Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Birders, Birds, and Dogs

I think we must use caution as birders on the situation. The park boards are going to side with what their taxpayers want. If asked what they (non-birders) would like to see in their parks, I will bet that many would say more area to walk my dog, play sports, etc. Very few people would mention other uses. The reasons for this is deep intrenced in our American lifestyle.

Offering citations may backfire in that park visitors may feel that they are being cheated in the parks that their tax money has bought or pays for. They may go to the park boards with their concern. Many people feel that it is their right to walk their dog anywhere in the park that they want, they feel - "I pay for the land, therefore I do as I please." This mindset is going to be impossible to change for many, as it would take a whole overhaul of our society to change.

A situation that I could envision is that someone would actually get bit, calls police, files suit against the owner of the dog and the park district for not providing adequate law enforement. This could cause a situation were, out of fear of lossing funding/money from a situation like this, they close the park where the incident occured. It is a sticky situtation.

One example of what to expect is to look at East Fork State Park. Things are changing there, and will continue at an alarming pace. Special interests groups (and money) are currently running the park. There is little if any oversight by ODNR, no law enforement, etc. People pretty much do as they please here with no consequences. Much of this is caused by a lack of funding (which was discussed here before), which all plays a part in this whole situation.

Dog walks 'prompting bird flight'

Dog-walking can adversely affect wildlife

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