Why people should be knowledgeable about their surroundings
You wake up, get dressed, go to work everyday at Roebuck - Hawkins Park, where you are director of the park center. You decide to have a nearby pond drained because the tennis courts have flooded and you blame the pond. City workers come and remove the dam, draining the pond.
How can you be park director and not know that the pond is home to the Watercress Darter, a federally protected species of fish that has been in the news several times in the last year? Especially since there are signs posted nearby. "It never crossed my mind" to consult federal authorities before having the pond drained, director Regina Nummy said.
Biologists are collecting the fish, over a thousand stinky dead fish, in part because the penalty for wounding or injuring an endangered species can be fines of thousands of dollars per animal.
Thankfully, the fish still lives in Bessemer at the Watercress Darter National Wildlife Refuge. This makes our pond even more important in the survival of the darter. I certainly hope that Birmingham does not have a say in the future of the pond at Roebuck Springs. Hopefully Federal authorities will order the dam to be rebuilt, and the pond re-populated. Maybe they can incorporate flood control into the design.
I have written about this colorful fish before, but I notice my old links no longer work. There is a new web site, Watercress Darter National Wildlife Refuge for the refuge in Bessemer. Come visit.