Conflict between humans and nature is nothing new. The news is filled of instances of conflicts between road building and aquatic habit, home building and cutting of trees for building materials, oil use and drilling in ANWR, wind turbines for electricity production and migrating birds, and many more. This is why the EPA was founded and the Sierra Club came into existence, why court case after court case has been filled and judgement pronounced to help clarify meanings and keep people acountable, and one of the reasons for environmental impact studies concerning effects of various activities and less impactful ways of reaching desired results.
What happens when the impact is not from the humans impacting nature, but from nature impacting humans? When changes are welcomed until that welcome has worn itself out?
This is what happened in Wichita with many of the residents saying it is a good thing, only not in my backyard (NIMBY). Egrets began to reappear in the 1990’s, creating a rookery. A good thing, right? The return of species who had not been seen in an area in recent times, increase in biodiversity…what is not to be happy about? Apparently a fair amount of aspects.
A few birds creating a nesting site is usually not much to be concerned over. You may even welcome the addition of a new species helping to expand the diversity of the local wildlife. When those first few birds turn into hundreds of nests, though, you can quickly run into problems and conflicts.
When I first read the article I could not understand why the local residents were so against the nesting grounds as they only nest for part of the year. By the end I felt for the locals and agreed that perhaps something could be done. I would be interested in reading the results of the study about how the migrating birds react when they return to find their previous nesting site gone. Will they try to nest in less ideal and more inconvenient (for humans) places? Will they move to another spot along a river or field?
Where ever they land next it seems the species are doing well and will hopefully find a new place to continue thriving in peace, for all parties involved.