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Audubon News

Newsletter of Prairie Hills Audubon Society of Western South Dakota Inc.


June, 2021

Wednesday June 30th edge)

Our June membership Zoom meeting


+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
will be about beaver +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
Find your local number:
When: at 6:00 pm on Wednesday June 30th https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kbb9dO0PBV
Speaker: Michael M. Pollock of the National
Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration is our speaker. The Zoom codes re-occur every month.
Topic: Working with beaver for the benefit of peo- This event is announced on our Facebook and web site pages.
ple, fish, wildlife and biological diversity
Sunday June 27th. - PHAS Field Trip to the
Beaver play a vital role in maintaining and diversifying Whitney Preserve in Fall River County
stream and riparian habitat. They are a keystone species. Michael
will talk to us about beaver lives and beaver ecology, including Participants will meet at Breadroot Coop, 100 East Blvd
the effects of beavers on physical and biological processes and N, Rapid City, at 8:00 am and leave at 8:15 am. Folks wanting to
other species. He will talk about beaver restoration and non- meet at the Preserve - contact Jedediah for directions/times. Jede-
lethal methods of mitigating unwanted impacts from beavers. diah Beadle, (207) 310-4665, jedediahbeadle@gmail.com
Michael is a Research Scientist for the Northwest Fish- It will take at least an hour to drive from Rapid City to the Pre-
eries Science Center and is well-known for using beaver to re- serve. It is south west of Hot Springs off of Highway 71.
store biologically diverse stream and riparian ecosystems. He has Link to read about the Whitney Preserve, which is a Na-
been studying and writing about the effects of beaver on ecosys- ture Conservancy property - this link has a map.
tems for 20+ years and pioneered the use of beaver dam ana- https://www.nature.org/en-us/get-involved/how-to-
logues (BDAs) to work with beaver to restore streams. help/places-we-protect/whitney-preserve/
Michael's key publications include: "The
Jedediah to revitalize PHAS‘s
Beaver Restoration Guidebook -Working with Beaver to Restore
Streams, Wetlands, and Floodplains”
https://www.fws.gov/oregonfwo/ToolsForLandowners/River- dormant field trip and birding program
Science/Documents/BRG v.1.0 final reduced.pdf Using
beaver to restore incised stream ecosystems A note from Jedediah:
https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/article/64/4/279/2754168 “Hi, I am Jedediah Beadle. I am the new field trip chair
and just accepted in BIoScience, "Design criteria for process- who will lead bird walks every weekend this summer/early fall
based restoration of fluvial systems" except for rare occasions where I will try to find someone else to
You can find out more about Michael at: substitute.
https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/contact/michael-m-pollock- I currently plan to lead the weekend field trips usually
phd on Saturday morning, however our first field trip this summer
Prairie Hills Audubon Society’s (PHAS) June Zoom meeting will be on a Sunday. I welcome input from PHAS members and
Time: Wednesday June 30th, 6:00 pm, Beavers friends to see if scheduling field trips on Sunday and/or Saturday
Link to join our Zoom Meeting morning is preferred. If you have a preference -which day would
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85433920233?pwd=Qmx best reduce the conflicts with other events and/or work/family
YUDMvMGRrNW9yRmVON3VPU0dRZz09 schedules for you? My email and phone number are - Jede-
diah Beadle <jedediahbeadle@gmail.com>, (207) 310-4665
Meeting ID: 854 3392 0233 You can contact me for questions or info. on field trips.
We will post field trip details on the PHAS Facebook and/or the
Passcode: 534620 PHAS websites as well. People who are on the "PHAS News" e-
mail mailing list will get e-mails about field trips.
One tap mobile Trips will often go to places within an hour or closer to
+12532158782,,85433920233#,,,,*534620# US (Tacoma) Rapid City, but we can also plan trips to locations that are closer
+1346248779 to other towns in PHAS’s territory. Please let me know if you
Dial by your location (All numbers work in SD to our knowl- prefer Saturday and/or Sunday morning field trip times andPage let 1
me know your wishes for field trip locations. Is there any interest
in overnight field trips?” BODY GRIP/KILL TRAPS EAST RIVER
PHAS has created a new PHAS birding list serve
phas-birds@googlegroups.com. This list serve will be to dis- In this proposal they will also be correcting an over-
cuss Prairie Hills Audubon Society (PHAS) field trips, sight/typo to muskrat trapping season.
sighting of birds by list serve participants, hands-on projects & They will also be making changes to another trapping
citizen science projects to benefit birds & issues associated with rule on use of body grip/killing/conibear traps for beaver. They
bird conservation in our region. For more info. or to join the list are extending permission to use kill/body grip traps to eastern SD
serve contact me: Jedediah - jedediahbeadle@gmail.com for use in beaver trapping. This might be significant (or not) with
Article by Jedediah Beadle, Field Trip Chair respect to animal cruelty issues as both leg hold and body grip
traps are cruel. Are cruelty issues associated with either
Changes to the Board of Directors, worse/better or the same? Animals smaller than the adult target
animals may press the trap trigger later, thus crushing other body
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Jede- parts. Water sets are allowed from the edge of the water. Beaver
diah Beadle to fill a vacancy on the Board of Directors & his ap- may be restrained fully under water, partially under water in shal-
pointment as our new field trip chair. Jedediah is an avid birder & lows or on land. Are cruelty issues associated with either
is looking forward to revitalizing our dormant field trip program. worse/better or the same?
Mary Jo Farrington, a long term board member who In SD West River the trap check times are 3 and a partial
served 7 years since summer of 2014 has resigned. She retired, day and East River the trap check times are 2 and a partial day.
sold her house & moved to Nebraska. We thank Mary Jo for Traps set in water below ice, have trap check times of 5 and a
years of service to PHAS & other non-profits in western SD - we partial day. Most states require 24 hour trap check times. Pro-
will miss her. -------------------------------------------------------------- posed administrative rule:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------- https://gfp.sd.gov/UserDocs/nav/PRO2_2021_Trapping_Pro-
GAME FISH & PARKS JULY COMMISSION MEETING hibitions.pdf
GFP’s PROPOSALS FOR INCREASED Admin. rule to change - 41:08:02:01. “Water-sets prohibited” -
TRAPPING/HUNTING OF BEAVER & OTTER https://sdlegislature.gov/Rules/Administrative/16944
Other related rule- 41:08:02:06. “Body grip trap restrictions”.:
SD Game Fish and Parks Commission July Meeting https://sdlegislature.gov/Rules/Administrative/16949
July 8th-9th - It’s the second Thursday, skipping July 1st & 2nd.
Meeting details will posted by GFP on their Commis- SD Administrative rules on trapping:
sions’ “Current Meeting” website just before the meeting and https://sdlegislature.gov/Rules/Administrative/16982
after the meeting: https://gfp.sd.gov/commission/information/ Info on trapping - videos on trapping
Link to explain what a conibear (body grip/killer) trap is,- this is
BEAVER TRAPPING/HUNTING SEASONS presented by supporters of this trapping method:
https://www.trap-anything.com/conibear-trap.html
CHANGES
Link to a video critical of beaver trapping
Proposals to expand the length of the beaver season east
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuwtB6izbS0
river from 6 months to 12 months will be voted on. The rule
“Cull of the Wild" "The Truth behind Trapping" - "The argument
change proposal:
for ending animal trapping for profit, recreation or wildlife man-
https://gfp.sd.gov/UserDocs/nav/PRO2_2021_Beaver.pdf.
agement.", Vimeo link to view the film:
https://vimeo.com/268875305
Talking points against the time extension for east River
Link to BornFree USA 2017 extended score card on trapping,
beaver season:
http://7a1eb59c2270eb1d8b3d-
1) Beavers are very useful ecologically, creating habitat with
a9354ca433cea7ae96304b2a57fdc8a0.r60.cf1.rackcdn.com/BF
their dam building. 2) Trapping of beaver results in incidental
USA_Trapping_Extended_Report_Card.pdf
take of river otters and almost all, if not all otters in SD are lo-
cated east River. 3) Trapping of beaver is cruelty; it may result in
the beaver (and otters) drowning to death. 4) Statute (SDCL 41-
OTTER TRAPPING/HUNTING SEASONS
8-23) allows folks in SD to kill beaver that are causing damage to CHANGES
their property year-round. View the statute: https://sdlegisla- GFP will also be looking to approve another year of river otter
ture.gov/Statutes/Codified_Laws/2064159 This rule change is trapping/hunting & proposes expanding/enlarging the harvest
not needed to address conflict beaver. 5) SD GFP’s program to limit - from the 2020 harvest limit of 15 otters up to 20 otter
promote non-lethal fixes to conflicts with beaver, is limited to harvest limit. The limit could expand to 20 but only if the thresh-
teaching some tree protection methods. Ask them to fully pro- old of 15 dead otters is filled quickly (In the first 10 days of sea-
mote non-lethal mitigation as part of their animal damage man- son). The season is 11/1/2021 to 12/31/2021 or whenever the
agement plans. 6) GFP should start monitoring SD surface waters limit is reached. Proposal:
for signs of beaver & create population distribution data. They https://gfp.sd.gov/UserDocs/nav/PRO2_2021_River_Otter.pdf
should consider beaver restoration where helpful. Existing season rule- 41:08:01:08.05. “River otter trapping and
Existing beaver season administrative rule: hunting season established “-- Harvest limit -- Tagging require-
https://sdlegislature.gov/Rules/Administrative/16934 ments: https://sdlegislature.gov/Rules/Administrative/39778
Page 2
We also opposed the 2020 delisting of river otters by the MOUNTAIN LIONS
Department and its 2020 decision to not attempt to reintroduce The Commission will be hearing the staff’s proposal for the
otters into West River during the next 10 years and to start trap- Mountain Lion season for the next 2 years on July 8-9. The lion
ping otters East River. We have a long section of alerts on river season will be voted on in Early Sept (first Wednesday -The writ-
otter in the PHAS website's older posts section - these include ten comment deadline will be midnight on 8/28/21).
some of our old alerts from 2020, which include otter alerts.
https://phas-wsd.blogspot.com/2015/02/item-2-eventsdead- UPDATE TO SAGE GROUSE LITIGATION
lines_47.html PHAS has been in litigation to protect the sage grouse since
SDGFP 2020 River Otter Management Plan - 2016. On 2/11/21 federal judge overturned a Trump administra-
https://gfp.sd.gov/UserDocs/docs/otter_plan_2020-08-28.pdf tion decision to strip protections from 10 million acres, mostly in
Nevada and Idaho, that allowed mining in vital habitat for the
Talking Points against the otter season: greater sage grouse. The ruling is the latest court victory for sage
We object to the 15-20 harvest limit because: grouse conservation via our litigation. Attorneys from Advocates
1) Otters should never have been delisted in 2020 - we don't think for the West represent Prairie Hills Audubon Society, Western
GFP have demonstrated that a large enough population exists to Watersheds Project, the Center for Biological Diversity and
support this level of hunting/trapping. 2) We want otters reintro- WildEarth in this case. Link to the press release:
duced west River. Any surplus East River otters should be https://biologicaldiversity.org/w/news/press-releases/federal-
moved West River, not killed, 3) They haven't disclosed the judge-overturns-trump-administrations-gutting-of-sage-
monitoring promised in the Otter Management Plan; they have grouse-protections-from-mining-2021-02-11/
just given us information about the 15 dead otters killed by trap-
ping in 2020. GFP should release this promised data to public & UPDATE TO OUR FOREST SERVICE CAMPAIGN
the vote on the 2021 season should be continued until the public The Rocky Mountain Research Station has published a
can review population monitoring data updates. 4) They haven't report showing that the Black Hills National Forest is over har-
reduced the length of the beaver trapping season in East River or vesting conifers at an unsustainable rate. This overharvesting
West River as we requested in 2020, and in fact want to increase breaks various laws. PHAS has been meeting with representa-
the length of beaver trapping season east river. This will increase tives of other conservation groups and the Oglala Sioux Tribe &
otter deaths, as otters are associated with beaver and are inciden- helping to draft joint letters to the Forest Service about this issue.
tal take from beaver trapping. 5) Most trapping/snaring methods The groups had a meeting with the Regional Forester. The links
are cruel. Otters may be trapped in water and may have been to the three letters sent thus far, are on our web page. There is not
dying by drowning enough space to put the links in this newsletter.
Written comments can be submitted to Commis-
Changes to the PHAS By-laws.
sion at https://gfp.sd.gov/forms/positions/ In February the Board of Directors amended the by-laws at Arti-
To be included in the public record for July, comments must in- cle III BOARD OF DIRECTORS to add a section 11 about con-
clude full name, city of residence & meet the submission deadline flicts of interest on the Board. We did this as the IRS wants 501c3
of seventy-two hours before the meeting (not including the day of organizations to have such a clause in their by-laws.
the meeting). For July it is Sunday 7/4/21 at midnight CT MEMBERSHIP DUES and PHAS and NAS
Commissioner e-mails - you can e-mail these any time. People who join the National Audubon Society (NAS)
<Travis.Bies@state.sd.us>, Jon.Locken@state.sd.us, & live in the territory assigned to PHAS join both groups. When
Robert.Whitmyre@state.sd.us, Russell.Olson@state.sd.us, PHAS was first created (1993) the NAS used to give us a “dues
<Doug.Sharp@state.sd.us>, charles.spring@state.sd.us share” policy of $5.50 per joint member. In the early 2000s they
List of members: https://gfp.sd.gov/commission/members/ changed “dues share”policy to give chapters a fixed amount
GFP meetings are normally a hybrid both by Zoom and based on the rate of $2.25 per member living in the chapter terri-
face-to-face. You can attend, watch & testify by Zoom - testify tory at that time. For PHAS this became a fixed annual grant of
at 2 pm CT. You are given 3 minute segments for each rule and $565. PHAS can’t afford to send you all the newsletter six times
during “open forum”. GFP's Meeting agenda, written public a year with that funding. PHAS basic functions are run, at least
comments & other details posted by GFP on this website just be- in part from donations (not just dues) from members.
fore the meeting & after the meeting: https://gfp.sd.gov/commis- If new members join the NAS directly we see no differ-
sion/information/ ence in the annual allotment of $565. If new NAS members join
The Commission archives link -- where clicking on little using a chapter link & put in our code of V02 (the 0 is a zero), we
blue horns to the right of agenda item lets you listen to recording will get $20 the first year but nothing extra any year after the first
of past meetings to hear discussion of proposals/agenda items:
year. Chapter link to use: https://act.audubon.org/onlineac-
https://gfp.sd.gov/commission/archives/
There should be 8 members but now there are only 6.
tions/DH8fxTkoC0qHjXF9fZCtRw2
Our Governor is months late in making appointments to replace 2 The NAS will accept $20 for a renewal or new membership.
Commissioners. SD Law provides that there can be no more than If when you renew your NAS dues, you also send us some extra
4 Commissioners of any party. Unfilled vacancies are for "not- dollars it would be appreciated.
Republican" Commissioners. Folks can also join PHAS only, in which case you are a
only a PHAS member & not a NAS member. Those cost $20 reg-
ular, $10 for low income/gift membership.
Page 3
Prairie Hills Audubon Society (PHAS) is a Chapter of the National Audubon Society; our territory is much of West River SD.
Nancy Hilding - President, nhilding@rapidnet.com, 605-787-466 or 6779, Jim Petersen -Vice-president, nfearndesire@gmail.com,
605-939-4995, Helen McGinnis - Treasurer, hissyhelen38@gmail.com, Doris Respects Nothing - Secretary, drn.6501@gmail.com,
Jedediah Beadle, Board Member, Fieldtrip Chair, <jedediahbeadle@gmail.com> (207) 310-4665, PHAS web site : http://phas-
wsd.org/ - We have a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/phas.wsd/ Our e-mail address is phas.wsd@rapidnet.com.

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Prairie Hills Audubon Society
2 7 t h , Fieldtr m STANDARD
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P.O. Box 788 y, June AS Zo
Sunda ne 30th, PH
US. POSTAGE

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PAID
Black Hawk, SD 57718
Wed. e eeting On Be PERMIT #618
M RAPID CITY SD

J.J. Audubon - Brown Creeper/Pygmy Nuthatch

Prairie Hills Audubon Society is run by volunteers, we need new volunteers to help run organization, but we are espe-
cially looking for new Board Members. For information contact any board members whose contact info. is listed on
the label fold. Visit our web site to stay updated on our & other organization’s functions. Please send us your e-mail ad-
dress so we can send you PHAS announcements. Much more information about events/meetings, conservation cam-
paigns, field trips and deadlines are sent out by e-mail. We sometimes text to some folks.
islature. Other topics could also be covered. These are not nor-
INDEX to Inside; mally announced by web sites, newsletter or enviro-events. We
generally contact the people who express interest in volunteer
June 30th Zoom Membership meeting on Beaver page 1 work/study or on specific conservation issues. We may also
June 27th Field Trip to Whitney Preserve, page 1 schedule field trips to examine areas of likely conservation im-
Jedediah to revitalize Field Trip/birding programs page 1-2, pacts. If you are interested in attending working meetings and/or
Changes to the Board of Directors - page 2, fieldtrips relative to campaigns, contact Nancy via phas-
SDGFP proposals to increase beaver & river otter trapping - wsd@rapidnet.com.
page 2-3 E-mail newsletters.
Updates to our greater sage grouse litigation -page 3 We send out two e-mails newsletters. One is called “PHAS-news
Updates to our BHNF sustainable logging campaign - page 3 “and it is generally shorter and is sent more frequently. We also
Changes to PHAS by-laws - page 3 send out “Enviro-events”. Enviro-events is longer & has more
Membership dues and PHAS and NAS page 3 topics but it is issued less frequently. These e-mail newsletters
generally announce events or deadlines and may contain alert
Working meetings/fieldtrips. text. We will be sending mid-June editions out soon. If we don’t
have your e-mail address, you don’t get these.
During the year, PHAS schedules working meetings - held by
Zoom or in person to discuss in depth campaigns we are working
on. In the next few months such meetings could be scheduled re-
New list serve on birding
lated to Black Hills National Forest (BHNF), cougars/bobcats, Inside we announce a new PHAS list serve on birding
beavers/otters, nest predator bounty program, grouse & SD leg- phas-birds@googlegroups.com 4

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