CWA enews

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CWA eNews
August 9, 2002

Welcome to eNews, CWA's waterfowl conservation newsletter. If you are into California's ducks, their habitats, and hunting, CWA is your organization. Join today!

HELP GET THE WORD ABOUT CWA TO YOUR FRIENDS.
If you know someone who would be interested in receiving eNews, please forward this edition to them, and encourage them to sign up at http://www.calwaterfowl.org.

REMEMBER, membership in CWA is critical to our lobbying for your waterfowling future!
Go to http://www.calwaterfowl.org/Regularmembership.htm to join now.

In this edition:
•       2002-2003 DUCK HUNTING REGULATIONS UPDATE: NO CANVASBACKS,
 SHORTENED PINTAIL SEASON
•       CWA SEEKS FEDERAL FUNDING FOR GRIZZLY ISLAND WILDLIFE AREA
•       PREPARE FOR THE UPCOMING SEASON WITH BRUSH-UP DAYS
•       COURT UPHOLDS PUBLIC ACCESS TO YUBA GOLDFIELDS
•       CWA PRESIDENT DISCUSSES WATERFOWL ISSUES WITH NEW USFWS DIRECTOR
•       DID YOU KNOW?
•       CWA WEB POLL
•       UPCOMING EVENTS

****2002-2003 DUCK HUNTING REGULATIONS UPDATE: NO CANVASBACKS,
SHORTENED PINTAIL SEASON ****

Duck hunting regulations for the 2002-2003 California waterfowl season will be finalized when the Fish and Game Commission meets on August 30 in Oakland.  The USFWS has imposed changes in duck hunting regulations that include a REDUCED pintail season (not more than 60 days) and a CLOSED canvasback season.  The USFWS will also allow
states to adopt the "Liberal Package" if they desire, which could include a hunting season in the Pacific Flyway of up to 107 days, as well as keeping the season open for an additional week at the end of the season (or January 26 in 2003).

CWA agrees with the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) that such liberal regulations are unwise in California, largely because our local mallard population index decreased by 12% last spring compared to 2001 and has reached a 10-year low.  Most of our mallards originate within California, Oregon, and other western states and provinces, so local population trends and habitat conditions should be considered when formulating regulations. CWA and CDFG are recommending more conservative regulations but currently differ on the details.  The Fish and Game Commission make
the ultimate decision and will consider public comments before and during their meeting on August 30.  CWA will present our membership viewpoints to the DFG Commission at the meeting, so we urge you to participate in our web polls as we attempt to balance your desires with the need for constraint. You can also provide your comments
directly to DFG commission via their website at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/fg_comm.

****CWA SEEKS FEDERAL FUNDING FOR GRIZZLY ISLAND WILDLIFE AREA****

For the past several months, California Waterfowl Association (CWA) has been working with U.S. Representative Mike Thompson (D-CA 1st), The Bay Institute, and the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) on federal legislation, H.R. 4926, which would authorize significant funding for habitat restoration in the San Francisco Bay
region.  The measure - which was in introduced in June and coined the "San Francisco Bay Estuary Ecosystem Restoration Act of 2002" - includes CWA language which would authorize up to $10 million for waterfowl habitat enhancement on CDFG's Grizzly
Island Wildlife Area.  The bill also includes a provision inserted by CWA that would cap the conversion of Suisun Marsh managed wetland acreage to tidal wetlands to no more than 10% - well under the roughly 7,000 acres desired by some agencies, departments, and tidal wetland proponents.

Funding provided for enhancement on Grizzly Island Wildlife Area would flow through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USCOE).  The new funding source is necessary because pre-existing law precluded the use of USCOE habitat dollars on privately owned lands.

****PREPARE FOR THE UPCOMING SEASON WITH BRUSH-UP DAYS****

The 2002-03 waterfowl season is right around the corner and what better way to "give something back" than a brush-up or clean-up day. Sacramento and Delevan National Wildlife Refuges(NWR) will have their brush-up day on September 28. New this year, Colusa NWR will have a brush-up day on August 17.
Work with your family and friends to camouflage and clean blinds, stake pathways, maintain signs, and more. Lunch is available for a small fee and afterwards enjoy discussions about the upcoming season and a raffle (Sacramento/Delevan only).

For more details about both events, call the Sacramento NWR Complex at (916) 934-2801.

**** COURT UPHOLDS PUBLIC ACCESS TO YUBA GOLDFIELDS!****

In a major victory for California sportsmen, the 3rd District Court of Appeals has affirmed a lower court's ruling that Hammonton Road, which runs through the Yuba Goldfields, is a public road. In the absence of any further legal maneuvering by a mining company which has restricted access to the road, the court's decision should
finally allow hunters and other sportsmen vehicle access to a portion of the public land holdings within the Goldfields.

According to the Yuba County Board of Supervisors, the appeals court decision becomes effective 30 days after its release, which was July 17, 2002. However, if the mining company appeals the decision to the State Supreme Court or seeks a rehearing, the decision could be stayed for an undetermined length of time.

For more information, go to http://www.calwaterfowl.org.

****Do you want your voice to be heard regarding hunting on public lands? Then go to http://www.hunteraccess.com/ and fill out a survey set up by the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation. The online survey is intended to help the foundation better understand the people who hunt on federal public lands, the access challenges they
face, and the experiences they have had.

**** CWA PRESIDENT DISCUSSES WATERFOWL ISSUES WITH NEW USFWS DIRECTOR***

Earlier today, CWA President Bob McLandress joined representatives from other waterfowl conservation organizations in a conference call with Steve Williams, the new Director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and members of his staff.  In an unprecedented move, the USFWS asked for the conference call in an effort to reconnect with the hunting community and outline the reasons behind the their offering of the "Liberal" regulatory package for the 2002-2003 waterfowl season.  During the conversation, McLandress relayed the concerns of CWA members about adopting liberal regulations during a period when duck populations in the west are in serious decline.  He
also emphasized the need to management western mallards separate from Midcontinent mallards.  The USFWS Director and his staff were encouraged by the input from all participants during the conference call, and all participants commended him for his efforts to get the hunting public more involved in waterfowl management issues.

DID YOU KNOW?

Last season, hunters in our state harvested about 81,000 pintail, the lowest since 1988.  The largest harvest was during peak populations in 1970, when hunters harvested over 1 million pintail in California.

CWA WEB POLL

Don't forget CWA's Web Poll, located at http://www.calwaterfowl.org.

This week's question:
"CWA leadership is concerned that the extra week at the end of January allowed under this year's Federal regulations could lead to excessive harvest and disruption to behaviors necessary for successful reproduction of local breeding mallards. In light of
these concerns, what option would you prefer?"

UPCOMING EVENTS

AUGUST

10      Stockton Fun Shoot. Join us at this new event. Call Ken
       Johnson, (209) 835-5580, for information and tickets.

17      1st Annual Colusa Cleanup Day. Volunteers needed! Help
       cleanup the Colusa NWR. 8:00 a.m. to noon with optional lunch
       afterwards. To RSVP or for more information, call (530934-2801.

20      Watsonville CWA Dinner. Carolyn Agard, (831) 722-3861.
       For more information about a particular event, email
       cwafund@calwaterfowl.org or visit http://www.calwaterfowl.org.

Thank you for supporting California Waterfowl Association.



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