I don't know which is most outrageous here-the lack of transparency by the
VT F&W department in the development of their "management" plan, the
disruption of nesting species on Young Island by VT F&W activities, or simply their
hubris. In any event I have some suggestions for confronting this issue.
1. I understand that Audubon VT has sent a letter to VT F&W expressing their
concern about Young Island management. Other interested organizations such
as local Audubon chapters, the Lake Champlain Committee, the Nature
Conservancy, VINS, VCE, etc. should respond likewise. VT F&W should be asked to halt
their current activities until after the nesting season and preferably until
their management plan can receive public review.
2. Individuals on this list should contact members of the legislature's
Natural Resources Committees, asking them to conduct public hearings about the
Young Island management plan.
3. A knowledgeable individual such as Dave Capen or Mark LaBarr should offer
to write a "My Turn" article for the BFP describing the situation on Young
Island. Including a photograph or a video clip of VT F&W personnel shooting
gulls and cormorants would make for an effective graphic.
Parenthetically, VCE, which publishes the excellent "Bird Brains" articles
might consider writing one about Caspian Terns or even RB Gulls, highlighting
Young Island's role in the Lake Champlain ecosystem.
In any event, the VT F&W (or should it be F$W) department does not seem to
be serving Vermont well in this endeavor. A little transparency would go a
long way in improving this situation in my opinion.
Thanks to Dave Capen for bringing this issue up and to David Hoag for his
interesting summary of Young Island's (checkered) history.
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