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03/31/14

Preparing your Taxes, Check it Off for Wildlife!

TaxCheckOff1

As you prepare your taxes this year, please take a moment and remember that, living in Idaho, we are fortunate to have a bounty of nature’s most beautiful landscapes and natural resources. Idaho offers unique opportunities with such rich and diverse wildlife in their wondrous natural settings.

Your contribution—the amount donated is up to and designated by you—through the tax check-off benefits nongame wildlife programs that provide;

• wildlife diversity research and management that include threatened,
endangered and sensitive species;

• habitat preservation and rehabilitation;

• conservation education.

Help us ensure that future generations may experience the rich and diverse wildlife Idaho has to offer with a charitable donation to the Nongame Wildlife Conservation Fund.

03/19/14

Simplify

TThomasCameras

The sunrise was still just a promise when I slipped out the door and carefully placed my substantial load of camera gear in the truck. I had a couple of hours before other obligations would draw me home and I hoped to get some video and still photos of wildlife at Market Lake.

When I arrived at my chosen location, all but a sliver of light right at the horizon was suffocated by a lid of clouds. Silhouetting a flock of ducks against this spot of colored horizon, I began to video. After a couple of minutes, I stared in shock at the blinking red light at the bottom of the screen—low battery. I slumped against the fender chagrined, realizing instantly that both spares were at home. A creative string of socially unacceptable words formed on my lips. There wasn’t time to race home and back, the morning was lost.

Then I bit back my curse, shrugged and put the camera away. With nothing more than a pair of binoculars, I walked down the shelterbelt. It was strange at first, not being encumbered by 15 pounds of camera, lens and tripod on my shoulder and a mission to find that killer image, but I warmed to the freedom quickly. I realized I was actually glad to be emancipated from the physical and emotional burden of the camera. I could explore places the cumbersome rigging would not allow and the success of the trip would not be critically judged later on the computer screen. Without an agenda, it was already a triumph.

I returned from the shelterbelt and turned down the dike along the marsh. Incessant and wonderful goose talk emanated from both marsh and sky. Coots and ducks scurried away, a marsh hawk glided overhead. I noticed the broken eggshell, the mouse trails and the ripples in the water when a muskrat broke the surface.

Sunlight lanced through a hole in the clouds and turned a spot of marsh into liquid gold. Camera in hand, I would have been frantic to capture the elusive moment before it was gone. This time, I just watched, and found wonderment once again.

© Terry Thomas/www.nature-track.com
Thomas is a wildlife biologist with 27 years experience. Opinions expressed are his own.

03/11/14

Pend D’Oreille Bay Trail

POTWalkers

Friends of Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail received a $5,000 grant from the Idaho Fish & Wildlife Foundation that was used towards the acquisition of a stretch of riparian habitat on the northern shoreline of Lake Pend Oreille.

The purpose of the acquisition is to protect lakeshore habitat from future waterfront development and to create a non-motorized, environmentally sustainable public trail that will connect three waterfront communities.

The acquisition of the 1.5 mile trail provides visitors and local residents a safe public access to Idaho’s largest lake and an exceptional opportunity for people to experience its abundant fish and wildlife habitat firsthand.

03/4/14

Aquatic Invasive Species

Wader Wash

The Idaho Fish & Wildlife Foundation partnered with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and local businesses to help fund Aquatic Invasive Wader Wash Disinfection Stations in the Island Park area.

The Idaho Fish & Wildlife Foundation helped fund wash stations at Harriman State Park in the Ranch parking area, the U.S. Forest Service parking area in Last Chance, Trouthunter, Henry’s Fork Anglers, the Flat Ranch Preserve, and at the Henry’s Fork Foundation Extension office across from Mountain Mayhem. These stations were up and running for the 2013 fishing season and remained in operation through October. The stations provided a great opportunity to educate the public about invasive species and to provide an opportunity for fishermen to disinfect their gear. To read more Click here