I am writing to express my extreme disappointment in your article, "Bird by Bird" (Aug. 9), concerning the fish-oiled brown pelicans. As a member of the Humboldt Wildlife Care Center Board and a volunteer with wildlife rehab on and off over the past 30 years, I have seen and heard it all. I was dismayed the Journal would take such a negative,"why bother?" stance. In my opinion, the article was a slap in the face to the dedicated volunteers with Bird Ally X, California Council of Wildlife Rehabilitators, Oiled Wildlife Care Network and the Humboldt Wildlife Care Center. Some of these folks work 10-plus hours a day for no pay, simply because they give a damn about wildlife. These amazing people have taken on the responsibility of helping all wildlife, especially in situations caused by humans ... which is the case here. This is not part of the natural cycle -- this fish waste problem is caused by people and needs to be solved by people.
There is opportunity here to turn this problem into a resource, and I'm baffled why some ideas or solutions to the fish waste issue weren't addressed. In the second-to-last paragraph, Deborah Jaques states that the most pressing issue is to eliminate practices that needlessly harm birds, like improper fish waste disposal.
All of our work to help these pelicans is through private donations by individuals and businesses -- we receive no state or federal funding. Obviously the people of our community feel as we do, that helping these pelicans is the right thing to do, since their generous donations have continued to sustain us. We live in an incredibly beautiful area, and the wild places and wildlife are an intrinsic part of that world.
Please, if you can't help us, don't harm us.
Linda Parkinson, McKinleyville