Jump to content

Bird Study MB and Climate Change and Outdoor Code


Recommended Posts

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 Many, many of the badges in a number of fields are out of date as well.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. 

 

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 47
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

I don't want to hijack the thread, and maybe this discussion about the Outdoor Code belongs in a separate thread. Our troop recites the Outdoor Code only rarely, but when they do they keep their

Years ago one of my scouts, in uniform, was at a restaurant with his father before our meeting. An elderly gentleman as he was leaving said "If you can recite the Outdoor Code, I will pay for your din

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

Posted Images

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
  • Upvote 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
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.
 

  • Upvote 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

  • Upvote 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

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
  • Upvote 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
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
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
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
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/22/2021 at 9:43 AM, elitts said:

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.

Several Scout officials and residents of the area around Camp Drake (Illinois) are decrying an ongoing logging effort that will harvest 1,400 trees ...

The logging at Camp Drake will generate between $200,000 and $300,000 to build a shower building/storm shelter (tornado) which will house up to 200 people at a cost of $250,000.

...

Tiffany Armas, scoutmaster of Troop 2119, and her son, Joel, an Eagle Scout, are among those protesting the plan the loudest. They said Scout officials were not properly informed of the scope of the plan and that it is not following proper forestry ecological practices. A petition signed by 327 people asked the Scout leaders to reconsider the logging plan.

More at source:

https://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/environment/scout-leader-defends-logging-at-camp-drake-over-concerns-of-lack-of-transparency/article_bb7e3fb0-854c-5b1f-b9f3-8afb5c843a53.html

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm curious why Tiffany Armas thinks the logging is being done inappropriately.  No where does it say that the council doesn't have a forestry management plan.  Here in NC, logging is a standard practice.  Our pines are another crop.  My land was logged about 12 years ago according to the county forester.  There's not much evidence, other than some really low stumps.  Historical satellite photos show the roads they made, but there's little sign of them today.  Our council has an area that they sell timber from - that's paying a large portion of our settlement bill.  

Having attended Camp Robert Drake, Camp Joy, and Camp Vandeventer in IL as a kid.  A storm shelter is a necessity.  The mention of laying in a ravine during a tornado warning brought back some unpleasant memories.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Armymutt said:

I'm curious why Tiffany Armas thinks the logging is being done inappropriately.  No where does it say that the council doesn't have a forestry management plan.  Here in NC, logging is a standard practice.  Our pines are another crop.  My land was logged about 12 years ago according to the county forester.  There's not much evidence, other than some really low stumps.  Historical satellite photos show the roads they made, but there's little sign of them today.  Our council has an area that they sell timber from - that's paying a large portion of our settlement bill.  

Having attended Camp Robert Drake, Camp Joy, and Camp Vandeventer in IL as a kid.  A storm shelter is a necessity.  The mention of laying in a ravine during a tornado warning brought back some unpleasant memories.  

What struck me in the article was the sentence " build a shower building/storm shelter (tornado) which will house up to 200 people at a cost of $250,000."  which IMHO seemed an under estimate.

I found "pictures of what the proposed building will resemble.  These are not actual photos, just a representation of the proposed building" at Prairielands Council website

https://prairielandsbsa.org/pages/camp-drake-selective-timber-harvest

Prairielands Council (well the SE at least) viewpoint

I did not find a forestry management plan there, just general statements:

This harvest should take place between late 2021 through Winter of 2022.  Pike Lumber Company from Indiana will be doing the work.  The supervisor for our project, Dane Larsen is a Forester who has extensive experience in both timber harvests and forestry. They are also familiar with all the requisite Illinois State laws...There has been much speculation about how Camp will look after the harvest.  Please keep in mind, this isn’t a clear cutting of Camp Drake.  1,400 trees will be impacted, which represents roughly 1% of the trees in our 160 acres of woodlands at Camp Robert Drake.  Parts of Camp Drake will certainly look different, but the company involved has committed to leaving the camp better than it was!

Eagle Scout Joel Armas opinion on Council logging plan

Recently, the local Prairielands Council decided to liquidate all trees in the forested areas of Camp. The contract was a no-bid open contract with one lumber company, Pike Lumber of Indiana. The plan calls for the aggressive removal of any commercially viable trees within Camp Drake, including trees in programming and camp sites. Over 1400 trees will be removed over the entire 160 acres of the wooded forest area within Camp Drake. The Camp Drake Forest is a legacy given to the current Council leadership by 90 years of Scout Executives, Executive Committees, Executive Boards and Camp Directors who chose to preserve the natural resources of Drake for future generations of scouts to benefit and enjoy.

The Prairielands Executive Committee has refused to allow anyone, including members of the Executive Board that have directly asked, to see a copy of the contract or any documentation executed by the Executive Committee. The Prairielands Council Executive Committee did not at any time solicit the input or involvement of the standing Prairielands Conservation Committee or the Prairielands Camping Committee. The Conservation Committee has formally asked for involvement in the planning and execution of the timber sale and has been formally rejected. Prairielands Executive Committee has failed to adequately communicate the specifics of the sale, which impact future camping plans and the unit’s financial deposits, to the units within Prairielands.

A standard competitive bid process was not followed....

More at source link:

https://www.smilepolitely.com/opinion/stop_the_logging_of_camp_drake_woodland/

Petition mentioned in News Gazette article

 Stop the Logging of Drake Woodland

Camp Robert Drake, located just south of Oakwood Illinois on the banks of the Salt Fork River, has just approved a plan to log 1400 trees. Camp Drake is located at the site of a former coal mine. The coal company who had cut the trees, drove deep cuts into the land, and ran away was forced to return and clean the remaining coal ash left behind by the mining, allowing the ecosystem to rebound and host a beautiful mature walnut, oak, and hickory forest. This logging would increase erosion, and cause more nutrients to enter the Salt Fork River. The Salt Fork is National Wild and Scenic River, and one of the cleanest in Illinois. This would cause an increase in algal blooms, as well as harming fish populations. Additionally the removal of mature trees will create a heightened risk of land falls at Camp Drake, which has steep ravines (scars from the mining done one hundred years ago).

Scouting has been under much scrutiny for its role in the abuse of many people by leaders and fellow scouts, leading to lawsuits by survivors of abuse. The need to raise money for survivors' settlements prompted Prairieland Council to embark on a logging campaign. To atone for the abuse of former scouts, the council has decided to place scars upon the land which will take hundreds of years to heal.

https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/stop-the-logging-of-drake-woodland

Maybe all moot, as the News Gazette article states:

"It appears to be too late. Logging, which began in early January, is about halfway finished."

 

 

Edited by RememberSchiff
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...