Playa Post Vol. 12, issue 7 – Sep 2014

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Check out the latest Playa Post, the newsletter of the Playa Lakes Joint Venture.

PLJV ConocoPhillips Grants Worth More Than Face Value
Grants Fund Restoration at Jamestown WMA and Provide Match for NAWCA Grants
The PLJV ConocoPhillips grant program has supported habitat conservation for nearly 25 years, investing over $2.2 million into more than 260 projects around the PLJV region, with most of those projects providing habitat through traditional restoration or protection activities. Although ConocoPhillips grants are relatively small, $25,000 or less, they can provide greater value when used strategically within a broader plan.

Take a look at Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT), for example. Rob Unruh, manager of the Jamestown Wildlife Area, has applied for three PLJV ConocoPhillips grants to help fund discrete projects within Jamestown — and received funding each time. He has also been successful in leveraging those funds by using it as non-federal match for North American Wetland Conservation Act (NAWCA) grants. Read more.

Photo: Whooping Cranes on Buffalo Creek Marsh, November 2013. Photo courtesy of Rob Unruh, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism.

Texas Tech Develops Interactive Tool for Wetlands Conservation
Comprehensive Database of Playas in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico Released
In August, Texas Tech University’s Center for Geospatial Technology released a new Playa and Wetlands Database and web application for wetlands within a 52-county area that overlies the Ogallala Aquifer in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico (see map). Together the geodata and web application can be used to support decisions concerned with water management and wetlands preservation.

“We developed the database to support ongoing research concerned with the hydrology of the Ogallala Aquifer,” says Lucia Barbato, Associate Director of the Center for Geospatial Technology. “To support this research it was important to develop a comprehensive database of playas, and categorize those playas by the immediate and surrounding land use and man made impacts directly affecting them.” Read more.

NRCS and Partners Talk Lesser Prairie-Chicken
Partners Invited to Discuss How to Coordinate Conservation Efforts
In early August, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) hosted a three-day meeting to discuss Lesser Prairie-Chicken (LEPC) conservation efforts and how partners from the five LEPC states can work together to conserve the bird. The meeting brought together not only NRCS staff from across the region, it also included representatives from Kansas Forest Service, New Mexico Game and Fish Department, Pheasants Forever/Quail Forever, Playa Lakes Joint Venture (PLJV), Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, The Nature Conservancy, and US Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program.

“We wanted to hear from partners about their efforts at Lesser Prairie-Chicken conservation and discuss how we can all work together in moving ahead with a common approach and goal of conserving this species,” says Jon Ungerer. Read more.

Photo: Clint Rollins, NRCS range management specialist, shows a planning map and discusses conservation planning in progress on the Rader Ranch. Photo courtesy of USDA-NRCS.

Oklahoma Prescribed Fire Handbook Available on Mobile Devices
Information on Effects of Fire, Preferred Weather, Fire Laws and Training Opportunities
The Oklahoma Prescribed Burning Handbook has been a wildly popular publication. So much so that John Weir, research associate in Oklahoma State University’s Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, can hardly keep them stocked on his shelves. To help keep the supply up with the demand, Weir worked with the department’s Technology-Services and Support group to create the Prescribed Fire Handbook mobile website landowners and land managers can easily take with them into the field.

“Anywhere someone has phone service or an Internet connection is a great place to take advantage of this technology,” Weir said. “Virtually all of the information found in our hard copy handbook is now available online in a mobile friendly version.” Read more.

National Wild Turkey Federation Seeks Proposals
Projects Wanted that Enhance Hunting Opportunities in Colorado
The Colorado Chapter of The National Wild Turkey Federation is seeking proposals for 2015 Hunting Heritage Super Fund projects. Proposals for upland habitat management and efforts to preserve our hunting heritage are due by November 15, 2014. Proposals must describe project benefits to species, additional partners involved, and matching dollars. Download the directions and proposal form. For more information, contact Jared McJunkin at or 785-396-4552.

Preventing Another Dust Bowl
Soil Health Practices Prevent Loss of Soil
No event did more to emphasize the severity of the erosion crisis than the Dust Bowl, affecting High Plains states beginning in the early 1930s. Maintaining healthy soil is one way to prevent a similar disaster. Soil that’s moist and covered by a vegetation canopy isn’t likely to blow. Learn more about healthy soil practices in these episodes of the Playa Country radio show.

Preventing Another Dust Bowl with Healthy Soil Practices
Landowner Story: Improving Water Filtration through No-till and Cover Crops
Landowner Story: No-till and Cover Cropping Help Retain Moisture in Sandy Soil
Copyright © 2014 Playa Lakes Joint Venture, All rights reserved.
This is an electronic newsletter published by the Playa Lakes Joint Venture (PLJV), a partnership of state and federal wildlife agencies, conservation groups and private citizens dedicated to the preservation of wildlife habitat in the Western Great Plains. You are receiving this email because you are a PLJV partner or subscribed to our mailing list through our website or Facebook page.

Playa Lakes Joint Venture
2575 Park Lane, Suite 110
Lafayette, CO 80026

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