April 19, 2019
Watch: CLfT Gets a Television Showcase
By David Windsor/CLfT
Photo by Brown Zelip/flickr
McGraw’s Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow program has hit the small screen!

In the summer of 2017, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation approached CLfT’s Zach Lowe and Dave Windsor with an offer of guided elk hunts for two select CLfT graduates. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is one of CLfT’s largest supporters, and this was a new way of expanding the partnership.

Adam Gall, owner of Timber to Table, a guide service in Hotchkiss, Colo., provided the hunt opportunities. Unlike most outfitters, which concentrate on trophy animals, Timber to Table promotes the idea of hunting for organic, wild meat by offering cow elk hunts and a highly mentored hunting experience.

RMEF wanted to showcase CLfT and its mission to introduce non-hunters to the roles, values and issues of hunting and to produce an informative video to use in their television and internet programming.

Two university students and two CLfT instructor/mentors, including McGraw’s David Windsor, were selected to participate in the hunt, which took place in late 2017. The now-completed episode debuted on the Outdoor Channel in mid-December and will be repeated through the summer. But you can watch it here.

For more about CLfT, click here .

The Comeback of
the Trumpeter Swan
By Karen Weintraub/The New York Times
Photo by Grant Lau/flickr
Bev Kingdon rattles off the names of trumpeter swans and their personalities as if describing her children. Pig Pen was named for her eating habits; 672 cleverly avoided tagging; 206 nearly died of lead poisoning but nursed himself back to health and then fought off his wife’s new mate to reclaim their relationship.

In the last 30 years, Ms. Kingdon has been part of a small coterie of volunteers who have helped restore trumpeter swans to Ontario, Canada. North America’s largest waterfowl, the trumpeter was nearly extinct in Canada and the lower 48 states for the better part of a century — brought down by the shotguns of Europeans.

Now, these majestic birds are a success story.

There are more than 1,000 trumpeters in Ontario that headed north last month, many to raise their next brood. Restoration projects have also been successful in the United States, in the upper Midwest states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio and Michigan, returning swans to at least some of the areas they inhabited before Europeans arrived in North America.

What’s in a Name? Potentially, Trouble
By Shaena Montanari/undark.org
Photo by patchattack/flickr
Last December, the environmental group Rainforest Trust celebrated its 30th anniversary by auctioning off the rights to name 12 newly discovered species, including orchids, frogs, and an ant. The Virginia-based nonprofit group  claimed  the auction raised $182,500 for its conservation programs. The most valuable animal turned out to be a wormlike amphibian from Panama, which drew a winning bid of $25,000 from a British sustainable building materials company called EnviroBuild.

Shortly afterward, the company proudly announced the name they want to bestow on the blind amphibian: Dermophis donaldtrumpi. EnviroBuild said they chose it to bring attention to climate change.

With more than 27,000 species  at risk  of extinction, auctioning off naming rights seems like a fairly harmless way to increase public awareness and raise much-needed funding for conservation efforts. But as the auctions continue — there are several a year at the moment, according to news reports — some scientists worry about the potential for overly commercial or offensive names. 

Can We Solve Butterfly Roadkill Problem?
By Brandon Keim/Anthropocene
Photo by Peter Miller/flickr
The extraordinary migration of monarch butterflies impassions people in ways few insects do — and so too their tragic decline, with populations plummeting by more than 80 percent in the last few decades.

Their demise is largely attributed to an agriculture-induced collapse of the milkweeds upon which they rely for egg-laying and caterpillar-nourishing. Conservation efforts have rightfully focused on replenishing these plants. Yet another, little-appreciated problem is also desperate need of attention: monarch butterfly roadkill.

In a study  published in the journal  Biological Conservation , biologists led by Tuula Kantola of the University of Helsinki and Robert Coulson at Texas A&M University describe their roadside counts of dead monarchs in southwestern Texas in autumn — smack in the middle of the “Central Funnel,” the region through which most of North America’s eastern monarch population passes on their many-thousand-mile journey to Mexican overwintering sites.

You Never Know What You’ll Catch at McGraw
After a long hard winter, McGraw member Tim Kelly couldn’t wait for the weather to break so he could wet a line hoping to hook into a fish -- any fish.
In mid-March, just as the ice began to melt out, Tim and his dog, Millie, came to McGraw to search for some open water and hoping to take a few casts.
They wound up on the West Side, fishing Shady Creek from the shoreline, and quickly landed a couple of northern pike, a fine way to start the season.
A few weeks later, they came back, again on the West Side but this time on Slow Creek.

"The solution to any problem -- work, love, money, whatever -- is to go fishing, and the worse the problem, the longer the trip
should be." 

 - John Gierach
To read past McGraw Reports click here.