Croydon Eagle Outrage
CROYDON EAGLE OUTRAGE Index
Click on any of the sections below to go directly to that section of this document. Click HERE for current updates.
- A Citizen Speaks Up — The Outrage Begins – by Dr. Mike Seear
- The Story of Bald Eagle Terror — a quick Summary
- A Fuller Story: Bald Eagle Vandalized Nest
- Seeking More Organizations to Join this Protest
- Petition To Protest Nest “Cut-Down” – Please Sign!
- Government Officials to Send letters to: Please send!
- Community Plan: What the Citizens Want!
- Coordinators of Meetings & Events, Contacts
- Public Protest Schedule: Please attend or write!
- The Eagle Mask — Template to make Mask.
Sept 16th, 2018 – Some more pictures from the wonderful event have come in…
Sept 10th, 2018 – There’s been some more news, video and photos from yesterday’s event at the Croydon Site
Christian Sasse did a live broadcast from his Youtube channel yesterday (which you should subscribe to!), you can see this below
Three of the News channels were also out yesterday, we’ll post links to their coverage here as it becomes available.
Sept 9th, 2018 – Thank you to everyone who came out to our flocking at the site of the Croydon Nest. The Surrey Now-Leader has published the article from this afternoon’s event :
Sept 6th, 2018 – David Hancock has updated the Press Release for distribution and this is being widely sent out this afternoon. For a PDF copy of this document (for spreading far and wide!) click here. Thanks for sharing this!
We have also produced a condensed version of Mike Seear’s wonderful letter, to see and share this document, click here. Both of these documents are in PDF format for easy readability by anyone.
Everything for Sunday’s gathering at the site of the illegally removed tree is now in place, ;et’s cross our fingers for some good weather! There is a Facebook Event page that you can share to all your friends to drive up the numbers of people attending : Eagle Outrage Facebook Event Link
Sept 3rd, 2018 – David Hancock has prepared a Press Release for distribution. For a PDF copy of this document (for spreading far and wide!) click here.
Sept 2nd, 2018 – A new video has been produced by Jocelyn Demers, MONDE FILMS – www.mondefilms.com. Featuring some beautiful imagery and some discussion by David Hancock
On Sept 9th at 2PM, there will be an “eagle flocking” by the downed tree. Masks to wear will be available at the meeting! The more people that turn out for this, the more impact we will have.
The basic idea of the mask can be seen here : https://hancockwildlife.org/croydon-eagle-outrage/#communitymask
David Hancock gave a talk on August 30th at The Ocean Park Community Hall in Surrey. He specifically spoke about the Croydon nest. Some pictures from the event and a link to the Peace Arch News article that was published Sept. 1st, 2018 : https://hancockwildlife.org/hancock-here/david-hancock-speaks-in-surrey/
A big thank you to everyone who came out!
JUST A WASTE OF SPACE: Destruction of the Bald Eagle nest on Croydon Drive, Surrey and the debate about the value of wild spaces in our urban environments.
“… you don’t know what you’ve got til its gone.
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”
The recent vandalism of a Bald Eagle nest near Croydon Drive in Surrey caused outrage amongst a wide range of people. This event, while important in itself, has acted as a catalyst for a much broader debate about the place of wild spaces in our increasingly urban environment. Basically stated, this boils down to a simple question: Should urban wild land (and the wild animals that live there), be vigorously protected or is it just wasted space that should be developed and turned into money?
This is not a minor issue raised by a bunch of naturalists who are out of touch with modern economic realities. Remember – decades ago they gave our Province the name: Super Natural British Columbia. Remember why? We still have wild areas that can be saved from development and protected for future generations but urgent action is needed now. If citizens become involved then that loud voice will help persuade decision makers to avoid short term gains in favour of more enlightened far sighted policies. This short review is intended to provide interested citizens essential background knowledge concerning urban wildlife and their need for protected living space. It uses the destruction of the Croydon Drive nest as a perfect example of the results of unregulated development driven by nothing other than a desire for more money.
Effects of the Croydon Drive nest vandalism.
Bald Eagles mate for life and this particular pair had built and maintained a large nest in a Cottonwood tree near Croydon Drive in Surrey that had stood for at least 10 years. By the time of its destruction, the nest had likely grown to a weight around 300 pounds. It was easily visible from Highway 99 and was well known to local residents. On 24 July, it was reported that the trunk had been severely damaged by recent deep chain saw cuts. The tree had not been completely cut down but the trunk had been so badly damaged that the tree, and its nest, had to be felled for safety. No permits had been issued for the removal of the tree so this act of destruction contravened the Wildlife Act and was clearly illegal. It is not yet known who instigated and carried out this act of vandalism.
Each breeding season, local observers watched as the pair mated, hatched and then raised, their chicks. The first flight of the new chicks was anticipated every year and made a memorable sight for all observers. Over its life span, the mating pair had likely raised over 15 chicks. Unfortunately, if a nest is invaded, the pair will often fail to return so that unbroken line may have come to an end. This act is wrong at so many levels that it is difficult to know where to start. Apart from the simple illegality of the vandalism, there is the loss of healthy chicks needed to rebuild eagle populations that are still recovering from the decimation caused by DDT. There is also the less quantifiable but still very real loss to local people whose daily glimpse of wild nature enhanced their urban lives. No-one who has seen free living Bald Eagles will forget the experience.
Necessary background information on Bald Eagles.
It is not widely appreciated how many wild animals have now moved into urban areas. Many are familiar with racoons, skunks and coyotes but the full list is much longer. If you look carefully in any large wild area in the Lower Mainland (particularly those near a pond), it is common to see beavers, otters, and unusual bird species such as Peregrine falcons, Owls and other raptors. These animals allow us to maintain our awareness and connection with the wilderness that is so easy to forget during our frantic modern lives. Anyone who has seen an eagle or otter during a weekend stroll in the park, will remember that sight. Urban wildlife, and the remaining wild spaces they inhabit, are immeasurably valuable additions to our lives and must be protected.
Bald Eagles are no exception to this wildlife migration to urban areas. When local biologist, David Hancock, first started studying eagles over 50 years ago, he could only find three nests in the whole Lower Mainland. After much of the world stopped shooting predators and after DDT was banned in 1973, this picture changed steadily. There are now dozens of active nests across Delta and Surrey with more adventurous eagle pairs turning up in surprising places. For example, there is an active nesting pair on East Hastings, right next door to the crowds at the PNE – just look upwards next time you are queuing for a ticket.
The breeding cycle usually starts in October when the parents return after a short migration up the coast to Alaska following salmon runs. They repair their nests and then settle in for winter. Timing varies but eggs are laid in February and March, then hatched 35 days later. Chicks grow rapidly and are the size of their parents in only 3 months. Youngsters take their first flight in late July then they, and their parents, leave the nest separately for Alaska, only to return in October to begin the process again. Trying to understand the mentality of someone who could break this ancient and unknowable mystery with a chain saw, is an impossibility.
While eagles have moved into town, they are still very wary of humans. Since their nests can grow to the size and weight of a VW Beetle, they need strong trees. These are in short supply – the Cottonwood that was destroyed at Croydon Drive was the only suitable tree in that area so any nest replacement strategy will have to be based on an artificial platform. They need to be close to water plus a food source and, above all, they should be left undisturbed.
Any response to the vandalism of the Croydon nest must be based on a good understanding of Bald Eagle biology. As noted above, if eagles are to nest and breed successfully, there are some basic requirements that must be met. The most important of these is that any rebuilding efforts must be completed before the birds return in early October. If they see human activity where their nest used to be, it is unlikely that they will stay in the area so a sense of urgency is essential. Our recommended responses to the loss of the Croydon nest are as follows:
- Politicians need to hear a loud voice from citizens. This link to the Hancock Wildlife Foundation website leads to further information such as email addresses for local politicians plus an EAGLE OUTRAGE petition where people can register their outrage about the nest destruction – and an EAGLE OUTRAGE Schedule of Events.
- Eagles have used the current site for a decade so access to water and food presumably meets their needs. Privacy remains an issue, so we are asking people to join together to insist that a protected eagle reserve is established in the undeveloped Croydon Drive space of at least 10 acres. The buffer area around the new nest will need to be replanted with suitable vegetation.
- The proposed eagle reserve must be free of future development. No new laws are needed – it is simply necessary to enforce the Wildlife Act that already exists. And the fines for Violation can be huge!
- There are no suitable trees in that area so nest rehabilitation will require significant investment to cover the cost of erecting an 80 foot support pole topped by an artificial nest
Dr. Mike Seear
Croydon Bald Eagle Nest Cut-Down — The Eagle Outrage!
Statement of Support for Bald Eagle Nests in the Lower Mainland
August 7, 2018
The Croydon Drive Bald Eagle Nest in Surrey, illegally destroyed July 24, 2018, must be the last Bald Eagle nest tree ever again cut down in B.C. without adequate mitigation plans.
As citizens with a deep concern for British Columbia’s wildlife, we wish to register our strong support for the full protection of Bald Eagles in our Province. These magnificent birds have rebounded from Threatened Status in North America within the last few decades, and are now flourishing in the Lower Mainland. We support their protection at all stages of their life cycle.
For details of this nests destruction, images, videos and news broadcasts, and what we can do about this, please see the details at:
Story & Images & Visuals of the Bald Eagle Nest “Cut-Down” (Including a GlobalTV interview with David Hancock)
You can add your name to the petition mentioned here at this link : Online Petition
We have also attached a list of Government, City and Provincial officials, to send your protest to.
Penultimately, attached is our Citizen’s Community Action Plan Schedule + Templates for Eagle Mask ? and
Petition of Support – that will go to all government people:
Finally, is a section dealing with the laws to protect our habitat, particularly in relation to the protecting Bald Eagle Nest and associated Habitat. And then how you can assist in these laws intended uses.
Tom Bearss on behalf of Delta Naturalists Society https://dncb.wordpress.com
Margaret Cuthbert Friends of Semiahmoo Bay Society www.birdsonthebay.ca
David Riley Little Campbell Watershed Society www.littlecampbellriver.org
Eliza Olson/Burns Bog Conservation Society.
Karen Kilbride White Rock Citizens Group. [email protected]
Hancock Wildlife Foundation: David Hancock 604 761-1025 [email protected]
For the full text of what was sent to the governmental agencies being approach regarding this, please click this for a PDF version of it. This includes a list of all the government people it was sent to. Statement of Support for Bald Eagle Nest Protection_August17
Below are attached a list of initial ‘outraged organizations’ Please contact Anne Murray: [email protected] to add your organization to this list.
Bird Studies Canada: Steven Price, Executive Director, www.bsc-eoc.org
Nature Canada: Ted Cheskey, Naturalist Director, [email protected]
BC Nature: Alan Burger, President www.bcnature.ca
Nature Vancouver: Bev Ramey www.naturevancouver.ca
Delta Naturalists Society: Tom Bearss https://dncb.wordpress.com
White Rock and Surrey Naturalists: Liz Walker [email protected]
Friends of Semiahmoo Bay Society: Margaret Cuthbert www.birdsonthebay.ca
Semiahmoo Fish and Game Club/Little Campbell Hatchery: Bob Donnelly, President, [email protected]
Langley Field Naturalists: Bob Puls, Conservation Chair, [email protected]
Langley Environmental Partners Society: Tracy Stobbe, Chair www.leps.bc.ca
Little Campbell Watershed Society: David Riley www.littlecampbellriver.org
Burns Bog Conservation Society Eliza Olson [email protected]
Friends of Campbell Valley/Hazelmere: Sarah Rush, Chair [email protected]
Garden City Conservation Society (Richmond): Sharon MacGougan [email protected]
BC Great Blue Heron Society: Gillian Anderson [email protected]
Fraser Voices: Douglas George Massey [email protected]
Yorkson Watershed Enhancement Society: Nat Cicuto www.ywes.org
Nature Guides BC: Anne Murray www.natureguidesbc.com
A Fuller Story: Bald Eagle Vandalized Nest
August 1 2018
The Croydon Drive Bald Eagle Nest in Surrey, illegally destroyed 24 July 2018, must be the last Bald Eagle nest tree ever again cut down in B.C. without adequate mitigation plans.
As citizens with a deep concern for British Columbia’s wildlife, we wish to register our strong support for the full protection of Bald Eagles in our province. These magnificent birds have rebounded from near extinction in North America within the last few decades, and are now flourishing in the Lower Mainland. We support their protection at all stages of their life cycle. There are currently 79 nesting territories in Delta, the highest number of any city in the world, and 43 in Surrey. We support their presence in our communities and are opposed to their nest trees being destroyed.
We furthermore wish to state our support for the proactive mitigation proposal by the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and the City of Surrey following the loss of the active Bald Eagle nest at Croydon Drive, Surrey. This proposal includes (a) the immediate preservation of the lands and trees surrounding the old Bald Eagle nest (under City of Surrey Bylaws), and (b) the erection of a pole and nest to be in place by September 10 so that the eagles returning from their northern migration see an alternative nesting site ready and waiting.
We are also in support of the enforcement of the BC Provincial Wildlife Act to the full extent of the law, which states that Bald Eagle nests are protected for all 12 months of the year, including the imposition of maximum financial penalties on offenders.
Story & Images & Visuals of the Bald Eagle Nest “Cut-Down” https://hancockwildlife.org/hancock-here/croydon-nest-takedown/
Petition To Protest “Bald Eagle Nest Cut-Down” – Please Sign!
Express your Eagle Outrage !
Please sign this Petition to Protect Bald Eagle Nests:
Click below for images and videos the Croydon Bald Eagle Nest “Cut-down”
Government Officials to Send letters to:
Provincial Government People: Who control the BC Wildlife Act & its Enforcement
Premier: Honourable John Horgan – [email protected]
Minister of Forests: Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development – Honourable Doug Donaldson – [email protected]
FLNR Media Contact: Jeremy Uppenborn – [email protected]
Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy: Honourable George Heyman [email protected]
MLA-Surrey South: Hon. Stephanie Cadieux[email protected]
MLA-Surrey-Cloverdale: Hon. Marvin Hunt [email protected]
MLA-Surrey-Fleetwood: Hon. Jagrup Brar [email protected]
MLA-Surrey-Green-Timbers: Hon. Rachnaq Singh [email protected]eg.bc.ca
MLA-Surrey-Guildford: Hon. Garry Begg [email protected]
MLA-Newton: Hon.Harry Bains [email protected]
MLA-Panorama: Hon. Jinny Sims [email protected]
MLA-Surrey-Whalley: Hon. Bruce Ralston [email protected]
MLA-Surrey-WhiteRock: Hon Tracy Redies [email protected]
MLA-Delta South: Hon. Ian Paton [email protected]
MLA- North Delta: Hon. Ravi Kahlon [email protected]
MLA-Langley East: Hon. Rich Coleman [email protected]
MLA-Langley: Hon. Mary Polak [email protected]
MLA-Richmond North: Hon. Teresa Wat [email protected]
MLA-Richmond South: Hon. Linda Reid [email protected]
MLA-Richmond-Queensborough: Hon. Jas Johal [email protected]
MLA-Richmond-Steveston: Hon. John Yap[email protected]
Provincial Wildlife Managers
BC Government Contacts: Collective of all above!
[email protected],[email protected],[email protected],[email protected],[email protected],[email protected],[email protected],[email protected],[email protected],[email protected],[email protected],[email protected],[email protected],[email protected],[email protected],[email protected],[email protected],[email protected],[email protected],[email protected],[email protected],[email protected],[email protected]
City of Surrey
Mayor: Linda Hepner [email protected]
Surrey City Manager: [email protected]
MANAGER, TREES AND LANDSCAPES: Nadia Chan:[email protected]
Planning & Development: [email protected]
Manager, Trees & Landscape: Nadia Chan [email protected]
Environment Manager: Stephen Godwin: [email protected]
City of Surrey Elected Officials + Dept Heads; Collective of all above:
Croydon Eagle Outrage – a Community Plan / Response
Response: What do the Citizens Want! Organize!
Sign the Web Based Petition: Coordinator: Rosana Inaco [email protected]
Petition to Save Croydon + Other Bald Eagle Nests: https://hancockwildlife.org/support-for-bald-eagle-nests-in-the-lower-mainland/
Croydon “Eagle Outrage” Announcements
(The above people are coordinating Publicity and Promotions.)
- Aug. 14: Community meeting to decide initial agenda
- Aug. 30 7:30PM Public Neeting: David Hancock to make Presentation on the Croydon Bald Eagle pair – their life, violation – and hope for the future. This will be held at the Ocean Park Community Hall (see above for a map to the location)
- Sept 9, 2PM Public Protect: The Eagle Outrage Demonstration
The Eagle Mask Template
Here’s a couple of pictures of the standard Eagle mask used in the past. Imagine the effect of 1000s of people showing up with these on! They are very simply to put together, just make sure that the elastic length is snug, but, not loose, nor too tight!
Bald Eagle / Habitat Legal Issues
How the BC Wildlife Act can Stop the Abuse!
How You Can Assist !
- BC Wildlife Act: In Full at this link: BC Wildlife Act
- Discussion of Pertinent Clauses of BC Wildlife ActApproach: Each violation needs a Project Coordinator to coordinate the above. Someone needs to step forward — or nothing happens.The BC Wildlife Act: Section 34.“Birds, nests and eggs”34 A person commits an offence if the person, except as provided by regulation, possesses, takes, injures, molests or destroys(a) a bird or its egg,(b) the nest of an eagle, peregrine falcon, gyrfalcon, osprey, heron or burrowing owl, or (NOTE: (a) &(b) applies to any part of season or for any reason ) (c) the nest of a bird not referred to in paragraph (b) when the nest is occupied by a bird or its egg.
How these Laws Apply & How Individuals can Help the Wildlife Managers gather the important data:
Here are some current ways for the public to think and evaluate the full impact that disturbance of Bald Eagles can have and how these disturbances can be used to save the eagles and the habitat – this is but one government perspective from one type of disturbance. The local conservationists need to support the Wildlife Managers in gathering the following data to assist the Conservation Officer who has to lay the Charges before and seek the penalties of the Judge.
Concerned Citizens ways of helping:
- To document wildlife values lost as a result of multiple unlawful/vandalism acts and subsequent felling of a Bald Eagle nest tree. What are the full natural attributes of the habitat surrounding the bald eagle nest? What other migratory birds or ?? plants species use this area?
- Provide a recommendation for nest tree replacement or Supplementation to Support a New Nest. The Hancock Wildlife Foundation has extensive experience in modifying trees so eagles can nest in an otherwise unsatisfactory tree to installing temporary poles and nests until new trees grow. https://hancockwildlife.org/project/raptor-nest-mitigation/
- Provide long term habitat protection recommendations for a vegetated disturbance buffer to surround an artificial eagle nest structure. “Propose a Bald Eagle Preserve to save eagles and other wildlife for future generations”. The final mitigation should include follow-up monitoring. Again, HWF has examples of setting up Bald Eagle Preserves, treasured habitat or setting aside Parks.
What to do when a Violation is Detected:
First, the key is often stopping the violation by phoning the two levels of government. Then go to the “potential offender if they are known (he may not know what is happening on his property!), and go to the press.
(i) the Local City – Environmental Department or Zoning
(ii) the BC Provincial Government – Local Conservation Officer
(iii) somebody needs to contact violator if known to seek politely the termination of the bad act.
(iv) Coordinate with local Conservation groups – Natural History Clubs, they often have media contacts.
(v) go to the PRESS – TV, Radio and local and regional papers.
Be armed with:
- Documented images and videos of the violation – for the record & media
- Copies of the pertinent BC Wildlife Act Clause — above.
- Copies of the potential 3 levels of Fines (see below)
- A plan to rally the Public – Find a coordinating person & group!
- KEEP AT IT !!
(iii) Punishment: Possible Incredible Fines Applicable
Fines can be Really Onerous, particularly when destroying Bald Eagle Habitat.
Sec 84, 84.1, 84.2, and 84.3 of the Wildlife Act
See BC Wildlife Act Clauses: 84 including Creative, Sentencing 84.1, Variations of 84.1 including Additional Fines:
Section 84 often only imposes a few thousand dollars ++ possible Jail
This Section addresses how the Court can direct Additional Fines (84.3) to Equal any monetary value the Violator has gained by his violation. Does property with an eagles nest that must be protected change value if the bald eagle nest is removed and the intent is to convert the property to housing or commercial development or even just have a ‘more expensive view”? Perhaps only by a few million dollars per hectare!
Designed to Take-Back ANY Violator Gain
So here is the reality for cutting down an Eagles Nest:
BC Wildlife Act Section 84.3 (1) If a person is convicted of an offence under this Act and the court is satisfied that, as a result of the commission of the offence, the person acquired any monetary benefits or that monetary benefits accrued to the person, the court may order the person to pay a fine equal to the court’s estimation of the amount of those monetary benefits.
(2) If a person is convicted of an offence under section 22 or an offence prescribed under section 108 (3) (l) (iii) and the court is satisfied that the person was engaged in a commercial enterprise in relation to the commission of the offence and that monetary benefits could have accrued as a result of the commission of that offence, the court may order the person to pay a fine equal to the court’s estimation of the amount of those monetary benefits.
(3) A fine under subsection (1) or (2) is in addition to and not in place of a fine under section 84 or an order under section 84.1 or 84.2 directing a person to pay an amount of money as compensation or for any other purpose.
Does cutting down an eagles nest tree for improving a view add $100,000 to your property ? If you can squeeze in another house lot or two, does that equal $2,000,000? Interesting that good habitat for wildlife has value?
A Wonderful Reality — Good Citizens can make a Difference:
Each violation needs a Regional Project Coordinator (could apply to anywhere in world!) to coordinate the above collection of data to support the charges. YES – the publics interest and assistance can make a difference in the real world. Just remember, if the Developer has friends he will be trying to get them to by-pass the law’s full impact. Citizens needs to step forward — or nothing happens. Also local citizens know when a developer is destroying their neighbourhood & wildlife habitat.