Hundreds of thousands of migratory birds descend on the lakeshore of northwest Ohio every spring, piling up on the south side of Lake Erie before making the jump over the big water. In recent years, thousands of birders have traveled there specifically to enjoy them, making springtime in Ohio – and specifically the Black Swamp Bird Observatory’s Biggest Week in American Birding – a must-visit event on the birding calendar.
In 2013, we asked birders to help fight the short-sighted plan for wind energy development at Camp Perry Air National Guard Facility, square in the middle of the critical habitat migratory birds use along the lakeshore. With the help of hundreds of birders, Black Swamp Bird Observatory was able to put a stop to that development. But the idea, it seems, has not completely died.
BSBO and the ABA once again urge birders to come together to defend this stretch of land from development. While we all likely agree that wind energy development is a good thing on the whole, proper siting is critical to mitigate the effects on migratory birds. It’s fair to say that there are few places in North America worse for wind development than this patch of land in Ohio.
BSBO Director Kimberly Kaufmann suggests doing the following in order for your voice to have maximum impact:
In reaching out to partners, I tried to focus on the essential recipients so as not to ask too much from people. If you’re willing to mail copies of your letter to the following people, that would be excellent! And, for whatever reason, we’ve found that print copies mailed to their offices seem to elicit more of a response. But, if you’re willing to go the distance on this one and send your letter through the online contact forms as well, I’ve included those links below.
Col Andy “Stork” Stephan
200 RHS/CC Ohio ANG
1200 N. Camp Perry E. Road
Port Clinton, OH 43452-9577
Major General Mark E. Bartman
Adjutant General’s Department
2825 West Dublin Granville Road
Columbus, OH 43235-2789
Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur
1 Maritime Plaza # 6
Toledo, OH 43604
Link to online contact form: https://forms.house.gov/kaptur/webforms/issue_subscribe.shtml
Senator Randy Gardner
1 Capitol Square, 2nd Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
Link to online contact form: http://ohiosenate.gov/gardner/contact
Representative Steve Arndt
77 S. High St.
Columbus, OH 43215
Link to online contact form http://www.ohiohouse.gov/steven-arndt/contact
Fish and Wildlife Biologist (Federal Projects)
4625 Morse Road, Suite 104
Columbus, OH 43230
Attached, also find ABA President Jeffrey A. Gordon’s letter. We include it here in the hopes that you can find inspiration, and also some talking points for your own response.
This is an opportunity to once again show that birders are an economic force for the region, and a community willing to take a stand to protect not only birds, but those places that facilitate out experiences with them. Black Swamp, Magee Marsh, and the whole of northwest Ohio is a truly spectacular part of the world, and together we can help keep it that way.