[Tweeters] Bird- Related Unemployment

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Sat Mar 12 09:57:24 PST 2016

Have you gotten sick due to a Bird-Related Illness, or ever have your plane crash due to a Bird -Related Accident? Birds are dangerous.
And, hey, how about that Bird-Related Unemployment? Are you a government subsidized rancher cut off from cheap grazing on public land, and your shed is full of unemployed cowboys reduced to polishing the saddles or their ORV's? Or maybe you can't get all that employment going in your proposed mine? Well folks, go thank a Sage Grouse for that. Oh sure, protect some stupid bird, and forget about jobs!
People, I can feel your pain - I just lost good work yesterday morning , all due to a bird.
I had just shown up for the job at the Kah Tai Prairie, here in Port Townsend, when I was turned away by a sign -"Work Party Cancelled - nesting Killdeer!". "Aw, what a drag", I thought, being all ready to work. Other unemployed workers were also walking away, possibly wondering what had just happened to them. "Pesky darn Killdeers", I muttered.
Oh well, I was there so I thought I'd take a moment and stroll (lightly) into the prairie and checkout some flowers. Not too much variety yet, mostly yellow Lomatium, and many, many blooming Olsynium douglasii (usta be Sisyrinchium) another attractive flower.
I'd only taken a few steps, when I was accosted by a Killdeer, seemingly appearing from nowhere, it was just about ready to go into it's whole "broken wing act", when I said "OK, OK, I'm leaving! Sorry....", and walked out of there. Living in a surveillance state now, I wouldn't be surprised if some birdologist had a police cam installed on this bird, showing my actions on Youtube - titled "bird abuse" or something like that.
Anyhoo, I missed work, but not pay - this was a volunteer work party for the local chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society. We were all gonna work on the fence, or weed out non-native plants encroaching on this little patch of native prairie that WNPS is enabling. No work, and no party either. "Killdeer - noisy ol' party pooper!", I said to myself. As I drove away, I again noticed a small (expanding!) patch of the ambitious non-native garden plant, the Grape Hyacinth blooming on the prairie, blue like a Camas impostor. I really wanted to dig it up.
The Kah Tai Prairie: " One small steppe for man, one possibly giant step for local prairie awareness". In the old days, Western Washington prairies were maintained by fire ( natural, and human encouraged) which is tricky now because of the people living all over. Ironically we now need the fire department to START fires,( and apparently PT fire dept. has here at Kah Tai, at least once. Fire clears out encroaching brush , yet benefits the native grasses and flowers. And Killdeers.
Just again, for the record, the Kah Tai Prairie is located along the entry into the public golf course in PT. It's two small areas of rough grass marked by a low looping white chain fence. It's a small area.
As a final note: I actually do find it nice that the WNPS was respectful of the nesting Killdeer, even though it interfered with my Constitutional Right to feel good about myself by doing volunteer work. That's OK though - I went off and made some money instead - have to have some, right?
Jeff Gibsonon the Lone PrairiePort Townsend Wa

PS: Oh sure, Sage Grouse recently got protected status, but implementing the law? Will have to see what happens.

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