Fresh drama in the battle over Silver Lake meadow! As noted, the decision to open the meadow around Silver Lake reservoir was decried by some residents who wanted to keep the area human-free and coyote-abundant. Now these flyers (pictured above) have appeared around the west side of the reservoir. What do herons have to do with the meadow opening? One member of the Committee to Save Silver Lake's Reservoir (which supports opening the meadow), accuses "Save the Meadow" advocates of using the heron issue--it's on next week's agenda before the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council Governing Board--as a way to stop the meadow opening. This is getting nasty.
As noted, a motion to "monitor and protect" the Great Blue Herons goes before the Governing Board next week, In an email to the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council, a member of CSSL writes:
Dear SLNC Governing Board Members:
The motion on the agenda for next week's Governing Board meeting purportedly protecting the welfare of the herons (Item f. under New Business) at the SL Reservoir Complex is in actuality an attempt to shut down construction of the path on SLB and the Meadow park. It is sponsored by two "Save the Meadow" advocates who have encouraged their cohorts to attend the meeting and support the motion. They have also posted several "Missing: Great Blue Herons" signs on the fence near the old heron nests on WSLD.
We assumed that the SL Friends of Animals Committee was formed for this purpose, so this is not unexpected.
Because monitoring the nests and protecting the herons sounds like a great idea, it is feared that the Board will automatically approve the motion. The arguments, however, are specious and the motion is nothing more than an end run to stop construction on the path and keep the Meadow closed.
Their language shows that though they ask for nest monitoring, they have already decided that it is the SLB path construction (fence construction has not yet begun on the Meadow) that has caused the herons to stay away from SL this year, not the fact that THE RESERVOIR IS EMPTY.
If the LAFD helicopters didn't scare them away last May, how could construction on the other side of the reservoir do so?
The rules to protect birds are that construction cannot take place within 300 feet of active nests, 500 feet from raptor nests, but if the nests were formed in the area AFTER construction started, it is assumed they're not bothered by the construction and it doesn't have to stop. The Eucalyptus Grove is considerably further than that from the construction, which started before the heron nesting season began anyway.
In this time of limited civic resources, it seems impractical to ask the city for an analysis, the results of which any 5th grader could determine with casual observation.
Please vote to reject the motion, which does nothing for the herons and could waste valuable public resources.
· Silver Lake Meadow Awaits Its June Opening [Curbed LA]