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Bird Study MB and Climate Change and Outdoor Code


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9 hours ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

A few examples, please?

LNT Minimize Campfires  -- Cooking MB and extensive cooking rank requirements.  In many places this becomes tail gating in the woods. 

LNT Respect Wildlife -- Any requirement that involves collection of animals from the wild or creating artificial congregation points or food sources. For example, Fishing Derbies --  throwing a dying or dead fish back into water is not LNT and kind of a blind spot in cubs.

Jamborees? Maybe when they are in a parking lot but not at most sites I've seen them at.  

There are more -- easy enough to find if you look yourself. BSA has cleaned up some of it over the past decade -- it's not as bad as when they had requirements that were illegal in many states -- but it's still behind the times. These are just conservation components of the program. Many, many of the badges in a number of fields are out of date as well. The whole program needs an overhaul and going forward a way to update in real time.  Some of these should be partnered with expert source organizations to ensure that. 

 

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47 minutes ago, yknot said:

LNT Minimize Campfires  -- Cooking MB and extensive cooking rank requirements.  In many places this becomes tail gating in the woods. 

LNT Respect Wildlife -- Any requirement that involves collection of animals from the wild or creating artificial congregation points or food sources. For example, Fishing Derbies --  throwing a dying or dead fish back into water is not LNT and kind of a blind spot in cubs.

Jamborees? Maybe when they are in a parking lot but not at most sites I've seen them at.  

There are more -- easy enough to find if you look yourself. BSA has cleaned up some of it over the past decade -- it's not as bad as when they had requirements that were illegal in many states -- but it's still behind the times. These are just conservation components of the program. Many, many of the badges in a number of fields are out of date as well. The whole program needs an overhaul and going forward a way to update in real time.  Some of these should be partnered with expert source organizations to ensure that. 

 

OK, understood...a few clarifications, maybe?

It is "Minimize campfire impacts" not "Minimize campfires"...LNT does not discourage campfires, but promotes building in established fire rings, using dead and downed wood, letting your fire burn to complete ash, and only building it the size you need, etc.

Respect Wildlife...spot on...especially the MB's...rank requirements have been changed to say pictures are an acceptable method of "collection"...I'd recommend all ranks and MB's align to pictures, and collections only with permission of land managers (geology, forestry, etc., where a picture may not convey the best education)  For mammals, insects, birds, reptiles, and for plants, pictures should be fine.  I am especially amazed that National Camp School Ecology Section graduates still have Critter Crawls at Summer Camp where Scouts are encourage to scour the woods for wildlife to have a race or some such...

Jamborees?  Meh...as long as they concentrate the impact (at Summit), I'll remain ambivalent.  I'd advocate for a smaller size group...

Concur with your assessment that MB's and ranks need to align, not so much with LNT, but with a greater mindset of stewardship...this also includes TREAD Lightly for applicable MB's

My biggest pet peeve is councils logging their Scout camps.  Our properties could be crown jewel conservation examples, but nearly every camp I have been to over the last decade has had a large swath timbered (for cash, of course) with major impact to local wildlife and soil and water resources.  Every Scout camp timber operation I've seen would be better described as "Devastation for Currency."  In our last four summers (four different camps), we've had an environmental planner who works for the state with us, and he has really opened my eyes to the extensive damage councils are doing...

 

Edited by InquisitiveScouter
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34 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

OK, understood...a few clarifications, maybe?

It is "Minimize campfire impacts" not "Minimize campfires"...LNT does not discourage campfires, but promotes building in established fire rings, using dead and downed wood, letting your fire burn to complete ash, and only building it the size you need, etc.

Respect Wildlife...spot on...especially the MB's...rank requirements have been changed to say pictures are an acceptable method of "collection"...I'd recommend all ranks and MB's align to pictures, and collections only with permission of land managers (geology, forestry, etc., where a picture may not convey the best education)  For mammals, insects, birds, reptiles, and for plants, pictures should be fine.  I am especially amazed that National Camp School Ecology Section graduates still have Critter Crawls at Summer Camp where Scouts are encourage to scour the woods for wildlife to have a race or some such...

Jamborees?  Meh...as long as they concentrate the impact (at Summit), I'll remain ambivalent.  I'd advocate for a smaller size group...

Concur with your assessment that MB's and ranks need to align, not so much with LNT, but with a greater mindset of stewardship...this also includes TREAD Lightly for applicable MB's

My biggest pet peeve is councils logging their Scout camps.  Our properties could be crown jewel conservation examples, but nearly every camp I have been to over the last decade has had a large swath timbered (for cash, of course) with major impact to local wildlife and soil and water resources.  Every Scout camp timber operation I've seen would be better described as "Devastation for Currency."  In our last four summers (four different camps), we've had an environmental planner who works for the state with us, and he has really opened my eyes to the extensive damage councils are doing...

 

This reflects on my contention that BSA, at all levels, should be he poster image for environmental focus.  Green if possible, including solar and wind, along with composting and maybe even solar toilets in some cases.  Bring internet at high speed to camps if possible.  As noted, the photo becomes the collection, which means they use their phones much of the time.  Technology can be our frind.  BP even acknowledged that at times.  Be the example that makes the nastiness of the media have to admit the benefits of Scouting.

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7 hours ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

OK, understood...a few clarifications, maybe?

It is "Minimize campfire impacts" not "Minimize campfires"...LNT does not discourage campfires, but promotes building in established fire rings, using dead and downed wood, letting your fire burn to complete ash, and only building it the size you need, etc.

Respect Wildlife...spot on...especially the MB's...rank requirements have been changed to say pictures are an acceptable method of "collection"...I'd recommend all ranks and MB's align to pictures, and collections only with permission of land managers (geology, forestry, etc., where a picture may not convey the best education)  For mammals, insects, birds, reptiles, and for plants, pictures should be fine.  I am especially amazed that National Camp School Ecology Section graduates still have Critter Crawls at Summer Camp where Scouts are encourage to scour the woods for wildlife to have a race or some such...

Jamborees?  Meh...as long as they concentrate the impact (at Summit), I'll remain ambivalent.  I'd advocate for a smaller size group...

Concur with your assessment that MB's and ranks need to align, not so much with LNT, but with a greater mindset of stewardship...this also includes TREAD Lightly for applicable MB's

My biggest pet peeve is councils logging their Scout camps.  Our properties could be crown jewel conservation examples, but nearly every camp I have been to over the last decade has had a large swath timbered (for cash, of course) with major impact to local wildlife and soil and water resources.  Every Scout camp timber operation I've seen would be better described as "Devastation for Currency."  In our last four summers (four different camps), we've had an environmental planner who works for the state with us, and he has really opened my eyes to the extensive damage councils are doing...

 

The larger property management issues you raise like logging and just general poor stewardship of scout lands is another crazy disconnect.  As far as Jamborees, I mispoke. I meant all the local scout jam type gatherings and what have you.  They are almost always high stress on local resources and often planned without consideration as to impact. A 50 acre field mowed at the wrong time of year can be disastrous for grassland breeding birds for example but a Council that logs isn't going to be at all concerned about a bunch of fledglings. It's sadly funny that in some places you will have greedy corporate campuses sporting pollinator gardens, wood duck boxes and swales of special grasses to filter nonpoint source polluntants out of stormwater runoff. Then, next door, is the supposedly conservation minded scout reservation buzzing with chainsaws and spouting muddy runoff from the weekend's noncancelled bad weather camp out.
 

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On 11/19/2021 at 2:56 PM, InquisitiveScouter said:

My biggest pet peeve is councils logging their Scout camps.  Our properties could be crown jewel conservation examples, but nearly every camp I have been to over the last decade has had a large swath timbered (for cash, of course) with major impact to local wildlife and soil and water resources.  Every Scout camp timber operation I've seen would be better described as "Devastation for Currency."  In our last four summers (four different camps), we've had an environmental planner who works for the state with us, and he has really opened my eyes to the extensive damage councils are doing...

 

Yep.  Even when the logging companies only take 1 tree out of 4, (which is generally a low percentage) they never mention the collateral damage that the remaining woodlands will take from the machinery they are going to bring in.  I mean, some timbering can be helpful for the forest, but if they really wanted to be "conservation minded" they'd contract with the low impact loggers like the Amish/Mennonites or require logs to be skidded out in singletons with a log arch rather than allowing them to bulldoze roads to get the massive skidsteers and log trucks back in.

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Our camps use the local ag school forestry dept to use the camps as a lab to teach students how to thin the forest. Granted, there's no walnut trees but for those trees they could still teach students and scouts how to properly take care of a forest.

It's an opportunity.

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One of rarest eagles in world, a Steller's sea eagle, has been spotted in Maine this week. Maybe scouts can help track locations of this vagrant.

 

Doug Hitchox, a naturalist with Maine Audubon, says because of the bird's unique feather patterns, it's believed to be the same vagrant. But the reasons for its lonely odyssey remain a mystery. Hitchcox and other experts say it could be prospecting for new territory. Or, it could have been blown off course or had an internal GPS hiccup. Mary Jenkins fears it's lost.

https://www.npr.org/2022/01/14/1072706921/one-of-the-rarest-eagles-in-the-world-has-birdwatchers-flocking-to-maine

It’s an awe-inspiring bird—about a foot longer and taller than an adult Bald Eagle and as many as five pounds heavier, with a massive golden bill that looks like pirate treasure. It’s rare: There are only about 4,000 of this vulnerable species left in the wild, compared to hundreds of thousands of Bald Eagles. And of course, it’s not supposed to be here. Steller’s Sea-Eagles are native to far eastern Russia, the Korean peninsula, and northern Japan.

Vagrancy—the tendency for birds to show up far outside their normal range—is one of the most exciting aspects of birding. The Steller’s Sea-Eagle is the epitome of a vagrant bird, and the same individual has been tracked across North America since it was first spotted more than a year ago. The timeline and travels of this single bird, from Alaska to Texas to eastern Canada to New England, must be seen to be believed. Now the biggest question for birders is where this wandering giant will go next.

More details and map of sightings at Audubon source link:

https://www.audubon.org/news/inside-amazing-cross-continent-saga-stellers-sea-eagle

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steller's_sea_eagle

 

Edited by RememberSchiff
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7 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

One of rarest eagles in world, a Steller's sea eagle, has been spotted in Maine this week. Maybe scouts can help track locations of this vagrant.

If only scouts were required to learn to track such beasts. Stats for MBs earned 2016-2020:

Bird Study 5,199 4,965 5,101 5,629 3,950
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9 hours ago, qwazse said:

If only scouts were required to learn to track such beasts. Stats for MBs earned 2016-2020:

Bird Study 5,199 4,965 5,101 5,629 3,950

There are not a lot of outdoor oriented merit badges like Bird Study required for Eagle which I think is a shame. Camping is really the only one. Bird Study of all the outdoors badges is probably the easiest for any scout, urban or rural, to complete because bird study can occur anywhere. 

It would also be helpful if more people learned the ethics of bird watching because some of these vagrants and rarities are being pursued to the point of harassment.

Edited by yknot
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1 hour ago, yknot said:

There are not a lot of outdoor oriented merit badges like Bird Study required for Eagle which I think is a shame. Camping is really the only one. Bird Study of all the outdoors badges is probably the easiest for any scout, urban or rural, to complete because bird study can occur anywhere. 

It would also be helpful if more people learned the ethics of bird watching because some of these vagrants and rarities are being pursued to the point of harassment.

The dropping of Bird Study from the required list occurred shortly after National enforced the age limit on rank advancement. The more people thought of this is a badge for kids, the more they thought that what needed to be required was what might not have been taught in school. It took 30 years to get Cooking back on the required list.


One of our ASMs is a birder. He’s a great example to the scouts, if they take note of how he does things.

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