THE TEA PARTYER
March 26, 2012
The US Fish & Wildlife Service just sent out a Press Release announcing they had conducted a study on the effects of fireworks on the birds in the cities of Bandon and Depot Bay.
The Service conducted the study 5 days before and 3 days after the 4th of July celebrations in 2011. They
concluded that the display of fireworks in Depot Bay was having a direct impact on seabirds nesting in a nearby colony. However, the municipal firework display in Bandon showed little to no disturbance to nearby nesting seabirds.
The City of Depot Bay launches their fireworks 0.62 miles away from the bird colony located at Pirate Cove. The fireworks launched in Bandon are 1.36 miles from the nearest colony of protected seabirds residing at Coquille Point.
The City of Bandon uses property owned by the Port of Bandon to launch their yearly pyrotechnics. It is the same lot of land that is in the Bandon Marsh Expansion area. The US Fish& Wildlife Service had sent a letter to the Port of Bandon in November of 2011 asking to purchase this piece of property located across from the city on the opposite side of the bay.
The Commissioners of the Board on the Bandon Port sent a letter back to The Service refusing the sale of this property. The Board also added very strong language of their desires not to be a part of The Services environmental assessment of the area. Once conducted, it is a difficult to impossible process to refute the findings of these studies, which ultimately result in more land use restrictions within the study area.
US Fish & Wildlife biologist, Shawn Stephens said, “Officials in the city of Depot Bay requested this study on the city's fireworks display.”
The Service decided to add the city of Bandon to the assessment, even though the City of Bandon made
no request to be part of this study.
Stephens claimed, “The decision was made to add Bandon for the purpose of saving money.” The Service spent upwards of $30,000 on this endeavor, which is a drop in the bucket compared to the money they have spent on restoring the Bandon Marsh.
Roy Lowe speaking for The Service said, “Seabirds play an important role in the marine ecosystem and they are sensitive to human disturbance, especially during the nesting season.”
Lowe is the project leader of The Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge and he has been trying for many years to find a way to stop the city of Bandon from performing the city’s annual 4thof July Celebrations. He has also been trying to get the city to ban campfires on the beaches for several years, with little to no success.
Many of us believe this current study of the area is just another attempt by Mr. Lowe and The Service to find new ways to restrict the use of public property all in the name of ecology. The Service has increased the pressure on the City of Bandon to pass more restrictive laws, but the citizens are beginning to become annoyed with the increasing intrusiveness of these overbearing government agencies.
“Because seabirds are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Service is charged with monitoring and protecting their populations. Any human action causing birds to abandon their nests could constitute a violation of the Act. When the colonies are on a national wildlife refuge, as they are in these two locations, they receive even further protection,” said Mr. Lowe.
Those statements demonstrate a disturbing mindset that has infiltrated The U.S. Department of Interior, and especially the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. It is a backwards ideology that has created a situation putting the
importance of animals over the lives of humans. Also, it should reveal The Service’s willingness to use international treaties to supersede national and local authority. That aspect should really worry the citizens of this country.
The U.S. Congress established The Migratory Bird Treaty Act on July 3rd, 1918. Coincidently that is one day before our own anniversary of our independence. This act implements various treaties and conventions between the U.S. and Canada, Japan, Mexico and the former Soviet Union for the protection of migratory birds. The law makes it a crime for the taking, killing or possessing of migratory birds. The participants of the treaty have modified the document several times since its inception. It is a shame our own government did not realize the detrimental effects this treaty would have on our country’s sovereignty.
Now, today, the simple traditional celebration of our country’s independence could make a criminal out of all of us. Fireworks symbolize freedom and it would be a great loss if we allowed these Napoleons of Nature to rule over our lives in the name of environmentalism.
“Rob Taylor was the original organizer of the TEA Parties in Coos County and is currently an independent activist working to promote the rights of the individual.”