Target: Governor Kate Brown of Oregon
Goal: Prevent the planned slaughter of thousands of cormorants wrongfully blamed for declining salmon populations
Every dam in the path of spawning salmon, and young salmon moving towards the sea, claims the lives of many fish. The more dams they must pass, the more likely they will die before returning to the streams of their birth to lay and fertilize eggs. Yet while dams are largely responsible, cormorants are being blamed for the fishes’ decline. A plan to slaughter nearly 11,000 of the birds over the next four years–to shoot adult birds, destroy eggs and leave thousands more chicks to die of starvation–is moving forward despite public outcry.
From the beginning the Army Corps of Engineers’ plan has drawn intense criticism. Nearly all of the 150,000 public comments the Corps received urged it not to kill the innocent cormorants. The cull would represent a sickening loss of life, even threatening the survival of the Double-crested Cormorant. East Sand Island, where the killing would take place, is an internationally recognized Important Bird Area and a primary nesting site for Brown Pelicans and Caspian Terns, as well as several species of cormorants. There are non-lethal ways to discourage the birds from nesting there…and it was the Corps that transformed the island into perfect nesting habitat in the first place!
The Audubon Society is taking the bold step of suing the Corps to prevent the cull. For the Governor of Oregon to speak out in favor of the cormorants’ conservation could make the difference. Urge Governor Kate Brown to do all in her power to prevent the senseless killing of cormorants on East Sand Island.
Dear Governor Brown,
Some 150,000 people wrote to urge the Army Corps of Engineers regarding its plan to cull cormorants on East Sand Island in the Columbia River. Of these concerned citizens, Bob Sallinger with the Audubon Society of Portland says nearly 97% opposed the plan. The Corps has been clear: its intent is to murder 15% of the Double-crested Cormorants west of the Rocky Mountains. Because the cull is planned for peak nesting season, thousands of chicks will be left to starve to death after their parents are shot and killed.
If the Corps were sincere about wanting to protect salmon, it would question its own deadly hydroelectric dams. It would focus on non-lethal ways to discourage nesting (such as habitat restructuring) rather than a cull which even the Corps is uncertain will result in increased salmon runs.
Please Governor Brown, stand with the Audubon Society and tens of thousands of concerned citizens and do all you can to prevent the slaughter of cormorants on East Sand Island.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: cuatrok77