Monday, March 10, 2014

Huge Response to City's Squirrel, Gopher Plan

By Doug Oakley
Staff Writer
Bay Area News Group

Berkeley City Council members and other city officials received 81,864 emails protesting a plan to trap and kill ground squirrels and Western Pocket Gophers at Cesar Chavez Park after a February news story on the program that ran in the Oakland Tribune, city officials said. 

The emails were all in the form of a single, identical form letter, city spokesman Matthai Chakko said. 

City Councilman Kriss Worthington said most of the emails came from members and supporters of San Rafael-based In Defense of Animals, an animal rights and rescue organization. 

"It's pretty amazing," Worthington said. "It's the most emails we've gotten on any single issue in the last year, or perhaps ever. I'm happy when I get 20 emails on something." 

Chakko said the plan to kill the animals was aired at three public meetings before the City Council getting an information report on it last month "and to my knowledge not one person spoke during public comment at any of the meetings." 

Worthington has introduced an item for the March 25 City Council meeting asking the city to revisit the topic and provide more specific information, especially the plight of burrowing owls that nest below ground at the park. 

"That's one component of the issue that was never addressed," Worthington said. 

Reach Doug Oakley at 925-234-1699 or follow him on Twitter at

No comments:

Post a Comment