Doug O’Brien’s letter (The News, March 8) was too kind asking us to share the beaches with the Brant Geese.
I very strongly disagree with the notion that I and others should curtail our enjoyment of the beaches due to the Brant Geese. Who decided for me what I can and can’t do? Just who has decided that the Brant geese have more rights than I do? By what right is their enjoyment of the beaches placed above my own for two and a half months?
What research has Guy Monty to show/prove that we are disturbing the feeding of the Brant Geese? The worsening rate of return may be due not to our use of the beaches but to global warming having changed the production or distribution of food for the Brants. If they are not here have they moved on to another location on the coast and is that all we need to know? It may even be the fact that we have a large population of Canadian Geese, which have been proven to destroy natural habitat.
If we are to follow Guy Monty’s wishes we should close up and move out of Parksville and Qualicum Beach for two and a half months. Maybe we should also close down the herring fisheries so that the Brant gets it all. The beach closures take in a large area. Has research been done to show that all this area is used by the Brants? Are there areas that do not contain food for the Brants but are closed anyway?
Vancouver Island fisheries students are now coming to educate us on how the Brant Geese are more valuable than the people who live here. Is this all about the Brant Festival and how a few can make money on the Brant geese? Just see who is sponsoring the festival and you will see it is designed to attract tourists who will spend money. Local residents … the taxpayers … must pay the price. I have come to the conclusion that the hundreds if not thousands of tourists who are flocking to the area watching — studying, banding birds, patrolling the beaches — are the real reason for the decline.
In the 21 years of the festival it has lost its true goal, it has become too big. I suggest that in order to protect the birds, we seriously downsize the festival and make it less of a festival and more true science research. On second thought, in light of the higher cost of food, it may be a good thing to have the Brant geese around.