Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Do New Yorkers Want Wildlife-Empty Parks?
Do New Yorkers want wildlife-empty parks?
Apparently, they do. Either that, or most didn't know about or understand the long-term implications and goals of the proposed Wildlife Feeding Ban that the Mayor has signed in recent days.
Roxanne Delgado of the Bronx Electors for Animal Rights met with park officials last week. Ms. Delgado had worked hard to document a case of why the feeding ban should be rejected, but the minds she was speaking to were already closed. There was no discussion or question. It was a meeting only to show there was a meeting; a mere formality. Just like the formalities of public comments and hearing.
But in the end, it didn't matter what the people had to say as there simply weren't enough of them.
It didn't matter, any of the research, documentations or photos of suffering, disappearing and dying park wildlife. It didn't even matter, the recent report from the UN, stating that one million plant and animal species now face extinction.
What mattered was how to turn city parks into mere extention of the city itself, complete with outdoor gyms, concerts, food fests, marathons, movies and fireworks. (Indeed, the only things missing are roller coasters, but perhaps they are in the works.)
What mattered was how to further "discourage" or force out any wildlife still remaining in city parks. First, remove natural food sources. Secondly, heavy use of pesticides and insecticides. Thirdly, criminalize alternate food sources as represented by human support of wildlife.
This past Saturday, Ms. Delgado received a call from the Mayor's office, informing her that Mayor deBlasio had just signed off on the feeding ban. All that remains now is its actual adoption and implementation.
When Ms. Delgado asked how park wildlife will survive now that most natural food sources have been removed and alternate food sources banned, she was told, "The wildlife will find other places for food and nesting."
This reaffirms what an Audubon (and ban supporter) representative told Ms. Delgado when asked the same question more than a month ago:
"The wildlife can go to Long Island to find food."
Apparently, birds, squirrels, raccoons, and waterfowl are not welcomed anywhere in NYC.
Does that mean New Yorkers will have to buy tickets for the Long Island Rail Road or Amtrak if they wish to see any wildlife?
Or does it mean they will have to buy zoo tickets or sign up for special $15.00 "tours" with wildlife "experts" with powerful binoculars to find a warbler or chipmunk in the park?
It all reminds of an old Joni Mitchell song:
"They cut down the trees and put them in a tree museum.
And they charge the people a dollar and a half just to see them."
The question is, is this what New Yorkers signed up for? Is this what New Yorkers really want?
"Don't it always go to show? That you don't know what you've got till it's gone? "
If not, then they have to find way to let their representatives and media know before ban is fully and actually enacted. Neither Roxanne nor I can do it for them.
"They pave paradise and put up a parking lot."