US Fish & Wildlife, Gerry McChesney, Refuge Manager: Stop the Plan to Dump Rat Poison over the Farallon Islands
  • Petitioning Gerry McChesney

This petition will be delivered to:

US Fish & Wildlife, Refuge Manager
Gerry McChesney
SF Bay Refuge Complex Manager
Anne Morkill
Ass't Director, International Affairs, US Fish & Wildlife
Bryan Arroyo

US Fish & Wildlife, Gerry McChesney, Refuge Manager: Stop the Plan to Dump Rat Poison over the Farallon Islands

    1. Maggie Sergio
    2. Petition by

      Maggie Sergio

      Fairfax, CA

If US Fish & Wildlife has its way, Nov of 2014 is when they would like to begin a mission that involves the use of helicopters dropping an estimated 1.3 metric tons of rat poison over the Southeast Farallon Islands.  This is part of a political and complex relationship that exists between US Fish & Wildlife Service and an organization called Island Conservation.  Island Conservation is the firm that would get the business if the decision is made to go forward with this project.  

Island Conservation is registered as a nonprofit; however they make millions of dollars undertaking island eradication projects all over the world.  If you visit their web site or read press releases you will see that they claim "success" at doing this.  What the public doesn't know about are the many thousands of wild animals, conveniently referred to as "non target species" or "collateral damage" that are killed during these eradication projects.  This story here in Nature tells of what happened up in Alaska in 2008, after Island Conservation dropped 40 tons of brodifacoum (rat poison) over "Rat Island."  http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110407/full/news.2011.24.html

This video tells the very disturbing story of what happening in New Zealand when Island Conservation used the same method of carpet bombing they want to use at the Farallon Islands.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Skm8f2yvNg

Island Conservation has been paid over $481,000 by US Fish & Wildlife (so far) to write the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. This explains the lack of objectivity and mis-leading information found throughout the 741 page document.  Island Conservation will also be paid approx 1.3 million dollars to carry out this mission if given the green light by US Fish & Wildlife.  This is an absolute conflict of interest and outrageous.  

More importantly, there is no guarantee that this plan will work.  Also at risk, is the contamination of fish and other food sources in the waters surrounding San Francisco. This issue is not mentioned in the EIS and has occurred before during these projects.  

The Farallon Islands is an area designated by the US as wilderness.  Located approx 30 miles offshore from San Francisco, the islands are home to twelve species of sea and shorebirds, and the seabird numbers average over 250,000 birds.  Harbor seals, the California sea lion, northern elephant seal and the stellar sea lion (endangered) also come to the island, many of them to breed.  This healthy population of pinnipeds attracts great white sharks to the islands. Additionally, blue whales, grey whales and humpback whales frequent these waters.  All of these animals will be placed at risk if US Fish & Wildlife carries out this plan.  

 

It is the mission of US Fish & Wildlife to protect ALL of the trusted resources within the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.  Not a select few.  

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Critics in New Zealand censored by main stream media

      Maggie Sergio
      Petition Organizer

      Censored in New Zealand!! Bill Benfield with Kea Rescue in NZ is the author of this article just published in "Investigate" magazine. Bill, along with the Graf Boys have been outspoken critics of New Zealand's eradication projects and the money that drives them. Yes, their work is often censored in NZ by the main stream media but thanks to social media and the web, their stories are being told and shared.

      USFWS often points to the "success" and "expertise" of what the Department of Conservation in NZ is doing. Of course, the public is getting a marketing pitch and USFWS cherry picks what science they choose to disclose.

      https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwdOUBgcb_baTkdCWVFtZFhzcTlTb0JnSEJUTG5Qb2VlMjMw/edit?usp=sharing

    2. Please "Like Us" on Facebook!

      Maggie Sergio
      Petition Organizer
      Stop US Fish & Wildlife from Dumping Rat Poison on the Farallon Islands

      Stop US Fish & Wildlife from Dumping Rat Poison on the Farallon Islands. 823 likes · 21 talking about this. US Fish & Wildlife Service is seriously considering dumping 1.3 metric tons of loose rat poison, out of helicopters over the Southeast Farallon Islands.

    3. 1000s die on Rangitoto Island in New Zealand

      Maggie Sergio
      Petition Organizer

      These criminals need to be stopped. http://youtu.be/NlBGx78mcTQ

      Poisoning Stewart Island - updated version, including marine impact

      This is the updated version of the Stewart Island eradication video clip. The impact on marine life was missed on this previous version ... http://youtu.be/zDxxaM2TkuM

    4. Reached 25,000 signatures
    5. Published Today in The Huffington Post.

      Maggie Sergio
      Petition Organizer
      The Farallon Islands Mouse Eradication Project: The 'Con' in Conservation

      I first heard the term "island eradication" back in 2011, when a colleague sent me an email that contained a project scoping notice from U.S. Fish & Wildlife (USFWS), San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex. This public notice announced a non-native mouse eradication project for the Farallon Islands, which are located 27 miles off the coast of San Francisco.

    6. New Link to EPA Comment Letter

      Maggie Sergio
      Petition Organizer

      Posting again the link to the EPA's 18 page comment letter on the Farallones and the proposed 1.3 metric ton poison drop of loose rat poison pellets. The one below to the EPA's website appears to be broken. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwdOUBgcb_baYXZxSDV5ZW16VW1TYUMtRHhYazBlNnI3Vmxr/edit?usp=sharing

    7. Legal Agreement that exists between USFWS and Island Conservation

      Maggie Sergio
      Petition Organizer

      These two agreements total up to $481,883.00 that Island Conservation was paid to write the environmental impact statement for the Farallon Islands Mouse Eradication Project. IC wrote the EIS for a gov't contract they will get.

      https://drive.google.com/?tab=mo&authuser=0#folders/0BwdOUBgcb_baT3VBVjJwYXBoWU0

      https://drive.google.com/?tab=mo&authuser=0#folders/0BwdOUBgcb_baT3VBVjJwYXBoWU0

    8. Dolphins and Penguins deaths in New Zealand

      Maggie Sergio
      Petition Organizer

      This is what happened in New Zealand. Watch how RIchard Griffith from the Dept of Conservation in Auckland danced around answering questions about whether the dolphins, penguins and fish were tested for exposure to rat poison (Brodifacoum)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Skm8f2yvNg

      Brodifacoum drops on Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands.

      TV reporter exposes the weaknesses in DOC's case for dropping tonnes of rat poison on Islands in the Hauraki Gulf. Shortly after the poison was dropped masses of fish died, along with penguins, dolphins, sea birds and a number of dogs being exercised on beaches close to the islands.

    9. More concerns from the EPA

      Maggie Sergio
      Petition Organizer

      USFWS & Island Conservation talk about how successful island eradication projects have been around the world. What you don't hear about are the failures. Just one of the numerous concerns that the EPA brought up in their 18 page comment letter submitted on 12/09/13.
      "We are aware that three rodent eradication attempts; Wake Atoll, Henderson Island and Desecheo Island--have failed. These efforts all attempted to eradicate rat species. The Wake Atoll Rat Eradication Review concluded that planning and associated research did not seem to adequately address some of the key issues and the general complexities of the project, and that the number of information gaps noted during the planning process should have led to serious consideration of postponing the project until those issues were more fully addressed. This is our main concern for the Farallones. ~EPA letter 12/09/13
      http://www.epa.gov/region9/nepa/letters/fish-wildlife/south-farallon-islands-invasive-mouse-erad-project-rdeis,.pdf

    10. The EPA weighs in......

      Maggie Sergio
      Petition Organizer

      In an 18 page comment letter dated 12/09/13, The EPA voiced many concerns on the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) One concern mentioned was the amount of bait to be dropped by Island Conservation on the Southeast Farallon Islands. On page 81 of the DEIS it is stated that 24 pounds of rat poison per acre will be dropped if Brodifacoum is used, 128 pounds per acre if Diphacinone is used. In their comment letter the EPA said that this amount was "Significantly more bait than authorized under the current pesticide label."

      I have been involved in pesticide education and advocacy work for a number of years, including serving on a public IPM (Integrated Pest Management Commission) Commission in Marin County. I have also investigated and wrote about open air pesticide and GMO experiments on the island of Kauai. The amount of pesticides that Island Conservation wants to use is unprecedented and the absolute highest that I have ever heard of in the world.

    11. Reached 20,000 signatures
    12. Restoration Project on the Farallon Islands

      M S
      by M S
      Petition Organizer

      Background information on the project to restore the Farallon Islands can be found here http://www.restorethefarallones.org/learn/

    13. Reached 12,500 signatures
    14. You can find the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, (DEIS) here

      M S
      by M S
      Petition Organizer

      Here is a shortcut to view the draft EIS from USFWS. Prior to that being created, getting to the document was a cumbersome process. https://tinyurl.com/toxicislands

    15. Reached 10,000 signatures
    16. Wonderful 10 minute piece on the Farallon Islands on KQED

      M S
      by M S
      Petition Organizer
    17. Reached 9,000 signatures
    18. Wow, pushing 750 signatures! Thank you Everyone for Your Support!

      M S
      by M S
      Petition Organizer

      Please be sure and check out our Facebook page; Stop US Fish & Wildlife from Dumping Rat Poison on the Farallon Islands!

    19. Wow, pushing 750 signatures! Thank you Everyone for Your Support!

      M S
      by M S
      Petition Organizer

      Please be sure and check out our Facebook page; Stop US Fish & Wildlife from Dumping Rat Poison on the Farallon Islands!

    20. Reached 500 signatures
    21. Comments from the American Bird Conservancy on the issue

      M S
      by M S
      Petition Organizer

      "Conclusions in the draft environmental impact statement are founded on what we deem to be a faulty and incomplete analysis. We are concerned about poisoning the Farallon food web, including migrating raptors, sea birds, native terrestrial species, and marine mammals, and about what we consider an unacceptable level of projected incidental mortality of Western Gulls. We are also worried about the potential to cause long term damage to the very practice of eradication of non-native mammals from islands. Related concerns include, but are not limited to, the inflated projection of effectiveness of gull hazing operations, the inadequate consideration of alternative methods of bait delivery, the biased selection of modeling assumptions, the exclusion of data from Rat Island, the under-estimation of brodifacoum toxicity, and the unorthodox and potentially biased risk assessment assumptions for diphacinone." George H. Fenwick, PhD, American Bird Conservancy.

    22. Reached 250 signatures
    23. Words from a Senior Fellow at the Ocean Foundation on this......

      M S
      by M S
      Petition Organizer

      Richard Charter is a Senior Fellow with The Ocean Foundation and Vice Chair of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council. He submitted a powerful 5 page letter to USFWS focusing around 19 key reasons why the EIS is inadequate. I would like to share with you just one.

      "The revised Draft EIS is in adequate in reflecting a casual and dismissive attitude throughout the document regarding the inevitable mortality of public trust living resources, such as numerous non-target species, including birds and marine life, in a manner which hardly represents a fairly considered cost-benefit analysis. Throughout the draft EIS the document instead attempts to rationalize the unnecessary killing of a lot of innocuous wildlife in the process of eradication of one species--the mice--but the document provides no conclusive evidence that the Ashy Storm Petrel will benefit over the long term from all of this collateral damage throughout the overall ecosystem."

    24. Reached 100 signatures
    25. Thank you everyone for signing and sharing! We are off to a great start!

      M S
      by M S
      Petition Organizer

      Please visit our Facebook page, "Stop US Fish & Wildlife from Dumping Rat Poison on the Farallon Islands"

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Amber Shaw LOS OSOS, CA
      • about 10 hours ago

      There is no reason to use rat poison on the Farallon Islands, and with the not so, "not for profit" company Island Conservation gaining financially from this just makes the entire thing a ridiculous waste of tax payers money.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • susan Dalton SAUSALITO, CA
      • about 13 hours ago

      There must be another way to rid the rats

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Joyce Hathaway BROOKDALE, CA
      • 2 days ago

      Besides the stated "conflict of interest" (prevalent in so many segments of our governmental, judicial and financial institutions) this is just criminal in that one agency or business interest is allowed to inflict so much harm/devastation on so many species, including humans. Where did these people "study" science? A second-grader (or younger) could accurately predict the harmful effects of such a plan.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Rita Montgomery TUCSON, AZ
      • 2 days ago

      I care about life!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Cynthia Weber SAN DIEGO, CA
      • 2 days ago

      If this is true, we all suffer.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the Change.org API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.