Piping Plovers prevent ORV access to Cape Cod beaches
As I prepare to write my check for $180 for my Nauset Beach ORV permit, I can’t help but mull over the plight of the Piping Plover, or perhaps more accurately, the plight of the human beach goer.
Now don’t misunderstand me, I am all for protecting these little birds…But at what cost? Is it right for the Plover to be able to use the beach, but human beings can not? It seems to me that there has to be some sort of middle ground that we can find, balancing the needs of all involved. Too often we humans step in, thinking that our actions are going to benefit a species, only to find that we have harmed another species in the process. Maybe it is time to let Mother Nature take care of the plight of the plover.
I am reminded of an incident that occurred long ago, when I was a young, impressionable teenager. I owned a small fishing boat and was an avid fisherman. I longed for the end of the school day, so that I could make my way to my favorite fishing hole. My hot spot was just below a dam, where the trout and smallmouth bass would gorge themselves on the baitfish as they washed through the turbines. On this particular day, I was cruising up the river, just about to reach the dam, as I had a thousand times before, when I noticed a man on the shoreline, frantically waving his arms. I immediately headed over to him, thinking that he needed help. When I arrived at the shoreline, the man informed me, in a thou art not as important as I attitude, that he was a wildlife biologist and that I had just broken the law by coming within 100 feet of a Bald Eagle.
“Bald Eagle?” I asked. “I didn’t know that there was a bald eagle here.” I said.
“Ignorance is no excuse!” was his terse reply.
He managed to keep me there, explaining how the Bald Eagle now had exclusive fishing rights to MY fishing hole, and that I was no longer allowed anywhere near the area.
A short while later, the game warden that he had called, unbenownst to me, arrived and proceeded to write me a $110 ticket for harassing a Bald Eagle, which I never saw, and I am not sure to this day that it even existed.
That was my indoctrination into the world of the animal rights vs. human rights debate, and because of that single Napoleonic wildlife biologist, I came down squarely on the side of human rights and not animal rights.
The point is, there must be a way that we can compromise and take into account both, the rights of the animal, as well as the rights of the human being. If the rights of the animal continue to overshadow the rights of the human, it will only be a matter of time before the ill will creates a whole generation of ANTI animal rights activists…And then what?
by Cape Crusader
(Somewhere in New England)
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