From: "Alfieri, Amy" < [log in to unmask] >
Date: November 10, 2015 at 9:33:19 AM EST
To: " [log in to unmask] " < [log in to unmask] >
Subject: Dead Creek
Good Morning Birders,
Thank you for "policing" the Dead Creek refuge boundaries throughout the course of your birding adventures, and passing along birding ethics to those who may not know or understand them. Keeping people out of the refuge has been a perpetual problem since its implementation. The barn at Gage Rd has been a weak spot due to the lack of fencing, and for some reason when people see a decrepit barn, it's an automatic invitation to go exploring.
After a recent encounter with some amenable birders who were well past the barn and into the refuge, we opted to put more signs up around the barn, hoping to deter future encroachment. I am disappointed to hear the signs have not worked on everyone.
Certainly, part of birding ethics is to respect refuge boundaries. Refuges are exactly that - places where wildlife can rest and feed with minimal threats, and I know that many birders respect the boundaries of Dead Creek.
I am glad you took the initiative to contact a warden about trespassers. You can also call the Dead Creek office. There are 2, sometimes 3 staff members who work out of the office, and if we happen to be on site, we do have the authority to ask trespassers to leave. If we are unavailable, we are in direct contact with wardens and can pass along timely information. The office number is 802-759-2398. Please be aware that staff are pulled in many directions and often in the field or meetings, so do leave a message with a return phone number in case we need to contact you.
Lastly, in response to the idea of putting up birding ethics signs at the viewing area: this is a good idea, unfortunately, we also have to deal with vandals at many of our access points and our signs are often stolen or destroyed. That being said, we are likely to be updating the educational panels in the kiosk over the next 3-5 years as part of the new visitor center currently in development at Dead Creek. I will make note that perhaps we need a sign on birding ethics for that area.
Thanks again to everyone who visits Dead Creek and respects the signs and holds other people to the same standards. It truly makes our job much easier to know you are out there not only watching birds, but helping to keep them safe.
Amy Alfieri, manager
Dead Creek WMA
*NOTE: My email address will change to [log in to unmask] as of August 1, 2015.