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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 29, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta April 29, 1970 THE IETHBRIDOE HEKMD S3 Legal Action Sought To Biocfc Threat To Life Line Perilous Future Of Whooping Crane Taking Another Turn KATHLEEN MfCUlLOUGH CORPUS CHR1STI, Tex. (AP) stays perilous future of the wboopiag crone is taking court. One of birddom's best friends, the Auduboo Society, plans to seek legal action to block what it sees as yet another threat to the tenuous life line of the few cranes still alive in the wild. North America once had three treat flocks. One fell victim i hurricane struck LousUna. Another1 pared in Mexico without The dredgers have BO desire dig into the land toe cranes occupy. They couldn't anyway, >ecause stale law sharply regu- ales their actions. Dredgers cannot dig mithin a half-mile of any area defined as nursery ground for fish or a odd-producing area for wildlife. IK law also bans dredging in water less than four feet deep within half-mile of such Tbe administrator of the parts and wildlife department, W. J. Cutbirth Jr., said: "To Iht fcsl of ray knowledge, there has never been any sheU dredg- ing within a full mile o( the shore of the refuge." why all the First, whoopers eat baby fish, blue crabs, snails, shrimp and other marine life in the bays, and shallow water at the refuge. They also eat plaaL-j and sow crops for the birds to graze. Second, causes a form of pollution of the water, says Richard Kali, a lawyer1 who represents the Audubon So- ciety. "the dredging pvatkn itself results in posits of large amounts of silt in other result of which is to kill various types of mar- ine plants and jint generally despoil the entire area." He says the dredging barges dig into Ihe bottom of the bay's waters, scoop up the shells, clean them and return the silt to the tea. dredging operations de- stroy vital aursery grounds for a number of Fish and or- ganisms which are a link in the ecological system, Hall says. DIET IN DANGER Yet no one apparently has really proven that damage oc- cur-, aad the final court case may bing< that. Gordon a naturalist at the refuge, said that U the dredging scares off the marine life or makes spawning impossi- ble in the shallow water, then the whooper's main diet sill be destroyed. Five companies are named in the suit as well as the parks and wildlife deparfment-the latter because it issued the dredging permits. Dredging companies are re- luctant to tali because the issue is emotional with some ptopls and because it is in litigation. But the birds will not be much concerned for a time. It is about the season for the flock (o begin its journey to Great Slave Lake everyone hopes a lot Jf little whoopert wffl produced PLAY Thus only 14 birds in 1937. This flock wintered ia far- south Texas at the Aransae National Wildlife Refuge. Sum- mers found them at their iwst ing grounds at Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territo- ries of Canada. The naturalists demonstrated they can do. Guarding the tan, shy buds as if they were moon dust, they built the ftock to 56 free birds by this year. Another 23 are in hedge against disaster striking the wild ones. SEEKS A HALT The Audubon Society now has discovered what may be a threat to the free 56 and it has gone to court to stop all shell- dredging in San Antonio Bay near the Aransas refuge. Defendants are shell-dredging companies which dig into the coastal shelf in the Gulf of Mex- ico off the whoopers' refuge. The shells, remains of crusta- ceans which died eons ago, are fine for cement, binder in con- crete, and. to spread a gravel- like surface on secondary roads and driveways. "Let's Go To The Races" Win Big Cash Prizes-Plus Weekly Bonanza Prizes Details at Your Local IGA Stores CONVICTED The gn has released thu pfctore Air Force Mij. Delbert W. Fkawr who recently was MteBced is Saigon to 16 yean at hard labor after be- itf eraTicted of smuggling from Thailand and il- legal poueifios of Americas Mian. Fleeier, M, from In- dnaptb, lit. It ibnra u s eaptaia. 'Champagne9 Name May Be Used TORONTO