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Candidates & Critters Make Tracks in New Hampshire

Yesterday morning was wonderful – clear and still cold. With a dusting atop a snowpack made compact over the winter months, I knew I had a chance – maybe the last of the season – to walk on A Spring Walk on the Snowpack without Snowshoestop of almost two feet of snow without snowshoes … and wander a bit into the field and woods and follow  tracks of critters that have survived this far into the season.

Would-be presidential candidates are making tracks in New Hampshire too.   And CPAC is coincident with Spring.

Bobby Jindal, Peter King, Rick Santorum and John Bolton will join Kelley Ayotte at a regional GOP event in Nashua later this week.  Ted Cruz, Newt Gingrich Rand Paul, Marsha Backburn, Mike Lee, Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee are making tracks to New Hampshire in April.

I wonder if wildlife is on their minds.

Louisiana Governor Jindal recently celebrated a state road improvement by explaining “La. 35 is a key corridor in Vermilion Parish that helps drive our economy and gives sportsmen access to some of best hunting and fishing in the state,” Jindal said. “This project will speed up commutes for businesses and sportsmen …” (early hunter catches the bird I suppose).

He’s also linking the red snapper fishery to the US Constitution (”it’s time for the federal government to transfer red-snapper management to the states…”)

Critters & Candidates are Making Tracks this Month

We remember Rick Santorum and his children hunt pheasant.  Ted Cruz also.  You almost have to hunt pheasant if you are serious about Iowa

Senator Mike Lee is an Eagle Scout (a good thing), so you know he has Conservation Merit Badge.  Bird Study Merit Badge is no longer required to attain the rank of Eagle.

Upon her return from Alaska, apparently Rep. Blackburn was convinced that drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve  (ANWR) is “practical, environmentally responsible, and essential to American energy independence”; that was years before fracking.  Most recently she voted to prevent restoration of the McKinney National Wildlife Refuge in Connecticut.

I have a special place in my heart for Mike Huckabee because of his seemingly intimate knowledge of the thought-to-be-extinct Ivory-billed Woodpecker – the “Lord God Bird” of the great southern forests. In a holding room as he was waiting to speak at a climate change conference in New Hampshire in 2007, I remarked to the Governor how excited many in the conservation world were at the prospect of the giant woodpecker still living in Arkansas.  Governor Huckabee knew the bird and its history, its habitat, the scientific quests to confirm its existence in Arkansas, and we talked for 10 minutes about the bird and stewardship.

Who made these tracks?

Who made these tracks?

Spring arrived today on the wings of hundreds of blackbirds. The corn snow softened during the day. Heard a Pileated (a crow-sized woodpecker) in my neighbor’s woods.  Woodcock will soon arrive with that beautiful “peent” in the early evening.  Mona and I went to Rye to look at a Snowy Owl. House Finches, Tufted Titmice, cardinals and chickadees are all testing their songs (some tentatively) – as were governors, senators and congressman at CPAC testing their songs (less tentatively).

Migrations to New Hampshire – of birds and candidates – are in full swing.




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