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Duckin' Around with Wetland Restoration

Cinnamon teals: photo credit to the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife.

As a bopping tune blared me into consciousness this morning, I absently gimped across a swath of fading beige carpet. This ruggery coats the floor of a room I now rent from the loveliest of professional women, and upon reaching across the 5’ expanse from my (also rented) twin-sized bed, I managed to smash my fingers in the correct order to silence my phone alarm. However, before this rousing entry into the world of productive humans (if that’s what you call waking up at 5am to hit the Y before the office work begins), these sore eyes stirred to find my right-hand digits fixed into a familiar and inspiring position. Assuming the poised pen-holding alignment of an author, a phantom pen hovered delicately betwixt my forefinger and thumb on a hand that only just began to receive signals from my waking brain. It would seem the Body knows best, in the case of honing one’s creative outlet. I knew then with startling clarity that my substantial bout of the dreaded writer’s block was nearing its end.

Then I stalled for three and a half weeks and slapped this together from my recent professional exposures.

This excitement (can I get an amen?) plopped you and I exactly where we are in the Here and Now, where I dispense the following window into this Rock Rat’s shiny new day job! Right now, my actual position description is not important, as the project descriptions below have been altered to prevent the flagrant disruption of my stately biologist peers.

These modified meeting minutes will transport you to the second floor of a wildlife management office building, wherein there is a collection of conservation specialists discussing a long-term wetland restoration project for an expansive section of habitat.

This work is important and widely applicable to like…. well, migratory bird conservation on many levels but also The Water Crisis. ‘Nough said, amirite? So get to skimming, and Let’s Talk afterward about your impressions and effectuated zeal for avian habitat restoration.

With love and nothing else,

Rock Rat

Waterfowl Meeting

4 November 2011


Started off a bit late, waiting for Roger Waltman.

Thanked everyone for showing up, passed out packets, expressed presentation intended for February meeting, asked for their input, this is my understanding of where the project is now, mostly including maps of routes and rudimentary representations of survey efforts and comparative counts right now.

Asked about starting with round-robining before going through the packet (since some are short on time and they can take the packet with them).

Dan Stevens has nothing to report, but would like to circle back to discuss scheduling for next year, and also our level of satisfaction in classifying wetlands.

Leo Rangold has some things to discuss about his talk with Stacy McAlvian, she’s looking at mapping wetlands using depressional data (especially useful in some Google Maps tools and LiDAR data, if we have that available). Stacy can identify congregations of waterfowl in sheetwater and flooded ag, PAPI imagery analysis could be potentially used to replace LiDAR, Stacy has mapped the entire Highland Plateau, but not the Dowley Flats. Challenges with LiDAR are the volume of data and the computer processing required to conduct these kinds of datasets.

The general opinion seems to be that the Federal Wetland (FW) maps some areas rather well, but the issues come into play with the agricultural lands and how to accurately identify the sheetwater and shallow flooded ag lands that are so valuable to the birds. Stacy will likely not attend the January meeting, if we