 2021, to provide suggestions and comments on the draft action plan. A final draft of the action plan is scheduled to be presented to the GFP Commission in September for their consideration and adoption.

A draft of the action plan can be found online at gfp.sd.gov/management-plans under “Plans Up for Revision.” Written comments on the plan can be sent to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, S.D. 57501, or emailed to elkplan@state.sd.us. Comments must be received by August 16, 2021, and include your full name and city of residence.

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Monday, August 16th, 6 pm MT 
  Prairie Hills Audubon Society’s August Meeting

Topic: Mountain Lions in our Region 
and other issues related to SD Game Fish and Parks.
Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 854 3392 0233
Passcode: 534620

scroll up to top for more details
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Saturday August 28th,
5K Run/Walk for Clean Water
10 am orientation, 10:15 am Run/Walk begins

Old Story Brook Island Picnic Shelter
2911 Canyon Lake Drive
Cost $10.00 per adult over 12 years
Light lunch to follow, bring your own cup

For more info:
Sponsored by BH-CWA, DRA-BH Chapter,
Rapid Creek Watershed Action.

========================================
Saturday 8/28/21 at midnight MT 
Deadline SD GFP Commission Written  Comments 
Written comments can be submitted at https://gfp.sd.gov/forms/positions/  To be included in the public record for July comments must include full name and city of residence and meet the submission deadline of seventy-two hours before the meeting (not including the day of the meeting). Sunday Saturday 8/28/21 at midnight MT

Scroll down to  Sept 1st  for  more details on beaver and otter trapping/hunting issues

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Saturday, Sept 18th, 2021 
Prairie Hills Audubon Society’s Field Trips – Fall River

Join Rajni Lerman on Saturday, Sept 18th, 2021 to learn about the Proposed Fall River Interpretive Trail along Fall River in Hot Springs, SD.  Anyone interested in carpooling from Rapid City, contact Jedediah. Everyone else will meet at the Mueller Center Parking lot at 8:45 am.  The entire trial is approximately 2 miles of mostly easy walking along the paved Freedom Trail. There is a section, “Spur” trail that has some more challenging footing. There are plenty of exit points along the way. We will end at Chautuqua park. For more info. contact Rajni @ rajni1love@gmail.com, (303) 564-0787, Jedediah  @  jedediahbeadle@gmail.com,

If bad weather is expected, please check to verify the trip.

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Wednesday Sept 1st-September 2nd
Next SDGFP Commission Meeting
Rapid City and face-to-face  Virtual Option

Meeting details will be posted by GFP on this website just before the meeting and after the meeting:

This will include proposal for cougar hunting and spring turkey

 (Oral testimony time may be limited limited to 3 minutes testifying per person during finalizations & 3 minutes in the open forum) SDCL requires resonalbe time to testify per rule. 
. Fish Limits – .Hoop Nets and Setlines –.Bait Regulations- .Private Hatchery  –Tournaments –Aquatic Invasive Species –Blow Guns-Spring Turkey- Mountain Lion Hunting Season, including allowing hound hunting to the prairie unit on the Grasslands owned by the Forest Service and some SDGFP lands,

Saturday 8/28/21 at midnight MT Deadline SD GFP Commission Comments 


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January – Mid May Events
scroll down 6 inches

Audubon’s Annual Photo Contest Entry Period – 
This recycles every year

January 27, 2021–April 7, 2021 at 12 p.m. (noon) Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) 
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Piedmont Cracker Barrel 2020 



LEGISLATIVE CRACKER BARRELS/COFFEES – 2021
January 30th through March 6th
This year some were virtual, some are face-to-face and some are hybrid

THIS LIST HAS been deleted as legislative cracker barrels over.
Contact Nancy – nhilding (at) rapidnet.com, for a copy of 2021 or earlier years.
These recycle every year

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Recent PHAS news February 11th, 2021 – 
Another win in our  Sage-Grouse lawsuit

Federal Judge Overturns Trump Administration’s Gutting of Sage-Grouse Protections from Mining

BOISE, Idaho— A federal judge on 2/11/21  overturned a Trump administration decision to strip protections from 10 million acres, mostly in Nevada and Idaho, to allow mining in vital habitat for greater sage grouse. The ruling is the latest in a series of court victories for sage grouse conservation.

Attorneys from Advocates for the West represent Western Watersheds Project, the Center for Biological Diversity, WildEarth Guardians and Prairie Hills Audubon Society in this case.  Link to the press release:


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February 12-15th

Great Backyard Bird Count

Repeats annually


Join us, February 12–15, 2021, when the world comes together for the love of birds. 

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Recent PHAS news – February 16th, 2021

Prairie Hills Audubon Society and other conservation groups called on the Forest Service to sharply reduce logging in the Black Hills National Forest. 
Here is a link to the multi-party letter sent by PHAS and other groups and Oglala Sioux Tribe to the Forest Service about the overharvesting

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Tuesday, February 23rd  (History – recording available)
This month, Advocates for the West 
February Social Distancing Hour
Topic: Can Sage-Grouse Save the West?
The greater sage-grouse once dominated the American West, but their populations have plummeted in modern times due to overgrazing, oil and gas development, roads and power lines, and other human disturbance. As an “umbrella” species, the health of the bird’s population is also an indicator of the perilous state of sagebrush ecosystems and the over 350 other native species they support.
This presentation by Staff Attorney Sarah Stellberg discussed the ongoing legal and policy battles to save the sage-grouse – one of the largest conservation efforts in U.S. history – and its implications for public lands management across the West.
 
The video recording of Tuesday’s webinar is now available.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFtSZSTWERE&t=10s 

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 March 4-5, 2020 SD Game Fish and Parks Commission Meeting – UPDATE – WHAT HAPPENED
Available by Zoom –
Recording of sections of the meeting are available in the GFP Commission Archives 
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The Nest Predator Bounty Program was continued, – 

Program years 1 & 2 have already happened and  
The program years 3 & 4 were approved and funded March 5th.

UPDATE Here is a link to the nest predator bounty program resolution 
adopted by SDGFP today March 5th

GFP News Article on this:

PHAS has a 2 year campaign to oppose this project and will continue to do so
we anticipate our April meeting to be this topic, at least in part.
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Meeting details posted by GFP on this website just before the meeting and after the meeting:
They are also in the Commission archives, where clicking on little blue horns to the right of agenda item lets you listen to recording,   https://gfp.sd.gov/commission/archives/
E-mails of commissioners – you can send message to their individual e-mails  at any time: There are only 6 Commissioners now, as 2  left.  According to statute Gov. Noem is supposed to have appointed 2 new Commissioners by March 1st. 

Contact info for Commissioners can be found here: https://gfp.sd.gov/commission/members/

Commissioners who are gone: Mary Anne Boyd resigned  – MaryAnne.Boyd@state.sd.us,  –  Gary Jensen term limited out <Gary.Jensen@state.sd.us>, 

Nest Predator bounty program 2021 proposal was on the agenda.
They were proposing $10 bounties, with $500,000 allocation/year for two years, to run March 15th-July 1st.
They changed the start times, when they adopted the resolution. It starts April 1st in 2021 and March 1st in 2022, except the first month is just for hunters/trappers under 18.


To see the Draft 2021 Nest Predator Bounty Program Approval Resolution- that GFP Commission voted on March 5th, 2021
  Listen to description of resolution: https://gfp.sd.gov/commission/archives/64/
If you go to this link https://gfp.sd.gov/commission/archives/ and look at the January meeting, you can find the Nest Predator Bounty Program line item and a audio horn button, via which you can listen to the January 2021 discussion about the Nest Predator Bounty Program, where various Commissioners state support for proposal.   You can also listen to the February meeting

In MARCH Nest Predator Bounty Program was a draft proposal, but  there were also some rules are up for finalization — such as – rules about navigation corridors on closed non-meandered waters, fluted bullets, duck hunting, goose and early fall Canada goose hunting, rules about Waubay NWR and other public lands and waters.


Proposed rules (not  related to Nest Predator Bounty Program) can be viewed at

Nest Predator bounty program 2021 proposal will be on the agenda.
For 2021-2022
They are proposing $10 bounties, with $500,000 allocation/year for two years or a total of 1 million dollars..
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Below Find:
1. History of 2019 past Nest Predator Bounty Program and beginning of the 2020 proposed Nest Predator Bounty Program 
2. Links to other’s alerts & references
3. Reasons to oppose the nest predator bounty program – these are the commenting bullets.
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1. History of 2019 past program and 2020 proposed program
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2019 NEST PREDATOR BOUNTY (NPBP) PROGRAM HISTORY
In 2019, SD Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) approved a bounty program that started on April 1st and ended on August 12, 2019 when they ran out of money. It was supposed to provide $500,000 for bounties(but paid more). This program paid ten dollars each for 54,470 tails and killed: 43,779 raccoons, 6,001 striped skunk, 3,706 opossum, 494 red fox & 490 badgers. 

 The bounty program in 2019 had 3,151 participants of which 90% were from East River and 12% were under 17 years old. SDGFP also gave away live traps. They taught a trapping course to 603 participants of which 387 were youth & taught an ethics course to 50 youth. License sales increased by 6.7%.  

The live trap give-away program cost $958,171, the payment for tails cost $547,400, salaries/benefits cost $190,915 & miscellaneous expenses cost $35,778 – This has a total cost of $1,732,264.  The alleged purpose was to increase success of pheasant and duck nests and thus increase their populations and increase number of trappers, especially children and introduce children to outdoor recreation and conservation/wildlife management (via trapping).
       
  The staff approved the expenditures and the program before taking public comment on the program. The commission also passed a rule to extend the deadline to remove live traps from public land and public right-of-ways from May 1st to September 1st.

Despite the 2019 expenditure of 1.7 million on the NPBP,  “South Dakota  Pheasant Brood Survey 2019 Report” showed that the statewide Pheasants Per Mile (PPM) index for the 2019 pheasant brood survey decreased 17% (2.47 to 2.04, 90% confidence interval = -32 to 0%) compared to 2018. Link to SD GFP’s 2019 Report: 
SDGFP Commission cancelled the brood survey in June 2020.

2020 APPROVED NEST PREDATOR BOUNTY PROGRAM
On 1/16/2020, the SD GFP Commission & staff created a draft resolution for support of the 2020 Bounty program.
It included:  1) A $250,000 expenditure on a nest predator bounty, targeting the same species as last year. 2) In 2020 r the bounties were $5 each (not $10). 3) Applicants for bounty must possess a hunting, fishing or trapping license  (unless youth or landowner hunting on their own land).  & 4) The time period was shorter –from April 1st to July 1st (previous year it was permitted till the end of August but ran out of funds & thus ended in mid August) & method of take can include shooting.  There was no provision for giving away free traps in 2020.

Return of tails was slower in 2020, — Bounty was $5 per tail, not $10 per tail and they were  spending about an eighth of the money on this program than they did in 2019 and due to virus , they were requiring people to wait in cars while submitting tails.. Only about half the tails were submitted and half the money appropriated was spent – 26,377 tails submitted. Most tails came from east river.
81% were raccoons, 9.8 % skunks, 7.7 % opossums, . 7% red fox and .7% badger.

 Link to tails report for 2019 and 2020:

To see the 2020 Historic Nest Predator Bounty Program Approval Resolution – that GFP Commission voted to approve  at a meeting on March 5th – visit this link:
 
SDGFP Commission on Friday 3/6/20 approved the 2020 Nest Predator Bounty Program 
in a 6/2 vote — Gary Jensen and Mary Ann Boyd voted against. They are both no longer on the Commission in 2021.

Link to look at SDGFP Wildlife Division Budget (58.5 million) & Parks Division (40.3 million) (which year this applies to is not specified)

News articles on from Previous year:



News articles on from this year:

2021 Article about in the Capitol Journal (it seems a pro-program article, Correction: NPBP proposed dates for 2021 are to be 3/15-7/1):


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2. Links to other’s alerts & references
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Links to SD HSUS & SD FACT’s Facebook Pages. Both have had alerts on this issue in the past. HSUS Facebook ,Feb 2021 doesn’t seem to work and I did not yet find an 2021 alert on FACT, so I posed a short notice.

SURVEYS
The Humane Society of U.S. (HSUS) funded a public opinion survey on the NPBP of 1,000 random people that got much different responses, than SD GFP funded public opinion survey.  HSUS asked some of the same questions and some different questions than SDGFP. After a series of questions 26% approved of NPBP and 53% disapproved. Link to HSUS report:
Link to the SDGFP’s public opinion survey of 400 random people  – GFP funded both a NPBP participants and a public opinion survey (found in the second half of report).  Link to survey:

GFP references this study in the resolution about 2020 NPBP and on their web page about the bounty program.   SD GFP’s hired survey (of random people) found that 62% South Dakotans had no clue about the Nest Predator Bounty program and only 38% knew about it, of which 43% were mostly positive about it (which would be 16% of the population supported it, before being read GFP’s description of program). (Page 44 of report)

Survey staff then read the respondents a short 3 sentence description of the program, which description convinced some more of them to support it and then survey then claimed 83% of SD folks support the program. (Page 45). This is what GFP and Governor seem to brag about.

 HSUS  funded a larger study  and found different results…IN this larger study (involved more than twice as many people) in a cold ask 50% of respondents did not know about the Program, 25% approved of program, & 25% disapproved. After prompted asks 26% approved, 53% disapproved and 21% not sure.

 Please compare GFP survey with HSUS’s  funded  survey (scroll up), some questions are the same cold asks but then they have different prompted questions — with different paragraphs read into the prompted/shepherded questions. The two surveys get different answers when people are prompted differently.

For statements that predator control won’t work well in large area
visit these links on predator control and pheasants/ducks:

We refer you to Pheasants Forever’s web page on “Effects of Predators”,

& Ducks Unlimited’s web page on “Ducks, Habitat Conservation & Predators”: 

Also see page 11 of SD GFP’s Pheasant Management Plan, in the section on predators:
“Where predator control may be considered as a management option, managers should be aware that cost, logistics, and lack of effectiveness often limit success when compared to habitat management.”

SD’s 2019 Pheasant Brood report
https://gfp.sd.gov/userdocs/docs/PBR_2019FINAL.pdf
 

Greater prairie chicken’s IUCN Red List web page.
 Please remember the exotic male pheasant fight over territory with and drive off the male 
Greater prairie chickens and female pheasants lay eggs in the chicken’s nest, which hatch before the chickens, causing moms to abandon their own eggs:
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Link to video:
Cull of the Wild

“The Truth behind Trapping – The argument for ending animal trapping for profit, recreation or wildlife management.”

Directed by Vanessa Schulz, Produced by Camilla Fox, A 21st Paradigm production for the Animal Protection Institute

Born Ree USA 2021 report on trapping:

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SDGFP surveys, Each year SDGFP publishes an  Annual Report  FURBEARER  HARVEST PROJECTIONS 

2013-2019 reports can be found here.  – https://gfp.sd.gov/hunt-surveys/

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link to SDGFP web page on the Nest Predator Bounty Program

https://gfp.sd.gov/bounty-program/?fbclid=iwar280gtbsljfg8jxx_3zmz3-paehqwze0xo05o4w5l6va9uqpo48kklw1bs

 

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3. Reasons to oppose the nest predator bounty program.
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 WHY OPPOSE?
This killing of predators is not scientifically justified.   —-
– Wildlife biologists agree that nest predator control is ineffective unless it is extremely intense and carried out annually.
– Effective nest predator control may require hundreds of dollars & man-hours per year & per section of land. The Governor’s budget is not enough to cover the state.
– Even intense predator control has limitations. Those animals that escape capture or death often reproduce at a higher rate. This means more effort must be expended and more money must be appropriated each year.
– Nature does not exist in a vacuum. When one animal is removed, others move in, including other species that may be more effective predators.
– Nest predators also feed on rodents. Opossums also eat ticks.  If these nest predators are successfully controlled, an explosion in rodents can be expected, with a huge and potentially devastating impact on farmers and ranchers. Rodents eat grain in the field, & infest grain bins, outbuildings and farmhouses. In SD rodents carry Hantavirus or fleas/ticks that can have bubonic plague, or Lyme disease. These costs must also be considered.

– Some nest predators are protected by state and federal laws. This would include ALL raptors. (Hawks, owls and eagles are examples.)
– The nest predator bounty may encourage illegal activity, from trespassing and unlawful night hunting to submitting tails collected out-of-state. NO funds have been allocated for the extra law enforcement.  
-The nest predator program is fiscally irresponsible. The money is desperately needed on habitat programs that actually do provide a return on the investment.
– Habitat improvements can be cost shared at a rate of 50% to over 75% through a variety of programs. GF&P receives 75% cost share on habitat purchases and improvements through Pittman Robertson funds.
– Predation is much lower when sufficient habitat for nesting birds is provided.
– Successful nesting will not occur where there is not sufficient habitat, regardless if most predators are removed or not.

–  Good habitat also provides high-protein food sources, clean water and protection from the elements, all in a suitable arrangement. Habitat for pheasants/ducks also benefits various other wildlife & bird species.
– This is a statewide program, but areas with pheasant and duck populations are much more limited West River.  Why pay bounties for West River predator tails?
– Much of SDGFP budget derives from sale of licenses and most hunters do not want GFP’s limited budget spent on this program.
– GFP  has spent 2 million in the last two years on this program and will spend a million more in the next two years, that money could be spent on more productive uses to benefit
wildlife and GFP programs in SD. 
– Pheasants are an exotic species that competes with a native species – the greater prairie chicken, whose range and population are declining — losing half its’ population every decade.
– Accidental take of threatened and endangered species may occur. The swift fox is state listed. The black-footed ferret is listed federally. There is a petition before the USFWS to list the plains spotted skunk and the prairie grey fox under the Endangered Species Act. The American Martin is a “sensitive species” for the Black Hills National Forest.
– This program will result in animal cruelty. Some trappers will be trapping with leg-hold traps or snares, or body crushing traps. Some will use live traps.  People should realize that in SD the law allows for animals to be left in traps West River for three and a partial day and East River for two and a partial day. Trapping can be cruel.  In high heat or bitter cold, an animal in a box can die in half a day. Animals in boxes or leg-hold traps can freak out and damage their bodies and/or teeth & thus not survive even if released. Dead animals or animals in boxes or traps can’t feed their dependent young. Even via a “live trap” non-target species adults and their dependent young will die, in addition to target species.
– Part of the rational/spin for the program is to introduce children to nature & trapping. Why not introduce children to nature via non-lethal interactions with wildlife such as wildlife watching and spend money on nature guidebooks, binoculars, cameras & not via bounties & traps?
– Empathetic children may encounter moral dilemmas such as how to kill the 12 or 13 babies in an opossums pouch, and later learn that they did this killing of babies, based on lies told them by SD GFP about effects of a bounty program on nesting success. How does this engage children with nature or give them trust in government?
–  A reduction in bounty amount by half price in 2020 reduced the tail submission by half. The Commission is increasing the bounty to increase participation. This calls into question if this is about recreation or connecting families/children with nature, if the trappers/hunters have to be paid enough to make participation worth their while.


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March 5th Comment Deadline BHNF
Freeland CE Timber sale near Rodger Shack Springs, west of Jewel Cave (comment by March 5, suggested): Forest Service (usda.gov)
Links for more info.:

 


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March 8th and 10th,  Black Hills Area Botany &  Ecology workshop (History w/ recording)

Link to recording


The passcode is le41nLc$

Here’s the schedule.


Monday, March 8: Sweetclover Symposium 

12:30 Symstad – welcome and introduction 

12:35 Dyer – Sweetclover biology and invasion history of the Great Plains 

12:50 Johnston – Sweetclover encroachment and effects on sage-grouse habitat quality 

1:05  Clabo – Wildfire and sweetclover: Do outbreaks lead to higher fire potential? 

1:25  Larson – Sweetclover at the bee buffet 

1:45  break 

2:00 Ollila – Sweetclover: Nuisance weed or missed opportunity? A rancher’s perspective 

2:20 Sedivec – Managing yellow sweetclover to minimize its impacts in Dakota rangelands 

2:40 All – Round-table discussion with questions from audience 


Wednesday, March 10: Contributed Talks and World Café 

12:30 Symstad – welcome and introduction 

12:35 Peterson – Integrating structure metrics into burn severity mapping 

12:55 Spiess – Benefits of using prescribed fire in working rangeland ecosystems: Takeaways from a patch-burn grazing study in southwestern North Dakota 

 1:15 Symstad – Fall prescribed fire controls invasive annual brome grasses, up to a point 

  1:35 break 

  1:50 World Café Session 1

  2:10 Blodgett – Limber pine restoration in South Dakota 

  2:30 Gaskin – One genotype dominates facultatively outcrossing Verbascum thapsus(common mullein) invasion 

  2:50 Porensky – Post-plague vegetation dynamics in the Thunder Basin ecoregion 

  3:10 break

  3: 25 World Cafe Session 2


World Café discussion topics

  1. Why should I think about mycorrhizal fungi? 
  2. How do we advance riparian health and build resilient riparian communities? 
  3. What new weeds have I found and what should I be looking for? 
  4. How can forest management provide more and improved habitat for the listed Northern long-eared bat?  What does the 4d rule really mean? 
  5. What plant is that?  Apps for plant identification. 
  6. What are some creative ways to get field work done in the times of COVID? 

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March 15th Comment Deadline BHNF
Deadline (suggested) March 14th – Comment on BHs Forest Service Simon Logging proposal  
 
Simon Categorical Exclusion (comment suggested by March 14th – Forest Service deadlines that fall on Sundays or holidays, normally moved to next day (3/15/21).): 
Follow link to download scoping letter & map. Forest Service (usda.gov),  https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=59350
A proposed timber sale in the McVey Burn Area, 4375 aces to be treated

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Thursday, March 18, 2021      6:00 pm
Norbeck Society Presents:  
an evening Zoom with
Ralph Adam, Physical Resources Staff Officer and Corbin Herman, Motorized Trails Coordinator
Black Hills National Forest
 An Update on the State of Motorized Travel on the Black Hills National Forest
The meeting will begin with a brief update followed by the main presentation.
               Meeting will be recorded and link posted
Link to Norbeck Society videos about Black Hills National Forest



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Saturday, March 27th,  (HISTORY WITH RECORDING)
LOCAL World Water Day

Local World Water Day’s  virtual  event will be the afternoon of Saturday, March 27th, 
BH’s Clean Water Alliance 
will have details on their Facebook page.
A virtual gathering on Zoom from 1:00 – 5:00 PM MD.
Presenters invited include: Alex White Plume and Owe Aku International, Faith Spotted Eagle, Laura Armstrong, Madonna Thunder Hawk, Travis Harden, Nick Tilsen, James Preston, Cheryl Angel, Don Barnett, Dennis Yellow Thunder, and Dr. Lilias Jarding.

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Wednesday March 31st, 
is the suggested comment deadline on motorized and non-motorized trail system just west of Rapid City in the BHNF
New trail system proposal consisting of adding non-motorized, motorcycle and OHV trails in the Shanks/Schroeder trail area – located about 7 miles west of Rapid City, SD. It is north of HWY 44, east of Norris Peak Rd and south of Nemo Rd.
Comments are requested by March 31st. Please send to James Gubbels, district Ranger of Mystic Ranger District, comments-rocky-mountain-black-hills-mystic@usda.gov.
Contact Ben Schumacher, Recreation Specialist or Gubbels at 353-1567 for questions.

Project link:
Scoping letter:

Map of proposed Trail Changes:
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April 7,

April 7, 2021 beginning at 10:30 a.m. MDT.

Rocky Mountain Research Station hosted a science webinar to discuss the data , methodology, and report findings of the General Technical Report – which is on the the Black Hills National Forest lack of ] conifers with which to meet the current tree cutting quota on the Forest .  Pre-registration is required. Meeting was recorded.

To view or download the 4/7/21 webinar- where the report is explained: :  – https://vimeo.com/534976997

 https://www.fs.usda.gov/rmrs/events/webinar-science-based-scenarios-inform-forest-management-black-hills-national-forest 

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SD Game,Fish and Parks Commission Meeting
April 8th-9th, 2021


Meeting details posted by GFP on this website just before the meeting and after the meeting:
The Commission archives link — where clicking on little blue horns to the right of agenda item lets you listen to recording of past meetings to hear discussion of proposals/agenda items,   https://gfp.sd.gov/commission/archives/
  • Go to May Commission meeting.



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    April 15th, 6:00 pm 
    Norbeck Society Meeting by Zoom.
    Was on Limber Pine in the Black Hills.
    Zoom meeting was recorded
    Link to Norbeck Society videos about Black Hills National Forest

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    Earth Week, Rapid City April 17th-25th – 
    Actual  Earth Day is Thursday  April 22   

    Some virtual events spread out over several days have been planned.
     Topic is sustainability and climate change 
    The 2021 Annual Earth Day Expo is being hosted and planned by the Rapid City Sustainability Committee and Dakota Rural Action.
     The Kickoff is Sat 17th) at the Rapid City Farmer’s Market from 9:00 am – noon.  There will be a variety of kid’s activities, painting, & a seed give away.
     – Also on Sat is a Park Cleanup sponsored by RC Sustainability Committee.  It starts at 1:00 pm at Thomson Park (Intersection of N. Spruce St. & E. Meadowlark Dr.).  BYOB – Bring Your Own Bags.
    – On Mon eve 19th, Paul Lepisto from the Izaak Walton League is giving a talk on “The Missouri River Initiative.”   It’s from 6:30 -8:00 pm & you can join by Zoom Meeting:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83840914470?pwd=c0k5cUNLRDByYWNmdWhEM2VjMW5EUT09

    Meeting ID: 838 4091 4470; Passcode: 119707

     – On Tues 20th, Sustainability Poster Presentations will occur at SDSM&T at 11:00 am.  You can join Zoom Meeting at: 
    https://sdsmt.zoom.us/j/93477355586?pwd=cDkwRHhnNEh4N3dENlczcWtacnlSUT09
    Meeting ID: 934 7735 5586; Passcode: 1001
     – On Wed 21st, our friends at the Norbeck Society are giving a talk with Q&A entitled: “”Timber Sustainability on the BH National Forest.”   It’s from 6:30 -8:00 pm and you can join by Zoom Meeting at: 

    https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87695304177?pwd=ZXFpeWtUQmhoVEo4Q2VSWURIK3UvZz09
    Mtg ID: 876 9530 4177; Passcode: 034954

     –  Thurs 22nd is officially Earth Day and there will be a series of events, including the movie “Inconvenient Truth,”  a free film hosted by SDSM&T Civil & Environmental Engineering Dept.

    from 11:00 am -12:30 pm.  Join Zoom Meeting

    https://sdsmt.zoom.us/j/93477355586?pwd=cDkwRHhnNEh4N3dENlczcWtacnlSUT09
    Meeting ID: 934 7735 5586; Passcode: 1001 

     – Also on Thurs, the free film “I  Am Greta” is being hosted by Citizens Climate Lobby from 5:00   – 7:30 pm.  Register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/i-am-greta-online-film-screening-tickets-146480732815
     – Lastly on Thursday, there’s another free movie “Kiss the Ground” that will be shown twice at the Hot Springs Theater – one at 6:00 pm & another at 8:30 pm.  Registration is required at: blackhillssustainableliving.com  If you can’t get to Hot Springs to see it in person, you can also watch it on Netflix and then join the discussion (see Friday event).  
     – Also check out the special new beer release & prizes at the Hay Camp Brewery in RC.
     – On Friday, 23rd, there will be a “Kiss the Ground” Movie Virtual Discussion Group from 6:30 – 8:00 pm.  Join Zoom Meeting
    https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86108042185?pwd=eFVjelVjb0tJT01QT1dIQmV3N2Vhdz09
    Meeting ID: 861 0804 2185; Passcode: 290606
     – On Saturday 24th is thekeynote address by  by Dr. L. Hunter Lovins, PhD who’s talking to uis about “A Finer Future.”  Join the Zoom presentation / Q&A session from 9:00 am – 10:30 am.: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89733433233?pwd=eHpjUHJiT3BYRXlnb2ErK09rWXBWQT09 
    Mtg ID: 897 3343 3233; Passcode: 544015

     – There’s also a Scavenger Hunt for Kids sponsored by RCSC at the Outdoor Campus West on Sat from 1:00 – 3:00 pm.
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    April 21-22, 2021 
    2021 Western South Dakota Hydrology Conference
    Wednesday-Thursday, April 21-22, 2021 Virtual format held via Zoom.

    Conference website link: www.usgs.gov/WSDHC  

    Program’s Agenda  link:

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    Saturday April 24th 
    Bear Butte Forum will be held on Saturday April 24th 8:30 am  to 12 noon in the Meade 
    Room at the Sturgis Community Center. 1401 Lazelle St, Sturgis,
     Contact Bear Butte State Park for more information. +1 605 347 5240

      

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    April 26th 
    John James Audubon’s Birthday
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    April 29th, – USDA – 
    deadline to submit comments on USDA climate policy for agriculture and forests

         IN a March 15th, 2021 Federal Register Notice  USDA requested public input on a climate-smart agriculture and forestry strategy.  President Biden’s Executive Order  on “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad”. https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/27/executive-order-on-tackling-the-climate-crisis-at-home-and-abroad/   The Order, signed January 27, states that, “America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners have an important role to play in combating the climate crisis and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, by sequestering carbon in soils, grasses, trees, and other vegetation and sourcing sustainable bioproducts and fuels.” The Order directs Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to solicit input from stakeholders as USDA develops a climate-smart agriculture and forestry approach.

           The Notice seeks information on four topics: climate-smart agriculture and forestry; biofuels, bioproducts, and renewable energy; catastrophic wildfire; and meeting the needs of disadvantaged communities through USDA’s climate strategy.

          The Notice will be available for public input until either April 29th or until April 30th (USDA literature is confusing with “until” – we suggest assume 4/29 is the deadline) and the notice is available online through the Federal Register. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/03/16/2021-05287/notice-of-request-for-public-comment-on-the-executive-order-on-tackling-the-climate-crisis-at-home

           If you wish to write an original letter, comments may be submitted online via the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for the Docket No. USDA-2021-0003. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. All comments received will be posted without change and publicly available on www.regulations.gov.

    Dakota Rural Action has  a sign-on letter urging the USDA to take active steps to combat and mitigate climate change that DRA will submit at COB TOMORROW, Thursday, April 29. 

    You can add your name to the DRA sign on letter. Below is the link to the sign on letter.


    https://www.dakotarural.org/climate/

    For info:
    Jordan Walker
    Dakota Rural Action
    605-697-5204 x250
    A similar sign on letter is at


    ==================================================================
    April 30th – Black Hills NF NEPA  Comment Deadline
    (Deadline was extended 2 weeks till May 14th) 

    scroll down to May 14th,

    ==================================================================
    =================================================================================================

     La Creek Field Trip
    PHAS normally co-hosts a field trip in early May. 
    Don’t know yet what plans will be –  –  due to pandemic
    Will we do it or not? Give Nancy feedback please or contact her for an update..

    ==========

    ==================================================================
    =================================================================================================

    SD Game, Fish and Parks Commission Meeting
    May 6th – 7th, 2021

    Meeting details posted by GFP on this website just before the meeting and after the meeting: https://gfp.sd.gov/commission/information/

    The Commission archives link — where clicking on little blue horns to the right of agenda item lets you listen to recording of past meetings to hear discussion of proposals/agenda items,   https://gfp.sd.gov/commission/archives

    Zoom/Conference Call | Livestream link https://www.sd.net/ 

    Thursday Zoom Link:
    Zoom Meeting Link https://state-sd.zoom.us/j/96436503255?pwd=NGgwYWlxdDJWbG9sU2l2TThTZ3N3UT09 or join via conference call Dial 1 669 900 9128 Meeting ID: 964 3650 3255 Password: 938362

    Friday Zoom Link:
    Zoom Meeting Link https://state-sd.zoom.us/j/96751142877?pwd=dDdDekFwb01pcE5zUldqNUFOcGwxQT09 or join via conference call Dial 1 669 900 9128 Meeting ID: 967 5114 2877 Password: 613171

  • March & APRIL Proposals, to be finalized in May (not in April)

    Small Game Hunting Season Dates
    CottontailCrowDoveGrousePartridgePheasantQuailResident Only Pheasant
    SquirrelYouth Pheasant
    Deer Seasons
    ApprenticeMentored YouthDisabled HuntersBlack Hills DeerCuster State Park Deer
    East River DeerMuzzleloader DeerRefuge DeerWest River DeerCWD Regulations

  • Link to written public commenting (must be done by midnight CT  Sunday May 2nd, to count for inclusion in public comments in the May Commission Book): https://gfp.sd.gov/forms/positions/

    E-mails of commissioners – you can send message to their individual e-mails  at any time: There are only 6 Commissioners now, as 2  left.  According to statute Gov. Noem is supposed to have appointed 2 new Commissioners by March 1st. 
    Contact info for Commissioners can be found here: https://gfp.sd.gov/commission/members/

    Visit https://gfp.sd.gov/news/ and look at April 9th, 2021 for info on proposals at last Commission meeting
    All proposals were approved
    ==================================================================
    MAY 13th, Norbeck Society Meeting 
    Thursday, May 13, 2021      6:00 pm 
     Norbeck Society Zoom meeting
    Speaker: Patrice Lynch, Wildlife Biologist, Mystic Ranger District, BHNF
     Topic: “Forest Resiliency and Recovery and Accipiters in the Black Hills following a Mountain Pine Beetle Epidemic”
    The meeting will begin with a brief update followed by the main presentation.
    Norbeck Society meetings are recorded and links to the recordings are posted on their fFacebook page
    =================================================================================================
    May 14th,

    May 14th – Black Hills NF NEPA  Comment Deadline
    (Deadline was extended 2 weeks from 4/30 until May 14th) – It will be re-openned in future – so you can still send comments in 

    BHNF – Pine & Aspen Restoration Project: – (The categorical exclusion’s scoping deadline is April 30th) 
    BHNF – Pine & Aspen Restoration Project: – (The categorical exclusion’s scoping deadline is April 30th)
    Up to 2,800 acres treated for spruce removal from mixed aspen, pine and spruce stands, Project is located
    9.5 miles NW of Deerfield Lake. Project in the Castle Creek drainage. Details and instructions on commenting found in the scoping notice links below
     
    Links for more info.:
    Project description w/ maps
    Scoping notice.

    Comments should be submitted no later than May 14, 2021 via e-mail to: https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public/CommentInput?project=59737. Comments already submitted also have until May 14 to be revised.

    Questions about the project can be submitted to Jeff Underhill at 605-673-9200 or jeffrey.underhill@usda.gov.




    Celebrate America’s 16th Annual Endangered Species Day on May 21st, 2021
    PHAS will co-host west River SD’s
    Endangered Species Day Celebration
    It will be a virtual Zoom meeting this year.

    Charlene Bessken of the USFWS in Pierre SD will speak to us about two topics

    1. SD’s Federally listed species and give us updates on what has happened with SD listed species in the last 2 years.
    2. SD’s bumble bees, which  are listed or have been petitioned for listing – 
    Listed:  Rusty-patched Bumblebee
    Petitioned:  Western Bumblebee, American Bumblebee, and Variable Cuckoo Bumble Bee

     Link to recording of meeting: https://vimeo.com/553605916



    Photo of Hunt’s bumble bee at the Butterfly Garden, Oahe Downstream, by Charlene Bessken

    Charlene has been working as a biologist for the USFWS South Dakota Field Office since 2002. She’s worked with endangered species almost all of her career. She started the Butterfly Garden in Pierre and became more interested in bumblebees when she found Hunt’s bumblebee (with orange stripes)  in the Butterfly Garden 
    Every year on the third Friday in May, thousands of people around the world participate in Endangered Species Day (ESD) by celebrating, learning about, and taking action to protect threatened and endangered species. 
    We have celebrated ESD in Rapid City for 14 years, excluding last year due to the Pandemic.  This year ESD is co-sponsored by Prairie Hills Audubon Society and Black Hills Clean Water Alliance

    Due to the global coronavirus crisis, the programs organized for Endangered Species Day 2021 will primarily be 
    online events, digital actions, and remote activities. 

    Elizabeth Ann at 48 days old – a black-footed ferret clone –  she is the first clone of an endangered species in America.

    She is cloned from frozen tissue of long dead Wyoming black-footed ferret.
    The photo is from USFWS Flickr web page:

    Nancy Hilding is inviting you to a scheduled
    Zoom meeting.

    Topic: Endangered Species Day Celebration
    Start time: 6 pm MT

     Link to recording of meeting: https://vimeo.com/553605916

    =====================================================================================

    =====================
    2021 Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest – March 1st deadline
    The Endangered Species Coalition (ESC) is pleased to announce their 2021 Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest, which is open to K-12 grade students—residing in the U.S.–including those who are homeschooled or belong to a youth/art program. The contest is an integral part of the 16th annual Endangered Species Day, Friday May 21st, 2021.  Submission deadline was March 1.

    To see previous year’s winners
    =====================================================================================
     Friday May 21st-Sunday May 23rd,  
    Nationwide Endangered Species Day Chalk Art Competition 
     hosted by Endangered Species Day Coalition
    The competition will take place from Friday, May 21st to Sunday, May 23rd.
     Friday, May 21st is Endangered Species Day. 

    To be eligible for a prize, your art must feature at least one threatened or endangered plant or animal species, and it must be created with chalk. Artwork must be new (created within the previous week – no reusing photos of old chalk art). There are no other restrictions and we encourage you to be creative. 

    To enter the contest, you must post a photo of your chalk art on Instagram between 9:00am Pacific Time on Friday, May 21st and 11:59pm Pacific Time on Sunday, May 23rd. 

    You must use the hashtag #EndangeredSpeciesChalkArt and tag @endangeredspeciescoalition in your caption. This allows Coalition to find your artwork. Please also include the name of the threatened or endangered species that is in your artwork in the caption. 

    =====================================================================================
     

     Saturday, May 22nd Pollinator Party, 
    Nationwide hosted by Endangered Species Day Coalition

    Pollinator Party

    In honor of Endangered Species Day, Endangered Species Coalition is  inviting everyone to get outside and identify pollinators and native plants as part of their Pollinator Party on Saturday, May 22nd, 2021.  Visit this link to learn more:

     https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/endangered-species-day-pollinator-party

    Join the Endangered Species Coalition (ESC) for the 16th annual Endangered Species Day! ESC is encouraging everyone to spend Saturday, May 22nd, 2021 outdoors and using iNaturalist to look for pollinators and native plants in your backyard, courtyard, garden, or a local park.This is a great event for people of all ages, and you can participate whether you know a lot about pollinators or are just beginning to learn about them.


    SCROLL DOWN (4 inches)


    Climate Watch
    May  15th-June 15th, 2021

    Climate Watch is sponsored by the National Audubon Society (NAS) & takes place during two distinct seasons—winter (January 15-February 15) and summer (May 15-June 15). Like the Christmas bird count this is a chance to help create “citizen science” for birds
     In 2020 there will be Covid19 guidelines that are found here.

    Climate Watch focuses on these target species: Eastern Bluebird, Mountain Bluebird, Western Bluebird, White-breasted Nuthatch, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Pygmy Nuthatch, American Goldfinch, Lesser Goldfinch, Painted Bunting, Eastern Towhee, and Spotted Towhee. These birds are easy to identify, have an enthusiastic constituency, and Audubon’s climate models for these species offer strong predictions for range shifts for us to test. In future years, Climate Watch may include additional target species threatened by climate change.

    We believe that western bluebird and painted bunting are not normally in SD. All the other birds occur in all or parts of SD. 
    Visit this page to see where these birds are in SD, and which are near you:

    Climate Watch focuses on areas of predicted change for these 12 species at each location across the continent. Audubon provides volunteers with online mapping tools with a grid of 10 km x 10 km squares showing species-specific predictions for each square based on the climate models. A Climate Watch Coordinator can help select your location and survey square.  If you are participating on your own, use the online maps to decide in which square to do your surveys. You will be able to see which squares are already “claimed”.How to count

    Volunteers should first make sure to read through all of the materials including the full protocol manual. The Climate Watch protocol is different than any other birding program. Then using the planning done with the online maps, volunteers survey appropriate habitat for the target species within a square and conduct 12 point counts of five minutes each within one morning, then record the number and species of all birds seen or heard within 100 meters.  Participants send the data to the National Audubon Society.

    How data will be used

    Audubon’s 2019 climate change report, ‘Survival By Degrees,’  reveals that up to two-thirds of North American birds are vulnerable to extinction due to climate change. For example, the beautiful Mountain Bluebird is vulnerable because in the vast majority of its summer range, the climate conditions that this bird needs—temperature, amount of rainfall, and other environmental factors—will shift northward and eastward. This bird may be able to move into new areas over time, or it may struggle to adapt. To test the report’s predictions, Audubon has developed Climate Watch, which aims to document species’ responses to climate change and test Audubon’s climate models by having volunteers in the field look for birds where Audubon’s climate models predict they will be in the 2020s. This information helps Audubon target our conservation work to protect birds. See the Climate Watch results page here to see our early reports and results from the data received by Climate Watch volunteers so far!

    Link to the Climate-watch program on the National Audubon Society web page  

    https://www.audubon.org/conservation/climate-watch


    Climate watch instructions  for participants


    Climate watch for beginners webinar, – this has much of the same info as our November meeting, 

    Our November meeting was on this topic (posted to the Zoom Cloud)
     
    November PHAS meeting recording 
    Topic: Title: Climate Watch: Monitoring Birds in a
    Changing Climate
    Speakers: Kathy Dale, National Audubon Society’s
    Director of Science Technology

    Link to recording of meeting https://vimeo.com/534141563/4aa562697d

    Here is a map of Climate Watch grid in south western SD near and east of the Black Hills. 


    =====================================================================================


     2021 May 22nd- June 6th, 2021
    GFP Bio Blitz 2021

    Help South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (SDGFP) observe and identify species state-wide during SDGFP’s virtual BioBlitz from May 22nd-June 6th! A BioBlitz is an event that focuses on finding and identifying as many species as possible in a specific area over a short period of time. Please join the project and contribute to the knowledge of biodiversity across the state by posting observations on iNaturalist . Download the iNaturalist app or visit the iNaturalist website (inaruralist.org). Create or sign into your account and join the project SD GFP BioBlitz 2021.
    https://www.inaturalist.org/signup?return_to=https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/sdgfp-bioblitz-2021 –  Participation is free to everyone and prizes will be awarded to top observers!
     
    This project is found  discussed under GFP education tab — learn more at GFP web site:

    =====================================================================================
     
    May 26th, Advocates for the West – Zoom meeting on wolves.

    Watch recording

     Grey wolves were recently delisted by the Trump Administration’s FWS
    Advocates for the West’s
    May Social Distancing Hour webinar is coming up next week.
    Topic: “Wolves in the West”

    Wednesday, May 26th, Zoom meeting
    6pm MT
    Watch recording

    Space is limited. Reserve your spot today!


    Wolves are on trial in the West yet again. Advocates for the West and their partners at Kettle Range Conservation Group, Western Watersheds Project, and Living with Wolves are fighting for the protection of Pacific Northwest wolves, even as law makers and federal agencies work to thwart the re-establishment of healthy wolf packs in western states.

    You can join for an online discussion of issues facing wolves in the Pacific Northwest, and what Advocates for West and  partners are doing to fight the slaughter of these important native predators. Following the presentation will be a Q&A session, and the webinar will be recorded and archived along with past Social Distancing Hours on a YouTube channel. 

    Speakers:

    Laurie Rule, Senior Attorney Advocates for the West  , Talasi Brooks, Staff Attorney Western Watersheds Project
    Tim Coleman, Executive Director, Kettle Range Conservation Group Garrick Dutcher, Program Director, Living with Wolves


    Advocates for the West filed suit over the U.S. Forest Service’s inaction to protect endangered gray wolves in Washington’s Colville National Forest, where livestock ranching activities have incited conflict.  https://advocateswest.org/case/colville-wolves/
    Advocates for the West are PHAS’s attorneys in our case to protect the greater Sage Grouse 
    USFWS on wolf delisting

    ===================================================================================

    May 31st Deadline for
    Snapshot Photo Contest, Spring  Season
    SD Game, Fish and Parks Seasonal Photo Contest
    The 2021 contest is divided into three periods
    –winter, spring, and summer–
    which will lead to a grand-prize winner announced at the 2021 South Dakota State Fair.
    For details

      2020 Photo contest winners
    ===
    ======================================================

    ===================================================================================

    Wednesday  June 2nd,  6 pm Central Time,
    Webinar Nebraska Mt. Lions 2021 Season Proposal

    Humane Society of the US Zoom webinar on this issue , Wednesday  June 2nd,  6 pm Central Time,
    Link to recording for that webinar
    Comment deadline 6/9/21 scroll down for details

    ===================================================================================


    Thursday-Friday, June 3-4th
    Game Fish and Parks Commission Meeting
    Sioux Falls, Good Earth State Park

    Meeting details have been posted by GFP to this website:


    The Commission archives link — To view past meetings  https://gfp.sd.gov/commission/archives/
    In past meetings you may be able to click on little blue horns to the right of agenda item that lets you listen to recording of past meetings to hear discussion of proposals/agenda items,  

    Written comments can be submitted at https://gfp.sd.gov/forms/positions/. To be included in the public record for June comments must include full name and city of residence and meet the submission deadline of seventy-two hours before the meeting (not including the day of the meeting) – Sunday 30th at midnight CT

    Commissioner e-mails – you can send to them any time
    “Bies, Travis” <Travis.Bies@state.sd.us>, Jon.Locken@state.sd.us, Robert.Whitmyre@state.sd.us, Russell.Olson@state.sd.us, “Sharp, Doug” <Doug.Sharp@state.sd.us>, charles.spring@state.sd.us

    eLivestream at https://www.sd.net/
    Click on the link below to the join Zoom Meeting. Depending on the application you use you may be required to enter the meeting ID and password. Remember to enter your display name and mute your microphone. To help keep background noise and distractions to a minimum, make sure you mute your microphone and turn off your video when you are not speaking.
    You can testify at 2 pm CT during open forum, normally for 3 minutes
    THURSDAY Zoom Meeting Link https://state-sd.zoom.us/j/94174076749?pwd=N3NZNk5GVTQ1M1JYVXhvbW5Va29pUT09 or join via conference call Dial 1 669 900 9128 Meeting ID: 941 7407 6749 Password: 046753
    FRIDAY Zoom Meeting Link https://state-sd.zoom.us/j/93250347118?pwd=VDV0bkd0c25lVzRFWk0vRlZtY3dxdz09 or join via conference call Dial 1 669 900 9128 Meeting ID: 932 5034 7118 Password: 246880 

    ======================================================

    Interim Rules Review Committee Meeting June 7th, (virtual and in person). GFP’s May changes to grouse hunting seasons and NWR hunting seasons for grouse/deer  and various deer seasons will be reviewed and approved by the IRRC. UPdate: IRRC appoved them.  https://sdlegislature.gov/Interim/Committee/424/Agendas


    ======================================================
    June 9th, Written Comment Deadline
    June 11th, 2021 Meeting/Hearing – 8:00 Am
    Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
    Cougars and Otters

    To submit comment or testify :

    Interested persons or organizations may submit written comments prior to the hearing, which will be entered into the hearing record if they: 1) include a request to be included as part of the hearing record; 2) include the name and address of the person or organization submitting the comments; and 3) are received by 1:00 p.m. CT, June 9, 2020 by Sheri Hendersonsheri.henderson@nebraska.govat the Lincoln office, 2200 North 33rd Street, Lincoln, NE 68503-0370.

    Commission Web page – http://outdoornebraska.gov/commissioners/         

     Agenda to the hearing – http://outdoornebraska.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/2021-JUNE-General-Meeting-Agenda.pd

    The proposed regulations can be viewed at nebraska.gov/nesos/rules-and-regs/regtrack/index.cgi

    The proposed changes to Commission orders can be viewed at outdoornebraska.gov/regulations.


                                      Nebraska Mountain Lion Season

    UPDATE – The NGP Commision approved the cougar season on Friday

    A hearing  on cougar proposal will be held on June 11th, 2021 8:30 Am, at Central Building, Chadron State Park. All interested persons may attend and testify orally at the public hearing, but are strongly  encouraged  by Nebraska Game and Parks (NGP) to submit written testimony prior to the public hearing in order to protect public health and assist in compliance with restrictions on public gatherings. 
    To view the proposed rule:

    Last month, Nebraska Game and Parks released their recommendations for yet another mountain lion hunt for the 2022 season. The recommendations are for a total of four mountain lions or a sublimit of two females in the Pine Ridge region. This is despite the fact that Nebraska has such a small population of lions, with the most recent population estimate being approximately 34 total cats (adults and kittens).  with 22 adults/sub adults available for hunting.  Pursuant to research, Washington State has adopted a “harvest” rate of 12% to 16% of adults and sub-adults, as the harvest levels that result in a sustainable population.  The Nebraska’s Pine Ridge cougar habitat is more isolated than Washington State’s and these percentages may need to be lower in Nebraska due to Pine Ridge population’s relative isolation.12% of 22 is 2.64 lions and 16% of 22 is 3.52 lions. 

    Nebraska’s Sam Wilson you tube video on this

    Humane Society of the US Zoom webinar on this issue , Wednesday  June 2nd,  6 pm Central Time,
    Link to recording for that webinar
                                                     HSUS – Nebraska mountain lion petition! https://hsus.link/zrtaac

    HSUS- Nebraska mountain lion – talking points for comments:

    MLF – Learn how to keep pets and livestock safe: 

    Note the Pine Ridge Ecosystem exists in 3 states; Wyoming, Nebraska and SD. The lions have no idea where the state or tribal boundaries are. There are breeding lions on Pine Ridge Reservation in SD and the Oglala Sioux Tribe ( OST)  has a hunting season of 20 lions any-sex with a 10 female lion sub-limit. The Niobrara River has breeding lions and is down in NE below the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Lands. RST also has forested lands and likely has breeding lions. Yankton Sioux Tribe might have  had breeding lions and the Missouri River is connected to Niobrara River.  What happens with NE lions is significant to SD’s tribal lion populations. SD has unlimited lion hunting in the prairie unit – the area outside the Black Hills and allows hound hunting on the prairie unit.  SD GFP will propose a 2022-2024 two year season on July 8th or 9th, and vote on it in early September (1st Wednesday). 

    Nebraska’s  Otter Management Plan is also up for either adoption or consideration

    Info on

    The Commission also will consider  a Nebraska River Otter Management Plan between 8:00 and 8:30 am. The goal of the plan would be to maintain resilient, healthy and socially acceptable river otter populations that are in balance with available habitat and other wildlife species. 

    Changes to Commission orders and regulations will be proposed to implement a harvest season that would allow the trapping of river otters. The proposed season would be Nov. 1, 2021 through Feb. 28, 2022, or close earlier once 75 otters have been harvested.   The hearing is later on the agenda – 8:45 am

    Proposed otter trapping rule: https://www.nebraska.gov/nesos/rules-and-regs/regtrack/proposals/2409.pdf


    =================================================================================================
    June 23, 2021 Deadline. (extended one day to June 24th)
    Flying Monkeys Salvage Project Comments

    The Hell Canyon Ranger District, Black Hills National Forest is seeking input on a proposed project There is a scoping letter  and map for the Flying Monkeys Salvage Project.   If you would like a hardcopy  or PDF please contact Wendy Schuyler at 605-673-9361 or wendy.schuyler@usda.gov.

    In  May 2021 there were two tornado and wind events near Custer SD (south and north east of town) – it uprooted and knocked down trees…Black Hills National Forest (BHNR) propose Categorical Exclusion (CE) under the Healthy Forest Restoration Act. 
    or 

    Scoping docs to be posted here

    Discussion of Sections 602 an 603 of the HFRA that are referenced in the public notice:
    Text of Sections 602 an 603 of the HFRA

    =================================================================================================

    ======================================================

    June 24, 2021 06:00 PM Mountain Time

    PROGRAM NOTICE: BATS OF THE BLACK HILLS
    South Dakota is home to more than a dozen species of bats — a good thing, because all of the species are insectivores, especially helpful in mosquito season. 
    Bradley Phillips, a wildlife biologist with the Hells Canyon Ranger District of the Black Hills National Forest, will present his three decades of experience with West River bats at 6 p.m. MDT, Thursday, June 24. 
    Join us via Zoom (we’re looking forward to resuming programs at the Outdoor Campus West in July, stay tuned) for “Bats of the Black Hills.”
    SIERRA CLUB BLACK HILLS GROUP is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

    Topic: Bats of the Black Hills 
    Time: Jun 24, 2021 06:00 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada)

    Join Zoom Meeting
    https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81482192411?pwd=OE1hcHljRWU0S1BnV2xWMmZXdUoxdz09

    Meeting ID: 814 8219 2411
    Passcode: 206799
    One tap mobile
    +13462487799,,81482192411#,,,,*206799# US (Houston)
    +16699006833,,81482192411#,,,,*206799# US (San Jose)

    Dial by your location
            +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
            +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
            +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
            +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
            +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
            +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
    Meeting ID: 814 8219 2411
    Passcode: 206799
    Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kpgqVPNet

    ================================================================================================
    Sunday, June 27th. – 
    PHAS Field Trip to the Whitney Preserve in Fall River County




     Jedediah Beadle is PHAS’s  new field trip chair & plans to have a field trip every weekend – either Saturday or Sunday during summer-early fall.  PHAS has set up a new list serve: phas-birds@googlegroups.com   This list serve will be to discuss Prairie Hills Audubon Society (PHAS) field trips,  sightings of birds by list serve participants, hands-on projects & citizen science projects to benefit birds & issues associated with bird conservation in our region. 
    For more information about field trips or to join the list serve contact: Jedediah –  jedediahbeadle@gmail.com or phas.wsd@rapidnet.com

    ======================================================================================

    June 30th just before midnight,  for the 

    SDN Tower Construction Project, 

    BHNF 

    ======================================================================================

     
    Scoping comments on the 

    SDN Tower Construction Project, 

    BHNF 

    Comment deadline on the plan to build 2 rural fiber optic towers, one near Silver City and one near Rochford. These will provide 5G wireless and high speed broadband internet. Tower sites will be 50’ X 50’ fenced locations. Each site will contain a 120’ Monopole tower, a propane generator with propane tank and a communications shelter.These plans are proposed to be done as categorical exclusions. Contact Ben Schumacher at 343-1567 for more information. Scoping letter & maps 
    There is a debate/disagreement over health risks of radio frequency radiation on people and animals.  Here are some links about such issues:

       –  

    Send comments to: <comments-rocky-mountain-black-hills-mystic@usda.gov> with subject of SDN Tower Construction Project

    Decision Memo available July 15th,  https//www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=60194



    +++++++++++++++++++
    RECENT NEWS SECTION – Section # 3
    ============================

    Recent News
    Kristi Noem appoint 2 Commissioners both women to fill vacant positions on Game, Fish and Parks Commission
    =============================
    =============================================================================
    Recent news  – Thursday July 15th

    RETIRED FOREST SERVICE DEPUTY CHIEF  (Jim Furnish) 
    spoke about logging abuse of the Black Hills National Forest

    Norbeck Society recorded..go to their Facebook Page to watch the press conference statement

    or  SDPB “In the Moment” 7/15/21 – covers several topics but at about 20:50 minutes includes an interview of Furnish  https://listen.sdpb.org/post/moment-jim-furnishs-new-memoir-and-doc-allegations

    =============================================================================
    SD Game Fish and Parks decisions – beaver & otter season .
    Recent news  _ 

    July 8th-9th, SDGFP  Commission decided to move towards reducing beaver trapping in the Black Hills and will consider new amendments to the states trapping rules at a future meeting (maybe Sept 1st) . In the meantime it will  investigate options such as  closing the Black Hills Fires Protection district or subsets of that to trapping/hunting of beavers. It approved 365 day beaver trapping and the use of conibear (kill traps) during beaver trapping east river. It approved an otter season (east River) with 20 otter harvest limit. It moved forward a public petition to allow hound hunting of cougars on Forest Service grassland sand some  of SD GFP properties in the prairie unit.
    ============================
    =============================================================================

    =====================================================================================================

    Recent PHAS news – February 16th, 2021 – June 16th

    In March the Forest Service released a report showing that the BHNF is being overharvested – – the current logging rate is not sustainable. Prairie Hills Audubon Society and other conservation/public interest groups & Oglala Sioux Tribe have called on the Forest Service to sharply reduce logging in the Black Hills National Forest. 

    Here are a links to three multi-party letter sent by PHAS and other groups and Oglala Sioux Tribe to the Forest Service about the overharvesting.

    February letter to Regional Forester as

    May letter  to Regional Forester 

    May letter’s attachment


    June 16th letter to BHNF Supervisor


    Some news article about that:
    “Groups call for reduced Black Hills logging”
    Marc Heller, E&E News reporter
    Published: Wednesday, February 24, 2021

    “Republicans jump into the fray over Black Hills logging”
    Marc Heller, E&E News reporter
    Published: Thursday, March 4, 2021

    Tuesday 23rd of March, the Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station is releasing a scientific General Technical Report titled  – A Scenario-Based Assessment to Inform Sustainable Ponderosa Pine Timber Harvest on the Black Hills National Forest. 

    Please see this press release for more information. 
    Link to RMRS  web page  https://www.fs.usda.gov/rmrs/bhnftimberreport 

    Rocky Mountain Research Station hosted a science webinar to discuss the data, methodology, and report findings on April 7, 2021 beginning at 10:30 a.m. MDT. Pre-registration was required.       https://www.fs.usda.gov/rmrs/events/webinar-science-based-scenarios-inform-forest-management-black-hills-national-forest 

    News Article about in RCJ:
    =============================================================================

    =====================================================================================================

     Another win in our  Sage-Grouse lawsuit
    Recent PHAS news February 11th, 2021 –

    Federal Judge Overturns Trump Administration’s Gutting of Sage-Grouse Protections from Mining
    BOISE, Idaho— A federal judge on 2/11/21 overturned a Trump administration decision to strip protections from 10 million acres, mostly in Nevada and Idaho, to allow mining in vital habitat for greater sage grouse. The ruling is the latest in a series of court victories for sage grouse conservation.

    Attorneys from Advocates for the West represent Western Watersheds Project, the Center for Biological Diversity, WildEarth Guardians and Prairie Hills Audubon Society in this case.  

    Link to the press release:


    Articles


    =============================================================================

    ============================

    June 9th, Article in The Guardian ,
    Owner cancels Keystone XL pipeline months after Biden revoked permit
    TC Energy halts project that faced longstanding opposition from climate campaigners
    =====================================================================================================

    ============================

    Rare Earth Mining Threat to BHNF- Bearlodge Mountains


    Below are links to web articles about a January 2021 notice of $22 million financial award for General Atomics and  Rare Element Resources (RER)  for a rare earth element separation and processing demonstration project. This would likely impact mining proposal on the Bearlodge Ranger District. Go to to older posts button for more info. on mine threat:

    https://apnews.com/press-release/business-wire/technology-business-corporate-news-construction-and-engineering-industrial-products-and-services-79e6668ec91c4469a4be32720adcd1f1

    https://www.barrasso.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2021/1/wyoming-initiatives-receive-federal-funding-for-rare-earth-mineral-research

    NYT Article on bill in Congress that will impact rare earth developement in USA.: “Biden Administration Moves to Fix Supply Chain Bottleneck” – A swath of recommendations calls for more investments, new supply chains and less reliance on other countries for crucial goods 
    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/08/us/politics/biden-supply-chain.html    

    Article on Recovering America’s Wildlife Action 2021 version: https://mailchi.mp/andykerr/the-proposed-recovering-americas-wildlife-act?e=c8e1a371bc
    Representative Debbie Dingell (D-MI-12th) has recently (4/22/21) reintroduced her Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (H.R.2773, 117th). Representatives Peter DeFazio (D-OR-4th), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3rd), Kurt Schrader (D-OR-5th), and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-1st) are some of RAWA cosponsors.  “To amend the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act to make supplemental funds available for management of fish and wildlife species of greatest conservation need as determined by State fish and wildlife agencies, and for other purposes.” Link to bill: https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/2773?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22hr2773%22%5D%7D&s=6&r=1


    END OF RECENT NEWS SECTION

    STATE BASED – ALERTS

    =================================================================================================
    Information on overcutting of trees in the Black Hills National Forest, 



    SCROLL DOWN

    ================================================================



    The Black Hills National Forest (BHNF) has released data from a Forest Inventory & Analysis that shows the BHNF is cutting trees faster than then forest growth replaces them. If current rate of cutting continues the live sawtimber volume will be depleted in the next several decades. To meet the current rate of cutting allowed by the Forest Plan, they need twice the standing live timber they have. The rate of cutting must be reduced to provide for a sustainable supply of timber, wildlife habitat, and other forest resources. Various laws require a sustainable logging program. 


    =====

    The  Black Hills National Forest has done research and determined it is cutting pine trees faster than they can grow back…the cut is not sustainable.  
    Direct link to a report on this research: Timber Growth and Yield Draft General Technical Report (TGYDGTR)

    These actions are illegal, violating the Multiple Use Sustained Yield Act and the National Forest Management Act.  In the future the Forest Service will need to change it’s cutting rate. Future timber cutting scenarios proposed in the TGYDGTR do not reduce the cut fast enough or deep enough; they take years to reach timber sustainability and do not provide for sustainability of other values nor forbid logging on some lands that are unsuitable for logging nor do they forbid cutting young trees before their finish fastest growing period. 

     A not sustainable cut is not desirable, as viability of some wildlife species will be at risk and values such as some habitats, scenic quality, back country recreational  & 
    water quality will be harmed.  The Forest has less than .5% old growth left, the Forest Plan says it was supposed to provide at least 5%. Some species at risk include the northern goshawk, brown creeper and  black backed woodpecker that need mature dense stands, and the pgmy nuthatch that needs large old yellow barks. The forest does not have money, or ways to generate revenue to pay for all the needed pre-commercial thinning of the huge area of understory baby pine trees.

    The timber industry is very opposed to the necessary reduction in annual timber volume. 
    They are busy lobbying our elected leaders.  Other forests have also had reports that found the forests had not-sustainable harvests. Several such reports were buried due to politics and never made it past draft form. We need the public to fully understand what has been discovered by the Forest Service, to listen to critiques of the analysis and to insist that politics does not bury this report and that the Forest Service commits to quickly reducing the annual harvest on the Black Hills to a level that is not just sustainable for commercial goals (i.e.: timber production) but also sustainable for wildlife habitat, scenery protection, back country recreation, water quality, soils etc.  The natural amenities of the forest that give us spiritual renewal and cause us to want to live near the BHNF, need to be valued & protected, not just it’s  timber production valued.
     comprehensive article about the Black Hills timber situation was recently published:

    Here is a link to the Forest Service’s  (FS) web page on this topic:

      This web page has a discussion of the issues & lots of links to more data on this issue, including the Timber Growth and Yield Draft General Technical Report (TGYDGTR) and links to webinars from 4 FS meetings with stakeholders/local governments, some of which include power-points created by the FS & stakeholder groups on the issues. April 3rd & May 1st are virtual meetings the FS had with “timber stakeholders” – namely NGO environmental, timber industry & state government stakeholders. Environmentalists attending the 4/3/20 meeting were from Prairie Hills Audubon Society, The Norbeck Society, BHG of the Sierra Club. 



    An ad hoc group of retired foresters was also represented. In May the Nature Conservancy was added as stakeholder. At least one future “timber stakeholder” meeting is planned. 
    April 10th & May 15th are virtual meetings the FS had with the local government.
    All 4 meetings are recorded,
    A  link to the April 3rd meeting’s  presentations and related documents 
    (mostly saved as PDFs) is:
    We recommend that you view power points from Bob Burns of the Norbeck Society, Jim Margadant of Sierra Club and Dave Mertz of retired foresters.
    Webinar link
    https://usfs.adobeconnect.com/pf84e9rqbh6f/?launcher=false&fcsContent=true&pbMode=normal&proto=true.

    Quote from Abstract of the TGYDGTR:


    “If the current (2019) annual sawtimber harvest of 153,534 CCF per year (CCF = 64 100 cubic feet) were to continue, the live sawtimber volume will be depleted in the next several decades. To meet the current  allowable sale quantity (ASQ) of 181,000 CCF as described in the  BHNF Plan, a standing live sawtimber volume of approximately 12 million CCF would be required. However, current standing live sawtimber volume is approximately 5.9 million CCF.  Furthermore, the current forest conditions in 2019 and probable growth and mortality estimates  suggest a saw timber program on the BHNF with an annual harvest of 70,000 to 115,000 CCF per year would be possible. Nevertheless, these harvest levels would allow the live sawtimber inventory amounts to increase to 6 million CCF in approximately 60 years and return to the level needed to support ASQ as identified in the current forest plan (181,000 CCF) within a century.” (emphasis added)


    Page 4 at lines 80 to 82 TGYDGTR says:

    “All scenarios assume no harvest reduction for other resources (e.g., wildlife, botany, aquatics, and so on) or for Forest Plan adjustments. However, Black Hills National Forest (BHNF) may have restrictions that could alter the amount of area treated and the volumes removed.”


    At lines 431 to 437 TGYDGTR says:


    “Forest Plan constraints such as slope steepness, wildlife, recreation, grazing, or other values were not considered in the scenarios.”

    Page 6 of the  TGYDGTR,  Lines 111-120, states

    In 2019 the USDA Forest Service, Forest Inventory and Analysis Program (USDA 2019) identified 765,733 acres of timberland: (suitable), as forestland that is producing or is capable of producing 20 cubic feet per acre per year of industrial wood in natural stands and not withdrawn from timber utilization by statute or administrative regulation. Lands inaccessible and inoperable were included.”
    (Emphasis added)

    ==========================
    To help understand terminology used  in timber management on the Black hills
                     Structural stages are any of several developmental stages of tree stands described in terms of tree size and the extent of canopy closure they create. In the Black Hills stands are inventoried and assigned to one of 9 structural stages: SS1, SS2, SS3A, SS3B, SS3C, SS4, SS4B,  SS4C,  SS5. Various wildlife are associated with older dense stands of live trees. Some are associated with large snags (large dead trees).


    The Rocky Mountain Research Station (the research branch of the Forest Service), has a draft report out that analyzes a large data set showing the current level of logging on the Black Hills National Forest is unsustainable. Below find a direct link to a report on this research: Timber Growth and Yield Draft General Technical Report (TGYD-GTR)

               
      The BHNF has admitted it is cutting the pine trees at a faster rate than the trees can replace themselves. They have very little old growth (structural stage 5) left – less than1 percent (.6 percent) and an inadequate supply of one of their other structural stages for adult pine stands (SS4B) . If cutting continues at the current rate, they will run out of saw timber in about 30 years.


    We worry about various species associated with dense forest conditions, older trees, large snags and fire/insects.  The northern goshawk, brown creeper and black backed woodpecker need mature dense stands and the black-backed woodpecker needs them as snags, burned by wildfire. Pygmy nuthatch needs older yellow barks and it and the Lewis woodpecker need larger snags. The silver haired bat and fringed myotis need large snags for maternity roosts.  The golden-crowned and ruby-crowned kinglets need relatively dense older forests.  The northern flying squirrel and red squirrel need older, dense forests, at least mature stands. Pine Martins need connectivity corridors with 50% canopy closure.  Rare snails need forest cover (shade) and damp ground. Some big game need thermal cover in the winter.  

    What tree habitat species need and which may be at risk if  the Black Hills National Forest loses it’s older dense saw timber and old growth?       
    ===============
    Excerpted slides from an April 2020 Powerpoint
     by Andrew Johnson of the Forest Service (BHNF)
     “How the FIA data and sustainability analysis relate to the Forest Plan and available timber “
    Below are photos from Andrew Johnson’s powerpoint 
    and quotes from the Glossary of the Black Hills National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan 2006 – 
    at pages Glossary -67-68
    “DBH” stands for “diameter at breast height”.

    “Structural Stage 1 (Grass/Forb): The grass/forb stage was historically a product of
    fires, windthrow or similar disturbances. Under forest management, this stage can be
    created through harvesting. This stage is dominated by grasses and forbs lasting until
    tree seedlings become established.”

    Structural Stage 2 (Shrub/Seedling): The shrub/seedling stage consists of shrubs
    such as chokecherry, rose and serviceberry along with tree seedlings. A stand remains
    in Stage 2 until the tree seedlings reach one inch diameter at breast height (DBH),
    which should take less than a decade



    Structural Stage 3 (Sapling/Pole): The sapling/pole stage consists of trees with
    stems one to nine inches DBH. This stage typically persists up to 30 years to age 70.
    Less than 40 percent canopy closure is 3A; 40 to less than 70 percent canopy closures
    is 3B; and greater than 70 percent canopy closure is 3C. Understory production is
    inversely related to overstory pine canopy cover.


    Structural Stage 4 (Mature): The mature stage begins when trees reach the 9-inch
    DBH class. Trees remain in this stage until they are about 160 years old. As with
    Structural Stage 3, understory productivity depends upon the overstory canopy cover.
    Less than 40 percent canopy closure is 4A; 40 to less than 70 percent canopy closures
    is 4B; and greater than 70 percent canopy closure is 4C. The sizes of trees in this
    stage will vary depending upon growing-site potential and the density of the stand.



    Structural Stage 5 (Late Succession): This structural stage is characterized by very
    large trees (16+ inches DBH). Trees are at least 160 years in age; ponderosa pine
    that reach this age are commonly referred to as “yellow barks.” Late succession
    ponderosa pine may occur in dense stands, but may also grow in the open or in “parklike”
    stands (Mehl 1992).
    ===================================    ====================================================================

    FEDERAL ACTIVITIES SECTION
    ========================================

    Wildlife watching exceeds 
    hunting/fishing for participants

    2016 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation: National Overview
    Download the USFWS survey on wildlife related recreation 2016.
    Wildlife watching – page 7, fishing- page 5, hunting -page 6
    Nationwide:
     Total wildlife watching expenditures: $75.9 billion, Total fishing expenditures: $ 46.1 billion, Total hunting expenditures: $ 25.6 billion,
     Total wildlife watching participants: 86.million, Total Anglers 35.8 million, Total hunters: 11.5 million
     Of this Wildlife Watching subset 
    Wildlife watching away from home: 23.7 million participants  or at watching home: 81.1 million;
    Observe Wildlife away from home:19.6 million, at home 43.8 million, 
    Photograph Wildlife away from home:13.7 million, at home  30.5 million
     Feed wildlife away from home: 4.9 million, at home 59.1 million, 
    Visit public parks or areas 11.4 million; Maintain plantings or natural areas 11.0 million
    Bird Observers: 2016
    Away-from-Home Observers : 16.3 million
    Around-the-Home Observers: 38.7 million

    Total Bird Observers: 45.1 million
    ==================================

    =========================
    We include link to another report,  done just for SD by SD Game, Fish and Parks
    “Economic Impact of Hunting, Fishing, Trapping, Boating, and Wildlife Viewing in South Dakota”
    =====
    “South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks commissioned this study to estimate the regional and statewide economic activity generated by the State’s fish, wildlife and boatingrelated resources. Drawing from license sales records and surveybased data sources, this report presents economic contributions based on retail spending in South Dakota attributable to recreational fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing, boating and trapping. “
    Please note the report does not include income from “at home wildlife watching” – which is very significant in the federal study..

    =============================================================================================
    ======================
    Wild Earth Guardians Alert on  Trump’s latest attack on the Endangered Species Act, late August 2020 

    ==========================
    We are not sure what will happen to this bill due to pandemic, we think it is on hold.
    Recovering America’s Wildlife Act 
    PHAS and the National Audubon Society support the
     Recovering America’s Wildlife Act bill – it is in the House.It seeks to increase federal funding to state and tribal wildlife agencies, to protect “at risk wildlife”.
     RAWA passed out of the House Natural Resources Committee by a vote of 26-6.  All of the Democrats voted for it, and 7 of the 13 committee Republicans voted for it.  Such an overwhelming, bipartisan vote should provide real momentum for the bill.  All totaled, RAWA now has 163 co-sponsors, including 41 Republicans.  Such a large number of co-sponsors should also help make it easier for the bill to move forward towards a successful House floor vote. It may go to the floor in February or March.
    Dusty Johnson, John Thune, Mike Rounds are not yet co-sponsors or indicated support
     (as of Feb 6th)
    .  Link to the bill
    Here is a link to some basic South Dakota-centric facts regarding the bill that might be good to include in your message:
    ·        https://gfp.sd.gov/rawa/
    National Audubon Society Review of the bill:

    Excerpt from above NAS article:
    “In wildlife action plans submitted to USFWS, state agencies have identified some 8,000 animal species of “greatest conservation need,” including more than 800 birds. To implement those plans and keep species from sliding toward extinction, each state would need an average of $26 million a year—a total of $1.3 billion. But current federal spending for state and tribal wildlife grants falls far short of the mark, “

    National Wildlife Federation
    There is a resolution to support this in the SD Legislature, passed house and to be considered next in Senate Ag and Natural Resources (as of 3/2/20)
    ============== 
    =================================================================================
     Endangered Species Act under Attack – Contact Congress
    =====================================================================================================
    Trump’s Department of Interior rule-making to harm the  Endangered Species Act
    National Audubon Society Alert – Send a letter to SD congress members:
    New York Times Article
    Earth Justice Alert:
    Common Dreams Article
    =======================================================
    Trump Administration to delist wolves, 

    Trump strips protections for endangered gray wolves

    “Hunters and ranchers celebrate while conservationists say wolves will be hunted to extinction”.


    link to Washington Post article:
    =============================================================

    Washington Post Article:

    Tracking Biden’s environmental actions 

    The new president is unwindingTrump’s legacy while forging his own

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2021/climate-environment/biden-climate-environment-actions/


    “In just over three months, President Biden has begun to transform the nation’s energy and environmental landscape, according to a Washington Post analysis, by overturning 29 of former president Donald Trump’s policies and finalizing 19 of his own. From pausing new oil and gas leasing on public lands and waters to rejoining the Paris climate agreement, Biden has elevated the issue of climate change across the U.S. government and signaled a shift away from fossil fuels.”

    ======
    =============================================================
    Washington Post article Trump rolls back 125 Environmental Regulations/Policies

    Trump rolled back more than 125 environmental safeguards. Here’s how.

    “The administration has allowed more pollution, drilling and logging
    while weakening protections for animals such as bees, bears and birds”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/climate-environment/trump-climate-environment-protections/?itid=hp-more-top-stories

    =======================================================


    There is a  Oct 15, 2020 update of the New York Times Article – a summary of Trump’s war on environmental regulation -The Trump Administration Is Reversing Nearly 100 Environmental Rules. Here’s the Full List.

     Here is an earlier July 15th, version,  New York Times Article 

    “The Trump Administration Is Reversing 100 Environmental Rules. Here’s the Full List.”

    Link to a New York Times Article, updated July 15th, 2020https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/climate/trump-environment-rollbacks.html



    Excerpt from article:
    After three years in office, the Trump administration has dismantled most of the major climate and environmental policies the president promised to undo.


    Calling the rules unnecessary and burdensome to the fossil fuel industry and other businesses, his administration has weakened Obama-era limits on planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and from cars and trucks, and rolled back many more rules governing clean air, water and toxic chemicals. Several major reversals have been finalized in recent weeks as the country has struggled to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

    In all, a New York Times analysis, based on research from Harvard Law SchoolColumbia Law School and other sources, counts counts nearly 70 environmental rules and regulations officially reversed, revoked or otherwise rolled back under Mr. Trump. More than 30 additional rollbacks are still in progress.”   

     
    Rollbacks completed  – 
    68 Rollbacks in process – 32;  Total rollbacks – 100  The sequence of numbers is 

    1) # of rollbacks completed, 
    2) # in progress and
     3) total  #  rollback — these numbers appear to right side of text  

    Air pollution and emissions – 19, 8, 27, 
    Drilling and extraction –  11,  8, 19, 
    Infrastructure and planning – 12, 1, 13 
    Animals  – 11, 1, 12 
    Toxic substances and safety –  6, 2, 8 
    Water pollution –  4, 7, 11, 
    Other –  5, 5, 10   

    We suggest you read the article to learn more  details on rollbacks- see link above Also Nancy can send you a PDF of the Article (nhiding (at) rapidnet.com) 
    PHAS has sued Trump Administration over greater sage grouse management plans, We won an injunction & are thus part of fighting these 100 roll backs, under animals. 

      TRUMP HARMS NEPA
    On January 10, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (“CEQ”) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) that would revise NEPA’s implementing regulations.[1]
    =========

    ====================================
    Trump announced changes to NEPA rules in mid July.
    Articles about:
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/15/donald-trump-environmental-reviews-pipelines-highways

    Council on Environmental Quality publications:

    CEQ’s website has the final CEQ NEPA rule, https://ceq.doe.gov/laws-regulations/regulations.html
    At the website, you can access the following documents. 

    Proposed rule’s text:

    Fact Sheet from Government”
    Alerts

    American Rivers: Don’t let the Trump administration kneecap NEPA!
    Audubon Society: Don’t Let the White House Gut the National Environmental Policy Act
    Earthjustice: PROTECT THE PEOPLE’S ENVIRONMENTAL LAW
    Environmental Defense Fund: Tell Trump: Don’t Roll Back Environmental Standards
    Ohio Environmental Council: Action alert
    National Wildlife Federation: Don’t Let the Trump Administration Mute Your Voice for Wildlife
    NRDC: Don’t let Trump silence the American people and embolden polluters
    Sierra Club: Stop One of the Trump Administration’s Biggest Environmental Assaults Yet
    Waterkeeper Alliance: Undermining a Fundamental Law
    *WildEarth Guardians
    ================

    This is a long section, scroll past it to get to next INDEX of the Chronological events sectionT

    ========================
     legislature 2021
    ==========================================================

    SD Legislature 2021

    Jan 12th-March 11
    with Veto day March 29th
    INDEX

    Legislative section (which is far below)  has
    1. Reference links for the SD Legislature and other lobbyists/groups  (moved to here)
    who have information relevant to environmental bills (moved here))
    2. Bill tracking for environmental and “good/bad government process” bills (moved here))
    3. Bulk e-mail lists of all legislators and some committees (DELETED)
    4. Information on some committees (DELETED)
    5. Expired alerts on some bills (moved here)
    6. Inititive and Referendum Reference (moved here)

    The legislature is over , Noem may call it back in May or June
     for special session to address transgender athletics, medical marijuana and/or federal funds received

    SD Legislative Research Council

    Legislature’s Calendar

    To view bills and their progress

    To get a copy of the Bill Status Report – published at end of day and lists history of all bills
    To find all bills sponsored by your legislator
    Join “My LRC”
    This is a service where the LRC will track bills or committees for you & let you know when a change in status occurs.You have to create an account & enter bills/committees of concern
    Find your legislator
    Scroll down past the bill list and bill alerts to find House and Senate & committee’s bulk e-mail address lists

    Call and leave a message with the pages;  The page will deliver your phone message to them. (during active session)
    Senate 773-3821
    House 773-3851

    You can testify remotely if you contact the committee 24 hours in advance- details:
    link to Commitee e-mails
    Kristi noem, SOUTH DAKOTA OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR, 500 EAST CAPITOL AVENUE, PIERRE, SD 57501


    During the legislature – Dakota Rural Action (DRA) & SD Camo Coalition Provide On-line Resources,

    Dakota Rural Action (weekly updates)

    DRA Legislative Guide –
    the guide has lots & lots of information, including legislator & committee lists)

     SD Camo Coalition  (daily updates – bill tracking )

    Both organizations have full time lobbyists (Rebecca Terk and Chris Hesla)
    that cover environmental and outdoor recreation at least in part 
    & they post daily alerts or post weekly summaries on their web pages and send to members & Camo Coalition sends out with on-line registration.
    Sierra Cub and SD Izaak Walton League (Ikes) have part time lobbyists (Ailee Johns and Paul Lepisto) and Ikes send weekly summaries to members and Sierra Club  sends some alerts to members .
    Steven Wegman for South Dakota Renewable Energy Association will also lobby 

    SD DENR and GFP have bill tracking, available on their web sites.
    SDGFP link this year –  

                                                 https://gfp.sd.gov/legislative-updates/


      DENR link this year (find legislative review on this web page)

                                            https://denr.sd.gov/dfta/info/info.aspx   


    Other NGOs with bill tracking


    SD Farm Bureau also has bill tracking:

     https://www.sdfbf.org/policy-advocacy/state-legislative


    Prairie Hills Audubon Society does some bill tracking, updated periodically

     Veto day March 29th has passed.  Regular session is over. Legislature may be recalled by Governor in May or June for special session to address transgender athletics, medical marijuana and/or federal funds received

       

      Status of environmental bills full update – 4/1/21
    Government process bills, full update –     4/1/21
    . Let Nancy know what you think about bills, nhilding (at) rapidnet.com. – help us review bills.

    Please go & download the most current bill status report, (Link above) for exact status details. 


    ENVIRONMENTAL BILLS (full update –  4/1/21
    HOUSE (environmental(full update – 4/1/21 

    HB 1027 TitleAn Act to identify Water Management Board officers, authorize appointment of a prehearing officer, 
    and define the duties of the pre-hearing officer. https://sdlegislature.gov/Session/Bill/22057
    UP IN COMMITTEE ON JAN 26TH, Passed 13 to 0, To House, placed on consent. Passed House 69 to 1,
    > AG & NR to COMMITTEE  TUES. 2/9, passed 6 to 1, Senate Floor passed 34 to 1, 2/16 signed by Pres.> signed governor,
    States officer positions and creates option of pre-hearing officer and states duties

    HB 1028