14 Burst results for "Pacific Flyway"
Native America Calling
"pacific flyway" Discussed on Native America Calling
"If you are aged 45 years or older, it may be time to talk with the healthcare professional about colon cancer screening, Medicare, Medicaid and the marketplace have you covered for more information, visit healthcare dot gov or call 803 one 8 two 5 9 6. A message from the centers for Medicare and Medicaid services. Thanks for tuning in to native America calling. I'm Sean spruce. We're getting an update on the push to name more than 700 square miles of land in Nevada, a national monument. President Biden promised to put of equal may under federal monument protection. However, just last week he postponed a chance to follow through. Do you have a comment or question about today's show? Are you concerned with the delay regarding federal protections for a week will may might mean? Give us a call at one 809 9 6 two 8 four 8 one 809 9 6 two 8 four 8. Our phone lines are open. We've got Taylor Patterson on the line in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she's the executive director of the native voter alliance of Nevada and Taylor before break you were talking a little bit about the uniqueness of Nevada tribes and with regard to this coast stewardship model. Please continue your what you were saying. Yeah, absolutely. So what I was drawing the comparison to is we have a lot smaller tribes in Nevada and frankly are just under resourced to completely manage a big parcel of land like and so what I was talking about before with all of the tribes that have been involved in this project, it really takes a lot of tribes to put work into this to be able to even get the federal designation, let alone to have complete post stewardship over these parcels of land. And so my point while long winded is that we're smaller tribes out here and it's going to take a lot of us to really be able to band together and get this project done. And so we've seen that with E. coli and the entire process of getting everybody that has ancestral ties involved in this. Also on the show today is Alan O'Neill at former National Park Service superintendent. Alan, do you see any drawbacks to national monument status with regard to tribal lands such as of equal me? No, I don't. Obviously, we see this as an opportunity to have the tribes playing a much larger role in planning and stewardship of this area. But I think the national monument designation was the right vehicle because it provides permanent protection and this is something that tries to an interested in a long time. This is their ancestral lands and it's important that we have that they play a large role in how this is eventually stewarded. This is an important cultural historic landscape, but it's also a very important ecological landscape. This is probably the best this is the best desert tortoise habitat. We have anywhere in Nevada, but as important as it does or tortoises, there's also 50 other plant and animal species that are listed as a special status because there's some concern, but their conservation over long-term. So having that concentration of special status species and this landscape is important that they be protected. That's also the eastern terminus of the world's largest Joshua tree force. In fact, the largest Joshua tree in Nevada is found within this landscape and unusual for the Mojave desert. This is a very unique grasslands, which are usually find in the Mojave desert. So there's like 28 species of native grasses that are in here and very significant for measure. I can't recall any place within the Mojave desert doesn't have these kinds of grasslands. So in addition, this is important for bighorn cheap migration. They move back and forth between these mountains. An important birding area, this area is actually by Audubon as an important birding area. So Jason to the Pacific flyway coming up the Colorado River system, but it also has an unusual combination of bird some of which are more common in the sonoran desert. So in terms of raptor species, there's like 28, 18 different raptor species here. It's also Harry has one of the highest concentrations of goal and eagles anywhere in the states. So, you know, from an ecological and cultural standpoint, this is an incredible landscape, but also for resources like dark knight sky and natural quiet and the visual resource this landscape does offer the opportunity to protect some of The Dark Knight sky and kind of the rural lifestyle here. And Alan, if you could share what was the most pressing threat to me, which makes these protections so valuable. Well, it was in gesture development. Primarily wind development. And some solar. There are two really bad wind projects, a searchlight wind project, followed by which was actually a suit brought by private landowner in here and prevailed against BLM and the courts canceled that project. And then the Crescent peak wind project, which was a devastating wind project in terms of here. It created an industrial island surrounded by area that we worked decades trying to protect and that particular project had like 200 over 200 wind turbines, about 700 feet high with about 20 miles of ridge line. So that would have forever changed us landscape. And so when the department interior and December of 2000 18 cancel that Crescent peak wind project, that was kind of a wake up call that we better get our act together here and determine what it is we want to do collectively to protect us landscape or we're going to we're going to be fighting the next bad project and we're all supportive of renewable energy, but like Taylor said it's it depends upon location. We're possible place you could put. Okay. Yeah, and along those lines with regard to location. I mean, what does this mean for the energy supply without a wind farm at this location of equa may? Are there any alternatives for those projects to still provide renewable energy?
"pacific flyway" Discussed on BrainStuff
"From now until Friday, November 26th. Macy's online Black Friday event is saving you big on the essentials and gifts you've been waiting to snatch up all year. From appliances, hello stand mixer, and cookware to batting and self care Staples, you'll find great prices for the pics you need in every room. Plus shop specials on the latest clothing trends, designer handbags, jewelry, and your fave beauty brands, and chip away at your gift list with big savings on gifts like watches and wireless headphones. Don't forget, super fun toys, cozy winter gear, and more unique finds that the kids in your life will be excited to get. So check out Macy's dot com before November 26th. That's Macy's dot com. This episode is brought to you by VMware. You're doing business at an app driven multi cloud world. You want to build and run your apps on your choice of clouds. And you need to manage all those clouds as easily as one. With VMware, cross cloud services, you've got options. That's because VMware delivers the multi cloud choice, security, and control you need to accelerate innovation, deliver great apps and drive business forward. VMware, the smarter way to cloud. Learn more at VMware dot com slash welcome. Since I paid off my credit card debt with a loan from happy money, I'm saving money. My credit score is improved and the anxiety is gone. Happy money offers personal loans with low fixed rates and your best interests at heart. Apply today at happy money dot com. Happy money. Fund your happy. NML S ID number one three 9 6 8 zero 5. Not all applicants may qualify. Loans are not offered in Massachusetts and Nevada. Happy money works with lending partners who originate the loans. Additional terms, conditions and eligibility requirements may apply. Welcome to brain stuff, a production of iHeartRadio. Hey, brain stuff Lauren vogelbaum here. The sharing economy has changed everything from how people get around a city to how they rent rooms while traveling. And now it's even seeping into a college. In California's Sacramento valley, farmers are temporarily leasing, flooded rice paddies to the nature conservancy, so the migratory shorebirds have a place to stop and feed while traveling the Pacific flyway, which is the major north south route that extends from Alaska to Patagonia. In the program, dubbed bird returns has been in development by the nature conservancy since 2014 and is helping conservationists deal with these short term needs of migrating birds. And because of urbanization, agriculture and climate change, the migrating birds have less access to wilderness to mate, feed, nest and rear their young. At the same time, the project gives farmers the opportunity to support conservation efforts. And maybe earn a little extra money without negatively impacting crop production. During February and March of 2014, the pilot season for the program, just 2% of Sacramento valleys, some 500,000 acres of rice fields. That's around 200,000 hectares, were turned into shallow water for shorebird habitat. Event season, the pop up wetlands supported more than a 180,000 birds, representing 57 different species. On average, the researchers found three times more bird diversity and 5 times greater density on rice paddies that participated in the program compared to unenrolled fields. Migrating animals like shorebirds are in jeopardy, as their ranges cover vast swathes of land. A study published in the journal science in 2015 reported that just 9% of over 1400 migratory bird species had access to protected areas for all the stages of their annual cycle. In California in particular, 90% of original wetland habitat has been lost to agriculture and urban development. Since the nature conservancy was founded in 1951, it's worked conserve habitat by working with landowners to purchase land or permanently limit the use of their land in order to maintain its wildness. Each agreement is worked out individually, a process that's expensive and can take months or years to develop. For the article this episode is based on, how stuff works spoke with Mark Reynolds, PhD, the lead scientist for the nature conservancies, California, migratory bird program. He explained that he and his colleagues, including sandy matsumoto, the team's project manager, and Eric holstein, the team's economist, thought that the demand for purchasing migrating bird habitat could bar exceed their resources. Quote, we were looking at our habitat needs and thinking, how do we buy our way to success? Sandy said, do we need to buy land for the whole year? It looks like the animals need it part of the time. Eric, with his background in economics, said we could do a reverse auction. I said a reverse what? A reverse auction overturns the conventional role of buyer and seller. Instead of buyers competing to outbid each other to obtain a good or service, a seller's compete to offer their goods or services to one buyer at a competitive price. And the sellers, in this case, are the owners of rice fields, which are typically farmed in California from April through August or May through October. During the growing seasons, the fields are normally flooded, but they're also flooded during the off seasons to decompose the rice double after harvest. A Reynolds and his colleagues saw an opportunity to work with the farmers to provide temporary wetland habitat for shorebirds passing through. So in early 2014, the nature conservancy issued an invitation to rice farmers to submit bids that itemized their costs to flood fields for four, 6 or 8 weeks at a time, beginning in February of that same year. The farmers set their own prices, and the nature conservancy was able to select the highest quality habitat for the lowest total cost. They repeated the process in the fall of 2014, and every year since then, a house stuff works also spoke with John Brennan, a partner at Brennan jewett and associates. A firm that manages rice sales for the Robin's rice company. He explained that the farmers are very receptive to this concept. Quote, to the extent that they can get their costs covered to do it, they're even more receptive because they see it as a, something that they're excited about and a way to make an environmental difference, and be something that really helps secure the longevity of the rice industry in California. To figure out where and when, shorebirds most needed wetland habitat for their migrations, Reynolds and his colleagues worked with experts at Cornell University's lab of ornithology, which collects information about birds through its citizen science project, E bird. And this online checklist allows bird enthusiasts across the country to tabulate the kinds of birds they see when they see them how many and where. Using data from E bird and grant money from NASA, the Cornell team built high powered computer models that predicted at weekly intervals, the presence and abundance of birds at different locations. From these models, Reynolds and his colleagues created maps to visualize and prioritize where and when habitat was needed most. But once they knew the locations, they requested bids from the local rice farmers. They adjust the program based on weather conditions during times of drought, the nature conservancy would pay more, and during times of excessive rain, it would pay less. When they extrapolated the potential costs for the project out, and they found the highest possible cost per year based on the average bid, was $1.4 million. But that's significantly higher than what the nature conservancy actually paid. Meanwhile, the estimated cost to restore rice fields to wetland habitats equal to that land area. Would cost around $25 million and maintenance fees would come in at about a $100,000 a year.
Seek Outside Podcast
"pacific flyway" Discussed on Seek Outside Podcast
"Wired that way. Right on, man. Well, I'm super excited for this one, man. This is kind of a special podcast episode. I feel like my relationship to you guys in the hunting hunting common and you yourself, Jordan, is it was kind of like my first foray into the outdoor industry, right? It was my first gathering or my first situation meeting other people that are in the space. So I'm excited for this, but we got Jordan rigsby, X NFL player, ex Carolina panther, just overall badass Bo hunter, new er to the hunting space, then a lot of folks, but he is one of the chairs well, actually, I'm gonna stop. You just introduce introduce yourself. You can do it better than me. Yeah, no Rhett. Yeah, my name's Jordan higbee. Like Ryan said, kind of getting started here. We know each other even a few hunts together. I'm from Northern California where I'm from originally. It's not from Northern California, small town called Chico, California. Grew up there. That's like a big hunting community, but actually didn't grow up, doing a lot of hunting. I grew up kind of in the sports world, so my dad was a college local college football coach. Do you college up there? My mom was a 6th grade teacher, spent a lot of our time on AAU basketball, a lot of football, that's pretty much what I grew up playing. Still went out to the coast every year when camping a lot, you know, my mom was from Oregon. So she's like really outdoorsy and kind of like, got my love for the outdoors going, got me making fires and doing all that kind of stuff. And just yeah, just kind of went through life, not really understanding the kind of the joys of hunting and all that stuff. It wasn't until later on. I went through high school, got a full ride scholarship to UC Berkeley, of all places, not somewhere you would think to go and develop into a hunter. But I was able to major anthropology there and studied all about our early Native Americans and a lot of their hunting practices and all that kind of stuff that goes into everything from early Neanderthals, hunting, mammoths, all the way to the late Native Americans on horseback in the great plains and stuff like that. And so I think that's kind of where some of my early stuff with my mom making fires really sparked with hunting for the first time. I was studying about it in college. But still, but still, you know, I didn't really do any of that stuff quite yet. I think I went on, I got my hundred safety done in college, just kind of randomly one weekend with some buddies. Went out maybe one time. Continue to play football. Like you said, end up getting picked up by the Carolina Panthers brought there, just having an awesome experience, cut short a little bit. It's ended up Tara my ACL twice out there. Once with the Panthers once with the Titans, and so we're hunting for really insert in my life full on, it was right after football ended. So I had this whole life kind of building up to one thing. Putting in all the training hours, watching film, really dedicated. And then when all that kind of ends, you're kind of left with a void in a lot of ways. So you start to work, you do these things, but nothing's really taken like it used to for you. So that's where I was lucky enough to have a few friends up from where I was from in Northern California in Chico, reach out to me. Let's go duck hunting. You know, that's kinda, you know, Ryan, that's what I like to do. And that's really where Northern California is known for. You know, we have tons of rice fields up there. We're right on the Pacific flyway. It's one of the best flyaways, where our area is inclusive, Chico areas kind of one of the best best places on that flyway. And so I was able to get out there some buddies and man, it just set me on fire. So I remember like, we're out there Lake almanor. It's like an early opening season. I've never really done anything for duck hunting. Me and my boys are out there. 2 a.m., we're throwing duck decoys. It's on a PG&E Lake. That's kind of a reservoir, the whole thing is perfect. Duck habitat, it's about knee deep, and I can just remember being out there, those guys at two 30, three in the morning, freezing cold, send decoys, and it was just lit me on fire. It was like opening kick-off, right? You're just getting fired up. Here things start fluttering in the corners and like, we just ended up having a great day. I mean, for me, anyway, great day. There was probably four of us. I mean, we're probably four or 5 birds away from a four man limit, but just crushing it. I mean, just shooting shotgun shells, having a freaking blast. And it really just led me on fire that that was that was going to be my kind of my next thing that I was going to that I wanted to do. And so that kind of trick you on and I kept honey and that's kind of like what you were talking about. We got into the hunt common stuff. So it's been a cool journey and you know, I don't know, you know, I'm sure we want to talk about a lot of it. Oh yeah. But that's kind of where I got into hunting originally. Nice man. Yeah, and we'll get into all that stuff. I kind of want to just touch on the NFL thing, right? So I could imagine that there are not many hunters in the NFL world, right? Because it correlates perfectly. I mean, it's like literally as soon as football starts, hunting season starts. But and I know you weren't super into it when you were sitting in the locker rooms, but did you hear many, did you hear any of your O line buddies that were talking about? Oh man, I went out this spring and shot some turkeys or was it just nothing? No, no NFL players were really thinking about it. No, no, I would say a lot of NFL guys ruined to it. Wow, so it's interesting because it's like you said, I never was a guest on it, but football season is in the heart of hunting season. So a lot of guys growing up and you're playing sports, your mind just isn't on honey. It's not that your anti, you don't want to. It's just not an option for you because you have games on Sundays and Saturdays. That's all your free time. Especially in college, playing college football, you have no time for anything. You know, much barely go on time to have a beer with your friends or take a girl on a date, much less, go on it. But when you get an NFL, you guys start having a little more time. And you have one more time, you're not in school anymore. You're more of your whole life is around football season and that's it. You gotta train. And a lot of these guys for the first time have some money. So a lot of our guys were just getting into hunting for the first time, which was hilarious. So I was on, I just happened to be on the North Carolina Panthers. That's where I got picked out. Ron Rivera was a cow football Hall of Famer. He signed me as undrafted free agent. So obviously North Carolina is kind of whitetail country. So we had tons of guys on our team, people would know people wouldn't know. One of our guys, his name is Colin. He was a free safety and he would have all these guys in Southern California who just hook them up with sweet white tail stands. So then he wanted his whole life. But he would get a bunch of the other linebackers and stuff like that down there in South Carolina on white cells every year. So that was and I'm in, I would say a good amount of our team went and did that. And so I had other friends from Cal got other teams from all over the place. The guy went to the Broncos,
Seek Outside Podcast
"pacific flyway" Discussed on Seek Outside Podcast
"But yeah, man, why don't you start off with talking about your most recent turkey hunt there in Washington and explain how amazing it was. It looks awesome. It looks like it was awesome. It was man yet. So fairly new to the turkey hunting stuff just kind of filling the gaps with content around the year like you were talking about first Brian people where we hit the record button is our seasons never really like hunting season itself is never really over for the people that are just absolutely obsessed. You can legitimately just keep rolling and find something to chase legally with a tag. Beginning of the year let's just start January 1st, just we're going to go down rabbit holes, but podcasting for rabbit holes. January 1st, when let's just say the calendar year rolls over. You got waterfowl. And we love waterfowl now. We just kind of started that as well. We got PNL got a lease. And we are just very blessed to have the Pacific flyway right here in our backyard. And our lease is legitimately 11 minutes from my house. So we hammered it. And I got to tell you, waterfowl is very addicting..
"pacific flyway" Discussed on Environment: NPR
"Support for NPR and the following message come from REI, your local outdoor co op. What do bird watchers and snowboarders have in common? They believe a better life is lived outside. REI welcomes everyone outside because community is in our nature. REI better is out there. In southern Oregon's high desert, an ancient Lake attracts water birds from around the world. But now this prized wetland is in danger of disappearing. From Oregon public broadcasting, Emily keratin cook reports. Cool clean water bubbles up from the ground about 80 miles from where the borders of Oregon, Nevada and California meet. This groundwater is the lifeblood of summer Lake wildlife area. The 19,000 acre public preserve hosts millions of migratory birds annually. We're right here in the Pacific flyway, these are the main pathways that birds move north and south across North America. Biologist Marty St. Louis was an Oregon state wildlife manager here. For more than 30 years. Those are tundra swans. They used to be called whistling swarms. So here's a pair of sandhill cranes. They're just letting you know. Then do you see this white out here? Snow geese. Ten to 15,000 of them? Without ground water, all this would go silent. State records show the springs feeding the Lake have been steadily declining ever since people started pumping groundwater to nearby hay farms. State scientists have long believed that agriculture would eventually dry out the springs. Lisa Brown is an environmental advocate and an attorney for the nonprofit water watch. It's alarming that we have a plan in place in Oregon to basically dry up summer Lake. That's just the nature of groundwater hydrology. Doug woodcock is a deputy director at the Oregon water resources department. The department does have a charge to manage the area sustainably and as we can get to it we will. But the water department still hasn't defined what reasonably stable groundwater levels are. Even though a law saying it had to was passed in the 1950s. And state policies don't consider the effects of human caused climate change. Dan Jansen is a hay farmer near summer Lake, who wants to conserve more water voluntarily, and avoid a crackdown on his water rights. If we get cut back here, it's going to be devastating. I mean, this would be a ghost town. Nothing but blowing sand here. These intense winds and extreme temperatures batter his home in Christmas valley, Oregon, where few crops will grow, but the harsh conditions are part of what makes alfalfa hay actually thrive. This is the best climate probably in the world for this crop. Janssen says the international demand is strong, especially from buyers in Asia. And now we're starting to get a lot of Middle East countries that are buying because they don't have any water to grow it. Long before Oregon created a wildlife area or hay farm sprouted up around it, northern paiute people have lived hunted and fished at the Lake. Are people have always utilized that area and it has spiritual significance. Wilson, wewa is a northern paiute historian. So if anybody has a right to the land and its resources is native people. But the state allows farmers to take more and more water, which leaves we while asking. How much is enough? He worries that unless Oregon's water managers change course in just a few decades, a supply that's been stable for millennia could be lost forever. For NPR news, I'm Emily curator.
"pacific flyway" Discussed on Fresh Air
"Look back in time and calculate how the number of migratory birds has changed over time. And so that's one reason that we know that since 1970, we've lost about a third of North America's birds about almost 3 billion birds have disappeared from North America compared to the 1970s. And that's not a guesstimate. That's based on that's based on solid radar data. There's also something called eBird, which I gather taps the information of avid birders around the world, right? How is this integrated? Right, so ebert is a project of the Cornell lab of ornithology in New York. And if I'm going out birding, I have eBird on my phone, it's an app on my phone. And at the end of my birding trip, I just simply Italian all the individuals of all the species of birds I saw on that trip I put some geolocation information in there and I send that off to ebert. And every year, about a 100 million checklists like that come in. It has rapidly turned into the largest wildlife database in the world. And birders do it because it's fun. Birders do it because it's a great way to keep records, but this aggregation of tremendous amounts of observational data by people who know what they're looking at because most breeders are really good at what they do. Has been an absolute godsend for understanding bird migration and distribution and abundance and also understanding where we can get the most bang for the buck for our conservation efforts. For example, using eBird data scientists in California realized that they could combine eBird data with high resolution imagery from NASA showing surface water conditions in the central valley of California, which is an incredibly important migratory choke point for waterfowl and shorebirds and a lot of other species moving along the Pacific flyway. And they could figure out the times when the most numbers of birds were passing through the specially shorebirds and waterfowl..
"pacific flyway" Discussed on Bear Grease
"It wasn't 8 man limits a green heads coming down in the flooded timber. So some of it for sure was just like a lot of video content. You're watching the cream off the top. Yeah, you're watching the best. You're watching. And you can go to Iowa and sit in the best farm in the world and not kill a 107 inch bugs. Exactly. And you are undeniably watching stuff that's either one real special day or private duck club that someone like myself might never have access to. That being said, even though my first duck hunting trip to Arkansas wasn't that great, and wasn't that successful? I still loved it. Because the culture surrounding it, you know, a way I've described the delta of Arkansas to a lot of people that have never seen it. Is there a $30,000 duck boat? Parked in front of like a $5000 pickup. A lot of places. I mean, there is a duck boat around every corner in every driveway. It's it just runs thick. And I love that. I just love it. Here's Luke continuing to build the story of Arkansas duck hunting. You know, it goes back all the way to I think the importance overall of Arkansas duck hunting ties back to its important to ducks, obviously, and that's really a question of geography and geology of how this whole landscape. Tell me about that. Yeah, I just funnels ducks here. I mean, you just kind of take a step back out to 20, 30,000 feet and look at the whole landscape and you just see this you see all these rivers just kind of draining throughout most of the midcontinent U.S. and ending up funneling together right here in the delta of Arkansas. So you could, if you weren't from here, but you knew about waterfowl biology. You would look at a map and you would go. That region is going to be special. Yeah, you look back at the early maps of migratory corridors for ducks. The early flyaway maps, and always got to be real careful about that. The term flyweight gets thrown around a lot these days with duck hunters. It's talking about a flyweight here and I'll fly away there. And that's not how we talk about flyaways when we talk about continental waterfowl management. We talk about these major flyaways within which we manage resources, the four major flyaways across the continent. So there are four major water foul flyaways in North America. From east to west, it's the Atlantic flyway, the Mississippi flyway, the central flyaway and the Pacific flyway. The Atlantic flyaway starts in the eastern Arctic tundra of Canada, travels down the Atlantic coast. It goes into the Caribbean covering more than 3000 linear miles. The central flyway spans from central Canada all the way to the Texas Gulf Coast. The Pacific flyaway stretches 4000 miles starting in Alaska, it goes to Mexico. We've gone out of order because I wanted to be dramatic. The Mississippi flyway is the progeny of what the algonquin tribe called the father of waters or the big river. The mighty Mississippi. The name Mississippi is a transliteration of an algonquin language word misses CB and the French called it Mississippi. And later it turned into the modern pronunciation. Turns out, Hernando de Soto called it the river of the Holy Spirit. But that didn't stick. I'm very happy the river wasn't named after some chump or a politician's girlfriend. This river drains 41% of the continental United States. It's the third largest river watershed in the world behind the Amazon and Nile rivers. The flyweight is 2300 miles long and has a watershed of over 1.5 million square miles and it's the most heavily used migration corridor for water fowl on the continent. Wild stuff. Those were described really early on by guys like Frank bellrose, where they looked at did some really just cool observations of ducks during migration and looked at early band recovery information and developed these maps. And if you go back decades to look at these maps, it just highlights all of these little corridors, major areas of band recovery, just follow these lines of these major rivers, and they all come to a confluence in Arkansas. So it just makes sense that this literally does funnel its funnels them right now. Once I started dabbling in the Arkansas waterfowl world, Jim Ron Chris name came up over and over. They call him Jimbo. I quickly learned he's very well respected in the waterfowl industry as a collar, hunter, conservation, advocate, and just a general good man. He's a carmaker and was the world's calling champion in 2006, but more important than titles. He's a Jedi master in the duck Woods. I asked Jimbo why Arkansas is special when it comes to ducks. Geographical location. So if you think of the Mississippi flyaway and to some extent the central flyway, and you look at a big map of the USA and you think a water drainage is watershed, what's the Ohio River? Ohio River comes from the northeast with the southwesterly flow, meet up with the Mississippi River Cairo Illinois. Then above it, you got the Missouri River coming out of the northern plains and the dakotas in Montana and it dumps into the Mississippi River just above St. Louis. Then as you come down, you got the Arkansas river that starts in Colorado comes across the central planes with a southeasterly flow and dumps into the Mississippi River just below stuck art. But when you start looking at all those confluences of watersheds and you think of ducks traveling those watersheds as arteries are maybe people would relate to it better as interstate highways or roads or highways if you start looking at it. In the eye of the funnel. But the geographic location of where we are is what set us up to be the modern capital of the world. It's just where ducks want to be. Continental geography on a massive scale plays a vital role when you're dealing with an animal that has a home range encompassing thousands of linear miles. To understand why ducks come down this funnel in the winter, we've got to understand, flooded timber,.
The Indicator from Planet Money
"pacific flyway" Discussed on The Indicator from Planet Money
"Eric holstein is an economist. But, at the environmental nonprofit where he works, the nature conservancy, he spends most of his time around ecologists. Do you dress differently than the ecologists? It's so funny. You're the first person that has to ask me that question. I thought about this a lot. I would have buttoned down, sure. Do I not do I try to fit in or is it so obvious because of what I say that I'm The Economist? Unlike a lot of economists and consultants who tend to wear suits, Erik started wearing t-shirts and fleeces out the way, which comes in handy because also unlike a lot of economists, he spends a lot more time near his new favorite bird, the Dunlop. It's a couple inches tall. It's got a ton of personality. Eric spends a lot of time looking at something called the Pacific flyway. It is a huge route for migratory birds. It stretches from the Arctic, down through California central valley, all the way to Patagonia in the southern hemisphere. Millions of birds, over 300 species, rely on this flyweight every year to feed and to breed. A 150 years ago, if we were a bird and we were flying, we would look down and we'd see in the right seasons as sort of mosaic of wetlands that would be full of invertebrates and bugs and things that we would be interested in landing and eating. Now what we're seeing is a patchwork pattern of all the wall crops. Over 90% of that wetland habitat in California is now farmland. They grow tomatoes, grapes, apricots, even rice, which might sound a little odd for water parched, California. But either way, what habitat remains is particularly precarious this year. It is shaping up to be a record drought in America's west this summer. And if the habitat along the Pacific flyway is not available, that threatens the survival of entire species. So just buying up all that farmland and turning it back into wetlands like turning it into mud. That was pretty out of the question. California central valley, some of the most productive and expensive farmland in America, and in the world, like on the order of billions of dollars, and Eric and his conservation group did not have billions of dollars. So Eric got this crazy idea. Maybe they could save the birds with economics. This is the indicator from planet money. I'm Stacey vann Smith. And I'm Darren Woods. I don't care too much for money, money, can't buy me mud. But we might be able to rent it. That's off to the brain. Support for NPR and the following message come from give directly, a charity that lets you send money to people living in extreme poverty. You probably grew up hearing that you can't just give money to poor people, but it turns out that view is wrong. Hundreds of studies have shown direct giving can have positive impacts on education, health, and earnings. More importantly, cash lets the people you're trying to help invest and what they need the most. This giving season, your first donation will be matched up to $1000 when you visit give directly dot org slash NPR. That's give directly dot org slash NPR. In 2013, Eric holstein was in a windowless boardroom in Sacramento. He was there with 15 or 20 conservationists. And they were talking about this curious thing that rice farmers do. Every year, they flood their fields, and it creates these kind of muddy areas, a little like a wetland. It's good for the fields, but it is also great for migratory birds. The water's there for the birds to drink and rest in, and it attracts insects for the birds to eat. It's pretty much as good for the birds as an actual wetland. But the farming cycle and the migratory cycle don't match up perfectly. So Eric and his colleagues in that windowless room were trying to figure out how to convince rice farmers to flood their fields a little earlier in the fall and keep those fields flooded a little later into the spring. But in a drought year, that's a tough ask for farmers. And that is when Eric had the stroke of genius. Hey, this is going to sound like the craziest idea you've ever heard, but what do you think about us designing a reverse auction where we basically ask rice farmers, how much we would have to pay them in order to create really nice wetland habitat with all the right bugs and animals in it. So this scheme, this reverse auction, instead of buyers bidding, it would be the seller putting up beds of how much money they would want to get. So in this case, the conservationists would ask the farmers, how much would they need to flood their fields for longer? And the farmers each would figure out how much that extra water and labor would cost them. And then they'd tell the conservationists, I would need this much to flood my fields, say, a $100 per acre. The response from conservationists, blank faces. I thought it very honestly that I had bungled it. I was pretty convinced it was dead at that point. But Eric kept refining the idea. Over the next few weeks, he talked to colleagues, and eventually they thought they had a good system. They said, let's try this out. So they held workshops with rice farmers to see if collaboration might be possible. The farmers arrived in their trucks, work clues still on, stood there, arms crossed, farmers are historically kind of suspicious of conservationists proposing to do things with their land and water. Those were tough conversations. It was really not easy. I remember hearing about the reverse auction and thought it was kind of a wild idea. This is rice fama, Nicole van flick. She runs a sushi rice farm called Mona farms, and she was in one of those rooms in the Sacramento valley, and she remembers a bit of skepticism from the other farmers, but Nicole, she eventually signs up. And she encourages other rice farmers to do the same. Soon, the very first reverse auction to pay rice farmers to flood their fields was announced for early 2014, and Nicole needed to get her bids in order. And to figure this out, she tallied up two main costs. The cost of water and the cost of labor. Labor because somebody has to keep the fields wet at the right amount for the birds each day. And on the night before the day of bidding, Eric holstein was feeling restless. I had sort of fears of that was going to be my last day of employment. High stakes. It felt like pretty high stakes, but about mid morning. I remember getting a phone call from the program director saying you're just not going to believe it. There are dozens of bids that have already been placed. The bids ranged from a couple of $100 per acre to tens of dollars per acre. There was even a far more or two willing to do it for free. Eric's overall budget was just several $1 million, and what this meant was that Eric could take all of those beds and met them out against crowd sourced bird migration data. And see what land would be the most valuable to migratory birds. And then pay for the rice farms in those areas to flood their fields. The nature conservancy could also reject beds that were too high and go with cheaper farms in good areas for the birds. Nicole van vleck, among several other farmers, was paid to flood her fields. And she says the results were almost instant. A phenomenal success. They do get their very quickly. You know, you just add water. It's just that water. Yeah, and it's not much. What you're hearing is from Nicole's farm. From the field, it is a fling of dunlin, those little birds. That is the collective noun for donlin by the way, Darien, it is a fling, it's like a murder of crows, except for much cuter. And Eric says across California, the reverse auction has had huge results. On some days, there was almost all the equivalent habitat available for the Pacific flyway that there would have been prior to industrial agriculture. Of course, there are other restoration efforts going on as well. But to restore all the habitat loss, that would mean buying up that farmland and Eric estimates who cost $4 billion. But the equivalent cost of running it through an auction system is a lot cheaper. That would be around $20 million a year. Less than a percentage.
"pacific flyway" Discussed on WGN Radio
"The Great outdoors on Chicago's very own 7 20. W G. N Welcome Back to the great outdoors show Charlie Potter, your host here on WGN Radio. Thank you very much for joining me this morning. Whether you're tuning in after the break for the first time I have been with me. Thank you for being with WGN. Uh, I'm going to talk about for a moment. What's called the other drought. And the other drought could have, unfortunately really devastating results to one of the major bird corridors. That being the Pacific flyway this fall, so we we've talked about the drought on the prairies. Uh, drought in Illinois certainly has been broken, but the breeding grounds for the most part had a really bad breeding season. The most important staging marshes. Left in the western part of the United States are the climate basin and too late, which are up on the California Oregon border and the Great Salt Lake, which I talked about a moment ago. The Pacific Flyway, those three areas stage. Helping like 90% of the water, birds and waterfowl that flies South Pacific flyway and ultimately go into central California and on into Mexico. Well, we know that California's got historic drought, the Central Valley of California is very dry. Projections right now are there's going to be extremely limited habitat wintering habitat for those birds, but they recharge their fuel. They feed they rest. In the climate basin, Tule Lake and the Great Salt Lake. Great Salt Lake has water, but half of what it usually has. Climate basin and too late. They're literally dry. Tens of thousands of acres of marsh gone dry. Not in anyone's memory. Have we had the trifecta of the three most important migratory routes for birds. Dry. For more virtually dry, so the profound impact could be profound. And it makes us think about just how much the Western landscape has changed something in the Midwest and South or wherever he may be listening this morning. We don't think about a lot One of the most important migratory bird. And this is for waterfowl. Shorebirds places on earth was a place called like Owen. You probably never heard of like log. Just because Like all it has been drained and farmed. It's gone doesn't exist anymore, like Owen was the casualty of water projects. A long time ago that provided water to Southern California and one of the most prolific staging marshes in the whole world. Now it's gone and has been for about the last 80 years. The claimant basin. Tule Lake were like the late going and because of their water being sucked out for agriculture and for other uses. They have been drawn down continuously. But they had water even though Earth small remnant of what their natural state was. Well, then we have this historic drought and they have no water. And the little bit of water that was there. This is going to sound strange, but it was necessary. The little bit of water that was there has been pumped out. To make it totally dry, so we don't have botulism outbreaks. Botulism is a disease that birds get through, Uh, oil when, when marshes dry out, and the soil warms up a curious of activity area and it's 100% lethal for any for birds and outbreaks can kill tens of thousands of birds at the time. It's just it's just awful the way they suffer. So they have drained what little bit was left to these two lakes. For the birds won't even stop there, so they're going to come out of Canada is going to come out of Alaska, the Arctic And they're going to come their way south and they're going to hit this historic staging area and there's nothing there. They're going to keep going, and they're gonna fly into the central flyway. In the Central Valley, California and they're going to find there's very little there. This is a real problem. We could have a bird's have wings. So you can say Well, we'll move. All right. Well, the great Salt Lake is not the panacea. It was so experts on the Pacific flyway this fall are sincerely concerned about the flyways ability to sustain the birds. That come off the breeding ground, and if it can't sustain the birds that come off the breeding grounds, the population going back north next year, it's going to be severely impacted, so that's the other drought. Doesn't make much news. But it is the Pacific Flyway is is one of the most important flyways on earth. Uh, migratory birds, and and it is really in trouble. Uh, couple minutes I have left. I'm going to talk about Well, I think it's very happy story and that is the unlocking of public lands due to GPS and mapping and Google Earth and and this fall, And if you for those of you who use public lands a lot, you know your number of websites or apps. You can go on on it being being one on one I happened to use Not endorsing. It just happened to music and it's convenient. And it tells you where all the public lands are the private lands and how to get there. Well, this has been incredibly important. To open up. Areas of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and particular in the Midwest and then across the West, where there's so much public land so individuals can access lands that, theoretically not theoretically, they actually belong to us, but we've had no access to him because You had to go through what was perceived to be private lands and a lot of cases to get there. Well, it turns out that a lot of that land actually wasn't private land, but because it was not known that that was an access route for public land. A landowner put up a gate or a fence and barred access. So the new the new mapping systems and the new the new apps, which are pretty darn accurate. Enable you whether you're hiking or you are climber or whether you're hunting or fishing. Been able you to access land that you frankly should have been able to access all along. But you didn't know how. Because the precision of mapping told you that either there was no access. It didn't have the roads or trails or it was blocked with a no trespassing sign or private property sign, which in fact Was actually in the wrong place. So in the coming years, we're going to see a continuation of this. Of course, on the other shoe is landowners who have not been accustomed to having the public access properties now find that they have their land they thought was private. Or blocked access to public lands. Now individuals are coming through, and that's created lots of conflicts. There's some very famous fishing places, uh, in the Midwest, the upper Midwest in particular that have seen lakes that were private lakes..
On Point with Tom Ashbrook | Podcasts
"pacific flyway" Discussed on On Point with Tom Ashbrook | Podcasts
"Magnetic <Speech_Female> <Advertisement> <Speech_Music_Male> <SpeakerChange> <Speech_Music_Female> <Music> <Speech_Male> <Speech_Telephony_Male> <Speech_Female> <Advertisement> regarding <Speech_Female> <Advertisement> the klamath river <Speech_Female> <Advertisement> flows some <Speech_Female> two hundred fifty miles <Speech_Female> from southern <Speech_Female> oregon to northern <Speech_Female> california <Speech_Female> from its headwaters <Speech_Female> at upper <Speech_Female> klamath lake east <Speech_Female> of medford oregon <Speech_Female> the river rushes <Speech_Female> through trout <Speech_Female> habitat forested <Speech_Female> mountains <Speech_Female> farmland <Speech_Female> and salmon nurseries <Speech_Female> as it makes <Speech_Female> its way to the pacific <Speech_Music_Male> ocean <Speech_Music_Male> rather <Speech_Music_Male> the river <SpeakerChange> <Speech_Female> usually <Speech_Female> russia's <Speech_Female> but now <Speech_Female> drought is <Speech_Female> <Advertisement> desiccated almost <Speech_Female> <Advertisement> the entire klamath <Speech_Female> <Advertisement> river basin. <Speech_Female> <Advertisement> Some twelve to <Speech_Female> fifteen thousand <Speech_Female> square miles. <Speech_Female> That's an area <Speech_Female> approaching the size of <Speech_Female> the entirety <Speech_Female> of massachusetts <Speech_Female> and connecticut combined <Speech_Female> and <Speech_Female> <Advertisement> across those more <Speech_Female> than nine million <Speech_Female> <Advertisement> acres. Everyone <Speech_Female> <Advertisement> <Speech_Female> <Advertisement> and everything <Speech_Female> <Advertisement> is <Speech_Female> <Advertisement> suffering <Speech_Female> <Advertisement> including <Speech_Female> <Advertisement> the birds <Speech_Female> <Advertisement> species <Speech_Female> <Advertisement> such as th- <Speech_Music_Female> rushes hummingbirds <Speech_Music_Female> and fly <Speech_Female> <Advertisement> catchers <Speech_Female> the diversion of <Speech_Female> water from refugees <Speech_Female> in the klamath river. <Speech_Female> Basin and climate <Speech_Female> change is <Speech_Female> altering migratory <Speech_Female> <Advertisement> patterns of <Speech_Female> <Advertisement> bird species in <Speech_Female> <Advertisement> the pacific flyway <Speech_Female> <Advertisement> from alaska <Speech_Female> <Advertisement> to patagonia. <Speech_Music_Female> <Advertisement> <Speech_Female> <Advertisement> John alexander <Speech_Female> <Advertisement> is executive <Speech_Female> director of the klamath <Speech_Female> bird observatory <Speech_Female> the <Speech_Female> observatory's monitoring <Speech_Female> station is at <Speech_Female> <Advertisement> the klamath river headwaters <Speech_Female> <Advertisement> on <Speech_Female> <Advertisement> the shore <SpeakerChange> of <Speech_Music_Male> <Advertisement> upper klamath lake. <Music> <Speech_Male> Normally <Speech_Male> when you would <Speech_Male> come out of our field <Speech_Male> station walked down <Speech_Male> <Advertisement> through the woods and onto <Speech_Male> <Advertisement> the <SpeakerChange> marsh. You'd <Speech_Male> be doing <Speech_Music_Male> it in chess waiters <Speech_Music_Male> <Speech_Telephony_Male> <Speech_Male> but this <Speech_Male> year even in the string <Speech_Male> when <Speech_Male> we would normally <Speech_Male> be over <Speech_Male> waist deep in <Speech_Male> water where <Speech_Male> walking on <Speech_Male> dry <Speech_Music_Male> marshall bottom <Speech_Music_Male> and there's <Speech_Male> no water <Speech_Male> at the station where <Speech_Male> usually <Speech_Music_Male> water persists <Music> <Speech_Telephony_Male> mclamb <Speech_Male> refuge system. <Speech_Male> It's lynch <Speech_Male> pin. Perform auditory <Speech_Male> birds western <Speech_Male> populations <Speech_Male> of waterfowl <Speech_Male> and other species <Speech_Male> of migratory. Birds <Speech_Male> depend on this <Speech_Male> very small area <Speech_Male> in this <Speech_Male> critical art <Speech_Music_Male> of their <SpeakerChange> journey. <Music> The all immigration <Music> <Speech_Telephony_Male> <SpeakerChange> <Speech_Telephony_Male> <Speech_Male> decisions that <Speech_Male> were making now <Speech_Male> <Speech_Male> are putting at risk <Speech_Male> the birds that make <Speech_Male> their remarkable <Speech_Male> annual migration <Speech_Male> through this area <Speech_Male> and. This is a clear <Speech_Male> signal <Speech_Male> that the arteries <Speech_Male> of the wests <Speech_Male> are. Wetland <SpeakerChange> ecosystems <Speech_Male> are <Music> <Advertisement> failing. <Music> <Advertisement> <Speech_Male> <Advertisement> <Speech_Male> What can we <Speech_Male> maintain <Speech_Male> with. Regards <Speech_Male> to an agra <Speech_Male> farming industry <Speech_Male> in the upper klamath basin <Speech_Male> while also <Speech_Male> maintaining <Speech_Male> the headwaters <Speech_Male> of <Speech_Male> one of our continent's <Speech_Male> most important <Speech_Male> watersheds <Speech_Male> a watershed <Speech_Male> fueled <Speech_Male> cultures <Speech_Male> and fed <Speech_Male> cultures. <Speech_Male> And <SpeakerChange> how do <Speech_Male> we balance those <Music> needs. <Speech_Music_Male> <Speech_Male> What's the economic <Speech_Male> impacts of <Speech_Male> giving. The refuges <Speech_Male> were water. You know <Speech_Male> there's always families <Speech_Male> in likelihood <Speech_Male> that are important <Speech_Male> and that we need to <Speech_Male> be concerned about <Speech_Male> and we need <Speech_Male> to balance them <Speech_Male> with what <Speech_Male> we need as a <Speech_Male> broader society <Speech_Male> if we <Speech_Male> lose some of those <Speech_Male> crops in <Speech_Male> the upper klamath basin <Speech_Male> is it gonna <Speech_Male> to impact on our <Speech_Male> food resources in the <Speech_Male> west or <Speech_Male> the impact of the economic <Speech_Male> in nature <Speech_Male> to stanley's <Speech_Male> didn't make that persists <Speech_Male> in their porton <Speech_Male> they're part of our community <Speech_Male> in. Is there any <Speech_Male> way we can compensate <Speech_Music_Male> for
On Point with Tom Ashbrook | Podcasts
"pacific flyway" Discussed on On Point with Tom Ashbrook | Podcasts
"Real the concern is not necessarily like people locally protesting the concern was outside actors coming in and trying to make the klamath. Their soapbox yeah. I'm i understand that. A farmer named ben duval. Who's the president of the klamath. Water users association was writing to members And condemning people from be that were being recruited from other parts of the country right to come in and participate in these demonstration. So fortunately nothing. Nothing terrible happened. But but Scott if i can turn back to you have one more question for you. It's the same question to ask everyone this hour Do you think that there is a solution here. A way to balance the needs of of of all the farmers the fish the native tribes. Everybody who relies on the lakes and rivers in the basin. And what is that solution. Y i do think that it was the kp. Are i think it is the cape your a. I think it's a matter of you. Know the reason why things weren't enacted in in two thousand fifteen and died was largely the the support for npr a because of dam removal. It was such a hot topic locally politically from here all the way to dc. It was it was just kind of nails. On the chalkboard for some people it was a spear in the side for others and and and the idea of dam removal is utopia for the tribes. That believed that a free flowing. River is is ultimately. what's needed. And as a as an era gator. I didn't have a dog in that. Fight the the dams that are below us. Don't control my irrigation. water A bullet. I believe that the property owners along the river that the the four dams that are in question that have a lake. That's that has property value attached to that for people that built houses are they need to be dealt with an and they were trying to do that but it was such a radical idea. Dam removal is going forward That the anticipation is damn. Start coming out in twenty twenty three. The part of that agreement didn't go through was was the the the component that took care of the national wildlife refuges which would have had one hundred thousand acre feet of water guaranteed to them Which this year will are only receiving the ten thousand acre feet. That's being brought down through to like your education district delivered into someone be to to support one hundred and twenty seven suckers that are entrapped there in one hundred thousand birds that we're going through Molting that could have had botulism kill. That's the only surface-water coming into the the this side of the project. And and so. It's pretty critical that we get back to that because it dealt with agriculture it dealt with tribal interest and what was good. Dan is is still the same approach now in my mind. Well scott choice. Their generation farmer and owner of soy's family farms in to lake california. Thank you so much for joining us. Thank you for having me all right last. Stop on our virtual re- Trip downriver on the klamath is at the mouth of the klamath river near the pacific ocean. An area shared by the euro people and redwood national park. Barry mccovey junior Joins us from klamath california where he senior fisheries biologist with the uruk tribal fisheries program and a europe tribal member as well. Barry mccovey junior. Welcome to on point eric. Thanks for having me. Tell me a little bit about the salmon there. How healthy or not healthy is the population there. Yeah so salmon. Runs here on. The klamath have been in steady decline for many many decades And it's gotten extremely bad over the last few years since around two thousand fourteen in two thousand fifteen we experienced drought. We've kind of been in this perpetual state of drought since then and we've seen population declines that we've never seen before and it's to a point where there's snow longer enough fish harvest for the tribe to feed its people so things are getting pretty bad. No not enough to feed feed the people. So how much of this is due to the what you heard prior to you in this hour in the water management decisions being made up river and even all the way up at Upper klamath lake. It's it's really a huge part of of the declines in fish species in the klamath river there many many aspects of of decline From you know habitat loss to water management issues to disease to sedimentation Dams blocking four hundred miles of of historic spawning habitat. There there are. There are a lot of reasons. Why sam numbers have declined over the decades This year in particular we were hit extremely hard by the drought like everyone was in the basin. And do you do you. do you worry that. The the drought Since it seems like it may go on for some time. is just going to continue to make everything worse. Sure there's there's not enough water to go around in the space and And like dr gonyea said there's not enough water for fish and we can't we can't dictate how much water fish need. They need a certain amount of water. And there's not enough to go around and so something needs to change and we do foresee drought continuing but we're working really hard to build climate resiliency into the basin. He talked to me a little bit more about that. Sure so like Scott mentioned dam. Removal is a is a huge part of that dam. Removal will be the largest river restoration project. Maybe in the history of america. And so what we're doing as we removing for dams on the klamath were opening up. Four hundred miles of historic spawning habitat. That will build helped to build in climate resiliency. That will give the river access to springs and many other habitats that haven't been accessible for for over one hundred years now That in itself is huge. And it's a it's a major move in the direction as far as restoring salmon here on the klamath river and other species look. It's not just salmon that were concerned about. There's pray there's green sturgeon there's steelhead. There's many many species that are connected to this ecosystem and dammar mola's going to help all of them and it's going to help all the people in the basin also In and you know our job here at the europe tribe is to try and restore balance to this basin and we feel like dam removal landscape scale restoration projects like that are the path forward. Well barium mccovey junior senior fisheries biologist with the uruk tribal fisheries program. Thank you so much for joining us. Thank you appreciate it. Alex schwartz have got about thirty seconds. Left with you in your reporting heavy found that people along the entire the tired of the base are genuinely concerned about their ways of life vanishing forever unless some kind of workable solution is found. I would definitely say yes. there's i mean especially with the trauma cop two species it's literally hurtling toward extinction There is a lot of concern that these traditional lifeways for indigenous peoples are in jeopardy and also the the farmers who definitely have a shorter history here but you know have been here for some generations and are seeing their their life ways decline. Seems like there can be a set of solutions though. If they don't keep dying in congress. But alex schwartz reporter for herald and news as part of report for america. Thank you so very much for joining us today. Thanks for having me as you've heard for many in the klamath river basin. There are more questions about the future than answers and so we want to wrap up today with another group. That can't seem to win in this complicated situation. That's birds such as brushes hummingbirds and fly catchers the diversion of water from refugees in the klamath river. Basin and climate change is altering migratory patterns of bird species on the pacific flyway from alaska to patagonia. John alexander is executive director of the klamath bird observatory and the observatory's monitoring station is at the klamath river headwaters where we began today's episode on the shore of upper klamath lake. Normally when you would come out of our field station walked down through the woods and onto the march you'd be doing it in chess waiters but this year even in the spring when we would normally be over waist deep in water. We're walking on dry marsh bottom and there's no water at the station. Wear usually.
The Indicator from Planet Money
"pacific flyway" Discussed on The Indicator from Planet Money
"This message comes from. Npr sponsor borough setting a new standard for furniture with innovative designs based on research for smarter simpler. Assembly gets seventy five dollars off. Today at borough dot com slash indicator support also comes from capital group home of american funds. Their fundamental research helps you say i can make more confident. Investment decisions visit capital group dotcom american funds distributors inc. In two thousand thirteen eric hosting was in a windowless boardroom. In sacramento he was there with fifteen or twenty conservationists and they were talking about this curious thing that rice farmers do every year they fled their fields and it creates these kind of muddy areas of little like a wetland. It's good for the fields but it is also great for migratory birds. The water's there for the birds to drink and rest in and in attracts insects for the birds to eat. It's pretty much as good for the birds as an actual wetland but the farming psycho and the migratory psycho. Don't match up perfectly. So eric and his colleagues in that windowless room with trying to figure out how to convince rice farmers to flood the fields a little earlier in the fall and keep those fields flooded a little later into the spring but in a drought year. That's tough ask for farmers. And that is when eric had the stroke of genius. Hey this is gonna sound like the craziest idea you've ever heard but wh what do you think about about us designing a reverse auction. Where we we basically ask rice farmers how much we would have to pay them in order to create really nice wetland habitat with all the rain bugs and animals in it could we create enough habitat in a really capitol efficient way so this scheme the reverse auction instead of buyers bidding. It would be the seller putting up bids of how much money they would want to get so in this case. The conservationists would ask the farmers how much would they need to flood their fields for longer than the farmers. Each would figure out how much extra water and labor would cost them. And then the. Tell the conservationists i would need this much to my fields say one hundred dollars per acre the response from conservationists blank faces very honestly that i had bungled it. I was pretty convinced. It was dead at that point. But eric kept refining the idea over the next few weeks he talked to colleagues and eventually they thought they had a good system. It said let's try this out so. They held workshops with rice farmers to see if collaboration might be possible. The farmers arrived in their trucks. Were clues still on stood their arms crossed. Farmers are historically kind of suspicious of conservationists proposing to do things with their land and water were tough conversations. It was really not easy. I remember hearing about the river suction and thought it was kind of a wild idea. This is rice pharma. Nicole van flick. She runs a sushi. Rice farm cold montana farms and she was one of those rooms in the sacramento valley and she remembers a bit of skepticism from the other farmers but nicole she eventually signs up and she encourages other rice farmers to do the same soon the very first reverse auction to pay rice farmers to flood their fields was announced for early. Two thousand fourteen and nicole needed to get her bids in order and to figure this out. She tallied up to maine costs. The cost of water and the cost of labor labor because somebody has to keep the fields wet at the right amount for the birds each day and on the night before the day of bidding. Eric holstein was feeling restless. I sort of fears of that was going to be my last day of employment high stakes. Who is it felt like pretty high stakes but about mid morning. I remember getting a phone call from the program director saying eric. You're just not going to believe it. There are dozens of bids that have already been placed the bids ranged from a couple of hundred dollars per acre to tens of dollars per acre. There was even a follow too willing to do it. for free. eric's overall budget was just several million dollars. And what this meant was that eric could take those bids and met them out against crowd. Sourced bid migration data and see. What land would be the most valuable to migratory birds and then pay for the rice farms in those areas to flood their fields. The nature conservancy could also reject bids that were too high and go with cheaper femmes in good areas for the birds. Nicole van black among several other farmers was paid to flood her fields and she says the results were almost instant phenomenal success. They do get there very quickly. You know you just add water. Just add water. Yeah and it's not much what you're hearing is from nicole's farm from the field it is a fling of dunlins those little birds that is the collective noun for deadline by the way during a fling like a murder of crows except for modest cuter. And eric says across california the reverse auction has had huge results. On some days there was almost all the equivalent habitat available for the pacific. Flyway that there would have been pryatta industrial agriculture. Of course there are other restoration if it's going on as well but to restore all the habitat loss that would mean buying up that farmland and eric estimates who cost four billion dollars but the equivalent cost of running it through an auction system is a lot cheaper that would be around twenty billion dollars a year less a percentage point of the cost of buying the land outright but this year with eight historic drought forecast. Eric says he got really nervous. I think that the water is so scarce that it's possible. Farmers will choose to not allocate any water and we will probably know in a couple of weeks. Well those two weeks there up now and the reverse auction just concluded and yeah. It was different this year. The morning of the final day of the auction there was only three or four bids representing just three hundred acres much lower than thousands last year. It was a nail biting moment but at about one pm on the final day. A bid from nicole plus bids from lots of other farmers started pouring in in total four thousand acres worth of farmland. So this year's ricefield flooding can go ahead and eric. He says the success this year. That's the beauty of the reverse auction system. It doesn't matter how bad the drought is. Every farmer still has their price. This episode was produced by julia. Richie with help from gilly moon. It was fact. Checked by michael. Aha k content edits the show and the indicator is a production of npr..
The Indicator from Planet Money
"pacific flyway" Discussed on The Indicator from Planet Money
"An economist but at the environmental nonprofit where he works the nature conservancy. He's bins most of his time around ecologists. Do you dress differently than the ecologists. It's so funny. You're the first person that's asked me that question. I thought about this a lot. There were a button-down shirt. Do i not like. I try to fit in or so obvious because of what i say that. I'm the economists. Unlike a lot of economists and consultants who tend to wear suits eric started wearing t shirts and fleeces outerwear which comes in handy because also unlike a lot of economists. He spends a lot more time near his new favorite bird. The donlan it's a couple of inches tall and it's just it's got a ton of personality. What sound does it make. It's a little sort of chirp. Like i don't even know if i could make but eric spend a lot of time looking at something called the pacific flyway. It is a huge route for migratory birds. It stretches from the arctic down through california's central valley all the way to patagonia in the southern hemisphere. Millions of birds over three hundred species rely on this flyway every year to feed and to breed one hundred and fifty years ago. If we were a bird and we were flying we would look down. And we'd we'd see in the right seasons as sort of mosaic of of wetlands that would be full of invertebrates and bugs and things that we would be interested in landing and eating now. What we're seeing is is a patchwork pattern of wall-to-wall crops over ninety percent of that wetland habitat in california is now farmland. They grow tomatoes grapes apricots even rice. Which might sound a little odd for water-parched california but either way what habitat remains is particularly precarious. This year. It is shaping up to be a record drought in america's west the summer and if the habitat along the pacific flyway is not available that threatens the survival of entice species so just buying up all that farmland land and turning it back into wetlands like turning it into mud. That was pretty out of the question. California's central valley some of the most productive and expensive farmland in america and in the world like on the order of billions of dollars and eric in his conservation. Group did not have billions of dollars. So eric got this crazy idea. Maybe.
Thousands of birds die at Salton Sea
"Just in the last couple of weeks in the culprit avian cholera testing showed signs of the infectious bacterial disease that has spread through direct contact or from contaminated food or water. Wildlife officials say outbreaks of various sizes occur every year as a result of birds flocking closely together during migration now the three hundred fifty square mile lake is located south of interstate ten that southeast palm. Springs and LA Quinta. It's a regular stop for migrating birds along what's called the Pacific flyway, the salty lake which began pretty much by accident from an overwhelmed. Irrigation canal sits in the hot desert. It is drying up and disease notwithstanding that will make it smaller and make it saltier and less friendly of place for birds and for people for KCRW