Saturday, September 15, 2007
Proof That The GGNRA Is Acting Illegally
Okay, some of you wanted evidence that the GGNRA's alleged "emergency" in closing off portions of Crisy Field and Ocean Beach is illegal. Putting aside the government's disclaimer of any "emergency" before Judge Alsup (do ya think they was lyin?), here is the proof (just sitting there in the pudding).
The following are excerpts from U.C. Berkeley biolgist Megan Warren's May 7, 2007 study entitled, "Recreation Disturbance Does Not Change Feeding Behavior of the Western Snowy Plover":
“The Western Snowy Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus) is a small shorebird
that has many scattered wintering populations along the Pacific Coast of the United States, including several in the Bay Area. This species has been listed as threatened since 1993 under the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973. For this study I measured disturbance rates, types, plover responses and feeding time in three different sites in the San Francisco Bay Area to explore the link between recreation disturbance and feeding behavior. I predicted that as
frequency of disturbance increased, the birds would spend less time actively foraging and more time alert. However, data showed no significant relationship between feeding behavior and direct disturbance by human recreators."
"This study addresses how recreation affects wintering
populations of the western snowy plover by examining its feeding behavior at several more heavily used sites in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the relationship between shorebird feeding behavior and recreation has yet to be fully explored."
"Crissy Field is readily accessible by car, foot, bike and public transit. This site has also recently (October 2006) changed from an off-leash to on-leash dog area. For this study, Crissy Field was classified as a high-use recreational site."
"Western snowy plover do not feed at Crissy Field, so data on recreation disturbance and feeding behavior comes from the two Point Reyes National Seashore sites."
"Accessibility is the main factor distinguishing recreational use among the
three beaches. Not surprisingly, the urban study site, Crissy Field, showed the highest and most varied recreational use of all the sites. Crissy Field is the only site at which the birds were not found foraging in the evening, and they are not always at the site. Of six survey dates, they were only on the beach for four of them, and not once were they foraging."
"Therefore, it can be assumed that the absence of foraging western snowy plover at Crissy Field is due to other factors, such as quality of the food source available at the site."
"The first part of the disturbance surveys showed by and large that resting plovers do not react strongly to the presence of recreators. . . . Similarly, no relationship exists between disturbance level and alert time.. . .this is . . . an incredibly weak relationship, and cannot be considered significant."
"This study looked at links between disturbance level and foraging behavior of the western snowy plover at three different beaches in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Crissy Field study site did not provide any relevant results, however, the data from the two Point Reyes study sites do not support the hypothesis that western snowy plovers in more heavily disturbed areas devote less time to actively foraging and more time to being alert. Data show no significant correlation between number of disturbances and time spent actively searching or foraging, or being alert while feeding at dusk. These results suggest that direct recreation disturbance is not as significant as earlier thought, and that links between recreation
and western snowy plover feeding behavior are more subtle. Several possible explanations exist for explaining these relationships. The data suggest that as more disturbances occur, more time is spent on searching than on being alert or foraging. Though not significant, this relationship does bring to mind other possible explanations of the trend indirectly related to recreational use at certain sites."
"Though this study had a range of disturbance levels at each site, feeding habitat was not suitable at Crissy Field and therefore not observed."
"This research project is perhaps more useful as an education tool.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
No more than 3 months after this study was published, the liars that are the GGNRA, using completely biased "research" from the dog-hater Golden Gate Audubon Society, disregarded the study and somehow found that the minuscule amount of interaction between off-leash dogs and Plovers was so great that an "emergency" could be claimed to shut the area down. The use of its "emergency" powers allows the GGNRA to avoid prior public notice and comment before a "significant" or "highly controversial" closure such as this.
Do you want to know what the GGNRA's own science said about dogs and plovers at Crissy Field? Here is the summary and additional proof (from the mouths of the law-breakers) that no emergency exists in order to avoid the democratic process of public notice and public commment:
"From the 29 surveys conducted from September 21, 2006 - April 18, 2007, the following summary statistics were calculated . . . There were . . . no observations of dogs chasing Snowy Plovers." (National Park Service, June 29, 2007)
So here's the proof. The very people in charge of our parks continue to break the law in order to advance their anti-dog agenda. Only court action will again reverse their lawlessness.
Andrew and I are heading out to Crissy Field in a minute! (You got to fight for your right to party!)
Karazan Satchel, Esquire