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Archive for January, 2016

As the takeover of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge drags on, more and more movements are starting in opposition to the armed terrorists who have been holding Malheur hostage since January 2nd. These efforts are still small, but they are growing. From boycotts of the business who are supporting the terrorists to demonstrations that are being organized in and around Burns, OR. to this petition to the federal government calling for the arrest of the terrorists. This petition also calls for the containment of the terrorists, which is something I am amazed has not happened already. It seem the first place to start in the handling of a group of armed individuals who takeover a federal building is to make sure they cannot come and go as they please, and that others cannot join them (both things that are currently going on in Malheur).

I would also add that writing to your elected officials would not be inappropriate. Tell them that not only do you not support the ridiculous self-styled ‘militia,’ but that you are in favor of a much more active opposition to them.

#SupportMalheur #RestorMalheur

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I have been reading more about the standoff still underway at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and also been watching some videos online.

This was a big mistake.

The more I read and watch the angrier I get. A particular turning point for me was when I read this article which is in part how the ridiculous self-styled ‘militia’ (which is an insult to to therm militia, by the way) has been treating the employees of Malheur NWR, who’s desks the ‘militia’ members are now sitting at. This situation started as stupid, rapidly became wrong, and has now fully transitioned into insulting!

I STAND WITH LINDA SUE BECK!!!!!!!!

I am now going to go and watch rain drops falling and songbirds singing for a while.

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OR_25 May 20 2014_Imnaha PackAllow me to introduce you to OR-25, the most recent wolf visitor to the great state of California. This very handsome 3-year-old fellow recently left his Imnaha Pack in eastern Oregon. He decided to walk south and, just last week, crossed into California where he has been hanging out in Modoc County. His arrival, along with OR-7 who visited for most of 2012 before settling just north of the California/Oregon border to have babies and the Shasta Pack that has established itself in Siskiyou County in 2015, may indicate that wolves are starting a trend of dispersal and range expansion into this state. If this expansion continues, we who live in California may be lucky enough to encounter these long-lost members of our state’s wilderness. I am certainly hoping for it!

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The Delta Conservancy is teaming up with the California Department of Fish & Wildlife and the USGS to put on a workshop on the effects and management of Mercury (Hg) in California. Check out some additional information by clicking this link!

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I am sure that you have all heard by now that a few days ago a group of armed, domestic terrorists calling themselves ‘militia’ took over the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Oregon. They are doing this to protest what they see as government overreach. There are lot of reasons why I am both personally and professionally opposed to this group and their actions. But that is not what I want to discuss here right now. Instead, I want to focus on something else. The birding community.

Birders, as a whole, are wonderful, amazing, crazy people! They love the birds they see, and by extension, the rest of the natural world. They spend millions of dollars and thousands of hours each year buying equipment to go out birding, and then spend millions more dollars and thousands more hours actually looking for birds. And I am one of them. It often sounds odd when I tell people about birding or that I am a birder. I can see the looks on their faces. Their expressions say to me; ‘huh’ or ‘weird’ or ‘geek’ or ‘whatever.’ But the facts of the matter remain. Birding is one of the fastest growing activities in the country, no estimated at something 40 million people nation-wide. There are hundreds of books, magazines, newspaper articles, blogs, websites, discussion groups, and community events that focus on birds, and hundreds more each year. There are many towns that derive a large part of there annual revenue from birders, birding tours, and birding festivals. This is not a small group of fringe individuals. This is a well organized, passionate, and massive movement of people.

And that is why the people who have taken over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge are not going to get very far. The online reaction to the Malheur situation in the birding community has been fierce! Here is an article featuring one birder’s letter on the subject. Here is one from The Portland Audubon Society. And here is the Facebook page for Restore Malheur, a group that has long had a focus on habitat restoration in the refuge and is now one of the central points for information and coordinating efforts to help. Finally, here is a wonderful article that appeared in the New York Times, and if you don’t read any of the other links I just posted, read this one.

Since Malheur is a National Wildlife Refuge, the protesters who have taken over the Malheur headquarters are denying the rights of all Americans to access and enjoy a part of the country that already belongs to them. And birders will be among the most vocal in telling these terrorists that denying rights to all Americans and endangering our natural heritage will not be taken lightly.

 

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