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Endangered status considered for Bicknell's thrush

Cannonball

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Precisely.

I think it should be beyond obvious that the massive deforestation of the DR and Haiti are clearly harming this species far more than the cutting of ski trails which probably represent .00001% of its' available potential habitat in NY, VT, NH, ME and Quebec.

Seriously, can we all mathematically appreciate how SMALL of an area these ski trails, the portions of which are above 3000+ feet, represent? It's SO ridiculously small, that my ".00001%" in the above, is probably grossly too large, despite how miniscule a number it is.

Again, I'm all for helping the Bickell's Thrush (and other species), but I'm also all for common sense, and all against environmental extremism.




Nor should any NJ taxpayer. Solar fields are BOOMING all over America (NJ is a prime culprit) due to government subsidies to build them. A cost/benefit analysis shows what an absolute inefficient waster of money this is (read: Scam). Quite simply put, the technology, as of 2012 is not very good. Twenty years from now, books will be written about what a scandal this is and all the government connections the folks getting these monies have. People should be irate, but most "people" have no idea what's going on.

If your wild ass guess numbers were way off, would you reconsider your argument and sweeping generalizations?

Bicknell's Thrush has approximately 340,000acres of suitable habitat in the Northeast (http://www.vtecostudies.org/PDF/BITHmodel.pdf). .00001% of 340,000 = 0.034 acres (roughly 1,500sqft).
 

BenedictGomez

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If your wild ass guess numbers were way off, would you reconsider your argument and sweeping generalizations?

You do realize that wasnt a legitimate scientific "guess" right, I imagine you know what hyperbole is?

The point is, the area covered by additional cut ski trails would be numerically representative of a ridiculously small percentage of actual habitat.

Lets take the 340,000 acres from that eco-study (which for some reason didnt include Quebec, which also includes a big chunk of their habitat) as gospel truth for a moment. Whatever trees would be cut at above 3000+ feet for the few new ski trails would be representative of such a small slice of that in terms of percentage of area, that we're really talking about is a silly small number.

Also, from the link you posted, there's this:

Although there is no conclusive evidence of widespread population declines, reports of regional declines and local extinctions have elevated concern for this rare species.

Well, that should at least give some pause for thought.

They're admitting that they're not even 100% certain that there is a legitimate problem in the first place (this is becoming obnoxiously commonplace). And frankly, if some of the "habitat" really is as small as some are suggesting in certain spots, than a "localized extinction" in that small spot isn't terribly unexpected (nor would a same localized "unextinction" in the same spot 2 or 6 or 9 years later if a mating pair(s) returned).


The last thing I will say (which I didnt know until you posted your link) is that a substantial part of the concern for this species, is due to "Global Warming" and the:

projected loss of this forest type

that will occur with the future climate change that will happen.

Given how poorly the Global Warming/Climate Change crew have fared thus far with computer models and projections to this point, regardless of whether or not you believe in man-made Global Warming (because if it aint "man-made" the birds are screwed anyway), the fact that such a large part of their hypothesis is based on man-made Global Warming should also give one pause to reflect.
 
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BenedictGomez

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Dude, you think the ornithologists are bad, wait until you meet the radical enviro malacologists!!!

LOL. I've never actually met one!

Though I did do my Senior Research on Ilyanassa obsoleta (aka the much less glamorously named, mud snail!).
 

Cannonball

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You do realize that wasnt a legitimate scientific "guess" right, I imagine you know what hyperbole is?

Sure do. But since you were throwing around numbers and calling them "beyond obvious" and wanted us to "mathematically appreciate" it, it seemed worthwhile to get at least in the ballpark of the real numbers

The point is, the area covered by additional cut ski trails would be numerically representative of a ridiculously small percentage of actual habitat.

Lets take the 340,000 acres from that eco-study (which for some reason didnt include Quebec, which also includes a big chunk of their habitat) as gospel truth for a moment. Whatever trees would be cut at above 3000+ feet for the few new ski trails would be representative of such a small slice of that in terms of percentage of area, that we're really talking about is a silly small number.

I really don't know if that's true or not. I don't know how many acres of development are being proposed. Do you, or are you just assuming it's small for the sake of argument and hyperbole?

Also, from the link you posted, there's this:



Well, that should at least give some pause for thought.

They're admitting that they're not even 100% certain that there is a legitimate problem in the first place (this is becoming obnoxiously commonplace). And frankly, if some of the "habitat" really is as small as some are suggesting in certain spots, than a "localized extinction" in that small spot isn't terribly unexpected (nor would a same localized "unextinction" in the same spot 2 or 6 or 9 years later if a mating pair(s) returned).

What is becoming obnoxiously commonplace is people not understanding (intentionally or through ignorance) how to read scientific information. No legitimate scientific report will ever say that something is 100% certain. That's not how it works. Science is an investigation into probability. Good scientist describe the probability and confidence limits of their results. Then people with an agenda twist that to say "So your not even totally sure?!?!?"


The last thing I will say (which I didnt know until you posted your link) is that a substantial part of the concern for this species, is due to "Global Warming" and the:



that will occur with the future climate change that will happen.

Given how poorly the Global Warming/Climate Change crew have fared thus far with computer models and projections to this point, regardless of whether or not you believe in man-made Global Warming (because if it aint "man-made" the birds are screwed anyway), the fact that such a large part of their hypothesis is based on man-made Global Warming should also give one pause to reflect.

I think we've treaded this ground in other threads and it's not worth going there again.
 

kingdom-tele

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You do realize that wasnt a legitimate scientific "guess" right, I imagine you know what hyperbole is?

The point is, the area covered by additional cut ski trails would be numerically representative of a ridiculously small percentage of actual habitat.

Lets take the 340,000 acres from that eco-study (which for some reason didnt include Quebec, which also includes a big chunk of their habitat) as gospel truth for a moment. Whatever trees would be cut at above 3000+ feet for the few new ski trails would be representative of such a small slice of that in terms of percentage of area, that we're really talking about is a silly small number.

Also, from the link you posted, there's this:



Well, that should at least give some pause for thought.

They're admitting that they're not even 100% certain that there is a legitimate problem in the first place (this is becoming obnoxiously commonplace). And frankly, if some of the "habitat" really is as small as some are suggesting in certain spots, than a "localized extinction" in that small spot isn't terribly unexpected (nor would a same localized "unextinction" in the same spot 2 or 6 or 9 years later if a mating pair(s) returned).


The last thing I will say (which I didnt know until you posted your link) is that a substantial part of the concern for this species, is due to "Global Warming" and the:



that will occur with the future climate change that will happen.

Given how poorly the Global Warming/Climate Change crew have fared thus far with computer models and projections to this point, regardless of whether or not you believe in man-made Global Warming (because if it aint "man-made" the birds are screwed anyway), the fact that such a large part of their hypothesis is based on man-made Global Warming should also give one pause to reflect.

wow. thats an impressive reality you have developed. Taking some time to pause and reflect I am still left confounded, terrain that is already accessible to ski should be made even more accessible (some would/could debate that this "development" is a detriment to the ski experience) because others are interested in taking the time to piece together a complex situation that may be indicative of a change in our natural environment, one that we depend on for life. Your postion is a sad reminder how petty we are becoming. But, hey what the hell right, f that bird or anything else that stands in the way of my good time, life is short and all that...
 

BenedictGomez

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it seemed worthwhile to get at least in the ballpark of the real numbers
And I appreciate that, but even if those numbers (which are certainly too small given the odd omission of Quebec) are correct, it aids my point.


Lets analyze......


I really don't know if that's true or not. I don't know how many acres of development are being proposed. Do you, or are you just assuming it's small for the sake of argument and hyperbole?

Yes, I do. Nobody is talking about the creation of a new ski resort (God forbid....The HORROR!), we're talking about the potential to cut trails, which, well, make up a very small percentage of an entirely new ski resort.

But food for thought in terms of getting "at least in the ballpark of the real numbers" to compare size.

A very large eastern ski resort like Whiteface mountain, has "220 skiable acres" - so clearly, 1 or 2 new trails is a much smaller acreage than that.

Keep in mind MUCH of that "220 skiable acres" is BELOW 3000+ feet, even at Whiteface, which I believe probably has a pretty high average elevation for an eastern ski resort - just to give the "worst case scenario".

But even if ALL 220 acres were ABOVE 3000+ feet (which it isnt), that yields you .000647 of the birds habitat, even based on the 340,000 acre figure, and even THAT is "too big" given it omits Quebec, and is unrealistically large to begin with.


What is becoming obnoxiously commonplace is people not understanding (intentionally or through ignorance) how to read scientific information.

I have degrees in Biology and Chemistry, I'm okay with reading scientific information.
 

riverc0il

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Hey There, thread drift! :)

I think there should be a debate about reasonable development vs. conservation. I see good points on both sides and there is no right answer... though I do think that both extremes are dangerous and not in almost any one's best interest.

How much development do we allow in established natural areas? We can't refuse any and all development. As a species in our current advanced state, we use a lot of resources and it would be hypocritical to only allow resource use that we agree with on a personal preference level. Call it the unfortunate Al Gore syndrome: featuring yourself in a documentary about Climate Change while driving around in a massive SUV.

On the flip side, we need to and should draw a line somewhere between our individual and collective enjoyment of the environment and protecting that environment for use and enjoyment of future generations of both people and other species.

On another aspect, the WMNF was pretty much destroyed in the logging days and it came back just fine with perhaps some differences but it is still there. Lost ski areas grow back in within a dozen years of their closing. Nature changes and adapts. But how do those adaptations effect other species and eventually ourselves? How much more value can we place on our enjoyment compared to other species being able to live without challenges to their long term survival?

I don't have answers. But as a person with a life long passion for the outdoors and strong inclinations to protect it, I also think extreme environmentalists and anti-development groups could have more negative than positive effect because they engender anti-environmental protection sentiment in those that see concern about the environment as a wacky fringe minority rather than the mostly universal concern that reasonable thinking persons have.

:D
 

kingdom-tele

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Hey There, thread drift! :)

I think there should be a debate about reasonable development vs. conservation. I see good points on both sides and there is no right answer... though I do think that both extremes are dangerous and not in almost any one's best interest.

How much development do we allow in established natural areas? We can't refuse any and all development. As a species in our current advanced state, we use a lot of resources and it would be hypocritical to only allow resource use that we agree with on a personal preference level. Call it the unfortunate Al Gore syndrome: featuring yourself in a documentary about Climate Change while driving around in a massive SUV.

On the flip side, we need to and should draw a line somewhere between our individual and collective enjoyment of the environment and protecting that environment for use and enjoyment of future generations of both people and other species.

On another aspect, the WMNF was pretty much destroyed in the logging days and it came back just fine with perhaps some differences but it is still there. Lost ski areas grow back in within a dozen years of their closing. Nature changes and adapts. But how do those adaptations effect other species and eventually ourselves? How much more value can we place on our enjoyment compared to other species being able to live without challenges to their long term survival?

I don't have answers. But as a person with a life long passion for the outdoors and strong inclinations to protect it, I also think extreme environmentalists and anti-development groups could have more negative than positive effect because they engender anti-environmental protection sentiment in those that see concern about the environment as a wacky fringe minority rather than the mostly universal concern that reasonable thinking persons have.

:D

Riv, using your WMNF and lost ski area examples both areas were allowed to return to what nature's system selected. Developing, for what I understand in this context, for established ski areas that have access to this dumb bird's breeding ground so they can simplify the ski experience for people who otherwise couldn't seem to be bothered with skiing it in a natural state is not allowing it to regenerate as nature would select. There is plenty of development that is ongoing within the ski industry, and as it has been pointed out, most of it is occurring outside this dumb bird's unique breeding area. IMO, reasonable, in this context, means sacrificing the creation of more marginal ski experiences while at the same time giving this dumb bird a chance to breed and adapt to its changing environment. Besides, who wants to stare at more avenues cut into mountains
 

riverc0il

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Riv, using your WMNF and lost ski area examples both areas were allowed to return to what nature's system selected. Developing, for what I understand in this context, for established ski areas that have access to this dumb bird's breeding ground so they can simplify the ski experience for people who otherwise couldn't seem to be bothered with skiing it in a natural state is not allowing it to regenerate as nature would select. There is plenty of development that is ongoing within the ski industry, and as it has been pointed out, most of it is occurring outside this dumb bird's unique breeding area. IMO, reasonable, in this context, means sacrificing the creation of more marginal ski experiences while at the same time giving this dumb bird a chance to breed and adapt to its changing environment. Besides, who wants to stare at more avenues cut into mountains
I see what you did there. By focusing only on the post development of the mountain intrusion rather than my presentation of the system having an ability to recover from severe intrusions. I guess you can see it either way. One of my points is that nature adapts to some pretty big invasions. I'm not arguing this specific point but a broader general point. I could card less if the breaks are put on any future trail expansion at Cannon. That mountain doesn't need more trails. And as you suggest, most don't. However, many skiers like that sorta thing.

I take issue with the comment: "simplify the ski experience for people who otherwise couldn't seem to be bothered with skiing it in a natural state". How many of us would have started skiing and become passionate skiers if not for skiing having a man made state? Where can you actually ski today in the east in true unaltered natural states? Not many places, and that is especially true for beginners and intermediates and advanced skiers. And how does one become an expert skier without those training grounds? That just seems elitist to me.
 

BenedictGomez

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Then you should know better than to criticize a scientific paper for not being "100% certain".


I didnt "criticize" it for not being 100% certain, I merely pointed out that that fact is certainly relevant in the context of the discussion.

Namely, that they're not even sure if the bird actually is diminishing in the first place, given the "rare" nature of it's habitat. In other words, one would historically expect somewhat limited numbers due to the bird's great specialization to finite areas. Contrast that with a species like the manatee or javan rhino, where we actually KNOW they're in trouble.

By the way, since I was able to "get in the ballpark" by using well-known skiable acres versus that paper's Bicknell's Thrush total acreage, what did you think of the likely impact of say, a mountain cutting a single ski trail or two?
 
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steamboat1

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Holy Christ!!!

Close the mountains for Bicknells Thrush.

Close the beaches for Piping Plovers.

Close the oceans for Marine Protected Areas.

Give me a break..........
 

deadheadskier

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Does anyone know why the ideal breeding areas for this bird are in locations in the Northeast above 3000 feet? There are HUGE amounts of underdeveloped terrain above 3000 feet in the Appalachians. I ask not to suggest the bird should adapt and go somewhere else and we should massively develop ski terrain in New England. I'm just genuinely curious as to why the breeding grounds are located where they are. I'm assuming it has to be because of reduced predators for the bird's offspring due to colder temps and harsher weather conditions at elevation in Northern climates? Clearly the adult birds are climate adaptable given New England and the Dominican are quite different ecology systems. Just wondering if anyone knows why these birds can survive in such diverse ecosystems yet, can/will only breed in such restricted conditions.
 

kingdom-tele

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I see what you did there. By focusing only on the post development of the mountain intrusion rather than my presentation of the system having an ability to recover from severe intrusions. I guess you can see it either way. One of my points is that nature adapts to some pretty big invasions. I'm not arguing this specific point but a broader general point. I could card less if the breaks are put on any future trail expansion at Cannon. That mountain doesn't need more trails. And as you suggest, most don't. However, many skiers like that sorta thing.

I take issue with the comment: "simplify the ski experience for people who otherwise couldn't seem to be bothered with skiing it in a natural state". How many of us would have started skiing and become passionate skiers if not for skiing having a man made state? Where can you actually ski today in the east in true unaltered natural states? Not many places, and that is especially true for beginners and intermediates and advanced skiers. And how does one become an expert skier without those training grounds? That just seems elitist to me.

It most certainly does adapt, and one of the consequences of that general point, adaptation, is extinction. Which in this context seems unnecessary. Especially considering how little, as it has been pointed out, we really know about our environment and how it has little effect on the terrain's availability for skiing at this time. How many beginners and intermediate skiers are starting off skiing from Mt peaks, on the type of developed trails I can only assume people are seeking? One becomes a skier who can enjoy the challenges the upper elevations provides like everyone else, by learning, by the gradual progression, by developing the appreciation for our terrain, not mowing it down, there is plenty of that already available. As an expert skier, do you seek out man made paths or more 'natural' terrain here in NE? Clarify unaltered? Is something that has been logged 100 years unaltered? Either way, the fact the answer is not many only adds support to maybe showing a little restraint before hogging out another bump run. Having a different POV is not elitist, irreversibly altering something to suffice pleasure though seems to fit that mold more appropriately, IMO.
 

kingdom-tele

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I didnt "criticize" it for not being 100% certain, I merely pointed out that that fact is certainly relevant in the context of the discussion.

Namely, that they're not even sure if the bird actually is diminishing in the first place, given the "rare" nature of it's habitat. In other words, one would historically expect somewhat limited numbers due to the bird's great specialization to finite areas. Contrast that with a species like the manatee or javan rhino, where we actually KNOW they're in trouble.

By the way, since I was able to "get in the ballpark" by using well-known skiable acres versus that paper's Bicknell's Thrush total acreage, what did you think of the likely impact of say, a mountain cutting a single ski trail or two?

you know this. but, even in knowing the above fact feel perfectly comfortable with cutting a mere trail or two while not knowing the effects that will have.
 

Cannonball

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I didnt "criticize" it for not being 100% certain, I merely pointed out that that fact is certainly relevant in the context of the discussion.

Namely, that they're not even sure if the bird actually is diminishing in the first place, given the "rare" nature of it's habitat. In other words, one would historically expect somewhat limited numbers due to the bird's great specialization to finite areas. Contrast that with a species like the manatee or javan rhino, where we actually KNOW they're in trouble.

By the way, since I was able to "get in the ballpark" by using well-known skiable acres versus that paper's Bicknell's Thrush total acreage, what did you think of the likely impact of say, a mountain cutting a single ski trail or two?

I have absolutely no idea. I'm a marine ecologist not an ornithologist. I wouldn't presume to guess at the impacts of something I know nothing about. I'm not willing to throw out random numbers off the top of my head to try to discredit experts who actually study this stuff. I don't have any reason to doubt the science that says this species may be impacted by development in these areas (and you keeping focusing on cutting ski trails, but there is other development in the mix, and it's the cumulative impact).

And that is how science is intended to by used...as information, a tool to help guide decision making. In this case the science says "here's the bird's habitat, reducing the amount of habitat will likely reduce the number of birds." The developers say "here's some potential for new ski trails, or a windmill, or a cell tower. Building it will add revenue and jobs and recreational enjoyment." Then it's up to the citizens (through policy makers) to weigh those pieces of information and make a choice on what they want and what they care about. Attacking the science (the information) without any real knowledge or basis is a way to avoid making difficult decisions. This has become so widespread in politics now that we've lost our ability to use scientific information the way it's intended.
 

AdironRider

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Well if there one thing for sure from this thread and others, is that Kingdom-tele is pretty much against all development. Take it to the bank.
 
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