U.S. Fish and Wildlife pays a visit; further discussion of eagles and fireworks
The agency learned about the nest on June 12, and Bak expressed surprise that a different location could not be found. Nystrom said, going forward, USFW would need about 60 to 90 days to sign off on a new location for the fireworks.
Businessman Rick Lander, along with several others, said it might not be such an easy task to find a new location for the fireworks because there are now quite a few eagle nests along the river. Nystrom said if the town and the organization sponsoring the fireworks makes a good faith effort to work with the USFW, and something unexpected happens, such as an unknown nest is suddenly discovered near the display, and an eagle is inadvertently disturbed, injured or killed, there would be no fine.
There was quite a bit of discussion about whether any eagles were ever actually injured by the displays. Town clerk Kathy Michell, who is also a wildlife biologist and rehabilitator, recounted the story of an eagle named D34, who was blown out of the nest in June 2008. The bird was not injured, so a small VHF transmitter backpack was attached to her so her movements could be followed and she was replaced in the nest.
After the fireworks on July 5, D34 was found on the ground with a serious injury, and she would have died without assistance from rehabilitators. Michell said the injury was caused by “probably crashing very hard, like flying straight into a tree.” D34 eventually recovered.
Michell said at the town meeting on May 11, 2009, there was discussion regarding the proximity of the fireworks to the nest, but it was determined that the display could not be moved to the previous location because the field had already been rented. Michell said the board informed a member of the Narrowsburg Fire Department that the fireworks should be moved in the future.
Upon the suggestion of Ritter and with the board’s consensus, a firework-event committee will be formed with members of the town board, Narrowsburg Fire Department, Lava Fire Department and the Narrowsburg Chamber of Commerce. Michell offered to assist with researching the proximity of eagles nests to any suggested site. Ritter will send a letter of invitation to the involved organizations