Field reports: Birding association honors EricksonDuluth birder and birding author Laura Erickson has won the Roger Tory Peterson Award from the American Birding Association for “a lifetime of achievements in promoting the cause of birding,” according to the association.
By: Sam Cook, Duluth News Tribune
Duluth birder and birding author Laura Erickson has won the Roger Tory Peterson Award from the American Birding Association for “a lifetime of achievements in promoting the cause of birding,” according to the association.
Erickson is the author of several books on birding and hosts the long-running “For The Birds” radio program. She also writes a blog that features photos of birds, writes a column for BirdWatching magazine and is a contributor to the American Birding Association blog.
Erickson is the first woman to receive the Roger Tory Peterson Award. Peterson was the author of the Peterson Field Guide to the Birds of North America.”
“When I was a college student, my mother-in-law gave me binoculars and the Peterson field guide to birds for Christmas,” Erickson said. “They opened the most amazing world to me, and ever since, I’ve made it my goal to open up that world to everyone else. I’m thrilled beyond measure that the American Birding Association gave me this honor, named for the very man whose field guide was the first I ever opened — my passport into the world of birds.”
She recently completed a birding “big year,” identifying 593 species, many of them species of conservation concern.
Mentored turkey hunts offered in Minnesota
First-time youth turkey hunters ages 12 to 17 have the chance to go afield and learn from an experienced National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) volunteer, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced.
Applications, maps and general information for the wild turkey hunt are available on the DNR website, mndnr.gov. Application deadline is Feb. 18. If there are more applications than available mentors, participants will be selected in a random lottery.
Hunts will occur April 26-27. Hunters and their mentors will be matched with a NWTF volunteer coach, who must accompany both the youth and parent/guardian throughout the entire hunt.
Meeting set to discuss Big Rice, Little Rice lakes
Hunters and others are invited to attend a meeting to discuss the management of Big Rice and Little Rice lakes near Virginia. The meeting, hosted by Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Tower area wildlife managers and shallow lakes specialists, will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Feb. 20 at the DNR offices at 650 Highway 169 in Tower.
DNR staff will be available to discuss wild rice management, duck hunting, pickerelweed management, water level management and Little Rice Refuge waterfowl surveys.
Park permit sales rise
Sales of year-round Minnesota state park permits totaled 136,300 in 2013, up 2 percent from 2012 and 21 percent from 2008, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Courtland Nelson, director of the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division, said the news comes at a time when national parks and many other states are reporting significant declines in their visits and overnight stays.
Other signs that participation in outdoor recreation at Minnesota state parks and trails is increasing include:
Federal duck stamp cost could increase
A bill moving through Congress would raise the cost of a federal duck stamp from $15 to $25. The stamp is required for all waterfowl hunters. Money raised by stamp sales is used for waterfowl habitat projects. Since the federal duck stamp’s enactment in 1934, the price has been raised seven times, according to the conservation group Ducks Unlimited. It has been 23 years since the last increase to bring the price of the stamp to $15, the single longest period without a price increase in the program’s history.
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee marked up and reported out the bill on Thursday.