Thank you David Steen for bringing this to my attention. This truly is great news and a step in the right direction. I know this blog is primarily dedicated to insects, but news like this begs to be shared. Many of us that love and study insects also share a passion for many other things in the natural world. Please contact the people below and offer your support for the changes taking place.
The following is written by Bill Rulon-Miller of R.A.R.R.
There is breaking news about the Claxton Rattlesnake Roundup in Georgia. This is what Jim Ries of One More Generation and Rise Against Rattlesnake Roundups had to say:
"Beth Grant, Bill Matturro from PALS, Collette L. Adkins Giese from the Center for Biological Diversity, Dr. Lock from the ATL Zoo, Dr. Michael Black from GSU and the OMG Team just got off a conference call with many other folks about the Rattlesnake Round-ups, and we learned truly amazing news!
The Claxton group has decided to convert their March event to the Claxton Rattlesnake and Wildlife Festival without a round-up!!!!!! The folks at P.A.L.S, especially Bill, Carter and Olivia from One More Generation, as well as DNR staff all deserve big kudos for bringing the issues to the Claxton group's attention and helping them come to the conclusion to change their events!
We all need to support them in this for their own sake and also to serve as an example for Whigham. More ideas on this to follow, but to begin with, we all echo the Georgia DNR Chief, Non-game Conservation Section Wildlife Resources Division Georgia DNR, who writes:
I encourage you to contact Bruce Purcell and offer support for his work to change the event to the "Claxton Rattlesnake and Wildlife Festival".
Bruce Purcell 912-282-4052 firstname.lastname@example.org
Evans County Wildlife Club
P.O. Box 292
Claxton, Georgia 30417"
Deciding to confirm this, I called Bruce Purcell at the number listed. After a lengthy phone conversation Bruce confirmed that all of this is true. It should be noted that the festival did not have to change but it wanted to and they are hoping for a successful reformation. The last part of this message cannot be emphasized enough: call him, write to him and tell him that you fully support his decision! He is getting some negative feedback and it is the utmost importance that we counter this.
I will also encourage people to visit this reformed festival if at all possible, this may be a victory for rattlesnakes but we cannot abandon the battlefield at such a critical hour! Roundup proponents will push back and it is our duty to stop them in their tracks.