Thursday, April 17, 2008

Prairie-Chickens as the new cash cow?

A New York Times article today focuses on the reappearance of "prairie chickens" in Eagleville, Mo. -- north of Kansas City and almost on the Iowa border. Once plentiful in Missouri but now threatened, the Greater Prairie-Chickens lure birders, ornithologists and photographers to a blind on Dunn Ranch, owned by The Nature Conservancy.

Tourism, which had been practically unheard of here, is now a hot topic. A bed and breakfast is about to open and the few remaining old businesses are feeling the pulse of new life for the first time in decades.

“You can see things in pictures, it’s just not the same,” said Jennifer McComb, an antiques dealer from St. Louis, during a recent viewing. “I cried. It’s the whole prairie thing, and the fact that they’re on the edge of not being. There are birds that I would have died to have seen that are long gone. These, they might not make it. They’re tricky. They’re weird. They’re special.”
They’re tricky. They’re weird. They’re special. That applies to many species, doesn't it?

Details about Dunn Ranch appear here.

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