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|Lynx Issue 25: N. Huntingdon Goose Hunt Call-In, City Vista Hearing|
|Sunday, 07 September 2008 00:00|
In this edition:
NORTH HUNTINGDON: Goose Hunt Update - Please Call Township Manager!
Around a dozen VFA members protested the North Huntingdon goose hunt last Sunday. We really appreciate their support on what turned out to be a very hot and dry afternoon. Channel 11 ran a report on the protest on its evening news program, although it followed that up by airing outright propaganda from a North Huntingdon press release later in the week. North Huntingdon claims there are 350 geese at the park. We counted 100 geese on Sunday. They were gathered in the open grass next to the lake, and were very obviously keeping away from the areas where North Huntingdon once made a half-hearted attempt to do just one of the "right things" involved in a non-lethal approach (putting low fencing around parts of the lake). We failed to observe the "Moses and the Parting of The Red Sea" phenomenon described by a Game Commission official.
As for the "results" of the hunt after the first week (2 hunts, Monday and Friday): on Monday 2 geese were seen killed, a few more may have been shot on take-off (non-visible from the road), however the vast majority of the flock flew off safely. On Friday... no geese were at the park and not one goose was shot. We hope they continue to have the good sense to stay away from the Lake on the other hunt mornings this month.
You can help advance this campaign by calling newly appointed township manager James R. Morrison, and asking him to do two things:
Please take this action ASAP. We know that these call-ins do have an impact because they help feed the existing controversy within the township administration about the hunts.
SARAH PALIN: "Bears and Moose and Wolves, Oh My..."
Very many of you have emailed us over the past week concerned about the Republican Party's choice of Vice-Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, and her despicable record when it comes to animals and the environment.
For those of you who haven't received an email about it yet from someone, a link to more information is provided below.
In the meantime, our question is this: If Palin visits Pittsburgh on the campaign trail, are you willing to come out and protest her miserable record of massacring and/or promoting the extinction of wildlife populations: black bears, polar bears, moose, and the awful practice of aerial wolf hunts? If so, let us know, because so are we...
More information about Ms. Palin's actions against animals and the environment can be found at:
CITY VISTA Development Project: Zoning Hearing Tuesday
On Tuesday September 9th at 2 pm, the City of Pittsburgh Zoning Commission will decide on whether to re-zone an area behind the Parkway Center Mall where a Florida-based developer wants to build a multi-story, luxury condo project. Local residents are opposing the project from several angles: traffic volume, safety, water/sewage, undermining, and the impact on wildlife/the environment is also being raised. Since the project involves deforesting a large area of woodland in the City part of the site (we can't tell exactly how much woodland, because when questioned about it the developer's representative responded, "What do you want us to do? Count the number of trees...?"), as well as removing an old, man-made pond used by wildlife as the only area water source, there will be an obvious impact on the lives of wildlife in the area. Since the development of this green space would disrupt the habitats of local fauna, an increase in human/wildlife conflict can be expected as an immediate result.
If you are free to attend the meeting and support the residents opposing this project, please come along:
John P. Robin Civic Building
200 Ross Street Pittsburgh 15219
(cheapest parking usually available at the 1st Avenue parking lot next to the County Jail)
VFA Letter to the Editor: Animal Control & Wildlife
In our last LYnX we talked about the issue of City Animal Control killing wildlife in the Strip District. On August 22nd, VFA had a letter published in the Post-Gazette in response to this issue:
Scrap the trap
With reference to the controversy over the animal control facility in the Strip District ("Police Unit Complains of Animal Killings," Aug. 16), readers should understand why wildlife (the majority healthy, young animals) are being killed there.
According to a Pennsylvania Game Commission mandate, any "rabies vector" (raccoon, groundhog or skunk) picked up in a trap by an animal control agent must be killed. The city of Pittsburgh has been using this system for decades, based on a belief that it was unavoidable. It is a thoroughly antiquated approach, which moreover runs counter to efficient rabies control (including Allegheny County's oral rabies vaccination program), through removing the "buffer" population of healthy animals (lack of appetite means a rabid animal could rarely be baited into a trap).
There is a way around this problem, however. For the most part, human/wildlife conflict can be avoided through a few fairly simple, nonlethal measures. This "exclusion" approach is now being successfully employed by other cities. It does not counter ongoing rabies control measures and is ultimately more effective in managing urban wildlife issues by tackling the core problem, rather than continually creating a "vacuum" for more animals to fill.
We hope that the current city administration will recognize the inhumane, inefficient nature of this system and that it will "scrap the trap," transferring its animal control officers from the dreadful task of killing healthy wildlife to a gratifying role of public education and assistance.