Date: 7/26/17 10:30 am From: David Provencher via CTBirds <ctbirds...> Subject: Re: [CT Birds] (CT Birds) Shorebird Puddles
I think there are several likely factors that went into these holes being filled, and I doubt the guidance to do it came from anyone higher than Hammo park management. One the factors likely in play is that Hammonasset brings in a fair bit of revenue, and much of that revenue is from camping. This area is near the campgrounds and I'll bet park staff felt they needed to eliminate standing water in the grassy areas around the campers as an "improvement," possibly in response to camper's complaints. Just recently a woman from another part of the country submitted a very public complaint to the State of New Hampshire because the White Mountain trails were "a disgrace" because they were unimproved and too "rocky" and she insisted they need to be fixed for everyone's safety. This has been met with quite a bit of scorn from the hiking community as you can imagine but I mention it to highlight that public officials hear these kind of complaints all the time and have to address them in some form or another because they are "public" officials. And of course, sometimes the public can be a right pain.
I applaud Kathy Van Der Aue for her proactive approach and think the birding community should jump at the invitation to become more involved in habitat management at Hammo, even on this rather small scale. It may be an opportunity to have a greater voice at this park and perhaps other state properties (and I admit it may not). The reality is the birding community is not the only one with an opinion on what should happen at Hammonasset or other state properties. It should be remembered that there are great political pressures to squeeze every dollar out of state properties that can be squeezed with the state's budget being in so sorry a state. If I had my way the conservation and protection of the natural world would be the highest desire of everyone. As we all know too well it isn't. I say let's take every opportunity to work with, and hopefully influence, those who are in a position to do good things.