Home Opinion Editorials Help stamp out vandalism at Ladd Marsh
Help stamp out vandalism at Ladd Marsh
Emotions run high when thinking about the recent degradations vandals committed at one of La Grande’s crown jewels, the Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area. There’s no understanding why people do what they do. Why do idiots shoot arrows through turtles? Why do morons dump yard debris and household garbage, sometimes in large quantities, damage and rip off signs, and tear apart public bathrooms?
We want La Grande to be healthier and a better place to live. These human vultures have other ideas. Some people have a complacent mindset toward vandalism and don’t want to get involved. But the only way it can be stopped, or at least slowed down, is for all of us to keep our eyes open, our ears peeled and to report any suspicious activities immediately.
What’s more, vandals need to consider the consequences of their acts, and how they reduce the quality of experience for all of us who live here because we enjoy regular jaunts into the great outdoors. Of course, only the choir will probably be reading these words. The vandals will be plotting further desecrations.
Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area managers and workers go to great lengths to maintain the ecological integrity of the area. That’s why these senseless social ills are so saddening.
The public benefits in many ways from the Ladd Marsh ecosystem management and its intelligent multiple use approach. People enjoy hunting at the marsh. They enjoy birdwatching, wildlife viewing, hiking and all sorts of other activities. The environmental degradation perpetrated by a few irresponsible people brings down the quality of the experience for everyone and could eventually close down the marsh to public use. That would be a shame.
We need to be environmentally responsible and teach our kids the same kind of manners. We need to do the right thing before destruction of manmade facilities becomes destruction of habitat, before a crime against a turtle becomes a crime against a human.
Ladd Marsh is a jewel that needs to be preserved for future generations. It would be a shame if the acts of a few caused everyone to be banned from the refuge to protect it for its overriding purpose — protecting our natural heritage.
It’s disheartening for those whose hearts and souls go into making Ladd Marsh the best it can be through science-based resource management when a few scoundrels desecrate this sanctuary. The general public needs to adopt the same kind of stewardship ethic. We need to renew our commitment to something larger than ourselves and our own petty and malicious entertainments.
The vandalism at Ladd Marsh is just one more symptom of the slow erosion of community standards that has swept across America. Here, however, we have a chance to renew our commitment to community standards. We can do something positive to contribute to community and society by taking a stand against vandalism at the marsh, by being the ears and eyes watching for bad guys and trying to make sure they don’t get away with their tomfoolery.
Responsible visitors should report illegal activities to law enforcement or to Ladd Marsh authorities by calling 541-963-4954.