[Tweeters] re Kauai birding and California Gnatcatcher
lpatters at ix.netcom.com
Sun Aug 29 20:52:10 PDT 2010
Well put Mark. Spotted Owls were being nailed to posts like it was
their fault. I guess the logic was that if there are no more owls to
protect then we can go back to clear cutting.
On Aug 29, 2010, at 7:33 PM, Mark Egger wrote:
> ???? Actually, saving what very little is left of the old growth
> forests in the PNW is hardly an "anti-logger" effort! This is/was a
> one of the top conservation priorities of the National Audubon
> Society and the Washington State Audubon, and this effort, which has
> met only mixed success, was designed to preserve an entire
> ecosystem, including numerous rare species of animals and plants,
> including the Marbled Murrelet, as well as the Spotted Owl. As to
> this having "destroyed entire communities," I would contend that any
> town whose economy is based primarily on logging old growth timber
> is a doomed town in any case. Old growth logging is a dead-end
> prospect no matter how you cut it. (sorry for the pun). If they
> don't choose to diversify, as many such towns have, they will go
> under soon, Spotted Owl or no Spotted Owl. I worked in the woods
> cutting fire trails, cleaning creeks, and planting trees for almost
> a decade, so I know what I'm talking about here. I saw first-hand
> the devastation of clear-cut logging, the window-dressing that the
> logging companies use to excuse their rapacious behavior, and the
> mono-culture desert they plant to replace what was a diverse natural
> ecosystem. At some point you have to say, enough -- what's left of
> the old growth should be protected not just for owls but for
> watershed conservation and for the entire community of organisms for
> which the Spotted Owl is an indicator species.
> As to Mt. Graham, I actually agree with you, and I think the F.S.
> made a good-faith effort to mitigate the habitat damage. But I see
> that example as WAY different from either the owl or the
> gnatcatcher. Also, I think most people who are aware of wildlife
> conservation issues at all are probably just as well-informed about
> the plight of the native Hawaiian avifauna as they are about the
> gnatcatcher or the squirrel, and there have been substantial efforts
> over years to both educate folks and to solve the problems. But
> there's little that can be done about mosquito-borne diseases, food
> plants that are now extinct, and other problems these species face.
> Bottom line, I agree with you completely that every effort should be
> made to try to stop the collapse of the honeycreeper declines, but I
> disagree with you that this implies that our efforts to save other
> species are misguided or not equally as important.
> On Aug 29, 2010, at 4:04 PM, rccarl at pacbell.net wrote:
>> My point is that our priorities for saving species are completely
>> cockeyed. Trying to accomplish everything usually gets you
>> nothing. If you spend 90% of your effort on 10% of the problem
>> you'll lose 90% of the time. Saving Hawaiian birds should be our
>> top priority, but they are the bottom.
>> We have 14 critically endangered species in the US (IUCN Redlist
>> not counting the ones already extinct). 13 of these critical
>> species are in Hawaii, but 90% of the effort has been elsewhere.
>> Next to nothing is happening to save all those unique Hawaiian
>> species while we let various political activists use the Endangered
>> Species Act for other purposes at huge economic and political
>> cost. Anti-loggers used the Spotted Owl to stop logging here in
>> the NW: that cost 100's of million of dollars and destroyed entire
>> communities. Anti-growth activists used the California
>> Gnatcatcher (yes, it's cute, but far from critically endangered and
>> very similar to other gnatcatchers). That effort probably cost a
>> billion dollars. Finally, in Arizona, anti-science Luddites used
>> the newly "discovered" Mt. Graham sub-species of the red squirrel
>> to try to stop one of the great astronomy projects on the planet.
>> While we were in the midst of all these other headline and resource
>> grabbing controversies, most birders and nearly all the rest of the
>> nation, had no idea that Hawaiian bird populations were collapsing.
>> Richard Carlson
>> Full-time Birder, Biker and Rotarian
>> Part-time Economist
>> Tucson, AZ, Lake Tahoe, CA, & Kirkland, WA
>> rccarl at pacbell.net
>> Tucson 520-760-4935
>> Tahoe 530-581-0624
>> Kirkland 425-828-3819
>> Cell 650-280-2965
>> --- On Fri, 8/27/10, m.egger at comcast.net <m.egger at comcast.net> wrote:
>> From: m.egger at comcast.net <m.egger at comcast.net>
>> Subject: [Tweeters] re Kauai birding and California Gnatcatcher
>> To: tweeters at u.washington.edu
>> Date: Friday, August 27, 2010, 4:06 PM
>> Secondly, I couldn't let Richard Carlson's statement from the
>> message below go unanswered: "While we've spent enourmous efforts
>> to "save" barely ID'able sub-species -- Mt. Graham squirrels, Cal
>> Gnatcatcher etc., we've let an entire Hawiian avifauna collapse".
>> While I agree that the Hawaiin endemic are wonderful & need more
>> conservation efforts to same them, I completely disagree with the
>> implication that the Mt. Graham Squirrel and the California
>> Gnatcatcher are "barely ID'able sub-species" apparently not worthy
>> of conservation efforts. First, the California Gnatcatcher is a
>> full and well-marked species, not a subspecies (and it's a very
>> cool little bird!), easily distinguished from the other
>> gnatcatchers when one knows what to look for. Moreover, it is
>> easily conserved, IF we choose to save what's left of its habitat.
>> Sadly, the situation with the Hawaiian forest endemics is more
>> complex & they face a whole set of serious threats to their
>> existence: habitat destruction, disease, introduced predators, loss
>> of native food plants, climate change, etc. Anyway, my point is
>> that both the Hawaiian endemics AND the endangered species on the
>> mainland of North America deserve out strongest efforts to protect
>> their habitats and help them survive.
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