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(OT) FW: Texas Rookery


I am forwarding this as an FYI - the WildGarden list serve has been 
following this for the past few days - thought the Perennial list serve may 
be interested, as so many of you have expressed an interest in attracting 
birds with your gardens, etc... Interested parties can take action, 
unuiterested can delete this message!!!

Jenny O.
Z5 SE WI

-----Original Message-----
From:	tjwood [SMTP:tjwood@dwave.net]
Sent:	Thursday, July 30, 1998 1:21 PM
To:	Wisc. Birding Network
Subject:	Texas Rookery

Received this memo and am forwarding it to the group.  Jane R.W.

> Subject: WRD> ACTION: Texas Egret Massacre
> Date: Sunday, July 26, 1998 3:17 AM
>
> The city of Carrollton, Texas bulldozed an active rookery on Thursday
> morning, July 23 at 4:30 a.m.  This rookery housed thousands of
> egrets,
> great egrets and herons of various kinds.  It took place on city
> property which was donated by Don Josey, father of Melissa Gribble - a
> federally licensed wildlife rehabilitator.
>
> A passerby said he thought it was smoke he saw under the floodlights,
> but it was the circling of birds as they watched their home and babies
> being destroyed.
>
> Per the Dallas Morning News:  "Carrollton Mayor Milburn Gravley,
> reached
> at home Thursday evening, said he believed the city had acted within
> its
> legal obligations.  He said Carrollton did not act too hastily and
> needed no permission from state or federal authorities.  'I can't
> imagine a question fo acting too hastily about something that's been
> going on since November,' Mr. Gravely said.  'I think the Lord gave us
> an opportunity to take care of our own health and safety,' Mr. Gravley
> said.  'And he gave us the factulties to do that.  He gave us these
> animals to enjoy but not to overcome our health and safety.'
>
> Elsewhere in the same article, it said "Carrollton officials issued a
> written statement Thursday, saying 'selective tree removal was
> necessary,' to respond to 'an ongoing problem involving the egret
> rookery.  This bird inhabitation and related problems have been
> researched and monitored since fall of 1997.  Numerous complaints hve
> been received regarding the offensive odor, noise, related health and
> safety hazards, effects on neighboring property values, harm to native
> birds, damages to the tree gtrove, safety issues for park patrons, and
> more'.  Jane Mack, a city spokeswoman, described the population as
> 'filthy, dirty birds' that were not native to the area." (Note to
> Jane:
> That's why they are called MIGRATORY and are federally protected.)
>
> As many of you know, this was breeding season for all these species.
> There were young baby birds in the nest that never had a chance to get
> out - they couldn't fly.  Also, the removal of the rookery would have
> been possible (with NO LOSS OF LIFE) if they had only waited two
> months
> or less for the birds to migrate, and had gotten the appropriate
> permits
> from the Federal government for removal of the habitat.  No lives
> would
> have been lost this way, and we wouldn't be in the middle of this huge
> mess.
>
> Also, the article related that the officials said they consulted
> experts
> and considered many options before deciding to clear the trees.  "The
> recent hot, dry weather conditions had exacerbated the odor problems
> and
> threatened the health of the birds."  I can't imagine which experts
> they
> consulted - least of all their own animal control director.  If that
> person had been consulted, they certainly should have known federal
> law.  If not, they should be removed from their position.
>
> Now, from a more personal perspective:  The news media did not really
> pick up on this until Thursday afternoon/evening.  By the time I found
> out about it, it was Friday at noon.  When my husband and I went out
> there, there were still a few birds being rescued - about 20 on Friday
> bringing the total to about 200 rescued.  We spent from 3:00 p.m.
> until
> 10:30 p.m. climbing atop rubble grabbing the bodies of the dead birds
> from the pile as the logs were carefully removed by a heavy equipment
> operator.  A representative from Wildcare (Fort Worth) and Kathy
> Rogers
> (Rogers Rehabilitation Center) were on the scene, and Ms. Rogers had
> been there since the day before.  Rogers Rehab. took all the 200
> birds.
>
> The federal authorities, as well as Texas Parks and Wildlife, were
> there
> the day before and had remove many garbage bags full of little mangled
> bodies.  There were at least 6 more bags from Friday.  We understand
> that some federal charges will be filed, although it was very unclear
> exactly what would be filed and against whom.  Federal authorities
> indicated no permits had been requested or issued.  When asked through
> official channels later in the day, they said they would have no
> comment
> on a current or ongoing investigation until it was complete.  Your
> input
> is needed now.
>
> Channel 8 in Dallas had excellent coverage of the situation.
>
> Carrollton had an "emergency city council meeting" on Friday and
> decided
> they had made a mistake (it is amazing how the prospect of federal
> charges will make you change your mind).  Apparently they have agreed
> to
> compensate the caregivers for the rehabilitation of the injured birds.
>
> Please express your position on this senseless massacre by writing to
> the following:
>
> Mayor Milburn Gravely and all city councilpersons
> City of Carrollton
> 1945 E. Jackson Road
> Carrollton, TX  75006
> 972-466-3000
>
> Please send a copy of your letter to me at the address at the end of
> this message.  I will have them presented at the August 4 meeting of
> the
> Carrollton City Council.
>
> Also, please contact Fish & Wildlife to let them know you are aware of
> this and want full accountability and heavy punishment levied against
> Carrollton and if possible, against the Mayor as an individual.  While
> many citizens showed up to express their outrage, many were also
> concerned that the fine "shouldn't be paid by the taxpayers" (I told
> them it was indeed their problem - they elected the idiot.).  This is
> an
> affluent area, and we need everyone keeping the pressure on Fish and
> Wildlife so there will be minimal negotiation or downgrading of
> charges.
>
> It might also be helpful to contact Texas Parks and Wildlife at 4200
> Smith School Road, Austin, TX to ask them to keep the heat on this
> "investigation".
>
> You might also write a letter to the Dallas Morning News, Letters From
> Readers, Box 655237, Dallas, TX  75265, or send to
> letterstoeditor@dallasnews.com
>
> I have requested the address for the Metrocrest Chamber of Commerce,
> and
> will forward it to the list as soon as I have it, which will probably
> be
> Monday.  I urge you to ask any of your groups to contact the C of C if
> they are planning to attend anything in the Dallas area to be sure you
> are not taking any revenue into Carrollton until this is resolved.
> This
> is the only language that speaks in this area.  The language of humane
> treatment of living things is simply not an issue.
>
> As night fell over the second day of destruction, and remaining birds
> returned to roost 200 yards away, the silence of the rookery was
> awesome
> and haunting - as was the smell of death.
>
> Thank you for your support.  Please forward this letter to any
> appropriate list, and get a copy to your local humane organizations
> ASAP.
>
> Darlene Munger
> 1111 Bolivar Street
> Denton, TX  76201
> Metro 940-243-0177
> email:  dgmunger@flash.net

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