The feature article was well done, outlining the broad efforts going on by one of our nation's premier park and recreation departments, Bend Park and Recreation District. Also accompanying that article were other important efforts by grass-roots groups (volunteer and nonprofit) to create and preserve public access, and future legacy projects here and around Bend.
These efforts outline the many facets making Bend a truly unique and desirable destination for recreation and quality-of-life many are driven to find in our increasingly urbanized world.
What isn't known by many is a possible funding mechanism available that can play a major role in those projects. The Land and Water Conservation Fund, a fund created 50 years ago on the heels of the Wilderness Act of 1964, was created for just such projects. It uses no taxpayer dollars for conservation, funding projects in 99 percent of all U.S. counties in just four decades.
I recently returned from Washington, D.C., meeting with the Oregon Congressional delegation to inform them of the importance of fully funding and renewing this critical conservation fund. (For more information, visit lwcfcoalition.org, tpl.org, deschuteslandtrust.org and cotamtb.com)
If you find it difficult to volunteer your time or dollars to the thousands of conservation organizations that are a part of the coalition, do your part by contacting your representatives and urging their yes vote for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
—Karl J. Findling,
owner, Oregon Pack Works
volunteer, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
Why, why, why won't anyone, especially organizations like the Oregon Department of Wildlife or the United States Fish and Wildlife Service step up and start something against these feral, feline pests? I just picked up a brochure at the ODFW office called "Feral Swine Menace Oregon." Yeah? How about "Feral Felines Menace Oregon"? How long do we have to sit and watch our native wildlife get slaughtered by these cats? If the feral cat is going to be living in the wild as a "wild cat," it should be given "wild" status. Therefore, ODFW should open up a season on them. Just as other feral species are not protected (Rock Dove, Collared Dove), neither should the feral cat.
Jim Anderson, start getting photos. I have some contacts from nationally-known organizations collecting data (photos) on cats killing wildlife.
You have some patience, Jim. I wouldn't stand for neighbors' cats (or ferals, I couldn't tell—they were all mean) killing wildlife on my property. I set traps and took cats to the shelter. If people really love their kitties, they won't continue to leave them outdoors. And, I won't have piles of feathers in my yard anymore.
Laws need to change. Pet cats should be required to have a rabies vaccine at 6 months of age and a current license, just like dogs. Furthermore, cats should not be allowed to run at large. This could generate revenue for the city, as it is done in other cities. Shelters and rescues don't release unadoptable dogs, and neither should we do this with cats. Why the double standard between these two domestic animals?
To allow the release of feral cats into the environment is absurd. This is unhealthy for the cat colonies themselves, the wildlife, the general environment and humans. Artificially sustaining an abnormally high concentration of animals that are not getting regular veterinary care cannot be good for public health. Disease can be more easily spread in these colonies—from cat to cat, cat to wild animal, wild animal to cat, and cat and wild animal to human. Given the tendency for humans to come to the aid of a cat or kitten, we should be concerned.
Thank you for giving the "Boot" to dog owners who don't pick up after their dogs. DogPAC advocates for responsible off-leash recreation for dogs and their owners. That means owners who clean up after their dog—every time. DogPAC provides baggies and trash cans year-round at Phil's Trailhead, Good Dog, Stevens Road and during the winter at Skyliners Park and Wanoga Sno Park. We also host volunteer clean-ups at least once a year at these popular off-leash areas. But despite the presence of baggies and trashcans, the amount of dog poop that is not picked up is still unacceptably high. Certainly, the dog owners of our community can do better. Yet changing people's habits takes time and education. DogPAC is doing our part.
Dog owners can help by picking up a second pile when they are picking up their dog's poop and provide baggies to owners who do not have one. For the reasons why we also believe picking up poop is so important, see our website at dogpac.org. Please remember that Saturday is a clean-up event at all of the city of Bend dog parks from 9 am. to noon, and there is also a trivia-night fundraiser for DogPac at 6 pm. on May 4 at The Lot.
Board of Directors member, DogPAC
Letters of the Week!
For your hard work Kelly, and for double-duty picking up extra dog pooh, let us award you with a Letter of the Week, and treat you to a drink at Crows' Feet Commons. Stop by for your $5 certificate.