[Tweeters] Eide Road LEOW's - elitism

Teresa Michelsen teresa at avocetconsulting.com
Sun Feb 8 00:06:25 PST 2015

Hope I’m not opening a can of worms, but I’ve seen the word “elitism” used twice now with respect to closing or limiting access to the owls. I truly don’t understand this in this context. The issue is protection of the owls – there’s no real reason anyone actually needs to see these specific owls. I certainly don’t see any way in which this is a class issue. It’s not as if we the birders/photographers who are likely to know they’re out there in the first place are underprivileged individuals who are going to suffer more than anyone else if wildlife is allowed a little breather. We who shell out the bucks for the permits and optics and cameras and chasing trips – we can go somewhere else if an owl chooses a spot to roost in that’s too accessible for its own good.

It’s gotten a little too easy to overwhelm wildlife due to the electronic means we have of communicating with each other – that’s the real problem. Why not just go for a walk where all the people are not and see what you find? Surely it’s not a very nice experience anyway when the people and the lenses outnumber the birds – not half as fun as finding something yourself in the peace and quiet of nature. It seems to me that the real elitism is requiring that wildlife already under pressure continue to be disturbed so that one can personally maintain access to get a tick on a life list or a good photograph, and there certainly appear to have been some individuals encountered out there that fit that profile.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for education and signage etc. But people just don’t behave themselves, and should they really have to post a ranger out there with their limited staff so everyone can continue to come and gawk? I’m all for closing areas that need to be closed when even “passive use” gets to be too overwhelming. Most of the other solutions cost money that these agencies just don’t have and they’re already fighting a losing battle. Conservation should come first.

My two cents, from Olympia WA

Teresa Michelsen

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