Three weeks ago, at a meeting with Recreation and Parks Department Director Phil Ginsburg and Natural Areas Program Director Lisa Wayne, we asked why there had been a huge amount of clearing in Glen Canyon Park during the denning and nesting season — wasn’t this in violation of the grant which stipulated specifically that work must be confined to Summer and Fall when the animals were not nesting? The nesting season runs from Winter through the Spring, yet clearing and toxic herbicides have been applied continuously from November through April in Glen Canyon Park. See Nesting Bewick’s Wren in a “Naturalized Area”. Phil Ginsburg didn’t know the answer, but he assumed Lisa Wayne would give a good answer. But she had no good explanation, only a bad one. Lisa admitted that she broke the rules in order not to lose funds from a grant that was about to expire.
One would have thought that with our reminder during that meeting on April 6th, this breach might not be made again. But no. Yesterday, April 27th, there were at least five trucks with tree-cutting equipment in that park. There was also a sign: “tree work”. Visitors to the park at first were deceptively relieved when they heard that trees were simply going to be trimmed — they were not going to actually be cut down. But few had thought the issue through: This is nesting season. Everyone who knows anything about wildlife knows that you don’t interfere with habitat when animals are raising their young.
We don’t know how many birds were displaced, nor how many nests were destroyed. We do know that lopping off limbs occurred within less than 100 feet of our owl family — there was tremendous noise, and tremendous activity. The owl triplets nesting in the crook of a Eucalyptus tree have not fledged — they cannot fly yet. And the Red Tail Hawks, though further away, are still sitting on their eggs. Countless songbirds live in these trees. Nesting season is in full swing. This activity should be protested to your Supervisors, the Parks Commissioners and to the Recreation and Parks Department.