By Gary Bogue
Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009 at 9:02 am in Acorn woodpeckers.
Controversy over killing acorn woodpeckers in Rossmoor comes to a disappointing conclusion
As a federal permit allowing homeowner groups in the Walnut Creek, California, community of Rossmoor to shoot acorn woodpeckers expired last weekend, according to Audubon California, conservation advocates who had strongly opposed the killing might have had cause to celebrate.
However, the expiration of the permit came along with news that a separate federal agency had already trapped 20 acorn woodpeckers from the same Rossmoor area for “scientific purposes.”
Maybe I’m getting cynical in my old age, but don’t you find it interesting that even though the Rossmoor permit to kill woodpeckers has expired … an almost magical coincidence takes place when it turns out that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (hey, aren’t those the same folks who were going to shoot the woodpeckers??) has quietly trapped 20 acorn woodpeckers at the same Rossmoor location and trucked them off for research in Colorado?
Even more magical, these very same acorn woodpeckers will be killed when the “research” project is over.
So even though the permit to kill those acorn woodpeckers had expired, with a little nimble footwork … sorry, I mean “research” … the Rossmoor woodpeckers will still be killed. What a truly magical coincidence.
You know, for a second there it crossed my mind that the U.S. Department of Agriculture had figured out a politically correct way to kill off all those acorn woodpeckers without causing another big public outcry.
But hey, what do I know.
By the way, I am truly astonished that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “researchers” trapped those 20 acorn woodpeckers at the height of their spring breeding season. You’d think they were supposed to know what they were doing. Curious. I wonder if any woodpecker babies were left unattended in their nests? /Gary
** You can read our staff writer Denis Cuff’s story, “Rossmoor woodpeckers seized for scaring experiment” at http://www.contracostatimes.com/top-stories/ci_12504183