In 2018, we mark the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the most powerful and important bird-protection law. In honor of this milestone, nature lovers around the world are joining forces to celebrate the “Year of the Bird” and commit to protecting birds for the next 100 years.
It is a shame that in this year the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resource Commission has proposed the following:
Extend the limit to kill sandhill cranes from 400 to 1,400 cranes.
Increase the length of the hunting season from 30 days to 56 days.
The International Crane Foundation opposes the hunt. So do birdwatchers and even some hunters. The Eastern sandhill crane was once near extinction but has rebounded since the 1930s. For years, birdwatchers have enjoyed their abundance in the fields of Kentucky as they migrate.
Our own Wendell Berry wrote frequently about the beauty of the sandhill crane. Cranes have been found in the fossil records millions of years ago. Aldo Leopold wrote about the crane’s call, “When we hear his call, we hear no mere bird. We hear the trumpet in the orchestra of evolution.”
Commissioners will vote March 23. Find and contact your commissioner at fw.ky.gov.