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Sunday, October 22 2017 @ 07:31 PM CDT

General Conservation (and Good Deeds)

As you’d expect of any organization that calls itself a “Conservation Club,” SCC is strongly committed to not only preserving the for and fauna of the area and state, but of improving the fields, woods and waterways in which they exist -- their ecosystems.

To that end The Club is very active in conservation efforts, from working together with the Department of Natural Resources and their local representatives to just going out and clearing undesirable species of plant life on our property. Yes, it takes a combination of lofty inspiration and low-down sweaty grunt work.

For example, in the summer of 2003, member Rick K. organized work parties to control weeds and eliminate buckthorn (a very invasive species that isn’t good for wildlife) on Club property. The first work party was held on June 21st and was a rousing success, bringing the offending species to its knees. Well, it would have if buckthorn had knees. Rick organized and worked the parties just because he thought it should be done.

Also, SCC has a Tree Planting program wherein The Club pays for hundreds of tree and shrub seedlings that are good species for wildlife, and just hands them out to members of The Club. The catch is members must use them for their intended purpose: for wildlife as shelter belts, windbreaks and food. It’s a great way to say thanks to the guy who lets you hunt his land, or to bring animals into what was an empty field.

Another example was in Fall of 2003. The State Budget was going through dramatic cuts. Like many sportsmen (used in a totally non-gender-specific manner) groups and individuals, we had urged the State to increase our hunting and fishing license fees and put the additional moneys generated towards preserving out outdoors programs. Surprise, surprise, the legislature ignored us. So we took it upon ourselves, when contacted by our local representatives, to “sponsor” certain land leases nearby.

Landowners who have extra or unused acreage often lease that acreage to the DNR for sporting purposes - hunting, fishing, trapping, dog training, etc. When the DNR drops those leases (usually for budgetary reason, as in this case), the landowners are forced to offer those leases to the public. Now, I don’t know about you, but if someone offered me the hunting lease on a good parcel of land, I’d grab it so fast, the owner might get whiplash. The continuation of that story is that once the State got back on its feet, that lease would be unavailable to them because I’d own it. Well, by sponsoring a few local leases that add to and abutt existing state-owned hunting lands, we keep those acres open for all hunters and we keep those leases in the public arena until the State can come back and re-up them.

The first photo is of Maureen, a DNR representative and one of many people going out to conservation clubs, outdoors groups and civic organizations to ask for their participation in preserving these leases and other projects. She spoke at one of our General Membership meetings and explained many of the issues she and others are dealing with every day.

The second photo is of Larry Q., SCC Treasurer, presenting two checks to the local DNR representatives - one for leases on land abutting Public Hunting Land, and the other for wetlands restoration on that same Public Hunting Land.

Check back here from time to time, and keep up with the Good Deeds SCC is doing.