To Saint Joseph News-Press

     This is in regard to your recent editorial "Words make a difference" in
Aug. 29, 2003 paper.

     The editorial contains some erroneous information.

     My name is Larry Lade.  I am a member of the Midland Empire Audubon
Society, the Audubon Society of Missouri and a member of the American Birding
Association.  I am considered to be quite knowledgeable when it comes to
identifying birds.  You may check my credentials with Mark Robbins, curator of
Ornithology Kansas University (and Chair of American Birding Association Checklist
Committee); Tom Nagel, naturalist at the Missouri Department of Conservation; Dr.
John Rushin, chairman of the Biology Department at Missouri Western State
College; Dr. David Easterla, chairman of the Biology Department at Northwest
Missouri State University at Maryville and/or Peggy Voltz, president of the
Midland Empire Audubon Society.  Additionally you may ask some of the residents of
Lake Contrary who actually can identify birds, if they have seen any Least
Terns or Piping Plovers.  Some of these residents are: Congressman Maurice Lawson,
Lee Ault or Tom Huffer.
     I have regularly observed birds in the Lake Contrary area for the past
ten years.  Normally I watch birds around this area three or four times a week.
 In all the time I have been observing birds in the Lake Contrary area, I
have seen Least Terns twice.  Four (4) Least Terns seen on August 13, 1992, and
two (2) observed on August 13, 2002.  Similarly I was able to see a single
Piping Plover twice, once on July 20, 2002, and a second time on July 28, 2002.
Apparently, the "resident(s) referred to in your editorial would not know a
Turkey Vulture from a Great Blue Heron if they say that the Least Terns and
Piping Plovers are "well stocked" around the lake area.  The Least Tern and the
Piping Plover are RARE in our area.  They are endangered or threatened all over
the United States.  For you to represent them as being common or as the
"resident" stated as being "well stocked" was a misrepresentation of the fact.
     I think a reasonable solution can be found in this matter of Missouri
River flow management if all parties discuss the options with an open mind and
with regard for each others wants and needs.  It can serve no good purpose to
misrepresent the facts and give the reading public an extremely biased opinion.
 An editorial such as the one you printed in this case can only serve to
further the gap between the parties concerned with this issue.

Larry Lade
2823 Sacramento
Saint Joseph, MO

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Mark Robbins, Kansas University
Tom Nagel, Missouri Department of Conservation
Dr. John Rushin, Missouri Western State College
Dr. David Easterla, Northwest Missouri State University
Peggy Voltz, president of Midland Empire Audubon Society

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