July 23, 2019

Piping Plovers Need Counting But Not Deer, Bear, Moose, and Turkeys

Maine says it wants to hire some scientists to monitor and manage piping plovers and least terns along the coast. Maine Public reports that: “The scientists will also conduct surveys of migratory shorebirds and map feeding and roosting areas.”

The only way that any scientists can “monitor and manage” these birds is to know how many there are. It is reported that “surveys” will be taken and maps will be drawn up to keep track of these birds. Why? Can’t we just have more “flexibility” in management if we know whether or not the flocks of piping plovers and least terns, regardless of their numbers, are “healthy?”

I say what is good enough for the deer, bear, moose, and turkeys is good enough for the piping plovers and least terns.

Maybe the object here is to focus the attention on the health of deer, bear, moose, and turkeys until they are extinct, like plovers and terns, and then hire “scientists” to “monitor and manage” them.

Job security!

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Double Standard in Fining Who Kills Protected Animals

deadeaglesHere’s an interesting scenario. If a town can be fined for not preventing dogs from killing protected birds, can owners of windmills be fined for not preventing their machines from killing protected birds?

The events in Scarborough, Maine should open people’s eyes to the dictatorial fascism of the Endangered Species Act and the reality that there is no such thing as state of local governmental sovereignty. Especially when it comes to protecting animals and who is responsible for it. Protecting people? Not so much.

Piping plovers, a federally protected bird that the state of Maine and the Federal Government spend far too much money trying to protect (actually the goal here is to drive people off beaches), is part of this scenario.

According to the Scarborough Leader, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) plans to levy a $12,000 fine against the town because they can’t stop people from letting their dogs run loose. This action is being blamed for the deaths of piping plovers.

If the USFWS or any other federal agency can levy fines against towns for not doing the work of the government, or if you don’t like that statement, for NOT PREVENTING deaths of birds, then shouldn’t the owners of windmills be fined as well for the same reasons?

Fox News is reporting that windmill farms across the country are responsible for the deaths of at least 85 bald and golden eagles, most coming from one farm in California, and yet the Obama Administration refuses to levy fines against the owners of windfarms. Instead, he is proposing something similar to an “Incidental Take Permit” allowing windfarm owners to legal kill a prescribed number of eagles each year.

If that is the case then I suggest that President Obama issue the town of Scarborough, Maine an “Incidental Take Permit” for piping plovers. Or is it that Scarborough isn’t one of Obama’s cronies entitled to the many special privileges he loves to hand out?

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Maine Audubon Says Fireworks Will Drive Piping Plovers Off Nests

The Maine Audubon is pushing the envelope on this one stating that legal use of fireworks in areas where nesting piping plovers occur, will further threaten the species by forcing the bird from their nests. They have very little credible evidence to suggest this to be true, however Maine only recently legalized fireworks.

The new fireworks law gives allowance to municipalities to ban the use of the fireworks. Kennebunk is one coastal town that Maine Audubon is concerned about and is supporting an upcoming referendum vote to ban use of fireworks in that town.

Manufacturers of the products say that fireworks safety in misrepresented and that claims of threatening migrating and nesting birds is unfounded.

“There’s a lot of misinformation out there about the safety of fireworks,” Wiemer said Thursday, but “this is the first time I’ve heard the argument about migratory birds.”

He said he’s anecdotally aware of places in the country where firecrackers and other related products have been used to scare away pest birds from residences, crops or aquacultures, and he said in those cases the practice is ineffective unless the small explosions happen in “very close proximities to the birds.”

“I just don’t think it’s a valid argument [to outlaw fireworks because they might scare away birds] unless people are firing the fireworks directly at the birds,” Wiemer said. “I don’t think you’re going to scare away birds with fireworks unless you’re intending to scare them away.

States have used fireworks for many years before Maine’s new law and generally speaking there’s not a whole lot of argument that can reasonably be made about public safety, as it pertains to legally purchased fireworks. There also exists no information about threatening birds.

However, being that I live in a state where use of fireworks has been allowed for many years, I can say that public safety and wildlife is of little concern. What is most troubling is the prolonged disturbances lasting 24 hours a day for several days leading up to a major event, i.e. New Years or July Fourth. It doesn’t take long to learn to build up a serious dislike of the nuisance things.

Depending upon the amount of use that Maine residents will see, will depend upon how quickly other towns move to ban or limit the use of them. Fireworks have their purpose and can be fun but I think restricting where they can be used and perhaps when and/or the duration leading up to a holiday or celebration might also be in order if it becomes necessary.

While Maine Audubon is notorious for treading all over people’s rights in attempts to protect birds and other wildlife, it is my opinion they are stretching the envelope on sensible reasoning on this one.

Tom Remington

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