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A Scotts Valley Neighborhood Taking Action to Save Our Wildlife

I always ask people on my show what gives them hope. Today I wanted to share what has given me hope recently. The story began, actually a very sad story, with news on Nextdoor about a gray fox pup found in a Scotts Valley, CA neighborhood walking funny and looking disoriented. The family who was watching this gray fox family for sometime was able to capture the pup and take it into an animal rescue and rehabilitation center. Unfortunately, the pup did not make it and it was determined that rodenticides (rat poison) was the cause of death.


I know this is a sad story and you are wondering what gives me hope! Well what happened after hearing about the fox pup’s death is what gives me hope. To be honest, I did not want to go back to the Nextdoor post about this story because only a couple years ago a similar story happened with coyotes. There were many people commenting that were uneducated about rat poison and most comments were along the lines, “good, we don’t need coyotes in our area,” and “rat poison only kills rats.” I was afraid that this current thread may break my heart as well.


But it didn’t! Many people were pleading others to stop using rat poison, they were referring to our friends at Raptors Are The Solution (RATS) for more information and most of all, they were asking what they could do to make this problem go away for our wildlife. That gave me hope. I felt proud that RATS and other similar organizations were getting the word out and people are listening and caring!


So…my husband and I donated six yard signs like the ones below to the neighborhood. But I found out they were taking action without the donated signs and were making their own. Below are some pictures of the signs in the Scotts Valley neighborhood. I LOVE seeing this and I hope we see more signs around our area!


The AB1788 Bill to stop pest control companies from using second generation anticoagulant rodenticides is currently on the desk of Governor Gavin Newsom to hopefully sign and put into action.


Here is how you can help (from our friends at RATS):


Please email Governor Newsom a polite letter at Leg.unit@gov.ca.gov ASAP, requesting his support for AB 1788.

Use the email Subject line “AB 1788 – Request to Sign”

Include your name and address

Feel free to cut and paste from the talking points below, but individualizing the first paragraph with your own words makes your letter more effective.


Suggested talking points:

Second Generation Anticoagulant Rodenticides (SGARs) pose a significant threat to the wildlife in our state. A lethal dose of SGARs can be ingested in a single feeding and, most alarming, they can persist in an animal’s liver for up to 100 days. These factors make SGARs especially problematic to predators and scavengers – such as owls, hawks, eagles, mountain lions, and bobcats – who tend to feed on the animals that have been poisoned with bait. This concern for protection of non-target wildlife, in part, led the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) to pull SGARs from consumer shelves in July 2014.

Unfortunately, however, there has been no decrease in the rate of wildlife poisoning from these products since that time, as licensed pest control applicators are still permitted to use SGARs and continue to do so throughout the state. In fact, in recent studies reviewed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, between 70% to 90% of tested wildlife were found to have SGARs in their systems.


These facts led to DPR issuing a new notice of reevaluation in March of this year. There is public demand for limitation on the use of these dangerous toxins as demonstrated by the 29 jurisdictions in the State of California – including Humboldt County, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco – that have enacted resolutions encouraging residents to avoid buying, selling, and using anticoagulant rodenticides. This is a growing trend in the state as more and more residents learn about the harms caused by anticoagulant rodenticides and explore other solutions to manage rodent infestations. Since local municipalities are preempted from enacting ordinances that would ban rodenticide use outright, such resolutions, coupled with public education campaigns, are the best that local jurisdictions can do to protect their ecosystems and make laws reflecting the will of their residents. These municipalities – and their residents – are all relying on the state to take necessary steps to protect ecosystems through enacting AB 1788.


Pending the DPR’s reevaluation, it is critical that the State take immediate action to place a moratorium on the use of SGARs in California except in limited circumstances, to protect wildlife throughout our great state. Protecting mountain lions and golden eagles is not just beneficial to these species; these and other predators play a vital role in regulating our delicate ecosystem.

For these reasons, we strongly urge you to sign AB 1788 into law. Thank you for your consideration and your leadership.

***

RATS is co-sponsoring AB 1788 (Assemblymember Richard Bloom, Santa Monica) this year, which puts a moratorium on dangerous second generation anticoagulants until the CA Dept. of Pesticide finishes its reevaluation process. Read our joint press release.


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