In case anyone is interested in following up on this ...

The regulatory process that generated this thread has an interesting 
definition of what constitutes "damage" sufficient to trigger action.  
It sets up an /entirely /subjective standard - if you feel you are 
negatively affected by bird behavior, then you have damage!

    The term “damage” is most often defined as economic losses to
    resources or threats to human safety [as perceived by any
    individual], but the term “damage” could also include a loss in
    aesthetic value and other situations where the actions of wildlife
    are no longer tolerable to an individual person.

It clearly states that whenever a situation motivates someone to ask for 
assistance qualifies as "damage"!  (See draft regulation at page 7, Sec 
1.2 "Need for Action" 
<>).  So the 
noise from the Great Horned Owl that wakes us up every January would be 
classified as damage if we asked for help.  This doesn't mean someone 
immediately would be sent out to shoot the owl, just they would have to 
look into whether they needed to take action and lethal force would be 
one option.

There were only 215 comments on this regulation - comments closed on 
11/8/19.  At this point the only avenue would appear to be to try to get 
attention outside the notice & comment process by writing directly to 
the Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture (whose background is 
in agribusiness and economic development) or asking congress to get 
involved.  Congressmen do take it seriously when they get a number of 
contacts on a particular topic, particularly if it is one that might 
sound sympathetic to voters.  ("Why is the US Government spending good 
money helping people who want to kill robins and cardinals?")

If anyone wants to do either of these, you should try to say what you 
support as well as what you oppose. Note that the first page of the 
document linked above is the Executive Summary and it's a good overview 
but written in a confusing way. The first alternative for control sounds 
pretty innocuous: "an alternative in which WS [USDA Wildlife 
Services]continues the current bird damage management approach (the “no 
action” alternative and proposed action alternative)." But actually this 
is the alternative that includes lethal management methods in its 
arsenal of responses!  So it might be clearest just to say you oppose 
lethal methods and support non-lethal ones - or, if you prefer, that you 
support the agency's getting out of the bird control business entirely 
but that sounds unlikely, and also could lead to support for self-help 
by anyone who feels annoyed by birds!

On 12/3/2019 6:52 PM, Magnus Fiskesjo wrote:
> I've seen other articles on US government agency-organized mass killing all 
> sorts of wildlife as disturbances to farming, etc., but don't know the long 
> and short of it.
> --Some examples found just now:
> It says: "Wildlife Services is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of 
> Agriculture, ... Since 2000, the agency has killed at least two million 
> mammals and 15 million birds. Although it’s main focus is predator control in 
> the West, Wildlife Services also does things like bird control nationwide at 
> airports to prevent crashes and feral pig control in the South. Reporter 
> Christopher Ketcham’s investigation, out this month in Harper’s Magazine, 
> doesn’t mince words. The article is called “The Rogue Agency: A USDA program 
> that tortures dogs and kills endangered species.”
> This seems to be about the same agency you are talking about?
> Here is a historical view of government agencies killing sometimes protected 
> species, supposedly to prevent crop damage etc.:
> + some others from out West where these issues seem to have been under debate 
> for a long time:
> --yrs.
> Magnus Fiskesjö, PhD
> Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Cornell University
> McGraw Hall, Room 201. Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
> E-mail:, or:
> Affiliations at Cornell University, WWW:
> Anthropology Department,
> Southeast Asia Program (SEAP),
> East Asia Program (EAP),
> CIAMS (Archaeology),
> Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA), 
> ________________________________________
> From: 
> [] on behalf of Whitings 
> []
> Sent: Tuesday, December 3, 2019 6:25 PM
> Subject: [cayugabirds-l] U.S. Plan on Killing Birds in New York - 
> Does anyone know about this? It seems insane.
> Diana


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