NC group wants to trap foxes that prey on eggs
An effort to protect sea turtles that nest on North Carolina's barrier islands has turned into a bitter feud in the small town of Caswell Beach.
Join the discussion below, or Read more at WAVY-TV Portsmouth.
#1 Sep 12, 2008
There are four homeowner associations in Caswell Beach, representing the vast majority of the town. Unanimously, they have directed the town that no trapping shall occur on their commonly owned land. Additionally, the Baptist Assembly (one of the largest land owners in the town) has also directed the town that no trapping shall occur on their land.
Our Town Manager told the AP that he has been flooded by calls and that this is the #1 issue facing the town. Overwhelmingly, the calls he has received oppose trapping foxes on town owned land.
Two private citizens, with no background in wildlife management, have gone to the USDA to obtain a permit to trap foxes. Once a wild animal is trapped, according to NC State Law, it must be killed.
Three of our town commissioners, Butch Shirkey, George Kessler and Jim Griffin, are poised to vote to allow trapping of foxes on town land. They were elected to office to represent the people of the town. If they vote YES, they will be derelict in their duty to reflect the will of the people who put them in office.
I would urge all residents to contact these commissioners (and Mayor Harry Simmons) and let them know that government's roll is not to adjudicate nature, but to vote the will of their constituents.
#2 Sep 13, 2008
It makes me physically ill to think about the leg trapping of foxes and killing them. I know it upsets people when they get to the turtle eggs. They are not the only danger, there are other animals, the weather and in the past people also.
If traps are laid I probably won't be bringing my grandchildren to the beach. There would be danger to them in the traps if they get away from me. They love to run down the beach and can easily be distracted by something in the dunes. I also don't want them to see a trapped screaming animal. I saw my puppy hit by a car and fatally injured as a child and that has stayed with me all my life. I don't want my grandchildren to have early memories of a screaming trapped animal.
We moved here because of the peaceful, small, friendly community. The wildlife was something wonderful to observe and admire. The only problem with the foxes is that they get to some turtle eggs. They are not bothering people and are doing their job to keep rats, etc. population down.
It is just beyond what my mind can grasp that people want to inhumanely trap and kill one species to get larger survival of another. I couldn't sleep at night.
I hope our town council REPRESENTATIVES will vote with the majority of the town and not let foxes be trapped on town property. I wish there was a way to stop it on private property.
Frankly, I'm surprised it is even being considered to trap on town property since there is an ordinance to protect animals in force. Yes, I know the USDA trumps towns. But the USDA is not forcing the town. The town has a choice. Let's make the right choice.
#3 Sep 13, 2008
When people enter the town of Caswell Beach they pass a sign that says "Caswell Beach Turtle Sanctuary". I used to point out that sign to visiting friends and family with great pride. It looks like the sign should read, "Caswell Beach Turtle Sanctuary, Killers of Fox". I am ashamed.
#4 Sep 13, 2008
It's sad that Caswell Beach is receiving this type of notoriety across the country to Colorado! We too, have an abundance of wildlife with a consciousness around environmental education and sustainability. We are aware of our "footprint" and take strides to mitigate the environmental impact. Our efforts to "leave no trace" demonstrates the degree to which Colorado residents treasure national parks and all who inhabit our state, including the wildlife. I do hope your representatives demonstrate forward thinking vision and vote against trapping of any kind.
#5 Sep 13, 2008
Folks: Ask yourself how two private individuals with no training in wildlife management (or trapping)are able to secure a permit to kill wildlife? Killing one species for the sake of saving another is out of balance with nature and that's a dangerous thing for animals and people (have we not learned from our mistakes?).
There are always non-lethal, less inhumane solutions and both sides need to explore them fully. We challenge the Town of Caswell Beach to think seriously about the broader picture and your duty as elected officials representing the citizens of Caswell Beach. What message do you want to send to others about you and your town: is it one of cooperation or one of political expediency? Are you stepping up to the plate for what is humane and decent or second-guessing your original decision to deny a permit to trap and kill foxes on public land.
We truly are all One on this earth, including the animals. Mayor Simmons, Councilmen Kassler, Shirkey and Griffin...do not allow trapping of foxes...or anything else...in the Town of Caswell Beach. There will be many more folks who thank you for your leadership than those who will complain they didn't get their way. Thank you!
#6 Sep 15, 2008
During a time when our nation is desperately seeking leadership, this is an opportunity for our Caswell Beach Commissioners to take a stand and protect the wildlife of Caswell Beach while keeping our beaches safe.
The Caswell Beach Commissioners should:
1) Protect all wildlife including the foxes;
2) Represent the constituency who clearly deplore killing the foxes;
3) Protect residents, visitors and pets from exposure to potentially dangerous animals traps; and
4) Ignore the two individuals who are untrained, irrational and not pro-wildlife.
"Never neglect details. When everyone's mind is dulled or distracted the leader must be doubly vigilant. Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand." General Colin Powell - Retired Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff on "Leadership"
Man is the higher species in the food chain. We can create alternatives to trapping and killing the fox. I volunteer to pursue alternative solutions and know others are also willing.
#7 Sep 19, 2008
After growing up in the area and being involved with the sea turtle projects on Holden Beach, the fox issue really isnt an issue at all. It's part of nature that they eat the eggs. They have to survive too! I dont think that any trapping should occur!!! Its the people of Caswell Beach not wanting to see foxes on their property more than not wanting the foxes to do what they have been for years and years and years.
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