[CT Birds] (CT Birds) Shorebird Puddles

David Provencher hikerbirder1 at gmail.com
Wed Jul 26 13:29:28 EDT 2017

I think there are several likely factors that went into these holes being
filled, and I doubt the guidance to do it came from anyone higher than
Hammo park management. One the factors likely in play is that Hammonasset
brings in a fair bit of revenue, and much of that revenue is from camping.
This area is near the campgrounds and I'll bet park staff felt they needed
to eliminate standing water in the grassy areas around the campers as an
"improvement," possibly in response to camper's complaints. Just recently a
woman from another part of the country submitted a very public complaint to
the State of New Hampshire because the White Mountain trails were "a
disgrace" because they were unimproved and too "rocky" and she insisted
they need to be fixed for everyone's safety. This has been met with quite a
bit of scorn from the hiking community as you can imagine but I mention it
to highlight that public officials hear these kind of complaints all the
time and have to address them in some form or another because they are
"public" officials. And of course, sometimes the public can be a right

I applaud Kathy Van Der Aue for her proactive approach and think the
birding community should jump at the invitation to become more involved in
habitat management at Hammo, even on this rather small scale. It may be an
opportunity to have a greater voice at this park and perhaps other state
properties (and I admit it may not). The reality is the birding community
is not the only one with an opinion on what should happen at Hammonasset or
other state properties.  It should be remembered that there are great
political pressures to squeeze every dollar out of state properties that
can be squeezed with the state's budget being in so sorry a state. If I had
my way the conservation and protection of the natural world would be the
highest desire of everyone. As we all know too well it isn't. I say let's
take every opportunity to work with, and hopefully influence, those who are
in a position to do good things.

Dave Provencher
Preston, CT

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