Wildlife Successes And Heroic Efforts – Brief Article
Growing up in the 1950s in a small South Dakota farming community, Gary Turbak spent much of his youth watching the wildlife that inhabited the area’s prairie potholes and grasslands. “In those days, local farmers encouraged wildlife to visit their property by not tilling every square inch of cropland, leaving habitat for nesting ducks and other animals,” he says. “But in the decades that followed, the welcome signs for wildlife disappeared on a lot of farms.”
Today, many farmers in South Dakota and elsewhere are again voluntarily letting a portion of their fields lie fallow as a result of federal programs that reward landowners who set aside land for wildlife. Part of a legislative package known as the Farm Bill, the programs have been remarkably successful.
“The 35 million acres of new habitat created as a result of the Farm Bill is equal in size to the entire National Wildlife Refuge System and all state-owned wildlife areas combined if you exclude Alaska,” says Turbak, who now does all of his “farming” in the backyard of his Montana home. To learn more, see his article, “Planting the Seeds of Conservation.”
In this issue, you can also read how scientists in the Northeast and the Great Smokies are mounting heroic efforts to save the nation’s last pure strains of native brook trout. “Adaptable as they are, wild brook trout face some formidable enemies,” reports North Carolina writer Eddie Nickens in “Return of the Native.”
The outlook for ospreys is considerably brighter these days as a result of grass-roots efforts to erect nesting platforms throughout the birds’ U.S. range. “Human interference, which nearly wiped out the species, is now helping it flourish again,” writes Massachusetts journalist Doug Stewart in his feature “A Little Osprey-tality Goes a Long Way.” –The Editors
COPYRIGHT 2001 National Wildlife Federation
COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group