No Fireworks! It’s For The Birds

A really astounding sock in the jaw and ironic kick in the head when a town is deprived of its fair share of Fourth of July fireworks and related explosives because of…bald eagles. However, that’s the problem in the town of Narrowsburg—billed as the “Bald Eagle Capital of New York.

I never heard of Narrowsburg but I’m sure it’s a nice place (to visit). Due to my propensity for getting lost while driving through America, my wife and I invariably wind up in cities and towns and gasoline stations that we never heard of before. Since Narrowsburg is conveniently situated on a far-flung stretch of road along the Pennsylvania border, we’re sure to wind up there…probably the very next time that we get lost. But I digress.

For decades, while I lived in total ignorance of Narrowsburg, the town has hosted an annual Eaglefest to celebrate the regional bald eagles along with a dazzling fireworks display to celebrate the more all-encompassing Independence Day.

But a few years ago, after the smoke from the fireworks had cleared, a fledgling eagle was apparently found with a broken leg; it was probably disoriented by the celebratory sound and fury. And last year, several baby eagles, perhaps startled by the Fourth of July pyrotechnics as well, left their nests.

But still, the fireworks tradition continued, sponsored by the Narrowsburg Chamber of Commerce. The fireworks had also been sponsored by the Narrowsburg Fire Department.
This year, the nearby Lava Volunteer Fire Department agreed to sponsor the event — at a cost of about $6,000, according to the fire department’s Bruce Gettel.
But the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department, which oversees eagle management, said the fire department might be liable for thousands of dollars in fines, according to Gettel.
So the Lava Fire Department — which had laid out about $3,200 for the fireworks deposit — canceled the fireworks show, much to the dismay of many residents.

So there you have it. That rockets’ red glare/ bombs bursting in air stuff won’t be occurring in Narrowsburg; not this year, at least. From a bald eagle’s perspective, it’s for the birds.

Source: Times-Herald Record