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Bird Study MB and Climate Change and Outdoor Code

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On 2/1/2022 at 9:56 PM, RememberSchiff said:

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


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:


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.


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."



Sounds like they have a forester involved.  That generally means a forestry plan exists, otherwise, why have a professional?  It's a bit like hiring an engineer to build a house and believe that there are no plans.  Unless the council bylaws indicate a bid process is required, I don't see that as a legitimate gripe.  However, that does bring into question the argument against logging.  Would the complainers be ok is there was a bidding process?  Joel Armas seems to be a little over emotional.  I also wouldn't call the harvesting of 9 trees per acre as a liquidation of the forested areas.  

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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

"No other explanation" does not equal cause.  It is irresponsible and illogical to make such a leap to say measured changes in climatic conditions caused changes in bird species.  They observed t

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I have been unable to find the name of the forester or a documented harvest/replanting plan or even a tree survey.

Depends on the forest. If a forester cut nine of the most marketable (lumber $$$) trees on my one acre. I would likely lose 3 mighty oaks and six very tall eastern white pines ...goodbye windbreak and a large amount of shade.  Dead and diseased trees would only be cut for access and removing timber.

IMHO, if council leadership needs a bylaw to follow common business practice for bidding on projects, time for new leaders.

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Here's an interesting mash-up of bird study and citizenship in society:


Tykee JamesCourtesy of Tykee James


This story comes from our partners at WPSU.

Tykee James is a podcaster, community organizer, conservationist and environmental educator.

His love of birds led him to the National Audubon Society, where he is the government affairs coordinator in Washington, D.C. which involves lobbying for birds and taking congressional members on educational bird walks.

He was also the co-organizer of the first Black Birders Week and continues to advocate for more accessible and equitable outdoor spaces.

John Weber of WPSU’s “Take Note” program talked Tykee James. 


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Walking the rocky Maine shores, I encountered some dead and dying sea gulls. Awful, steer clear.

Local and federal health officials state the cause as avian influenza (bird flu), specifically, the highly pathogenic strain Eurasian H5N1.

The virus is deadly and can spread quickly throughout a flock by means of body fluids, such as bird droppings, mucus or even contact with eggs.

Symptoms of a bird that has been sickened by the virus include swollen heads, blue coloration of combs and wattles, lack of appetite, respiratory distress and diarrhea with a significant drop in egg production. These symptoms are particularly severe in chickens and turkeys.

However, the highly transmittable H5N1 is not considered a danger to humans and should not raise alarm about poultry-to-human transmission of the virus. :unsure:

However...There has been concern of a spillover of the virus to predator mammals. Surprisingly, the first mammals detected with the virus were four dead seals (gray and harbor). The current rate of dead seal strandings is roughly three times as high as normal, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Other stranded seals were ill, with symptoms that included lethargy, sneezing and coughing. Some also had seizures — a symptom that has been reported in fox kits infected with avian influenza.



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Bird Study MB and the 91 year old Bald (honorary) Eagle Scout.

"Just remember, take care of your youth. You may grow up to be old," says Bald Eagle Bob King .


Scout Salute,

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Sep 15, 2022: Audubon's new Bird Migration Explorer , a free online reference tool,

...an ongoing collaboration between 11 groups that collect and analyze data on bird movements, including the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (eBird), Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, the U.S. Geological Survey, Georgetown University, Colorado State University, and the National Audubon Society.

For the first time, the site will bring together online data from hundreds of scientific studies that use GPS tags to track bird movements, as well as more than 100 years of bird-banding data collected by USGS, community science observations entered into Cornell’s eBird platform, genomic analysis of feathers to pinpoint bird origins, and other data....

so looking for snipe :)






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Deschutes River, Oregon: 

Students check for signs of use, rebuild duck nesting tubes on Deschutes

“We are refilling duck nests with hay so they have the stuff they need to nest,” said Arthur Yenowine and Miles Rydstrom, Boy Scouts in Troop 21.

The tubes are made of rolled up fencing with layers of hay to provide shelter and cover.

The nesting tubes are elevated off the ground to protect duck eggs from predators.

“If they figure out how to use it, they jump up there, they lay their eggs. The clutch is born up there. Instead of raccoons or whatever eating the eggs when they are on the ground, they are able to hatch,” said Christ Dittman, Ducks Unlimited area chairman. “Their success rate goes up dramatically once their eggs actually hatch and jump out the tube. They are never going back in the tube but once they are out their success rate goes up a lot.”

Good video of scouts building and installing tubes:


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How birds adapt to an unsafe world?

"Humans have made the world less hospitable for birds in many ways. One obvious and intentional example of this can be found in towns and cities worldwide: anti-bird spikes. The pointy wires you might see attached to roofs, ledges, and light poles are meant to deter urban species like pigeons from landing, pooping, and even nesting where people don’t want them to. But in an avian act of poetic justice, a handful of European birds have struck back.

Apparently Carrion Crows and Eurasian Magpies are stealing and repurposing the spikes as a nest-building material..."

The nest photos are something else.



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Bird Photographer of the Year Awards:

"Overall Winner is ‘Grab the Bull by the Horns’ by Jack Zhi. It features a female falcon attacking a brown pelican with great speed and agility."



Young Bird Photographer of the Year is 17-year-old Anton Trexler with his image ‘Blue Hour and Red Moon’


More winning photos and videos at source:





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