Date: 6/19/18 4:12 pm
From: Daniel Mason <millipede1977...>
Subject: Re: EDUCATIONAL SIGNS ABOUT NESTING LEAST TERNS SHOT UP AT FROG
Anyone have solutions? Approaches? How do you address this sort of
thing? I used to have no trespassing signs in my back yard... 5 acres,
more than half wooded. some people would hunt back there. A few we
allowed but, then there were beer cans left behind by someone and, our
signs got shot up. Years later I was talking to a neighbor about it and
he mentioned his ex son-in-law had done that but didn't know why.  And
when I see a copperhead in the road at night, I stop, maybe try to get a
picture, and then coax it off the road. All such encounters have been
peaceful, at least as far as the snake and I go. Had a guy stop and get
out of his truck once. He rambled on about how many snakes were in that
area, all copperheads of course. (to be fair, I did find at least 2 or 3
crossing the road in the same area within a week's time, maybe last fall
I forget)
He then told me to kill it. I stood up and said, nah...  He said he
would if I didn't. I was about to use my foot to shoo the snake off the
road and tell the guy "oh yeah, try and get it now." but as soon as I
motioned, the guy said thanks and disappeared. At least the snake survived.
I bet we all have stories like this. Unfortunately, it is very difficult
to educate anyone that doesn't want to be educated. AND, it's also
difficult for people to not become bitter about such things. If we start
to judge these people and look at them with anger and bitterness...  We
lose all hope of righting anything if we carry around that kind of an
attitude. "Those people, over there....."  I hear that tone everywhere I
go. In life, on facebook, sometimes even in this group of people here. I
don't want to stir things up so much that someone decides "let's drop
the subject..."  I actually want to see these conversations happen. I
just want to see them happen in a productive way. We can't lose hope. 
We must always remember that how we act, what we say, and how we say it,
matters very much. How we treat other people, even if it's behind their
backs... it matters. It effects just what kind of a witness we can be to
others on subjects like these.  What's the answer?  I don't really know.
One heart at a time?

I wish I was not such a procrastinator...  I've had plans to write
something up on birding. Keep in mind, I'm not anti-hunting in any
way...  But, I've wanted to write something, hopefully influential,
comparing birding with hunting and fishing.
What do people get out of hunting? There's a certain thrill to hunting
something down(the searching part) and finding it. Looking for something
hard to find and being successful. Finding something rare and
unusual...  Having a list of things you've found...  I imagine some can
see the comparison already. Birding does that for me. That hunt can be
quite thrilling at times.. crawling through the bushes to get a closer
look at some somewhat skittish waterfowl in the winter.   And if you're
the hunt from a baited blind type, bird feeders can bring in our
"trophies..."
And fishing... many people enjoy fishing for the same reasons as
hunting. the thrill... the hunt...  the fight...  can get all of that
while birding. Or if you're like me(when I used to fish) you might just
like the relaxation aspect. Just sitting there, enjoying what's around
you and enjoying what you find and reel in. Another easy comparison.
Finding a place to just STOP, sit, and watch birds... I can, quite
literally, find a spot and sit for hours at a time all by myself just
taking it all in.

I'm rambling a bit.  I wonder if there's anyone in the group that either
knows anyone or a site, or, could offer a training course for the rest
of us. How to be effective communicators while trying to spread the love
and respect towards nature. that's a class I'd take.
I'm a bit timid in person... confrontations aren't very good for me and
my anxiety... yet some people are quite the opposite and can come across
a bit TOO strong.
I'd love to find better ways to educate people on these matters. And I
don't have all the answers there. What I do know is that how we allow
this to make us feel and how we then respond matters greatly. We can sit
on our side of the road and look at "those people" with contempt... that
wont change them but, might change us in a way. :(
Some of these people are unreachable. Each person is different.  I think
each person and each moment is different enough... something in the
bible says to shake the dust off your feet... sort of like washing your
hands of something. share what you can, the best you can... if someone's
receptive, great... if not, keep on walking? My hope(I can have hope) is
that even the unreachable and unteachable can be reached and taught
somehow. Not sure how... but I know we can't educate people by "proving"
our points to them. "you're wrong, I'm right..."
okay... I've rambled on more than long enough. It's so easy to do. :(
happy birding my friends... and if anyone has any brilliant(and useful)
ideas how to encourage more respect for nature out there... please
share.  Please.
Thanks

Daniel Mason


On 6/19/2018 3:38 PM, Joseph C. Neal wrote:
>
> Several years ago, a group formed by several natural resource
> management agencies joined together to work in behalf of recovery of
> inland nesting Least Terns. One of these efforts was creation of an
> attractive educational sign asking the public’s help in protecting
> tern nesting areas. Yesterday, I noticed that the tern sign at the
> public boat launch ramp at Frog Bayou Wildlife Management Area in the
> Arkansas River Valley south of Dyer had suffered serious recent
> gunshot damage. Now visible through the sign is the shallow bay formed
> by the Arkansas River.
>
>
> The same people shooting signs could instead be observing a remarkable
> part of our natural heritage here in The Natural State. They bring
> shame and dishonor to legitimate firearm use.
>
>
> The sign itself is trying to encourage anglers, boaters, and others to
> protect a Federally-listed species, inland nesting Least Terns. They
> nest on little sandy islands along the Arkansas River. Their nests are
> easily disturbed and destroyed when boaters haul out for campingand,
> for example, turn their dogs loose on vulnerable eggs or chicks. They
> are destroyed when folks ride 4-wheelers through shallow water to
> reach the islands, then barrel across the sand, presumably unaware of
> the impact on terns and other wildlife.
>
>
> Education is one of the ideals of our democratic society. So instead
> of just making it a difficult-to-enforce Federal and State offense to
> visit these islands while terns are nesting, the decision was taken to
> try education, as this sign shows. That is, appeal to the better
> instincts of those who love the outdoors. We want to believe that if
> we can reach people with a broad, open-minded message about protecting
> natural resources, people will respond in a positive manner. I choose
> to believe this is a useful approach, despite evidence of destroyed
> terns nests on sandy islands and the repeated shooting at this hopeful
> sign at Frog (and doubtless elsewhere).
>
>
> I am reminded of Fayetteville’s native son, former UA-Fayetteville
> President and US Senator, J. William Fulbright. “The highest function
> of education is the teaching of things in perspective, toward the
> purpose of enriching the life of the individual, cultivating the free
> and inquiring mind, and advancing the effort to bring reason, justice,
> and humanity into the relations of men and nations.”
>
>
> I do not think a decently educated person with prospects for a
> productive life would waste time and ammo, and make illegal use of
> firearms, destroying hope associated with a sign like this. The
> shooters need education. Their spirits need some kind of a fundamental
> tune-up. Until then, all that’s left is enforcement.
>
>



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