Eagle in Flight
This may not be my best-written post, but it is most sincere. With all that we have to celebrate this spring--the release of a Bald Eagle and a Peregrine Falcon--the start of construction on a new 2,000 squre foot Critical Care Wing at the hospital--we are fighting to save the beautiful big trees that provide privacy and screening from noise and human activity that is produced by the traffic on the road that runs in front of our hospital.
After 21 years at Fellow Mortals' present location--chosen in large part for the mature spruce and walnut trees on the property--American Transmission Company (ATC) showed up in February and announced their plan to clear-cut 50 feet back from the electric line--removing a century old spruce and dozens of other small walnut trees and all of the rest of the undergrowth in the easement, and has been trimmed in years past.
This property was specifically chosen based on its location and the mature trees on the property that had been there for decades, before and after the electric line went in.
While critical care and recovery happen inside the hospital, when wildlife nears release, birds and mammals are moved to outside acclimitization habitats and flights where they once again are exposed to rain and cold, natural photocycles and the natural sounds of the wild to which they will return.
Located centrally to the region we serve on the border of Wisconsin and Illinois, the location of the hospital on Palmer Road was the perfect combination of rural quiet and accessibility--until now.
If ATC is successful in its plan to clear cut in front of the hospital, the sanctuary will never be the same--privacy, security and protection from noise and human activity and potential interference will be the cost and outside habitats may become unusable.
In the past few months, we have been working quietly to reason with ATC to make an exception for the wildlife to no avail. We offered to pay for the trimming to save this business the cost. We offered to let them take some of the cover but preserve the big trees. We asked about moving the electric lines. We asked them to make an exception--there are no other wildlife hospitals in the state affected in this way.
We have now hired an attorney and are partnering with the Humane Society of the United States to try to save the very special place that means the difference between life and death for 2000 wild animals every year.
Clear-cutting of the easement on the property isn't a federal or state regulation--it is a choice by a for-profit business that cares about nothing more than its bottom line. This company seemingly answers to no one. It has more power than any private business should.
If you would like to make a special gift to help with wildlife care at this time, it would be very much appreciated, as we have not been able to write for grants or to our regular donors while fighting this important battle for the future of the sanctuary.
I will update you on this issue as soon as we have any news.
If you would like to follow this issue in the meantime, please visit our Facebook page: Fellow Mortals Wildlfie Hospital.