Fishing at hastings pond a failed experiment

To the editor: Re: "Duck death blamed on fishing hook," July 17.

Our most important resource is our young people, and teaching them what they need to know to become adults, is our most valuable role. With that in mind, let's look at the lessons of the Hastings Park Sanctuary.

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It has become so dangerous for nesting wildlife that we have lost the battle to call this area a sanctuary at all.

Since stocking the pond this year coincided with the birth of a family of seven baby mallards, we have lost the mother and one baby. The second family of 11 baby mallards survived until recently with eight, then dwindled in the past weeks to six. One of those six suffered an injury to its foot, but left alone with careful monitoring seems to have made a complete recovery.

The most cruel part of this switchover to allow fishing in the park is the fact that some of the most remote parts of the pond, the least accessible to people, are now the most dangerous because of the left over or lost hooks, line and discarded bottles.

Fishing in this area is a poor conservation choice. If we managed our natural resources on a larger scale the same way, with the same per square foot, use of space, the results would be catastrophic. Let's call it a failed experiment. Let's return to managing this area as a nature resting spot, for use by science teachers and students throughout the city as a way to study the effect of the encroaching city on what's left of the wildlife who survive the already treacherous terrain. There are coyotes to spot, hawks, eagles, osprey, and many types of birds and insects, and from what I have seen many young people today need to

learn to have a healthy "hands off" experience more than they need to have a hunting experience.

Leah Sonne,


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