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E-M:/ Proposed Poisoning of Blackbirds by the USDA/Wildlife Services

Enviro-Mich message from Lowell D Corbin <ufat2@juno.com>

Hello Everyone,

This sounds like what Grand Ledge, Michigan proposed to do to their
pigeon population recently, until a huge outcry over poisoning them put a
stop to it.  But this is on a much larger scale.  I do think this
deserves many letters in opposition to this idea.  Thank you for your
support of this important issue.

Lowell D. Corbin

The USDA thinks that there are too many red-winged blackbirds migrating
across the Northern Great Plains states of MN, SD, and ND.  Because of
this, the USDA wants to send some of its Wildlife Services (WS) agents
to poison the birds, in an effort to "reduce blackbird damage to
economically acceptable levels for certain [sunflower] growers."  The
USDA's proposed plan involves lacing areas that the birds congregate in
with poisoned bait, ensuring a painful and slow death. The irony of the
USDA's blackbird control plan is that some of the very same sunflowers
that the blackbirds are being killed for are being grown for commercial
wild bird seed! This is the USDA's 2nd attempt to initiate a massive
blackbird poisoning program; the first was canceled after the U.S. Fish &
Wildlife Service, concerned over the effects of poison on non-target
wildlife, refused to grant the USDA a permit.


The USDA is accepting written, public comment on the development of a
blackbird control plan until Monday April 23rd.  

Send your letters (1 original and 3 copies) to: "Docket 01-013-1,"
Regulatory Analysis and
Development, PPD, APHIS, Suite 3C03, 4700 River Rd., Unit 118, Riverdale
MD 20737-1238.  

In your letters, please refer to Docket 01-013-1 and make
the following points:

1) This lethal plan is scientifically unsound; 
2) The lethal plan still presents serious safety concerns to nontarget
3) Poisoning blackbirds can never effectively protect sunflowers from
   damage, since these species are so abundant.  A copy of the USDA's
   proposed rule can be seen at:


A UFAT message from:
Lowell D. Corbin
Co-Chair: Environmental Action Committee
Michigan Audubon Society

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