100 years of protection

Wood ducks like these were once nearly decimated by unrestricted hunting. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act helped to bring them back to a healthy population. Terry Thomas

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act turned 100 Aug. 16. That is a substantial milestone for an act that may have been largely responsible for saving many of the bird species we enjoy today. However, I will wager that few Americans understand what the treaty was all about or who were the signatories.

ISU conducts fish survey

Idaho State University wants to know your thoughts on fish and fishing in the region, regardless of whether you’re an angler, hiker or prefer to spend your time indoors. Courtesy Idaho State University

Two Idaho State University political science professors are looking to get a better grasp of how local residents feel about fish, fishing and the environment as a whole.

Angler, company take float tubing to new extremes

Macauley “Mac” Lord casts while floating the North Fork of the Flathead River on a July trip to northwest Montana. Lord was using a newly released lightweight float tube called the Air Craft that weighs fewer than 4 pounds. Brett French / Billings Gazette

Few anglers have floated into the tight river waters and upon the rough lakes that Macauley “Mac” Lord has made a habit of fishing by himself on a small inflatable boat.

The evolved beauty of dragonflies

Dragonflies are formidable fliers, being able to move about in all directions while hitting a top speed of 34 mph. Terry Thomas

I was sitting on a pond hoping to catch a glimpse of a sora or a Virginia rail. I swatted the occasional mosquito but was pleased that there weren’t more of them. Hovering right in front of me was part of the answer why. Large dragonflies on the hunt zoomed in like attack helicopters, snatching mosquitoes and other small insects midflight.

Using the outdoors to connect with kids

Introducing kids to nature can be as easy as reading a good children’s book about bugs and following up with a hands-on walk in the woods. (David FitzSimmons)

Most adults have fallen short of intentions for connecting youngsters with nature since school ended in June. Sports camps and family summer schedules can get in the way of expanding kids’ minds with exposure to beetles and blossoms.


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