Protect Migrating Birds: End Hunting in Tomales Bay

Target: Charlton H. Bonham, Director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Goal: Protect migrating birds by ending hunting in the Tomales Bay Ecological Reserve

The Tomales Bay Ecological Reserve is part of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and borders the Giacomini Wetlands Wildlife Sanctuary. One key difference between the two areas, however, is that the Tomales Bay Ecological Reserve allows hunting for one hundred days each year whereas the Giacomini Wetlands Wildlife Sanctuary does not.

As a result, birds that should be protected by the sanctuary may be killed by hunters on the reserve. Do not allow decades of work and ecological progress to be undone. Tell the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to end hunting in the Tomales Bay Ecological Reserve.

The Tomales Bay area has seen its share of environmental disruption. Although the area was initially a haven for birds, land development beginning in the nineteenth century adversely affected the bay and the surrounding areas. Many animals, including birds, were displaced or simply disappeared.

In the 1960s and 1970s, numerous efforts to save the bay and the surrounding coastal lands resulted in the creation of national parks and land trusts. However, a National Park Service report demonstrates that, “the largest and potentially most effective effort is the Giacomini Wetland Restoration Project, which returns the former [Giacomini] dairy ranch back to tidal wetlands and floodplain.”

Since the Giacomini Wetland Restoration Project aims to create a habitat in which wetland-dependent animal species can flourish, hunting is not allowed in the sanctuary like it is on the Tomales Bay Reserve. But because birds are such mobile creatures, allowing hunting in the nearby Tomales Bay Reserve practically defeats the purpose of the hunting ban on the Giacomini lands. As In Defense of Animals points out, “exhausted migrating ducks and geese may be shot by hunters just as they are about to reach the sanctuary.”

Help protect migrating species and continue the important work of the Giacomini Wetland Restoration Project. Urge the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to put an end to hunting or to at least impose tighter hunting restrictions in the Tomales Bay Ecological Reserve.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Bonham,

Over the years, the Tomales Bay area has made admirable strides forward in creating an environment that supports numerous fish and wildlife species. However, there remains one significant fly in the ointment: the Tomales Bay Ecological Reserve still allows hunting of birds for one hundred consecutive days each year. Allowing hunting in an area set aside to act as a shelter for birds and other wildlife defeats the purpose of having the reserve in the first place. Please end hunting on the Tomales Bay Ecological Reserve or, failing that, impose tighter restrictions to protect migrating bird populations.

The crux of the hunting problem is the Tomales Bay Ecological Reserve’s proximity to the Giacomini Wetlands Wildlife Sanctuary, which does not allow hunting. But because birds are such mobile creatures, they stand a great chance of being shot down as they arrive at the sanctuary after a long and exhausting migration.

Please ensure that all the progress of recent decades is not in vain. Protect migrating birds and end hunting in the Tomales Bay Ecological Reserve.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: ashraful kadir via Flickr

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