Malone: Pushing out the remaining birds |

Malone: Pushing out the remaining birds

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

Bird populations are crashing across North America — over the past 60 years, bird populations have declined by 30%. One of the major causes is habitat alteration. Riparian (streamside habitat) provides the single most important habitat in the West for breeding birds.

Roaring Fork Audubon has documented that the Riverfront Trail in Carbondale (aka Carbondale’s Birding Trail) supports at least 30 species of breeding birds. Protecting breeding birds and their young ensures long-term population survival. 

Yet despite recommendations from Roaring Fork Audubon to not develop this area, the town is proceeding with development. Worse — despite recommendations that if development should occur, it must not occur during breeding season — development will begin next week … during breeding season.

Birds have returned to their breeding habitat along the trail, built nests, laid eggs, and are incubating their eggs. The next generation, their future, has been created. If construction proceeds, this next generation of birds that rely on the Carbondale bird trail will be destroyed. 

As natural, breeding-bird habitat has been lost to houses and golf courses, this small remaining natural section of the Crystal Trail has become a critical refuge for breeding birds. Roaring Fork Audubon has documented that over 70 species of birds use the area for foraging and at least 30 species breed there — all protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. Continuing the development of the riparian area will violate the Act and will destroy the next generation. 

Please contact Eric Brendlinger, Town of Carbondale Parks & Recreation Director, at or 970-510-1277. Ask him to honor the act and protect the birds in their Carbondale refuge. Ask him to delay construction until late summer after birds have fledged their young. 

Delia Malone
Vice-chair, Roaring Fork Audubon