My LBL email sent today

Discussion in 'General Hunting' started by cburton, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. cburton

    cburton 6 pointer

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    Aug 14, 2014
    I thought it might be good for all of us to share our response to LBL and try to send a common sounding statement to those in charge.

    Here is the email address i used:
    'comments-southern-land-between-lakes@fs.fed.us'

    To whom it may concern:

    I am 48 years old live 4 hours away and have made one to two trips to the LBL area since I was 10 years old. This means that is at least 38 motel rooms rented, 38 tanks of gas, permit fees, restaurant bills paid etc etc. I know my annual contribution to the local economy isn?t much in the grand scheme of things but I also anticipate that I am not the only one who has this type of testimony. Why have I taken this trek religiously over almost 4 decades? To hunt the whitetail deer on LBL. Now what I listed above is the minimum, being the CFO of a bank I tend to lean to the conservative side. Just last year myself and 8 other individuals of my immediate family spent two weeks using the LBL facilities in late October and the middle of November. We rented 2 cabins at the Kenlake State Park in November, campsite at Wranglers in October. Dined at Kenlake and in Murray. Traveled to Grand Rivers and visited Patti?s, again none of this happens if not for the quota hunts and bonus tags. We already had planned this year?s October trip and were going to reserve a cabin at Wranglers.

    After the regulation change, which I know is needed, none of the above is going to happen. Again I doubt I am the only one to have this testimony as well.

    Now don?t get me wrong I too see a decline in the deer herd on LBL. I have seen it have ups and downs before. What I have noticed since the TVA is no longer in charge of management is a change in the management practices. Those changes are what have caused the decline in the deer herd. Now maybe that is this groups goal, if so mission accomplished. I sincerely though that a balance can be found between groups. I am not going to say that my wants are any more important than those of another groups. Such as the horse community, the off-road ATV community, the naturalist, the colleges that use it to enhance research and their educations, wildlife restorations etc. See I, over the last 4 decades have seen all of these in action. Please I am asking that you let the wildlife biologists implement some practices that will protect my use of this natural resource as well. Not just to a select few. But if not I guess my grand kids will never know of LBL, Murray, Aurora, Benton or Grand Rivers and a legacy will be lost.
     
  2. 1wildcatfan

    1wildcatfan 12 pointer

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    raised n Bullitt Co.
    well done. hope someone on the receiving end pays attention.
     
  3. cburton

    cburton 6 pointer

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    Aug 14, 2014
    me too brother, me too. But alas I doubt it.
     
  4. JDMiller

    JDMiller 12 pointer

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    Jun 12, 2005
    " Between the Rivers "
    Here is what I sent over the weekend ......

    To whom it may concern;

    As introduction, I'm 48 and have been a lifelong resident to the LBL area residing near Murray, Ky. Which I have strong ties to LBL as my immediate family was born, raised & relocated from the Long Creek, Turkey Creek & Golden Pond areas as LBL was established under TVA. I've also been a lifelong hunter of LBL's woodland's, primarily the Kentucky portion dating back to early 1970's as a child hunting with family members. I hold these memories, the land and forest near to my heart. Which is my primary focus in providing these comments.

    As an avid deer hunter, I've seen much change in the whitetail deer populations relating to management of LBL. Seems almost feast to famine situation at present. Which back in the 1970's and throughout most of the 1980's deer populations were thriving at LBL. As an archery & firearm deer hunter of LBL, general deer sightings on any single hunt were numerous. Now fast forward to the present, and as a hunter you can literally hunt for days without an encounter. Being the same areas that held bountiful populations in the past. Which in my opinion the state of deer management at LBL is in dire need of immediate changes.

    Which to make clear, I'm not a wildlife biologist and don't intend to pose any concern other than being a sportsman of LBL. But in turn, I'm not oblivious to deer management and management of properties I own for hunting. As such I view several factors contributing to the decline in whitetail populations. With the primary being the fact that whitetail deer are foraging animals and old growth forest provide no substantial benefit. The common denominator to then (1970's) to present (2016) is the lack of logging practices. Which I understand the external factors involved at present resisting logging practices at LBL. But I sincerely believe unless the USDA Forest Service implements some logging practices in the very near future, LBL's whitetail populations as well as other game populations will steadily spiral downward.

    Another issue that I perceive being a contributing factor to declining whitetail populations at LBL is the increase of predator populations. Which throughout the 70's & 80's coyotes were basically non-existent to this area or statewide for that matter. Again fast forward to present, coyote populations abound throughout LBL. Which I can honestly report having more coyote encounters while deer hunting than actual deer sightings. It would be hard for me to believe the impact of coyotes concerning fawn mortality isn't greater than actually perceived within the management programs. Which I encourage the Forest service Biologist review of existing coyote hunting regulations, methods & season and make changes in reducing populations. I suggest mirroring statewide regulations concerning season length, allowing centerfires for longer periods other than February and overall making coyote hunting more conducive with less restrictions.

    Last.. I support the Forest Service recommended changes on the Kentucky portion concerning less quota hunts or season length in general. However I view doing away with the "bonus deer" as a catch 22 of sorts. It will no doubt reduce hunting pressure but may also reduce hunters visiting LBL and general support for the area and wildlife programs.

    Sincerely,
    XXXXX Miller
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
  5. cburton

    cburton 6 pointer

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    thank you JDMiller
     
  6. smashdn

    smashdn 12 pointer

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    Palmyra, Kentucky
    Guys, not being critical of what you have sent as it is a reflection of your experiences and what you have on your heart. Only thing I would encourage is you mention what habitat changes you want to see done to positively impact whitetail deer.

    That is the root cause of the decline of the deer and why they are beign forced to make the move to fewer deer hunters.

    The habitat improvement projects are what are the contentious part of the debate. The USFS needs to see support of its logging efforts and that we support planting crops and food plots in the fields. Those items, logging and using current farming practices, are the issues that several environmental groups are in opposition to.

    I base the above on a phone conversation I had with someone with the USFS concerning hunting and deer and the landscape changes they are proposing. I hope that by sending those emails that he too reaches out to you all with a phone call.

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
  7. cburton

    cburton 6 pointer

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    Good point smashdn, the only part in mine was that i requested them to allow a wildlife biologist implement some changes. I would hope and of course assume(stupid of me possibly) that a wildlife biologist could present positive changes. Thank you and i too hope to get a call its hard to express all that needs to be done in an email.
     
  8. smashdn

    smashdn 12 pointer

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    Nov 24, 2003
    Palmyra, Kentucky
    I was encouraged to attend the meetings concerning the Fox Hollow project. Like you, I live a pretty fair piece away from LBL but have been going there since I was riding with training wheels.

    I was told that the land management plan that is agreed upon is how the person in charge of landscape management will be compelled to implement in the rest of LBL. So if the Heartwood folks want it to remain stagnant, mature hardwoods, and they are the loudest voice in the room, then that will carry. However, if there is a good contention of folks who hunt and want the USFS to log or implement different timber management and farming practices that will carry some weight.

    The scary thing with the deer population there is once it falls below the level where it can recover the natural mortality and hunting mortality from year to year it is going to crash and take a long time to recover. It isn't like new, fresh deer can jump a fenceline and end up in LBL.
     
  9. JDMiller

    JDMiller 12 pointer

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    Jun 12, 2005
    " Between the Rivers "
    Smash..... I believe I outlined two key things with my message.

    Encouraging logging practices and predator control.

    Below is the reply I received.....

    As the Environmental Stewardship Department Manager, I want to take this opportunity to personally thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to respond the potential changes to our deer hunting here on Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.

    I also want to invite you to participate in our collaborative efforts to develop a strategy for managing this and other resources that we all value so deeply.

    Our Fox Hollow area will be the first of many collaborative efforts that will be initiated in the future. I am hopeful that by working with the publics we can develop a project that addresses resource needs while taking into full account social, historical and cultural values.
    We will be hosting a couple of meetings to discuss opportunities for the Fox Hollow area later this month. They are scheduled for
    Wednesday, June 22, 2:30 ? 4:30 P.M.
    Thursday, June 23, 4:00 ? 6:00 P.M.
    We plan to discuss many of the opportunities that exist within the Fox Hollow area. Both meetings will be set up the same; only the participants will change.
    It is our hope that you will be able to participate in at least one of these meetings. Together we can work towards a land and habitat management program that better takes into account values of the multi-use publics that we serve.

    /s/ JOHN D. WESTBROOK
    Environmental Stewardship Department Manager


    Sent from my IPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
  10. smashdn

    smashdn 12 pointer

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    Nov 24, 2003
    Palmyra, Kentucky
    Same reply I got.

    Then I asked them specifically what the Fox Hollow project was as I saw it mentioned on the BTR page. That was when I got another email back with a phone number.

    Best as I can tell Fox Hollow is a demonstration area down in the TN portion. The public input will dictate what land management practices they put in place, and if they work, how the rest of LBL will be managed. That was how I understood it from my phone conversation with Mr. Westbrook.
     
  11. cburton

    cburton 6 pointer

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    Aug 14, 2014
    I received the same reply as posted above by JD. I hate to sound this way and do appreciate them at least taking time to send out a standard response to all. But here is my question: How am I supposed to attend a meeting scheduled 4 hours away during normal working hours? I suppose use my vacation on such short notice. Yes i could. I am sorry but i don't believe they really want anyone at the meeting. Further i wonder if any of our responses by e-mail will even be summarized and discussed? The standard e-mail response does not seem to indicate that. Therefore i can only assume that if you work and are not close enough to the meetings then your point of view will be left off and only those who do attend will have valued input. Typical.
     
  12. smashdn

    smashdn 12 pointer

    9,069
    133
    Nov 24, 2003
    Palmyra, Kentucky
    Respond back to the standard reply and see if you get your specific questions answered. That was what I did and it lead to a phone call.
     

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