The 2005 winter meeting of the TOS was held January
28, 29 and 30 in Dayton, TN. Members from across the state and guest
turned out in impressive numbers despite weather predictions of
rain, freezing rain, and snow. Attendance at all the scheduled events
was outstanding with total attendance for the weekend topping 60.
The weekend meeting was the result of a cooperative
effort by the Bristol, Chattanooga, Knoxville chapters. Special
thanks go to our field trip leaders, Wallace Coffey, Daniel Moss,
and Charlie Muise.
A cold dreary rain failed to dampen the spirits of
the Saturday morning field trip participants who visited Yuchi and
Hiawassee WMAs. Click here
for a compilation of the birds seen on all the field trips.
gazebo at Yuchi was a good spot
to see American Pipits.
(click images to enlarge)
The finance committee held an early afternoon meeting
that was very popular. At one point there were 32 people participating
in the meeting. We are very grateful to Ron Hoff and the members
of the finance committee for allowing us to ask questions and offer
opinions. At the end of the session the committee was planning to
make recommendations on a budget to be presented to the membership
at the spring meeting in Memphis.
Later Saturday afternoon Mike Roedel, TWRA State
Ornithologist, and Charlie Muise, TOS Conservation Committee Chair,
made a presentation on a bird-monitoring plan for Tennessee. The
program will involve gathering precise data on species of concern
to aid in the development of conservation plans. Charlie and Mike
will be taking the program on the road soon so watch for them at
your local chapter meetings!
A group of hungry birders filled the Heartland Grill
banquet room for dinner. Good food and good company are hard to
beat after a day birding.
birders flocked to the Heartland Grill for dinner.
National Geographic field guide was given to Charlie Parker
of Bristol for being the youngest birder attending (that would
not drool on the pages).
The evening started with a presentation from Geoff
Dixon of Operation Migration. Geoff told an interesting saga of
the process that is required to hand raise and then train whooping
cranes to migrate while not allowing them to become imprinted on
humans. It was an impressive story and the process has yielded impressive
results. There are now 47 whooping cranes in the eastern flock that
have made the trek from the breeding grounds in Wisconsin to the
wintering grounds in Florida. Whooper 107, which made its first
trip three years ago, has spent this winter season at Hiawassee.
The bird was seen on both days by our field trip participants.
Following the operation migration presentation, Mike
Roedel introduced Richard Kirk, TWRA State Non-Game Coordinator.
Richard started our round table discussion by explaining the conservation
planning process required by federal regulations. The presentation
included historical perspectives on wildlife and the current status
of many species of concern. TWRA's local conservation planning is
derived from larger regional plans which are derived from planning
on the continental scale. Among other topics discussed were TWRA's
position on TVA divestment of its public land and TVA's plans for
mountain top mining in Royal Blue WMA. The folks from TWRA were
available for more than two hours of conversation about plans to
save and restore habitat, raise funds, and gather meaningful data
on the current status of wildlife.
Non-Game folks answered questions to wrap up the day's events.
field trip participants pose in from of the hotel's welcome
A group photo was taken Sunday morning before the
field trips left the motel. Unfortunately several folks had already
left when the photo was taken. Sunday field trips were drier than
Saturday’s, but not much warmer while the skies remained overcast.
Photos and text contributed by Dan and Laurie Mooney.
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