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IVORY-BILLS  LiVE???!  ...

=> THE blog devoted to news and commentary on the most iconic bird in American ornithology, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (IBWO)... and... sometimes other schtuff.

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"....The truth is out there."

-- Dr. Jerome Jackson, 2002 (... & Agent Fox Mulder)

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

-- Hamlet

"All truth passes through 3 stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

-- Arthur Schopenhauer

Monday, October 17, 2005


-- Some '60 Minutes' Followup --

Joe Neal on the Arkansas bird listserv made this point today following CBS's '60 Minutes' IBWO report:

"Sunday night's broadcast on "60 Minutes" about the Ivory-billed Woodpecker
was, overall, a wonderful piece of journalism. When it was over, however, I
felt that there had been a BIG omission. So BIG that I think they missed
the story, or at least a key part of it. They missed the message that will
also be critical in the future.
I did not hear anything in the broadcast about how it was that the
Cache River escaped complete channelization, which would have led to the
loss of nearly 100% of the wetlands and bottomland forests. That is,
nowhere mentioned was Rex Hancock and the army of duck hunters, anglers,
and other conservationists, primarily natives of eastern Arkansas, who
fought the channelization to a standstill, then financed initial land
purchases for the refuge. Nowhere mentioned was the role of a key state
agency, Arkansas Game & Fish, and the public lands it has acquired for
public hunting access, which are now key parcels in the unfolding
Ivory-billed story. The story of the Ivory-bill, in my opinion, should
NEVER be told without including the amazing victory over the channelization
that set the stage. It's all about habitat, and it's all about what it
takes to save habitat.
In making these statements, I don't mean to rain on a good piece of
national journalism--I was thrilled to see it. Everything can't be included
in a brief available time. HOWEVER, in placing emphasis on the non-hunting
bird watchers (who were nicely featured in one part of the broadcast)
rather than on those who had a much more significant role in stopping the
channelization -- the "bird killing" duck hunters, etc -- the history gets
skewed, and lessons that need to emerge from such events don't get learned.
We million bird watchers could have been left out. The fight waged by
duck hunters should have been in."


That is very important--you should write to 60 minutes and stress the role of hunters and fisherman in conservation. It would be very meaningful coming from a birder. I've heard them read good letters before-they do additions and corrections to stories.
An article highlighting the role of hunters in preserving the Big Woods, by Keith Sutton for ESPN. I saw this on Laura Erickson's site, and thought it was worth a post here.
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