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Bulldozing at Talbert Lake

January 18, 1987

Congratulations to Lanie Jones for her fine article (Jan. 11) on the thoughtless environmental damage visited upon Central Park's lovely lake area. And many thanks to The Times for bringing this travesty to the attention of the public.

The residents of Huntington Beach should be aware that they possess a very special entity in Talbert Lake in Central Park. This area is well known to birders from all over Southern California. In fact, it is sought out by birders visiting from all over the country. This area is responsible for an inordinate number of rare-bird sightings, well beyond what might be expected from a city park.

This bulldozing was a cheap and foolish reaction to the problems described by Daryl Smith, the city's park superintendent. Just this past summer, we visited the smaller area of the desecration of willows perpetrated last year. In the company of Councilman Peter Green and Smith we toured the area, discussing the values at stake, and we felt we had Smith's understanding and willingness to attempt modest restoration in this area.

It was unthinkable that more of this destruction would occur. We offered to find and provide competent biological consultation to help Smith plan useful responses for the vector control matters that might be raised in the future. Evidently he did not feel the need for any such help, and using the all too common technique of constructors everywhere, bulldozed his problem out of existence. Now I hope he will be forced to accept advice and correction from government agencies with better understanding of the issues in question here.

Smith may feel he did no harm to nesting species during this winter season. If he feels that the wildlife is replaceable, however, I hope he stops by to watch while the birds look for a place to build their homes this spring. This was a severe overreaction and a totally unnecessary assault upon Orange County's environment.

RICHARD E. KUST

President,

Sea and Sage Audubon

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