Yesterday Paul and I went to the DNR’s Volunteer Wildlife Monitoring Program and learned how to identify raptors and colonial water birds, which we learned are things like egrets and great blue herons (colonial because they nest in colonies).
We’re now assigned to monitor an eagle’s nest south of Iowa City. We’re to check to see if it’s being used, and if so, if there are fledglings hatched and then if they successful take off or fledge.
We’re looking forward to identifying the nests on the Cedar River as well. We’re sure they’re here with as many eagles as we have. It’s a question of finding the large nests and then watching them to see if eagles are coming and going from them.
Why isn’t the state doing this monitoring itself? Because the Department of Natural Resources is underfunded. Because Iowa is last among all states with lands belonging to the public. Because this state has never taken protecting its natural resources seriously. Thankfully, there are many individuals in state service and among our citizens who do care, and many of them were in our class yesterday. We’d like to thank them for taking care of our state and doing all they can to resist the Monsanto-driven Big Ag propaganda that spews lies about clean water in our rivers and lakes, industrial hog confinements that are good for our communities and “bug-zapper” seed that is good for our farms and fields.
The DNR is making lemonade from lemons by tapping into the enthusiasm of private citizens who want to help. It’s a great way to get the public involved and invested in what’s happening all around us.