Resist Urge to “Rescue” Young Wildlife

Resist Urge to “Rescue” Young Wildlife

Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation | May 8, 2017

Springtime brings renewal in nature. It’s a time of abundance when new life and new growth emerge, continuing the ancient cycle that defines the outdoor world.  Unfortunately each spring, well-meaning people interrupt nature’s balance because they want to “rescue” newborn and young animals that, at first glance, might appear to be abandoned.

“If you find newborn wildlife while in your yard or in the woods that appears to be alone, chances are an adult animal is nearby and is simply waiting for you to move along so they can take care of their young,” said Melynda Hickman, wildlife diversity biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

Fawn in tall grass
This spring, many people will walk up on a fawn that appears to be alone. Biologists say it is best to resist the urge to help because adult animals are likely nearby. [MATT JOHNSON / READERS SHOWCASE 2016]
People who happen across a hatchling bird or a young fawn are urged to leave them and move away from the area. “It is common for fawns to remain in a safe place while does feed nearby, and interfering with that always causes more harm than good. It’s also best to leave birds, young squirrels and other wildlife alone as well.”

Biologists say that people trying to help can actually be more stressful on young wildlife than if those people would have simply left them alone.

“The willingness among well-meaning sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts to want to help is a good thing, but choosing to allow nature to run its course is often the best help we can offer young wildlife,” Hickman said.

Not only is it best to not interfere in nature, it also could be illegal. Many people don’t realize there are laws that protect most wildlife species, and those laws prohibit people from handling or “rescuing” wildlife.

Federal Junior Duck Stamp Exhibit at Hagerman

Federal Junior Duck Stamp Exhibit at Hagerman

The Junior Duck Stamp Art Exhibit is on tour across the country and will be on display at Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge on Lake Texoma from April 30 – May 7, 2017.  In conjunction with this national exhibit, art students from local schools will display works that center on the themes of nature and wildlife.

In 2016, over 25,000 students across the United States submitted entries in the federal Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest.  The winning artwork is used as the design for the Junior Duck Stamp.  The revenue from the sale of this stamp funds environmental activities for children through a federal curriculum that combines the arts and sciences to teach environmental conservation.  The program encourages students of all grades to explore the natural world and express and share what they have learned with others.

Federal Junior Duck Stamp Exhibit

A display of the winning artwork tours the country annually, and will be on display in the Texoma area for the first time at the Hagerman Refuge Visitor Center.  The Junior Duck Stamp Program is an offshoot of the Federal Duck Stamp Program.  The purchase of Federal Duck Stamps supports the work of the National Wildlife Refuge system, promoting waterfowl conservation through habitat procurement and protection in places like Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge.

Make plans to see the artwork of local students and the national touring exhibit of Junior Duck Stamp winners.  Refuge Visitor Center hours are Monday – Friday 7:30 am – 4:00 pm. Saturday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm and Sunday 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm.

Two Area Women Receive ATHENA Leadership Awards

Two Area Women Receive ATHENA Leadership Awards

Athena AwardsAustin College | May 5, 2017

Sherman, Texas

Austin College recognized two exemplary leaders from the region on May 3, awarding the prestigious ATHENA Leadership Award® to Michelle Castle, branch manager at Guild Mortgage Company, and the ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award to Trish Bridges, director of critical care services at Wilson N. Jones Regional Medical Center. The event was presented by the College’s Center for Community and Regional Development and its Texoma Women Get Connected program. At the luncheon, Kourtny Garrett, president and CEO of Downtown Dallas, Inc., spoke about her work with nonprofit agencies.

ATHENA Leadership Award Nominees

The ATHENA Leadership Award® is presented to individuals who have attained and embody the highest level of professional excellence in their business or profession, devote time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community, and actively assist women in realizing their full leadership potential.

Michelle CastleCastle, the region’s 2017 honoree, opened the Sherman branch of Guild Mortgage in 2011 with three employees, and since has added four locations and increased the support staff to almost 30. She is recognized for creating an office culture and processes that serve as a role model for Guild Mortgage branches across the country, and often presents at the company’s national summit to share her marketing expertise. Castle also is known for mentorship and strong support of career advancement for women working in the mortgage banking business. A generous sponsor of local charity events, including the Guild Breakfast with Santa at Sherman’s Snowflake Festival, she serves as board president of the Child & Family Guidance Center of Texoma.

Other nominee honorees for the ATHENA Leadership Award were Janis Fletcher, City of Sherman certified court clerk in the Municipal Court; and Leigh Ann Sims, commercial loan officer at Legends Bank.

ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award Nominees

ATHENA Young Professional Leadership nominees are emerging women leaders who demonstrate excellence, creativity, and initiative in their business or profession; provide valuable service to improve the quality of life for others in their community; and clearly serve as role models for young women both personally and professionally.

ATHENA Young Professional recipient for 2017, Bridges was recognized for her leadership skills and heart for service early in her career as a nurse. Today, she is the director of critical care services at WNJ Regional Medical Center, which encompasses several departments in the hospital including the Intensive Care Unit and Emergency Room. Beyond the hospital’s walls, Trish has been described as an “invaluable” member of the North Texas Young Professionals, first as a volunteer and then on the board of directors. She currently services as NTYP president

The other nominee for the 2017 Young Professional Leadership Award was Mikayla Stocks, volunteer coordinator, case worker, and grant writer at Grayson County Shelter.  

Sponsors for the 2017 event included Texoma Health Foundation, United Way of Grayson County, Austin College Institutional Advancement staff in honor of Jill Joiner Roberts, Kristine McKinney in memory of Clara Blackford Smith, and Wilson N. Jones Regional Medical Center. Event sponsorships benefit the College’s Social Entrepreneurship for Poverty Alleviation (SEPA) summer intern program.

 Austin College reinstated the local awards three years ago, with nominations open to leaders in Cooke, Fannin, and Grayson counties. Nomination information for 2018 honorees can be found at www.austincollege.edu/athena.

Grayson College Rotaract Club presents Community Service Award

Grayson College Rotaract Club presents Community Service Award

Grayson College’s Rotaract Club celebrated its second year as a club sponsored by the Grayson County Rotary. As part of its year end celebration, Grayson College Rotaract President, Christina Childress, presented the club’s 2016-17 Community Service Award to Brandy Barnard for her work with the Denison Animal Welfare Group (DAWG).

Brandy Barnard recieves awardBarnard shared her story of losing her dog, recovering him, and working with friends to establish the Denison Animal Welfare Group (DAWG) in 2014.  When their first location flooded after only a year, the group moved into its current home, the old South Side Fire Station on Spur 503. Barnard emphasized the generosity of the many volunteers who donate money and care for the dogs and cats waiting to find new homes after being abandoned. She spoke of DAWG’s work with the Oklahoma Spay Network that helps to keep more stray pets from being neglected and spares adopters the responsibility and costs associated with pet care. Cats are cared for by volunteers at PetSmart and PetCo. Dogs are at Petco for adoption on Saturdays from 10-4.

Barnard spoke enthusiastically about the upcoming DAWG 5K run and shorter walking event for raising funds that will take place in Heritage Park on Saturday May 12 from 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. Runners and walkers may register and enjoy the exercise and the support of a truly deserving cause. Leashed and friendly pets are welcome to join in the fun!

In addition to recognizing Barnard and her service, Childress presented a check for funds raised for End Polio Now to Grayson County Rotarian Terry Everett.  The Grayson County Rotary will double the check before sending it on to Rotary International. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will triple the donation in support of the goal of eliminating polio.

Grayson College’s Rotaract meets during the academic year twice monthly with students from a wide variety of majors. They volunteer with local Rotarians and have traveled to Dallas to help Fair Park Rotarians staff the Texas Discovery Gardens during the Texas State Fair. The group raises funds for Rotary International’s End Polio Now vaccination campaign so that they give locally and globally, reflecting the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self—He Profits Most Who Serves Best.” GC professor Jean Sorensen and librarian Alvin Bailey sponsor the campus organization.

Shad Rule Changes Take Effect in Texas

Shad Rule Changes Take Effect in Texas

Texas Parks and WildlifeAustin Texas | Texas Parks and Wildlife Department | April 30, 2017

New rules that govern the possession and sale of gizzard and threadfin shad collected from public fresh waters go into effect April 13.

The changes passed earlier this year by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission will require persons who use containers exceeding 82 quarts in volume when collecting shad to obtain a $60 Permit to Possess or Sell Nongame Fish Taken from Public Fresh Waters. Persons collecting shad for use as bait or stock in private lakes would need a permit if their container volume exceeds 82 quarts. A permit will continue to be required if the shad collected are sold or exchanged for anything of value regardless of the container size used.

No permit is required if the shad are used only as bait on the lake where they are collected, or if a licensed fishing guide possesses and furnishes the shad as bait to customers as part of the guide’s services.

According to TPWD Inland Fisheries Director of Information and Regulations Ken Kurzawski, this change allows the department to better monitor shad harvesting to ensure their sustainability in Texas fisheries and addresses concerns about the spread of invasive species.

“Transfer of zebra mussels is our primary concern,” Kurzawski said. “Before this change, no permit was required if the shad were not sold, so there was less opportunity to inform those users of the risks of the zebra mussel transfer…so these regulations give us an avenue to do that.”

Information on obtaining a nongame fish permit can be found at http://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/fishboat/forms/ or by calling 512-389-4742.

Source:  http://tpwd.texas.gov/newsmedia/releases/?req=20170413a