The Associated Press reports that a federal appeals court issued an emergency order Monday allowing the city of San Diego to replace a rope barrier at a beach in La Jolla to protect nursing harbor seals. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the barrier can stay up until the breeding season ends in May while it considers whether it should stay permanently.
The picturesque cove has lately been a battleground between animal rights activists and residents who argue the rope barrier violates a 1931 deed requiring the city to preserve the beach for human use as a children’s pool.
According to A.P., two state court judges and two state appellate courts have ruled that the rope illegally interferes with the public’s access to the beach, known as the Children’s Pool.
San Diego has been under court order to evict the seals and dredge the sand to make it safe for children. Right! Evict the seals. That’s like telling deer they can’t eat grass in a meadow, so kids can play soccer there instead … or evict birds from the sky so there’s more room for kids to fly kites.
The San Diego-based Animal Protection and Rescue League has challenged those rulings in federal court. The group argues the rules of the state trust governing the cove are trumped by the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act.
And as of Monday, it looks like the harbor seals have won this particular battle for the moment. I’m sure the war isn’t over. In fact it looks like it is only beginning.
Pro-seal activists sell seal T-shirts, stuffed animals and picture books on the sidewalk above the beach — and monitor crowds to make sure no one bothers the seals.
Earlier Monday a La Jolla resident was arraigned in federal court on charges of threatening one of the group’s volunteers with revenge from biker gangs after she videotaped people dressed in scuba gear apparently harassing the seals.
See what I mean?
Seems like this debate has gotten waaay out of hand, as these things always seem to do. So why not compromise (there’s that nasty word again!) and come up with a solution that works for the harbor seals and their pups AND the little human kids whose parents want them to come play at the beach whether they like it or not? Seems pretty simple to me.
Let the seals have the beach during breeding and pupping season … and the kids and their parents can play on the beach for the rest of the year. It’s usually too cold to go to the beach while the seals are raising their pups, anyway. So what’s the problem?
Things have gotten totally out of hand when we start suing Mother Nature to keep wild animals from living in their own natural environment. Think about it.
Besides, you know what they say: “It’s not nice to mess with Mother Nature!”
One of these days Mother Nature’s going to lose her temper and do something really nasty, like create global warming, or something. /Gary