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Re: CHICOD CREEK
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- Subject: Re: CHICOD CREEK
- From: Joshua Stuart Rose <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Sun, 24 Oct 1999 22:22:02 -0400 (EDT)
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On Sun, 24 Oct 1999 BCar105390@aol.com wrote:
> Diane DelleDonne and I took a drive out past Chicod Creek today here in Pitt
> County, NC. I was curious to see the status of the hardwood forest since I
> had bumped into a timber appraiser there while hiking last Spring.
> Unfortunately my fears became a reality when I saw that the entire area had
> been clear cut!
> It looks like Chicod Creek is a thing of the past. I am grateful that I got
> to experience it over the last five years. I'm sorry that I will have to
> find a new place to bird next year!
I feel compelled to point two things out.
First, this demonstrates the importance of knowing where you are birding.
Many great local birding spots have been lost because birders never
investigated the ownership and management situation of the area. By the
time they discovered that a threat existed, it was too late to do
anything; the land had been sold, or the permits had been issued, or the
fate of the land was otherwise sealed. Many strategies exist for land
preservation, such as conservation easements, purchase by TNC or local
land conservancies, tax breaks for land preservation, or even pushing a
bond issue through on your local election ballot to have the land
purchased by some government agency as parkland or gameland. So check it
out! Obviously, places like Eno River State Park, Mason Farm, HBSP, Pea
Island, and many others are in good hands. Others, like the many state
recreation areas and gamelands, I'm less confident about; they may be
safe from development, at least temporarily, but that does not mean they
are being managed properly. And any privately owned land, with the
possible exception of places like the Duke Forest, is in great danger,
and the danger will only increase as long as real estate prices keep
going up. So watch out for your favorite hotspots!
The second, and considerably less glum, thought is that Chicod Creek may
still be worth visiting. Certainly you won't see any more thrushes,
Ovenbirds, Barred Owls, or other woodland species for a very long time.
However, clearcuts are favorite hangouts for Prairie Warblers, probably
the only warbler species whose numbers have increased over the last few
decades. Sparrows will also greatly increased, certainly including Song,
Swamp, and White-throated, possibly more exotic fare such as Henslow's,
Grasshopper, or White-crowned. Northern Harrier might show up, possibly
even a Snow Bunting or longspur. So don't stop going just because the
trees are gone, some bird species like their habitat better that way...
Joshua S. Rose
Department of Zoology