Caltrans, USFWS, California Department of Fish & Wildlife: Take down the bird-killing netting under the Petaluma River Bridge
  • Petitioned Bijan Sartipi

This petition was delivered to:

Director Distric 4
Bijan Sartipi
Robert Haus
California Dept. of Fish & Wildlife
CFO, C.C. Myers, Inc.
Linda Clifford
U.S. Secretary of the Interior
Sally Jewell
U.S. Fish & wildlife Service
Daniel M Ashe, Director
California Governor
California State Senate
U.S. House of Representatives

Caltrans, USFWS, California Department of Fish & Wildlife: Take down the bird-killing netting under the Petaluma River Bridge

    1. Maggie R
    2. Petition by

      Maggie R

      Novato, CA

January 2014


I am truly gratified that this petition reached so many people and that so many cared enough to spend time signing and commenting. I feel that the petition made a difference in getting the California Department of Transportation to work with wildlife advocates on better ways to do bridge work without harming protected birds. -Maggie

Click here for wildlife photographer George Eade's documentation of trapped and dying birds.

KTVU's news coverage showing trapped birds.

The California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS) has placed exclusion netting underneath the Petaluma River Bridge. The purpose of the netting is to stop migratory Cliff Swallows from nesting at a site they have flown 6000 miles to reach. A site where they have nested for generations. The birds become caught in the netting and die a slow death as they struggle to get free. The subcontractor, C.C. Myers, Inc., who put up the netting, and CALTRANS, are violating the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty which forbids the killing of migratory birds. Sadly, the agencies tasked with enforcing this law have chosen to "look into it" instead of requiring the removal of the netting while a new solution is worked on. Over 100 birds are known dead, as of April 29, 2013. Many more have died and not been counted because every night the C.C. Myers company uses a "snooper" truck to send its workers out over the Petaluma River, up 100', to remove the bodies and reattach the netting. This is destruction of evidence in a criminal case that they should be charged with. We demand that CALTRANS TAKE DOWN THE NETS NOW! Watching a bird struggling in a net, while surrounded by its dead flock mates, is a heart wrenching sight, and an act of animal cruelty, in addition to the violations of the Migratory Bird Treaty. All attempts to contact CALTRANS have been met with a wall of silence, our enforcement agencies, California Department of Fish & Wildlife, and US Fish & Wildlife Service have the power to make this stop and have chosen not to do so. We demand an end to the killing of these beautiful birds who benefit all of us by their copious consumption of flying insects, such as mosquitoes.

A lawsuit has now been filed by a coalition of groups as Caltrans has refused to budge on this issue. The document can be reviewed at

It is the wrong material for the wrong structure in the wrong environment for the wrong purpose. Do something right, remove the netting!

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 30,000 signatures
    2. Time for Taking it to the Higest Levels of California Governmnet

      Maggie R
      Petition Organizer

      We had an excellent demonstration Friday night and received coverage in both Sonoma County newspapers, as well as on two TV news programs. Yet, the nets remain up and birds continue to die! As CALTRANS continues to flaunt the laws, and even today a CALTRANS "biologist" was seen in an outright act of animal cruelty to a trapped swallow, we are going to try to reach the governor's office via his Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom. If you are able to participate in this effort, you can contact Deirdre Hussey, Deputy Chief of Staff at (916) 445-8994. Please ask that they help us put a stop to this. Tell them CALTRANS should NOT be above the law. Let them know that you are a California resident (if you are one) and you will not stand for this.

      You can view the latest atrocity, from today, along with a description of events, here on Facebook:

      Thank you.

    3. Reached 5,000 signatures
    4. Legal Action Taken!

      Maggie R
      Petition Organizer

      Madrone Audubon Chapter has sent out a cease and desist letter from their law firm - you can read it here:
      Today at 4 we'll be protesting at the Lakeville Highway underpass in Petaluma. We should have 5000 signatures by then!


      Check out! Home_Page

    5. Reached 4,000 signatures
    6. We need 2000 signatures by the end of today!

      Maggie R
      Petition Organizer

      Dear Supporters - you all rock! I am hoping for 2000 signatures by the end of today. We cannot stop now - Caltrans is STILL putting out disinformation to the press and to the agencies tasked with protecting wildlife. They are lying and saying birds are no longer being killed. This is just NOT true. Smaller numbers are being killed, but even one is too many! And birds continue to make nest on other parts of the bridge. Netting is also killing birds on the Lakeville Hwy bridge in Petaluma.

      Here's a video from last night - I think you may only be able to see it if you are on Facebook:

      I write a haiku almost every day, don't ask me why, I don't know. Here is today's:

      Caltrans lies, while the
      birds slowly die in the nets.
      Sign the petition!

      Gratefully, on behalf of the birds,

    7. Reached 1,500 signatures
    8. We are more than halfway to 1000!

      Maggie R
      Petition Organizer

      As of today still no action from the regulatory agencies, only more excuses - more birds died last night in the nets and a Cooper's Hawk, attempting to pull a swallow out of the net, was almost ensnared, but managed to get away. I am excited to see that we are over 600 signatures and it's not even noon yet. My goal now is 1000 by the end of the day - so keep sharing and many thanks!

      For the birds,

    9. Reached 500 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Monica DuClaud SAN FRANCISCO, CA
      • 9 months ago

      These birds flew thousands of miles, weathering huge obstacles, to finally arrive at their nesting spot... only to find it transformed into a death trap!

    • Angela Senenko SAN FRANCISCO, CA
      • 9 months ago

      Stop animal cruelty, take down the netting!

    • Billiette Grigsby HUNTSVILLE, TX
      • 10 months ago

      We must become the stewards of our earth not it's down fall.

    • Christine Hubbard SHEFFIELD, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 11 months ago

      The true deaths of this netting is being covered up. our world wildlife is under imense threat from many many man made structures, these birds migrate long distance & humans are changing their world constantly taking their old nesting places for different reasons. This is not acceptable this is cruel & wastes their lives. please remove this evil netting.

    • liu wai ling N.T., HONG KONG
      • 11 months ago

      Caltrans , USFWS , California Department of Fish & Wildlife , take down the bird -killing netting under the Petaluma River Bridge .it is wrong material for the wrong structure in the wrong environment foe the wrong purpose , do something right remove the netting , Thank you


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