February 16, 2018
Zach Lowe
on McGraw’s
CLfT Program

Dr. Zach Lowe, vice president of the McGraw Center for Conservation Leadership and director of Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow, recently was interviewed at the annual SHOT Show in Las Vegas about CLfT and its relevance to the next generation of hunters and anglers.

Zach also took the opportunity to talk about McGraw’s origins and how the entrepreneurial spirit of Max McGraw still drives the Foundation. 
The Red Wolf May be Going Extinct – Again
By Daryl Fears/The Washington Post
Photo by Red Wolf/flickr
The Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina is the in the world where red wolves live in the wild, and on a breezy afternoon Ron Sutherland set out to find one.

He drove an SUV slowly on lumpy dirt roads for nearly four hours, scanning spindly trees, murky canals, green thickets and muck. Two other sharp-eyed conservationists helping to search from the back seat also saw nothing.

A second fruitless search the next morning left little doubt: The red wolf, which went extinct in the wild before the federal government managed to revive the species, is disappearing again, maybe forever.

A few weeks after the 30th anniversary of reintroduction, there is serious doubt that the only distinctively American wolf, which once ranged throughout the southeast United States, can survive outside zoos. If wild red wolves are lost, it would mark one of the biggest and most dramatic failures for a federal endangered species recovery plan.
In Australia, the Arsonists Could Have Wings
By Asher Elbein/The New York Times
Photo by Michael Sale/flickr
When the dry season spreads over the tropical savannas of Australia’s Northern Territories, rangers start watching for the so-called firehawks: flocks of black kites, whistling kites and brown falcons that hunt near bushfires, snapping up small animals flushed out by the smoke and sparks.

If a fire begins to flicker out, locals claim, some of the birds will keep it going by carrying burning sticks to new locations.

“We get a lot of humbug” from the birds, said Robert Redford, a ranger who is an Aboriginal Australian. “We make firebreaks, and sometimes that bird makes another fire and he makes a lot of trouble.”

“He do a lot of damage for us sometimes, and rangers have a hard time firefighting with all that.”

The idea that birds intentionally manipulate fire has long been greeted with skepticism in scientific circles. But  a recent paper published in Journal of Ethnobiology  gathers reports that all three species do spread wildfires for hunting purposes.
Brazil’s Conflicting Ambitions for the Amazon Rainforest
By Stephanie Nolen/Globe and Mail
Photo by CIFOR/flickr
Brazil began to collect satellite images of Amazon deforestation in 2004, a key part of the country’s big push to stop the burning and the gouging. The pictures are sent to teams of field agents who head to the sites of fires and patches of newly denuded land, to make arrests, levy fines and destroy the equipment of loggers and miners and those who cleared the land for ranches and farms.

And it worked. Between 2004 and 2014, Brazil drove deforestation down by 82 percent.

The early pictures photographed the forest at a resolution that showed the land in 25-hectare blocks. And so those who cleared it started to strip out smaller patches, hoping to elude the satellites. Over time, Brazil’s Ministry of Environment and the Brazilian space agency developed a new camera that zoomed in to capture images as precise as a single hectare. Deforestation rates fell further.

Yet the forest was still disappearing: A chunk bigger than Prince Edward Island vanished last year alone. And when I set out to try to understand why – and what that means, not just for Brazil, but for the rest of us humans – the most knowledgeable people I talked with seemed to be filled with a level of despair I had never encountered before when reporting on climate issues.
Is It Wrong to Catch a Few Fish for the Pan?
By Brody Henderson/ themeateater.com
Photo by slashvee/flickr

American fly fishing pioneer Lee Wulff famously stated that “A gamefish is too valuable to only be caught once.”

Wulff was an early advocate of catch-and-release fishing regulations that eventually became a widely used management tool in the United States. As a fly fishing trout guide, catch and release is at the core of my job description. I’m sometimes forced to tell my clients I’d be shooting myself in the foot if I allowed them to keep a limit of trout.

On the other hand, I also enjoy stacking up fish fillets in my freezer. As a result, I’ve developed a healthy mistrust of people who toss every fish they catch back in the water without ever eating one. This brings to mind another Lee Wulff quote: “There will be no end to angling controversies for there is no one best way for everyone to fish.”
"All Americans believe that they are born fishermen. For a man to admit a distaste for fishing would be like denouncing mother-love or hating moonlight."

- John Steinbeck
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