The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Where's the Journal's Spine?

The Rapid City Journal today ran the most milk-toast whine on their editorial page I've ever seen. In essence it said, people are ignoring signs telling them to not feed the ducks at Canyon Lake. There's a surprise, especially since our city council refused to impose stiff fines for feeding the ducks. And, they even told the public that they were going to place the signs but not inforce the fines. So we have waterfowl crap in our water supply. A whole lot of it.

The Journal says it's hard fix the problem because the ducks are so cute and feeding them is so cute and our kids and grandkids are so cute as they feed them. It makes such good snapshots. It's just hard.

And we have more than twice as much duck crap in our water supply.

Oh, and the state Game Fish & Parks has told the city not to call on them for permission to kill a bunch of the ducks if they aren't going to take decisive action to stop people from feeding them. Hooray for GF&P for not falling for the "couldn't we just feed them and then kill them" attitude taken by the council.

This is not hard. Start with a $50 fine. Ticket a few people and make sure it gets into the media that the city is enforcing the fine. Second offense: $500. Third offense: jail. This is our water supply folks. C'mon Mayor Hanks, don't you have enough problems. are you prepared for more water contamination problems. C'mon council, grow a pair. We all know it's politically unpopular to prohibit duck feeding. But the ducks are out of hand.
Canyon Lake is among the biggest messes in Rapid City. The ill-conceived design and failed channel-steering project along with unchecked growth in waterfowl populations have resulted in a stagnant, putrid, dangerous, stinking cesspool. And, there's nothing cute about it. It's bad for us. It's bad for the ducks.

The fix is easy, council and mayor. Just do it.


Bob Newland said...

Considering what they DO fine and jail people for,....

jj said...

Why would the GF&P think it wrong to feed and then kill them? Are we that far removed from our farming roots? That is exactly what is done with every single bite of the millions of tons of domestic animal protein that is consumed, every day, all over the planet. This way the work and expense of growing the food is accomplished by people having a fun day outdoors with their kids. It's win-win as far as I can see.

Bob Newland said...

Y'gotta like jj's scenario. Grandma brings Stevie to Canyon Lake Park, attracts ducks with popcorn. GF&P shogunners blast ducks. Folks from the Mission scoop'em up for dinner. Granny and Stevie head back on up the path. Granny tells Stevie he's just been a part of nature.

Bill Fleming said...

A handful of observations:

First, it's mostly geese, not ducks.

Second, they can be captured with nets so people who live around the lake don't get their windows shot out.

Third, we could set up one of those rigs like Sarah Palin gave a TV interview in front of last thanksgiving. This is a tremendous local PR photo opportunity. There could be those who give the birds pardons reading proclamations from inside the wildlife refugee pen to the hilarious cacophony of Canadian honkers. (Every time I hear them fly over, I think someone is throwing a party where everyone is laughing.)

Fourth, after the pardoning, the law and order people (and cameras) could move t the killing sheds and give speeches about how they're cleaning up the pond, feeding the homeless and creating jobs guttin' geese — all in one fell swoop. A veritable flock of community service solutions.

BUT finally, the snag is, the food produced has to be FDA inspected. So this all might be a big "no-go."

I suppose the birds could be considered"all natural", "organic" and "free range" though huh?

Who knows, it could be a new source of City revenue. Hey, if those honkers end up fetching some handsome prices out east, to heck with the homeless. Let them eat turkey.

(sfx: flock of wild geese flying over.)

Q: Hey Mike, do you know why one side of a "V" formation of flying wild geese is always longer than the other?

A: Wait for it.... wait for it... because there are more birds on that long side.

Michael Sanborn said...

We're not farming ducks. Wild duck varieties are breeding with domestics. This is bad for the gene pool. Really really bad.

GF&P understands this and has in the past removed ducks from the lake. But then the city continues to encourage the behavior that gets Old McDonald's "Donald" ducks having their way with those who happen to just be passing through on the way to somewhere else.

They're not going to do it unless the city does something to stop the cycle. The city isn't going to do anything because grannies can't concern themselves with the damage they're doing.

So we can all drink duck crap.