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Fred Lesher

In my judgement. "likely to cause" disturbance language leaves open whether or not air-boats or any kind of motor or even a canoe are "likely" to disturb Bald Egles nesting on, "near" or above backwater sloughs of the Mississippi River.

Presuming BAEAs will not abandon nest sites on "near" or above such sloughs & channels sites means boaters would not be allowed legally to travel such sites. I don't think many folks will tolerate such restrictions. This will increase resentment of the USFWS by locals who in effect think THEY own the resource.

While I support the best protection of BAEAs, I doubt that the "likely to disturb" language is either enforceable or good policy.

Of course, who will know what causes nest abandonment? How does one prove nest abandonment because of a specific human activity?

I am unsure what USFWS attorneys think, or what kind of "politics" are going on with this language, but I think BAEAs and non-game birds such as Prothonotary Warblers & Great Crested Flycatchers are also important residents of the Mississippi R. bottomlands, but do not in fact even "exist" to general River users: "boaters", fishers & shooters.

The USFWS mandate should include more active protection and information about non-game birds & animals.

In my opinion, the "likely to cause" clause is bad policy because it is bad language.

Thank you.

Fred Lesher
509 Winona St.
LaCrosse, WI 54603
Phone: 1-608-783-1149

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