Kentucky Department Fish Wildlife November 2011 Newsletter

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Kentucky Department Fish Wildlife November 2011 Newsletter The mission of the Kentucky Conservation Coalition is to organize outdoorsmen and women, conservation groups and their members so that their united voices can be heard on important issues impacting fish and wildlife management, wildlife-related recreation interests, and natural resource conservation in Kentucky. Our fishing, hunting, trapping, and natural resource conservation heritage is depending on it. We need to pass the things we hold dear to the next generation, and the time to act is now. To join the KCC and its many partners, including The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, please sign up for this FREE service by clicking here http://www.kycoalition.org.
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  INSIDE: TeamGobblers 6 Youthhunt 7 Movingup 3-5 KENTUCKY FISH & WILDLIFE COMMISSIONER’S NEWSLETTERKENTUCKY FISH & WILDLIFE COMMISSIONER’S NEWSLETTER November 2011 —VOL. 6 NO. 11— See “Report,” page 5 U.S. Interior Secretary lauds Kentuckyoutdoor recreation projects in report J ust days beore the release o a 50-statereport outlining some o the country’smost promising ways to reconnect Ameri-cans to the natural world, Secretary o theInterior Ken Salazar highlighted two proj-ects in the state o Kentucky that will beincluded in the nal report. Te report represents what states be-lieve are among the best investments inthe nation to support a healthy, active pop-ulation, conserve wildlie and workinglands, and create travel, tourism and out-door-recreation jobs across the country. Te extension o the Kentucky River Water rail and Dawkins Line Rail-railare among 100 projects nationwide high-lighted in the report – two in every state– as part o President Obama’s Ameri-ca’s Great Outdoors initiative to estab-lish a 21st century conservation and recre-ation agenda and reconnect Americans tothe outdoors. Te report is a result o 50 meet-ings with governors and stakeholders heldby Salazar and other senior Interior o-cials to solicit ideas on how to best im-plement AGO in their states. Tese proj-ects were identied or their potential toconserve important lands and build recre-ation opportunities and economic growthor the surrounding communities as parto close engagement with Gov. Steve Bes-hear and the state o Kentucky, as well asprivate landowners, local- and tribal-elect-ed ocials, community organizations andoutdoor recreation and conservation stake-holders. Te ull 50-state report will be re-leased in the coming weeks.“Under the America’s Great OutdoorsInitiative, we are listening to the peo-ple o Kentucky and communities acrossAmerica and working with them on lo-cally-based projects that will conserve thebeauty and health o our land and waterand open up more opportunities or peo-ple to enjoy them,” Salazar said. “My sta and I have been asking each governor orthe most promising projects to support intheir states, and we will do all we can tohelp move them orward.” Te two projects in Kentucky high-lighted by Salazar in the orthcoming re-port are: Kentucky River Water Trail  Te Bluewater rails Program o Kentucky’s Department o Fish and Wild-lie Resources has designated 10 state wa-ter trails throughout the Commonwealth,including the Kentucky River Water railsoutheast o Lexington. A 19-mile sec-tion o the river was designated a state wa-ter trail and a National Recreation rail onNational rails Day in 2011. Te Kentucky Department o Fishand Wildlie Resources, Kentucky River-  KENTUCKY FISH & WILDLIFE COMMISSIONER’S NEWSLETTER 2 WE GET MAIL  Letters to the Commissioner’s Ofce T he ollowing comes rom Steven R.Miller o St. Louis, Missouri:“I was in Paducah this past weekendto judge a Retriever Field rial competi-tion that was held at the West Kentucky  Wildlie Management Area (WKWMA)and, as always, had a wonderul time whilein the Paducah area. I hope that the busi-nesses and residents o the area realize what a terric acility the WKWMA isand the economic activity that it generatesor the area.  Tim Kreher  , the Area Manager, has worked tirelessly or years to continually make improvements to the area that ben-et both the human users o the area andthe various species o wildlie that livethere. As a result o the eorts put orth by  im and his sta, the WKWMA is now one o the premier venues in the country or dog competitions and a avorite desti-nation or competitors like mysel. Te grounds oered at the WKWMAare better than any other “public” groundsthat I’ve seen throughout the country. Itravel to Paducah at least twice a year orevents at the WKWMA and most week-ends o the year there is some sort o dogcompetition or other event held there. Tese events typically draw people rom allover the Midwest region. Tis past week-end there were over 150 dogs entered inthe event with all o their owners and han-dlers staying in the area. Next weekendthere is a Hunt est scheduled with over600 total entries over a three day period,one o the single largest dog events to beheld in the country, and several o the areahotels are completely booked. Te WKWMA has improved somuch under the management o im Kre-her that this past weekend there was a loto desire expressed about moving the Na-tional Open Championship to Paducah inthe upcoming years. Te National Open Championship, when in the Central ime Zone, has beenheld in St. Louis since the 1940s but be-cause o an ongoing lack o support romthe Missouri Department o Conserva-tion or maintenance o the grounds it willprobably never return.In act, the event that is scheduled tobe held this coming weekend is being co-hosted by the Bootheel Retriever Clubbased in the Cape Girardeau, Missouriarea, but they chose to hold their event atthe WKWMA because the grounds are somuch better than anything the MissouriDepartment o Conservation can provide.I hope the Kentucky Division o Conser- vation will continue to support the WK- WMA and im Kreher’s eorts there. Tanks again or everything that theState o Kentucky has done so ar, andkeep up the good work!”  USDOD recognizes KDFWRLaw Enorcement T he Kentucky Department o Fish and Wildlie Division o Law Enorcement was recognized as a “Patriotic Employer”by the U.S. Department o Deense, Oceo the Secretary o Deense EmployerSupport o the Guard and Reserve. Te Division received a ramed cer-ticate o recognition dated Nov. 15, 2011,or “contributing to national security andreedom by supporting employee partici-pation in America’s National Guard andReserve Force.”Since 2005, the department has joined with other employers in recognizing thatthe Guard and Reserve are essential to thestrength o our nation and the well-beingo our communities, and in pledging to: ã Fully recognize, honor and enforce the Uniormed Services Employment andReemployment Rights Act (USERRA). ã Our managers and supervisors will have the tools they need to eectively managethose employees who serve in the Guardand Reserve. ã We appreciate the values, leadership and unique skills service members bring tothe workorce and will encourage oppor-tunities to hire Guardsmen, Reservists,and Veterans. ã We will continually recognize and supports our country’s service members and theiramilies in peace, in crisis, and in war. NOW AVAILABLE! The KDFWR Annual Research Highlightsdocument (Volume IV) is now online:  fw.ky.gov/pdf/researchhighlights2010.pdf   Thanks to everyone who contributed tothis document, and a big thanks to ObieWilliams or his excellent layout anddesign work. Please take a moment tolook through this document to see whatKDFWR and our partners are doing toachieve goals o KDFWR’s Strategic Planand Kentucky’s Wildlie Action Plan. V olume IV , Sept. 2011  A nnual Research Hig hlig hts K entucky Departmentof  F ishandW ildlifeResources  2010  3 NOVEMBER 2011 New hires and promotions C harlie Plush comes to the KDFWR by way o Raleigh, North Carolina, where he recently completed his Master’sin Fisheries, Wildlie, and ConservationBiology at North Carolina State Universi-ty in August.He began working as the WetlandReserve Program Biologist out o theMadisonville USDA-NRCS oce in mid-October o 2011.For his master’s degree, Charlie in- vestigated the wildlie use o eld bor-ders planted as benecial insect habitat inNorth Carolina armlands. A primary o-cus o his research involved examining the value o benecial insect habitats (i.e. bor-ders planted in prairie fowers and native warm-season grasses) as northern bob- white brood habitat.Charlie was born in Wichita, Kansas,and grew up in three dierent states in-cluding Oklahoma and Georgia. He com-pleted his Bachelor o Science degree in Wildlie Ecology and Management at theUniversity o Georgia in 2008.He and his wie, Brit-tany, now live in WhitePlains, Kentucky, with theirtwo beloved hunting dogs,Bea and Maple. Whentime permits, he enjoyshunting, shing, vegetablegardening, training huntingdogs, and backpacking withhis wie.  John Goodin recent-ly joined KDFWR as aarm bill biologist and willbe working out o the HartCounty USDA oce.He graduated romMurray State University in December o 2005 witha degree in wildlie biolo-gy. He worked or HardinCounty Conservation dis-trict during 2005-06 and just returned rom living a year in SouthDakota. He is married but does not havechildren. Randall Alcorn joined the depart-ment as a arm bill biologist or area 3 and will be working out o the London NRCSoce. He is a 2005 graduate o Berea Col-lege with a degree in Agriculture and Nat-ural Resources and is a graduate romEastern Kentucky University in 2008 witha degree in Wildlie Management.Since October o 2009, Randall hasbeen a seasonal wildlie technician or theClay Wildlie Management Area locatedin Nicholas County.  Jacob Stewart also recently joined theFarm Bill Program sta as a arm bill bi-ologist. Jacob’s primary responsibilities willocus on the promotion and implemen-tation o the Wetlands Reserve Program(WRP) in eastern Kentucky (NRCS Area3), an area with signicant potential orthis important conservation program. Ja-cob has worked or KDFWR since March2006. Ater seven months as a Wildlie NEW LAW ENFORCEMENT CAPTAIN IN 1ST, 2ND Commissioner Dr. JonGassett and Captain MyraMinton pin captain rankbars on Rick Mehlbauer’suniorm collar ater pro-moting him to law enorce-ment supervisor or theFirst and Second Fish andWildlie Districts. CaptainMehlbauer began his ca-reer with the Departmento Fish and Wildlie as aseasonal creel clerk. Helater became a ull-timetechnician with FisheriesDivision beore joiningLaw Enorcement Divisionin 2001 as an OfcerRecruit. He was promotedto Sergeant in 2009.   echnician, Jacob was promoted to Wild-lie Biologist.For 3.5 years he excelled as the de-partment’s LIP biologist (Landowner In-centives Program), overseeing the alloca-tion o grant unds and technical guidanceor habitat improvement projects ocusedon threatened and endangered species ineastern Kentucky. Tese projects includ-ed practices such as stream stabilization,timber stand improvement, reorestation,ephemeral pools, and native warm-seasongrass plantings. Ten in March 2010 Jacob be-gan working with the department’s hab-itat team that conducted habitat work on WMAs across the state. His duties includ-ed managing project logistics, supervisingtechnicians, writing ederal grant reports,and maintaining equipment.A native o Anderson County, Jacobgraduated with a B.S. in Wildlie Manage-ment rom Eastern Kentucky University. See “Hires,” page 5  4 NOVEMBER 2011 Wildlie Division establishes new research program K DFWR is excited to announce a new program within the Wildlie Division. We have high hopes or program develop-ment over the next 5 years. Initial goals orthe new Research Program include: ã Work with eld and program sta to identiy agency-wide wildlie researchpriorities ã Coordinate and implement projects identied as agency priorities ã Provide a centralized hub to coordinate study design, implementation, analysis,and product delivery or both internaland external (contract) research projects ã Coordinate with eld and program sta  to critically review ongoing research andmonitoring projects, compile/analyzedata, and discontinue, add, and/or reviseprojects as necessary  ã Coordinate research and management publications Dr. Danna Baxley  will be the Pro-gram Coordinator or the newly createdResearch Program. Over the next ew months, Danna will be reaching out toeld sta, and program sta to compilea list o the most pressing research needsor KDFWR’s Wildlie Division. Tesecoordinated eorts will ultimately providedirection or this new program and or theagency as a whole.Danna joined the Wildlie Division in2007 as the State Wildlie Grant coordi-nator, where her primary responsibilitiesincluded oversight and implementation o the ederal State Wildlie Grant Program.Originally rom Malvern, Arkansas,Danna earned her Ph. D. at the University o Southern Mississippi where she studiedblack pine snakes and habitat associationso reptile and amphibian communities inlonglea pine ecosystems.Danna has spent the past decade work-ing in the eld o natural resource manage-ment and has been employed by the Missis-sippi Department o Wildlie Fisheriesand Parks, South Carolina Department o Natural Resources, U.S. Fish and WildlieService, private consulting rms, and theAppalachian rail Conerence.In her ree time, Danna is an avidbackpacker and outdoor enthusiast. Kenny Atha is new Technician Supervisor T he Fisheries Division is pleased to an-nounce that Kenny Atha has recently been promoted to a Fish and Wildlie echnician Supervisor at the Forks o Elkhorn – Fish ransportation Section.Kenny had previously been employed as aFish and Wildlie echnician III.Kenny has been with the Depart-ment eight years, o which the last ve years have been with the Fish ransporta-tion Section. He started working or theDepartment in 2003 as a seasonal workerat the Peier Fish Hatchery while pursu-ing his degree in Biological Sciences atCumberland College.Upon obtaining his degree, he re-turned to work with the Department withthe Central Fisheries District. In Septem-ber 2006, Kenny was promoted to a Fishand Wildlie echnician II at the Forks o Elkhorn - Fish ransportation Section.In 2007, he was promoted to Fish and echnician III. Kenny’s diverse back-ground with the Department makes hima valuable asset to the Fisheries Divisionand the Fish ransportation Section.He is a model employee and is always willing to lend a hand, whether it be inharvesting sh rom ponds, helping col-lect sh rom the ront o an electrosh-ing boat, removing sh rom a gillnet, ortransporting and stocking sh throughoutthe Commonwealth.Kenny is an avid outdoorsman andresides in northern Franklin County wherehe enjoys spending time with his wieCara and his young son Riley.
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