Thursday, December 17, 2009

Think Global, Act Local

A universal message is one that applies to everyone.
I do not usually post local news on my blog. However, I felt that this local news carries a global message for us all.
Today's message: Respect Nature & Protect Our Children.

Read below, a letter to the editor I just submitted to the Jacksonville Daily News in North Carolina. Apparently Emerald Isle is going to allow hunters to thin the deer population within city limits using "professional hunters." In addition, the hunting will take place within a stone's throw of residential property where families with young children and pets live.


My family and I live right next to EI Woods, a 40 acre park on the small island which is closely bordered on 2 sides by residential property. We were opposed to the original construction of EI Woods for environmental reasons, in addition to noise and human pollution factors. We believed it should remain a sanctuary for all the animals who remain and have survived the development of this island. Now EI has not only built on the last 40 acres of "green space" on the island, but now they want to eliminate the animals, in this case the deer, that reside there as well. In addition, they want to do so without directly contacting the families who will be in danger because of it. Let me say that I am not sure who is complaining about the deer - but it is not us, who assuredly have more deer in our yard than anyone on the island. I live on Coast Guard Road and am the closest next door neighbor to EI Woods. The deer are beautiful and they have a right to be here as much as we do. The land is meant to be shared.
As a parent of 2 young toddlers who lives right next to the park, I am vehemently opposed to this idea. My 2 sons play in our yard (which directly borders EI Woods) and in EI woods all the time. Because there are no fences put up by the town, my children frequently play at or near the park border. If EI allows hunting in EI Woods, at any time a stray arrow from a hunter could impale my, or someone else's, children. How about the visitors to the park? They are not safe either. Yet no one from the Town has asked or notified the residents who live immediately adjacent/next to the park about the impending slaughter of wildlife.
Don't misunderstand me. I am not opposed to hunting. I believe in hunting, but there is a right and wrong way to do it. This matter especially hits home for me because I am a Native American Indian from the Cherokee tribe. Hunting, as I was taught, should be done in a spirit of respect for the animal and what sustenance it provides for us. And, it should be done in on land where no children or person can accidentally be mistaken for a deer and shot with an arrow and killed. Lastly, hunting should only be allowed if the hunter eats and uses what they kill. Hunting should not happen for sport.
When I was growing up my father had to hunt in order to put food on the table for our family. However, hunting methods, by gun or bow and arrow, should be respected at all times. Hunting is a dangerous activity and should not be lightly considered. Hunting within city limits where families live and where young children are playing is a very dangerous, and frankly, I believe irresponsible idea. Even if the Town closed the park - for the hunting months - they park borders are not fenced or secure. They are open. People, including my children, and also family pets, can easily and accidentally walk into the park.
If this hunting happens, my childrens' lives, and everyone who lives on the borders of the park, will be in danger by even walking into our yard or to our car. In addition, the park borders are not secure or clearly demarcated. A hunter cannot easily tell where the park border ends and residential property begins. This has been a huge point of dissonance for us since EI Woods opened. I believe the park's borders should be distinguishable from residential, private property. Until the borders are secured and demarcated - I believe deer hunting on Emerald Isle cannot safely or responsibly take place. The Town of EI is putting its children in harm's way until park borders can be secured and clearly demarcated.
Rest assured I will not feel safe living on EI ~ for myself, my children, and even our family pet ~ until this matter is resolved.
I will also be posting this as a petition to my blog and its followers, which serves over 600 local and national readers on a daily basis.

Speak Up for the safety of our children and respect of nature.

Let your voice be heard, please email the Town Manager, Frank Rush. Also contact the Mayor, Art Schools.

Cut and paste this memo:

Dear Mr Rush and Mayor Schools,

I agree with Ginger's editorial to the Jacksonville Daily News and her blog post about EI's new Hunting policy. Please take actions which will keep children and pets safer by securing & demarcating park borders.

In addition, there should be clear public posting of hunting hours and dates. Please contact all families with neighboring property to inform them of the hunting and details on how it will be take place.

To avoid future conflict, all neighboring property owners of the park should be notified of any park development or policies (such as the hunting one), which would have direct impact upon public safety.

Thank you very much for your time, and have a safe and happy Holiday Season.

Warmest regards,

Sign Your Name Here
*photo was taken this past 4th of July of our children and friends' children playing in EI Woods, the park where the proposed hunting will take place.

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