[BCNnet] Lake County Hearing on Rollins Savanna - No Sightings
evan.craig at illinois.sierraclub.org
Mon Apr 7 00:07:18 CDT 2008
I've learned more since my previous post to this list, and realize that my
remarks, at best, were inaccurate and not reflective of the critical
situation at Rollins. I oppose brinksmanship when it comes to species
protection, and both personally, and as a Sierra Club spokesperson, I would
like to clarify my position. Snowmobiles must not be allowed to disturb
these magnificent birds in one of the few remaining grassland wintering
habitats in our region. Further, I appreciate the efforts by Donnie and so
many others to speak out on behalf of the wildlife, and apologize if my
uninformed comments detracted from BCN and the conservation community's
effort to protect a wintering home for these creatures.
As many of you might know, the Sierra Club has an ongoing campaign to
eliminate snowmobiles from Yellowstone National Park, based on their noise,
emissions, and disturbance of wildlife. The Illinois Chapter has been
battling habitat destruction by illicit ORV use on public lands in the
Shawnee, Illinois' only National Forest, because of the damage they have
caused, both on and off-trail. Snowmobiles have continued to become noisier
and more polluting, and less compatible with wildlife and humans seeking to
enjoy nature. Any visitor to Rollins can cause damage by inappropriate
behavior, but the damage caused by those who bring motorized vehicles is
amplified, and the peril to wintering Short-eared Owls, N. Harriers and
Rough-legged Hawks is substantial.
While some species might gradually become habituated to some obtrusive
vehicles, it speaks more to their adaptability (and their desperation) than
to what we should choose for their conservation. Think of the dune buggies
on the beach, casually harassing shorebirds who are trying to feed and
fatten up for their long migration, or rails and bitterns attempting to nest
in a marsh being crisscrossed by amphibious ATVs. These vehicles severely
strain the ability of the wildlife to adapt. Snowmobiles are the winter
equivalent for owls and hawks, disrupting their ability to hunt and locate
prey at Rollins. Sacrificing these owls and hawks in their last remaining
habitat through snowmobile use is unacceptable. Rather than expect these
birds to adapt, we should take every opportunity to provide a more receptive
environment for their recovery, with hope that they will survive as species,
and our children and grandchildren can enjoy glimpsing them.
Sierra Club Woods & Wetlands Group
From: bcnnet-bounces at ece.iit.edu [mailto:bcnnet-bounces at ece.iit.edu] On
Behalf Of Donnie R. Dann
Sent: Thursday, April 03, 2008 12:56 PM
To: IBET IBET; BCNnet
Subject: [BCNnet] Lake County Hearing on Rollins Savanna - No Sightings
As expected the hearing room was packed this morning, but I'm pleased to say
it was fairly evenly divided between snowmobilers and birders, educators and
supporters of conservation. Thanks to all who came.
Jim Anderson of LCFPD staff gave an outstanding presentation, making all the
essential points about how special Rollins is, and the need to avoid
disturbance to the SHORT EARED OWLS AND NORTHERN HARRIERS by snowmobiles so
they might attempt nesting. He suggested an alternate trail route for
snowmobilers that would take them largely along the periphery of the
preserve, well await from the prime habitat.
When the board votes on the final policy to be adopted I will notify all.
Highland Park, Lake County
donniebird at yahoo.com
Donnie R. Dann
60 Ravinoaks Lane
Highland Park, IL 60035
Email, donniebird at yahoo.com
41355 Fleming Springs Rd.
Cave Creek, AZ 85331
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