Bald Eagle / Habitat Legal Issues
How You Can Assist!
- Discussion of Pertinent Clauses of BC Wildlife Act
Approach: Each violation needs a Project Coordinator to coordinate the above. Someone needs to step forward — or nothing happens.
How does the Act Apply?
How these Laws Apply & How Individuals can Help the Wildlife Managers gather the important data:
- The BC Wildlife Act: Section 34.“Birds, nests and eggs” 34 A person commits an offence if the person, except as provided by regulation, possesses, takes, injures, molests or destroys(a) a bird or its egg,(b) the nest of an eagle, peregrine falcon, gyrfalcon, osprey, heron or burrowing owl, or (NOTE: (a) &(b) applies to any part of season or for any reason ) (c) the nest of a bird not referred to in paragraph (b) when the nest is occupied by a bird or its egg.
Here are some current ways for the public to think and evaluate the full impact that disturbance of Bald Eagles can have and how these disturbances can be used to save the eagles and the habitat – this is but one government perspective from one type of disturbance. The local conservationists need to support the Wildlife Managers in gathering the following data to assist the Conservation Officer who has to lay the Charges before and seek the penalties of the Judge.
Concerned Citizens ways of helping:
1. To document wildlife values lost as a result of multiple unlawful/vandalism acts and subsequent felling of a Bald Eagle nest tree. What are the full natural attributes of the habitat surrounding the bald eagle nest? What other migratory birds or ?? plants species use this area?
2. Provide a recommendation for nest tree replacement or Supplementation to Support a New Nest. The Hancock Wildlife Foundation has extensive experience in modifying trees so eagles can nest in an otherwise unsatisfactory tree to installing temporary poles and nests until new trees grow. https://hancockwildlife.org/project/rap ... itigation/
3. Provide long term habitat protection recommendations for a vegetated disturbance buffer to surround an artificial eagle nest structure. “Propose a Bald Eagle Preserve to save eagles and other wildlife for future generations”. The final mitigation should include follow-up monitoring. Again, HWF has examples of setting up Bald Eagle Preserves, treasured habitat or setting aside Parks.
What to do when a Violation is Detected:
First, the key is often stopping the violation by phoning the two levels of government. Then go to the “potential offender if they are known (he may not know what is happening on his property!), and go to the press.
(i) the Local City – Environmental Department or Zoning
(ii) the BC Provincial Government – Local Conservation Officer
(iii) somebody needs to contact violator if known to seek politely the termination of the bad act.
(iv) Coordinate with local Conservation groups – Natural History Clubs, they often have media contacts.
(v) go to the PRESS – TV, Radio and local and regional papers.
Be armed with:
1. Documented images and videos of the violation – for the record & media
2. Copies of the pertinent BC Wildlife Act Clause — above.
3. Copies of the potential 3 levels of Fines (see below)
4. A plan to rally the Public – Find a coordinating person & group!
5. KEEP AT IT !!
(iii) Punishment: Possible Incredible Fines Applicable
Fines can be Really Onerous, particularly when destroying Bald Eagle Habitat.
Sec 84, 84.1, 84.2, and 84.3 of the Wildlife Act
See BC Wildlife Act Clauses: 84 including Creative, Sentencing 84.1, Variations of 84.1 including Additional Fines:
Section 84 often only imposes a few thousand dollars ++ possible Jail
This Section addresses how the Court can direct Additional Fines (84.3) to Equal any monetary value the Violator has gained by his violation. Does property with an eagles nest that must be protected change value if the bald eagle nest is removed and the intent is to convert the property to housing or commercial development or even just have a ‘more expensive view”? Perhaps only by a few million dollars per hectare!
Designed to Take-Back ANY Violator Gain
So here is the reality for cutting down an Eagles Nest:
BC Wildlife Act Section 84.3
If a person is convicted of an offence under this Act and the court is satisfied that, as a result of the commission of the offence, the person acquired any monetary benefits or that monetary benefits accrued to the person, the court may order the person to pay a fine equal to the court’s estimation of the amount of those monetary benefits.
(2) If a person is convicted of an offence under section 22 or an offence prescribed under section 108 (3) (l) (iii) and the court is satisfied that the person was engaged in a commercial enterprise in relation to the commission of the offence and that monetary benefits could have accrued as a result of the commission of that offence, the court may order the person to pay a fine equal to the court’s estimation of the amount of those monetary benefits.
(3) A fine under subsection (1) or (2) is in addition to and not in place of a fine under section 84 or an order under section 84.1 or 84.2 directing a person to pay an amount of money as compensation or for any other purpose.
Does cutting down an eagles nest tree for improving a view add $100,000 to your property ? If you can squeeze in another house lot or two, does that equal $2,000,000? Interesting that good habitat for wildlife has value?
A Wonderful Reality — Good Citizens can make a Difference:
Each violation needs a Regional Project Coordinator (could apply to anywhere in world!) to coordinate the above collection of data to support the charges. YES – the publics interest and assistance can make a difference in the real world. Just remember, if the Developer has friends he will be trying to get them to by-pass the law’s full impact. Citizens needs to step forward — or nothing happens. Also local citizens know when a developer is destroying their neighbourhood & wildlife habitat.