BIRDATHON is ON!
Birdathon is Ventura Audubon’s only major fundraiser of the year. With your generous contribution, VAS can continue to provide outstanding monthly programs and schedule regular field trips. We can also continue to develop educational outreach programs, fund local conservation and environmental projects and help inform the public on important birding and wildlife issues.
Any scheduled trip during the month of APRIL may be used as the basis for your pledge of an amount per species seen. Or, if you prefer, you may make a donation in any amount. All contributions are tax deductible.
Ventura Audubon is a 501(c)3 corporation. Use the PayPal button above to donate. Thank you for your continued generosity!
CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT
December 17, 2017
Calling all birders! Our Christmas Bird Count is Sunday, December 17, 2017. The CBC is the longest running citizen science effort in existence. Bird counts take place all over North America with a few in the Caribbean and Latin America as well. This will be the 118th Christmas Bird Count conducted by National Audubon. On the Ventura Audubon count last year, we recorded 175 species and more than 19,000 individual birds.
Frank DeMartino is Organizer and Compiler. Please contact Frank at (email@example.com) or (856) 906-8733. (Yes, 856 is the correct area code!) or, you may call the Section Leader with whom you have counted previously or may wish to work with this year. Online registration through National Audubon is NOT available this year.
Birders of all skill levels are encouraged to participate. The more participants we have, the more areas we can cover and we can cover them more thoroughly. Sector Leaders usually start at 8:00 or 8:30 although some of the more ambi-tious leaders may start earlier! Those looking for owls need to be out early or stay late! Most counts end by noon; how-ever, it is not necessary to stop at noon. If you have the energy and stamina, go back in the afternoon to search out birds you should have seen but, didn’t.
Volunteer counters are assigned to one of the sector leaders who coordinate the count in each of eight areas within the VAS count circle. If you wish to participate in the count, please contact the section leader of the area where you would like to count, directly. He/she will give you the start time, meeting place and other details.
We will get together at the end of the day to review the day’s highlights and to consolidate the sector counts for a provi-sional total of species count.
The end of day review includes a potluck dinner at the Church of the Foothills. 6279 Foothill Road, Ventura at 6:30 PM. The potluck is open to members, friends and guests; you do not have to be a field observer to be included. Those at-tending are requested to bring the following types of dishes based on the first letter of your last name.
Main Dish: S-Z Salad: K-R Dessert: A-J
Please bring your own place settings, utensils and beverages (water and hot coffee are provided).
Section 1 Ventura River Kay Regester
Section 2 Lake Casitas Jesse Grantham
Section 3 Ojai Rick Burgess
Section 4 Cañada Larga Linda Easter
Section 5 Wheeler Canyon Gary Tuttle
Section 6 Ventura City Tevin Schmitt
Section 7 SCRE & Coast Alexis Frangis
Section 8 Ocean David Pereksta
Ormond Beach Restoration and Public Access Plan:
On June 21, the State Coastal Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy, and the City of Oxnard hosted the first public meeting about the Ormond Beach Restoration and Public Access Plan. The meeting presentation materials (English and Spanish versions) are now available online:
If you were unable to attend the meeting, you can still provide your input. Submit any comments you have to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the anonymoussurvey below.
Survey in English: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PLS566R
Encuesta en Español: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PV7R3QL
Make sure to submit any comments and fill out the survey by Sunday, July 23, 2017 so that the Project Partners can consider them in the development of the Draft Ormond Beach Restoration and Public Access Plan.
For additional information, please contact either of the contacts below:
Christopher Kroll, Project Manager for the Ormond Beach Restoration/Public Access project, Coastal Conservancy at 510.286.4169 or email at: email@example.com
Isidro Figueroa, Principal Planner, City of Oxnard at 805.385.8207 or email at: Isidro.firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura Riege, Restoration Project Director, The Nature Conservancy at 805.290.4776 or email at: LRiege@tnc.org
Teddy Roosevelt Is Rolling Over in His Grave
No president has ever reversed another president’s designation of an American national monument.
But Trump is threatening to do just that.
By DAVID YARNOLD
April 27, 2017
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For more than a century, U.S. presidents—both Republican and Democrat—have respected the authority of the presidents before them to protect the nation’s most treasured natural and historical places for future generations. No president has ever reversed another president’s designation of an American national monument. Now, however, President Donald Trump is threatening to do just that, blowing up more than 100 years of bipartisan tradition and robbing future generations of their natural legacy.
On Wednesday, the president issued an executive order demanding a review of as many as 30 national monuments established over the past two decades, with the potential for rescinding some of those designations. These more recently established national monuments range from Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument that President Bill Clinton protected in 1996 to the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument President Barack Obama preserved in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Massachusetts.
Many experts believe—based on legal precedent—that reversing those presidential protections would be illegal. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who is in charge of making the recommendations, conceded as much when he said the administration is “not scared of getting sued.” But more than potentially violating the law, any such reversal would be a devastating attack on our national heritage.
More than 100 years ago, a Republican president worried that America wasn’t doing enough to protect its most treasured wild and sacred places from overdevelopment, mining and drilling. So Congress passed and President Teddy Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act of 1906, giving presidents the authority to preserve imperiled mountains, forests, cultural treasures and other public lands. Roosevelt condemned the “land grabbers” and “great special interests” who threatened the national lands he protected. “The rights of the public to the [nation’s] natural resources outweigh private rights and must be given its first consideration,” Roosevelt proclaimed. “Our people should see to it that they are preserved for their children and their children’s children forever.”
Today, another Republican president is indicating he is ready to give in to the pressures of corporations and complicit state officials urging the administration to open these protected public lands to mining, drilling and other commercial exploitation. That would deprive future generations of Americans of irreplaceable treasures, both in the beauty of the landscapes that would be scarred andthe birds and other wildlife that depend on those protected places for survival.
For Audubon, this issue is personal. In the early years of the last century, the newly formed National Audubon Society worked closely with Roosevelt to establish the nation’s first federal bird and wildliferefuges. At that time, the biggest threats to birds were overhunting and the plume trade, whichslaughtered millions of birds so women could wear feathers in their hats.
Today, birds face more threats. They are experiencing the devastating impacts of climate change,and this danger will only grow over time. Audubon’s Birds and Climate Change Report, published inSeptember 2014, found that 314 North American bird species could lose more than half of their current ranges by 2080 beacause of rising temperatures.
That is why it is so critical we help birds survive. This is not a red state or a blue state issue. It is a bird issue. High on the administration’s potential hit list is Bears Ears National Monument, designated by Obama in 2016, and the only national monument specifically named in Trump’s executive order yesterday. Bears Ears covers breathtaking desert landscapes in Utah. Reducing the protections for this national monument could jeopardize thousands of birds—such as the majestic Golden Eagle, Pinyon Jay, Hairy Woodpecker and Mountain Bluebird—and other wildlife that depend on their wild spaces to survive expanding development and the impact of climate change. As birds are pushed out of their habitats by climate that gets too hot, too cold, too wet or too dry, we have to protect places birds need today as well as new areas they will need to colonize in the future.
Bears Ears also is revered by Native Americans whose ancestors lived on the lands thousands of years ago and who still consider them sacred to their culture and traditions today. An extraordinarycoalition of Native American tribes, hunters, anglers, outdoor enthusiasts, birders, archaeologists and conservationists supported the request that Obama designate the Bears Ears National Monument. If Trump goes forward, he’ll be out of step with his constituents, many of whom cherish our public lands and natural wonders, as well as the wildlife they support. According to the annual Conservation in the West poll released by Colorado College earlier this year, a strong majority of Utah’s residents want their monuments to remain just as they are. Sixty percent of those surveyed said national monument designation should remain in place. And according to a national poll last year by the think tank Center for American Progress, 86 percent of Americans surveyed said they supported establishing new national monuments and wildlife refuges to protect special places and at-risk wildlife.
But instead of listening to these Americans, Trump is heeding the plea from corporations and state officials who want to open our national treasures to oil and gas drilling and other potentially damaging activities. In doing so, not only is he destroying more than a century of tradition of bipartisan conservation, but he’s also depriving our children and grandchildren of the most special places on earth and the extraordinary wildlife those places support.
It’s downright shameful.