Posts Tagged ‘U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’

San Francisco Opposes the Feds Killing Off Mice on the Farallon Islands? Fear of Dead Seagulls Scaring Tourists?

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Well, this is news to me.

All the Feds want to do is kill off the mice of the Farallones and San Francisco is standing in the way?

Check out how our Federales scored a “rip-roaring conservation success” exterminating vermin up in Alaska at Hawadex Island, which was known for centuries as “Rat Island.”

I’ll tell you, I can’t name any of the “visionary policies and innovative programs” created by SF Environment that Director Deborah Raphael boasts of.

Can you, Gentle Reader?

One down, a million to go – here’s the big version, via nature photographer Jenny Erbes.

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Monomaniacal Single-Issue Voting Run Amok: “DogPAC: I Have a Dog and I Vote!”

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

I’ll tell you, Supervisor Scott Wiener, for one, lives in fear of running afoul of these people, the very same people who vandalize the “no dogs allowed” signs our Feds put up on certain parts of our Federal lands:

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Our Feds wonder why Bay Aryans can’t abide the rules the rest of America accepts with no trouble at all…

So look out, little Western Snow Plover. The dog pacs of the world say that you’re nothing special and that, in fact, you don’t even exist – they say there’s no such thing as a Western plover anything. OK fine.

As seen at Ocean Beach near Taraval, 1200mm focal length:

Good luck, little plover.

The Feds Make a Deal to Set Aside More Space for Western Snowy Plovers, San Francisco’s Cutest Birds

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

The Center for Biological Diversity is crowing about more room being designated for the Western Snowy Plover along the west coast.

San Francisco isn’t getting more space for these critters but they already have as much as they need here now, not that some area dog owners agree with the way things are these days.

Anyway, here are some San Francisco Snowy Plovers and the also the deets of the new agreement with the Feds are below.

(Oh, and remember, as always, plover rhymes with lover.)

A snowy plover on Ocean Beach _not_ being harassed by a dog:

Now, Ocean Beach Dog, ooh, somebody over there got an off-leash ticket from the Feds a looooong time ago. (Can you guess what year by looking at the website design? Sure you can.) Oh well. Well, the Feds don’t like Ocean Beach Dog and people what behave like Ocean Beach Dog. The Feds consider us Whacko City, USA because of outfits like OBD, oh well.

Most dogs don’t bother the boids, of course. Can you see the snowy plover?

But some dogs do harass the birds. (These aren’t actually snowy plovers near Lawton and the Great Highway but the dogs don’t know or care about that.)

(Get those Ocean Beach birds, good boy!)

And here’s the sitch up in Crissy Field:

See the birds, see the unleashed dog?

Is is surprising to you that an unleashed dog could find and chase these plovers? What was surprising to me was to hear that this particular boid flew up from Morro Bay (where it was banded and which is like way south of here) all the way up to the Marina District:

Keep on keeping on, plovers:

More Than 24,000 Acres of Critical Habitat Protected for Western Snowy Plover

PORTLAND, Ore.— In response to a Center for Biological Diversity lawsuit, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today designated 24,527 acres (38 square miles) of critical habitat to protect the Pacific Coast population of threatened western snowy plovers in Washington, Oregon and California.

“Protecting critical habitat will help this lovely shorebird continue on the path to recovery,” said Tierra Curry, a conservation biologist at the Center. “Species with federally protected habitat are more than twice as likely to be moving toward recovery than species without it, so this puts a big safety net between plovers and extinction.”

Western snowy plovers breed primarily on beaches in southern Washington, Oregon, California and Baja California. Today’s designation includes four critical habitat units in Washington (covering 6,077 acres), nine units in Oregon (covering 2,112 acres) and 47 units in California (covering 16,337 acres).

Snowy plovers were listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act in 1993, when the coastal population had dropped to 1,500 birds and plovers no longer bred at nearly two-thirds of their former nesting sites. That Endangered Species Act protection allowed the population to increase to more than 3,600 adults by 2010.

Plovers are recovering but still face many threats, including widespread and frequent disturbance of nesting sites by humans, vehicles and off-leash dogs; crushing by off-road vehicles; global climate change; pesticide use; and habitat loss.

The western snowy plover was first granted 19,474 acres of critical habitat in 1999. In 2005 the Bush administration illegally reduced the critical habitat to 12,145 acres, eliminating protection for thousands of acres scientists believed necessary for the snowy plover’s survival and abandoning key habitat areas crucial for recovery. In 2008 the Center sued over the unlawful reduction of the plover’s habitat protections, leading to a settlement agreement with the Service and today’s revised designation.

Today’s final rule includes the reinstatement of habitat areas identified by government scientists as essential that were improperly withdrawn in 2005; inclusion of some areas not currently occupied by plovers but important for their recovery; and addition of habitats such as back-dune systems in an attempt to offset anticipated effects of sea-level rise caused by climate change.

The western snowy plover is a shy, pocket-sized shorebird that weighs less than two ounces and lives for three years. Plovers forage for worms, insects and crustaceans in wet sand and in kelp that has washed ashore. The word “plover” is thought to come from the Old French”plovier” or “rain bird” because plovers were seen on sandy French beaches during spring rains.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 375,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.”

Oh, and also remember that San Francisco is for Plovers:

Remembering the Cosco Busan Oil Spill Three Years Later – Turns Out That Everybody was to Blame

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Has it been only three years since the Cosco Busan, the leakiest 2001 Hyundai ever, spilled 58,000 gallons of bunker fuel* into the bay? Seems longer.

Anyway, turns out that a dude who supposed to be up front looking out for stuff in the pea soup fog was downstairs in the galley eating breakfast. I did not know that, no sir. Of course, the idea to depart on sked despite the fog came from the bar pilot, so that’s the person who’s primarily responsible. But there still plenty of blame to go around. Deets below.

Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeech!

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All right, it’s Blame Time:

The National Transportation Safety Board determined the following probable causes of the accident:

- the pilot’s degraded cognitive performance from his use of prescription medications, despite his completely clean post accident drug test,
- the absence of a comprehensive pre-departure master/pilot exchange and a lack of effective communication between Pilot John Cota and Master Mao Cai Sun during the accident voyage, and
- (COSCO Busan Master) Sun’s ineffective oversight of Cota’s piloting performance and the vessel’s progress.

Other contributing factors included:

- the failure of Fleet Management Ltd. to train the COSCO Busan crewmembers (which led to such acts of gross negligence as the bow lookout eating breakfast in the galley instead of being on watch) and Fleet Management’s failure to ensure that the crew understood and complied with the company’s safety management system;
- the failure of Caltrans to maintain foghorns on the bridge which were silent despite the heavy fog;
- the failure of Vessel Traffic Safety (VTS) to alert Cota and Sun that they were headed for the tower. VTS is legally required to alert a vessel if an accident appears imminent, yet they remained silent;
- the malfunctioning radar on the COSCO Busan, which led Captains Cota and Sun to use an electronic chart for the rest of the voyage. Although Coast Guard investigators found the radar to be in working order, they did not examine it until days after the accident (allowing time for faulty equipment to be fixed, which is not uncommon after a marine accident)
- Captain Sun’s incorrect identification of symbols on the electronic chart;
- the U.S. Coast Guard’s failure to provide adequate medical oversight of Cota, in view of the medical and medication information he had reported to the Coast Guard

Happy Anniversary, Cosco Busan, or should I say MSC Venezia? Don’t ever come back.

The patched-up ship finally hits the road, back in aught-seven – this was the last time we’ll ever see the Cosco Busan in the Bay Area, most likely:

*Yeah, Wiki is still wrong on that gallonage figure, partly due to the U.S. Coast Guard sitting on information for months and months ’cause they didn’t want to earn themselves any more bad press.

Cosco Busan Oil Spill Endgame: Chinese-Based Fleet Management Ltd. to pay $10 Mil.

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Here’s the news from the boys and girls at Justice, below.

Patched up and riding high – the last time we saw the Cosco Busan back in 2007. Will it ever come back? She’s called the MSC Venezia these days, currently working in the Canaries.

Oh well, she’s not the first Hyundai to leak oil into San Francsico Bay, and she won’t be the last.

The full release, after the jump

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