Endangered Species Act Changes Update

Okay, I need lots of fingers crossed. We may have some exciting news tomorrow for a certain falcon we have all come to know in the blog. It's VERY tentative, but still let's all think the good though for the next 24 hours.

So, from my bud, Mark Martell from Minnesota Audubon about the proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act (giving federal agencies like the highway department the say so if an endangered animal can be removed for construction) and mailing thongs to Dirk in protest:

"I have been told that mailing to Gov. officials is ineffective since the anthrax incident. All mail to them is checked and irradiated which means it can take weeks or even months. Our policy folks tell me they do not do mail anymore, only phone or email."

Bummer. I really liked the idea of mailing thongs to Dick.

Incidentally, Audubon is filing a request for extension of the comment period on the changes (30 days is quite short) and will have much more to say on this as they get all their chapters coordinated. For more info on what you can do now to protest the changes, visit here.

UPDATE. A DC Birding Blog recommends that you use this contact information to leave your comments regarding the proposed changes.

It's interesting that in Minnesota--NONE of the birding listservs are talking about this. Instead there's been angry debate on people not including counties when they post bird sightings. I wonder if this is a sign of birder apathy that could lead to these changes going through?

And if you're looking for something fun, let me share with you Bird Vibes. I also write for the Birding Business News. It's for retailers in the birding industry so I get press releases about new product. Bird Vibes is a deck of 54 meditation cards based on bird species in North America. The birds are grouped by eight chakras according to the bird's color, habitat or other characteristics, with an additional card for each season. Each card shows a different bird through reproductions of paintings commissioned from Ottawa nature painter, Heather Bale. This was originally self-published in Ottawa in May 2007 and then published by Baico in December 2007. The second edition took into account comments from birders--they got feedback from birders to make it accurate as well as spiritual. I love it. Makes me smile, all the different ways people dig birds out there, just makes me smile.