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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More Sparrows and Petition Update

Our houseboat porch is turning into a pretty popular place to spend the night, especially with all the rain we've been getting! We now have two male house sparrows that make nightly visits. One night they shared a little hole, but usually they choose separate ones. We try to keep the lights off as to not disturb them, but when I had to turn them on briefly tonight I took two quick pictures of them roosting.













Also, you may have noticed that the Preserve the Mar Vista Resort petition has been removed from my blog. I heard last week that the property was going to be shown to a prospective buyer, and the signature rate had dropped to less than one per day, so I decided it was time to submit the petition. In all, the petition got 485 signatures! Thanks so much to all who signed and sent it along to their friends.

The Petition Site
created a nice pdf document for me, which included the letter, signatures, and all the comments left by all the signers. I sent it to San Juan County Land Bank, San Juan Preservation Trust, and Coldwell Banker, the agency with the Mar Vista listing. I have also heard back from all three.

The director of San Juan County Land Bank informed me that money is, of course, the biggest issue, but that they are speaking with potential donors about the property in addition to pursuing state and federal grant money. The director of conservation at San Juan Preservation Trust also said they are exploring all possible conservation options, and would love to talk to me further about any of my thoughts and ideas.

The realtor said it is most likely that the property will be purchased as a private estate, which means no large scale commercial development will occur, but of course it will be closed to the public. He also expressed that he believes any money generated to purchase Mar Vista for conservation purposes would be much better spent purchasing other, cheaper development easements, because this way we could preserve more of the rural character of the whole island rather than a single waterfront property. He has a valid point, but I think Mar Vista is a unique property that could provide some pretty special opportunities as public land. For instance, a shore-based whale watching and research site on a part of the island where there isn't one.

That's all I know for now, but I'll continue to post updates as I learn more about anything related to thsi property.....

7 comments:

The K said...

If you want to keep the sparrows around you might think about acquiring a bird feeder and keeping it stocked.

Monika said...

The K, I was thinking the same thing! I'm pretty sure they winter here in the marina anyway, but I'm sure they and the other little woodland species that forage in along the bank would appreciate the extra seed cache during the colder months.

Michele Wassell said...

Nice post and cute little birds... :) I just read in the newspaper that the court system ruled in the favor of the Navy to allow them to continue their testing/practice in Southern California coastal waters, and they overturned the policies the Navy used to have to follow. Now they don't have to shut down their engines when the whales are within a 2000 range. The judge stated that its more important for the Navy to continue their missions than the whales and dolphins well-being. It makes me sick to hear that. I feel so bad for the marine life that has to suffer due to these noises, especially when there are "better" areas to do their practice. It also sounds like there wasn't enough "information / support" from environmentalist to fully protect the marine life. I wish there was something that could be done to help protect the marine life, especially since they mentioned that 4 species of whales are already on the endangered list.

Monika said...

Michele, the supreme court ruling in favor of the Navy's sonar exercises over protection for the whales is a tough one to swallow, but it wasn't as bad as it could have been. The court agreed the Navy violated existing protections, something that has been denied in the past. The seriousness and validity of the environmentalist's claims were also fully recognized. The vote was also close, only a 5-4 loss. So, things are hopefully heading (albeit slowly) in the right direction...

Michele Wassell said...

So did I misunderstand our local article in the paper or was it misleading? I know my vocabulary isn't all up to pare, but this is all quite new to me as I am trying to get more involved in researching it. Thanks for the clarification. :)

Monika said...

Michele, You didn't misunderstand anything....the Navy doesn't have to worry about protecting whales, and the it is very unfortunate that the supreme court ruled as they did. All I was saying is that, at least in this lawsuit, the environmentalists were acknowledged to have a legitimate case. Other times, the arguments in favor of the whales have been more or less dismissed. This time, the judges acknowledged the validity of the arguments, but decided national security was more important.

Michele Wassell said...

Thanks for the clarification. I am glad they at least gave the environmentalist a chance to support the whales. Maybe next time they will rule in there favor. :) Lets hope!