Target: Bijan Sartipi, Director, District 4, Caltrans; Bob Haus, Public Information Branch Chief, Branch A, California Department of Transportation; Linda Clifford, CFO, C.C. Myers
Goal: Secure the release of birds trapped in netting near a construction site in Sonoma County, California.
Cliff swallows, a protected songbird species, have been nesting under the Petaluma River Bridge in Sonoma County, California for decades. But the recent installation of netting under the bridge has proven fatal for many of the birds, who become tangled in the nets and die. Sign the petition and urge those involved in the nets’ installation to seek alternative, non-lethal methods for controlling the birds’ nesting locations.
The nets, which were installed jointly by Caltrans (California Department of Transportation) and construction company C. C. Myers, were put up under the bridge to protect the birds from harm, says Caltrans spokesperson Bob Haus. The Department of Transportation is doing construction nearby, and the goal was to prevent the birds from nesting in such close proximity to a potentially dangerous construction site. However well-intentioned the netting’s installation was, it is doing far more harm than good. After birds find their way through gaps in the nets, they become trapped and eventually die.
The situation is particularly tragic for two reasons: first, cliff swallows are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Second, these deaths are easily preventable through other deterrents, such as Teflon sheeting or silicone-based paint. Caltrans, however, simply plans to replace the faulty nets with new netting.
Tell Caltrans that nets are the problem, not the solution. Sign the petition and urge Caltrans to adopt an alternate nesting deterrent at its Petaluma Bridge construction site.
Dear Mr. Sartipi, Mr. Haus, and Ms. Clifford,
If there is one thing we can all agree on, it’s that cliff swallows must be protected — they are, after all, covered by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. However, the method that Caltrans and C. C. Myers have chosen to employ is problematic in that it has resulted in the deaths of the very animals it aims to protect.
The netting in use under the Petaluma Bridge in Sonoma County has proven to be a death trap for cliff swallows hoping to nest under the bridge, as they become ensnared in the nets meant to protect them from harm. Many birds are dying, and Caltrans’s proposed solution — simply installing different nets — is not particularly promising. I urge you to consider other, safer deterrents, such as silicone-based paint or Teflon sheeting.
Please help do your part to save a protected species.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Dori via Wikimedia Commons