On Sun, Jan 19, 2020 at 4:13 PM, Roberta Kellam via VA-bird<va-bird...> wrote: A large and growing coalition has formed to work to Save the Birds at the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel. We cannot let the unmitigated eradication of a seabird colony supporting 25,000 birds be the new normal in Virginia. If you are on Facebook, follow Save the Birds at Hampton Road Bridge Tunnel @SavetheBirdsatHRBT, Virginia Society of Ornithology, Cape Henry Audubon Society and the American Bird Conservancy. If you don’t use Facebook, please send your email address to me (Roberta Kellam) at esvabirding AT gmail.com. Also please sign up for alerts at the American Bird Conservancy website American Bird Conservancy I Bringing Back the Birds Please make your views known to Governor Ralph Northam, Secretary of Natural Resources Matt Strickler, and Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine:Email addresses:<Matt.Strickler...>@<governor.virginia.govRalph.Northam...> Our Message:1. The birds will be returning in just a couple of months - VDOT must restore their nesting area at the HRBT immediately so that the 2020 nesting season is not lost! Gravel and sand can be applied on top of the new asphalt as a quick fix. The idea of floating a barge or two for Royal terns could also be explored but the primary solution is to let the birds have their island for one more year.2. Creation of a new island habitat should be commenced immediately to be ready for the 2021 nesting season.3. The removal of chicks and eggs proposed by VDOT is an intentional taking of migratory birds. It is not certain to be legal even under the new Trump policy.4. Any activities at the HRBT relating to the nesting colony should have full transparency. No information has been provided by VDOT on the HRBT website to indicate that the birds would be eradicated from the South Island. VDOT has mentioned a hazing plan but has not made it public. Please attend two important meetings in the Richmond area:January 23rd - Board of Dept. Of Game and Inland FisheriesMeet at 8:45 am, 7870 Villa Park Dr., Suite 400, HenricoFebruary 19 - Commonwealth Transportation BoardMeet at 8:30 am, 1221 E. Broad Street, Richmond Show your support for Saving the Birds at the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel. Wear bird shirts. Speak out if you would like or just show support for the speakers. Birders, we must speak out now to save these birds. We cannot let this happen and we cannot let this be the precedent going forward in Virginia!
On Sunday, January 19, 2020, 2:01 PM, Marlene A Condon via VA-bird <va-bird...> wrote: I'd like to say that the only way for anything to be done to help the tern colony is for every birder who cares about this situation to write to the governor of Virginia, as well as any other government representatives who might have some influence regarding it. Birders should also write to the VSO and other "conservation" groups to suggest that they take a stand on this issue.
Something I've always found concerning about people and groups interested in nature is that most don't speak out enough. It's not surprising that anyone who loves nature is highly likely to be pacifistic. After all, we find peace and serenity in the natural world.
Unfortunately, however, too many folks don't share our love of nature and have no hesitation to destroy it. It's how we've gotten to this point where an abundance of insect and bird species are known to be in dire straits. If those of us who care don't fight for what's left, who will?
I've taken the time and spent a great deal of effort over the decades writing commentaries regarding assaults on wildlife. But I'm only one person and government never listens to just one person. It's always been terribly frustrating to me to not see much support from those who profess to care about the natural world. Some people do stand up to try to help, but it's far too few out of the many. And too many conservation groups work hand in glove with government people and then worry more about offending them than about defending wildlife from them.
I thought about writing a commentary regarding the terns, but to be honest, I can't find the motivation anymore. I'm tired of going it alone. That said, I do hope birders will speak out and show the governor there is a real constituency for these birds.