Date: 7/11/19 8:59 am
From: Linda Ireland <connecttonature00...>
Subject: [MASSBIRD] Saving the Eastern Meadowlarks and Bobolinks at Cogswell's Grant
Shilo McDonald has just published the GoFundMe page for our Save the Eastern Meadowlark campaign:

Because we are directly compensating the farmer, unfortunately donations are not tax deductible.

Yesterday morning I was relieved to find the entire uncut field still intact. We had not reached a final agreement on the compensation for the entire seven acres and I didnā~@~Yt know if part of the field had already been cut. We now have a final agreement on compensation for the entire uncut field.

The farmer leasing the fields from Historic New England is one of the most respected agriculturalists in Essex County. Those seven acres yield $2000 worth of hay when cut in July. With the help of site manager Kristen Weiss acting as intermediary, I accepted his terms and agreed to provide $2000 in compensation to delay cutting the entire parcel of seven acres until after Aug 15, when the birds have finished nesting. Historic New England is not able to process donations on behalf of their lessee so at Kristenā~@~Ys request I opened a dedicated Save the Eastern Meadowlark checking account now linked to the GoFundMe page and we will pay the farmer directly from this account. The farmer expects the first payment of $1000 as soon as the funds are available and the second payment by the end of the month.

Thanks to the incredible response of all of you who have rallied to save the Eastern Meadowlarks and Bobolinks nesting in those last uncut 7 acres, some for the second and third time, we already have pledges of $1450 to compensate the farmer and we are almost 75 percent of the way to our goal.

We would like to express our particular thanks to Andrew Vitz, Ph.D., Mass Wildlife State Ornithologist, whose timely support was essential to persuading Historic New England to agree to allow changes to the traditional management of this hay field because of the importance of this habitat for Eastern Meadowlarks.

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