Saturday, September 21, 2013

Breakfast Buffet on Black-Backed Woodpecker, Saturday Morn, Sept 28th, Hill City

Saturday Morning, September 28th, Breakfast Buffet, 
8:15 am "meet & greet" & 8:30 am buffet starts, 
Slate Creek Grille, Hill City

Prairie Hills Audubon Society is sponsoring a breakfast buffet with Chad 
Hanson of John Muir Project (JMP) from California, Duane Short of 
Biodiversity Conservation Alliance  (BCA) from Wyoming and Marshall Johnson of the National Audubon Society (NAS) from North Dakota.

Breakfast buffet starts at 8:30 am at the Slate Creek Grille 
in Hill City, SD. The Grille is located near Post office in northern 
part of town. During breakfast our visitors will be available to 
discuss the black-backed woodpecker with attendees. 

   In May 2012 four groups, (including John Muir Project and Biodiversity Conservation Alliance) petitioned the 
US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to list the Black Hills and the 
Oregon-Cascades/California populations of the Black-backed Woodpecker 
as a Threatened or Endangered species under the Endangered Species 
Act.  Petitioners contend the small, isolated 
Oregon-Cascades/California and Black Hills populations have been
recognized in the scientific literature as genetically distinct from 
the large, contiguous, northern boreal population and in both cases 
this genetic distinction is sufficiently large that it is consistent 
with distinction at the level of subspecies; however if not yet 
assigned subspecies status, the Woodpecker could qualify as a 
Distinct Population Segment. Due to the small size of the two 
populations and the threats, petitioners believe listing is 
warranted. To download petition and other related materials visit the USFWS web pages on this topic:

We shall have meet and greet at 8:15 am and breakfast buffet will 
start at 8:30 am. Chad and Duane will need to leave by 11:15 am.  Parking in Grille's lot is limited and our visitors could 
help the Grille by trying to park nearby or car pooling.

Attendees must pay for cost of breakfast buffet that will be fixed by Grille.  
Please RSVP by Thursday night, 
if you plan to come,
contact Nancy at 605-787-6779 or  e-mail

Please put WOODPECKER RSVP in the subject line if using e-mail.

Who is Chad?
Dr. Chad Hanson is the Director of the John Muir Project of Earth Island Institute in California.  Chad Hanson has a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California at Davis, and is an Associate researcher at UC Davis in the field of fire ecology in conifer forest ecosystems.  He has published studies on topics such as fire severity patterns, wildlife response to fire, post-fire conifer survival, and landscape-level fire patterns and trends.  Dr. Hanson is also a Juris doctorate. Watch Chad on U-tube

Who is Duane?      
Duane Short is staff of Biodiversity Conservation Alliance of Laramie Wyoming. 
Duane is a zoologist with particular interests in animal behavior and evolutionary biology.

Who is Marshall Johnson?
Marshall is staff of National Audubon's Dakota office located in Fargo ,ND, and is the field staff responsible for SD within the National Audubon's system. - , 

Other references

The Petition to list the Black-backed Woodpecker can be downloaded at:

    For More Information on the petition:

       Other writing of Chad on Black backed Woodpecker
  One of Mark Rumble's  (Local Forest Service researcher) research papers on the Woodpecker can be downloaded here.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Meeting on Missouri River Conservation Efforts

Tuesday, Sept 17th,
Prairie Hills Audubon Society Meeting
Rapid City School Administration Building,
300 6th Street, Rapid City
Community room, (use SE entrance),
6:15 pm

Meeting on - Draft EIS & Land Protection Plan for Niobrara Confluence & Ponca Bluffs Conservation Areas of NE and SD.
      An effort is being made to protect habitat along the Missouri River at the Nebraska/SD border and is undertaken by National Park Service (NPS) and US Fish and Wildlife Service.  Speaker is Steve Thede, Acting Superintendent, Missouri National Recreational River, NPS and he will attend by Skype.  This federal effort will help protect piping plovers & interior least terns.
     Meet and greet at 6:15 with snacks, lecture at 6:30 pm.

   Sept 30th, 2013 is the comment deadline (as extended) for Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Land Protection Plan Niobrara Confluence and Ponca Bluffs Conservation Areas Nebraska and South Dakota
       This is a land protection plan for proposed conservation areas along the relatively wild section of the Missouri River between SD and Nebraska (in the SE edge of SD). This DEIS is related to protection of threatened and endangered bird species habitat along the River. The riparian woodlands and island complexes are important for approximately 25 year-round bird species and 115 species of migratory birds, including piping plovers, least terns, and bald eagles.
         There are 4 conservation alternatives, No Action, Minimal, Moderate and High Conservation Action.

Web links to download

Links on time extension:

Comment or a request copies (hard copies or a CD-ROM) or more info. by any of the following methods:
Agency Web site:
        Mail: Nick Kaczor, USFWS, Division of Refuge Planning, P.O. Box 25486, DFC, Denver, CO 80225.    In-Person Viewing or Pickup: Call (605) 665-0209, Missouri River National Recreational River Headquarters, 508 East 2nd Street, Yankton, SD 57078.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sept 11th comment deadline, SD BLM RMP Revision

The public comment period ends Sept 11th, if e-mailing send your comments before midnight.

   The draft document can be viewed on the internet at and describes different alternatives for managing public lands within the South Dakota Field Office. 
        The public may submit written comments related to the South Dakota DRMP/EIS by any of the following methods:

 Fax:    (605)892-7015_, 
 Mail or hand-delivery:  "South Dakota RMP Comments," 
315 Roundup Street,
 Belle Fourche, SD 57717

For more information, contact Planning Specialist Mitch Iverson at (605) 892-7000.    - 

Mitch Iverson
Planner/Environmental Coordinator
310 Round Up St. Belle Fourche, SD
605-892-7008 (office)
605-580-5707 (cell)
Iverson, Mitchell <>, 

Rebecca Smith, is the Wildlife Biologist for SD BLM 
For the latest BLM news and updates, visit us on the web at:  and on Facebook at: <>

Monday, September 2, 2013

Sept 5th, PHAS Meeting on Predator Management

Thursday, Sept 5th, 5:30 pm Prairie Hills Audubon Society meet

on Predator Management,

Rapid City, City School Admin. Bldg, Community Room,
(use SE entrance)
300 6th Street (between 6th and 5th St  &  north of railroad track)

The first half of meeting is about education. We will begin at 5:30 watching a Washington state video made by Dr. Wielgus on Cougar hunting issues.  We will then watch a one-hour video that shows SD GFP's staff's presentation to the Commission on the 2013 proposed lion-hunting season. 

Then comes a break.

The second half is about action: At about 7:10 or 7:15 we will have stopped watching videos, taken a break and will begin Q &A on mountain lion seasons, SD's bobcat seasons, USFWS plans for delisting of grey wolves and the management or public policy for any predator, the folks at meeting want to discuss.   We will then discuss potential actions we can take to effect change in management of predators and public policy.

 Thus this meeting is both educational and about organizing ourselves.

Comments on grey wolf delisting are due Sept 11th, 2013
 The next SDGFP Commission hearing on cougars is Oct 3rd, 2013
 Thus this meeting is timely for those deadlines.

Folks can chose to watch videos at home prior to meeting and just arrive at 7:10 pm for discussion:
Links to videos to be watched - Wielgus on Washington State cougar research:

SDGFP report to Commission on cougars for 2013:

SDGFP report to the Commission on cougars for 2012
 (we will not watch this one on Thursday, thus you must watch at home, if you wish to)

Skype remote meeting connections.
PHAS knows how to connect to remote listening sites: we can connect via internet/computer and audio boosting devices to several remote meeting husb for any of our meetings (fully interactive), but only if people at remote site volunteer to help set  up and host such. 

Bobcat links:

For 2013 bobcat season rule, visit pages 12-14 of the this document

For Commission minutes on the 2013 bobcat season visit page 89 of this document

Oct 3-4, SDGFP Commission meeting, Spearfish
SDGFP Commission's meeting at the Holiday Inn Express in Spearfish.
            South Dakota Mountain Lion Season will be finalized. Total quota on lions is reduced from last year's quota of 100 either sex  (or 70 females), to 75 either sex (or 50 females). In Custer State Park they wish to increase the number of hunting intervals when hunters use dogs and decrease the number of hunting intervals without dogs.  The hearing will be at 2 pm on Oct 3rd.
              Comment deadline is the close of the hearing on Oct 3rd, but if you want them to read comments before decision, send before hand.
            For information on the Commission and it's meetings

            To view the full proposals on cougar season,
            To view more info on cougars by GFP


SDGFP 1 hour long report to Commission on cougars for 2013  >

            Send comments to South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission, 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501; or email Please include your full name and city of residence. Additionally you may carbon copy each Commissioner.
The legal deadline for written comments is the close of the hearing, but if you wish
them to actually read your comments before their decision,  send them  in advance. 24 hours in advance of hearing, SDGFP post comments received thus far from the public on the web site.

Sept 11th, 2013 deadline to comment on Grey Wolf delisting, in lower 48,

            Sept 11th, 2013 deadline to comment on Grey Wolf delisting, in lower 48, (except SW whereit  will remain Threatened & Endangered and the areas in Northern Rockies and Great Lakes where wolf is already de-listed).
            On June 13, 2013 the two proposed rules related to the grey wolf, were published in the Federal Register. Comments will be accepted for 90 days ending on 11:59 p.m. on September 11, 2013. (Eastern time zone's midnight is used).  Please visit <> to view all Federal Register notices, and to submit an electronic comment.!docketDetail;D=FWS-HQ-ES-2013-0073

 Some news articles:>er/article_a37f4282-cf87-11e2-adf3-001a4bcf887a.html

Or use this link for Defenders of Wildlife's guide to comments
Audubon's version
Sierra Club's version
HSUS version
National Wildlife Federation version
            Please note the SD Legislature in 2013 passed a law to make the grey wolf in SD a predator/varmint as soon as the USFWS releases it from ESA protection. Eastern SD is in the Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment so wolf is already de-listed there and wolf will be hunted as predator/varmint in eastern SD as of July when new SD law comes into effect. In western SD it is still protected by the ESA, but if USFWS de-lists it then it will be a predator/varmint in Western SD.

SDWF annual meeting in Rapid City
Weekend September 6-8,  - 2013 -.SD Wildlife Federation Annual Meeting. Rapid City

We include some information on the SD Wildlife Federation Annual Meeting  in Rapid City.
 There are events on Friday and Sunday, but we just include the information on Saturday's speakers.

The discussion on lead shot at 1:00 is relevant to birds, as some birds are being adversely effected by lead shot. For more info on this issue:

Other speakers are from SDGFP.  If you wish to ask GFP staff questions about wildlife management, on Saturday both Tony Lief (Director of Wildlife Division GFP) and Mike Kintigh (Rapid City Regional Supervisor, GFP) will be speaking, see schedule. This meeting is open to the public.

A copy of the entire agenda can be downloaded at or contact for info -, Eric Porisch,

Saturday September 7, 7:30 AM: Registration by BHS at the Outdoor Campus West, 8:00 AM: SDWF Board of Directors Pre-Convention Meeting, 8:30 AM: First Session of the 68th Annual Convention , 10:00 AM, -Tony Leif, SD Dept. of Game, Fish and Parks, Quick preview of afternoon programs and other options.,  Noon- Lunch at Outdoor Campus provided by BHS ,  1:00 PM Saturday: presentations (public invited), Outdoor Campus Speakers: 1:00 PM Dr. Helene Van Doninck speaks about lead in hunting ammo., 2:30 PM Mike Kintigh, Regional Supervisor for GF&P will talk about Mt. Lions, big game numbers and hunting in the Black Hills.,  3:30 PM John Kanta, GF&P Biologist, Matt Rippentrop, SD Big Horn Sheep subcommittee will discuss how the recent auctioned Sheep tag money is being utilized.  Other speakers may be added
Saturday Evening Banquet, Awards and Auction, 6 PM social hour, 7 PM banquet, followed by awards and auction with live entertainment provided by BHS, Public invited. Elks Lodge East on Hwy 44 of Rapid City in Rapid Valley.