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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Photographic records--their importance in today's environmentally sensitive bird management programs


We are living in a day of change. Environmental awareness is a part of our everyday life in a way unprecedented in history. The courts, in their infinite wisdom, have initiated the joint and several liability (deep pocket) rules that make everyone at risk in almost all situations. Bird management programs, by their very nature, are extremely sensitive. Any project, if not evaluated, planned, carried out, and documented properly can result in adverse regulatory agency action, bad publicity, and even fines or lawsuits. Proper photographic documentation can play a vital part in helping to provide the necessary records to help prevent problems and/or defend yourself in case of lawsuit or regulatory action. In the preparation of this paper, we surveyed state pesticide lead agencies, state Department of Conservation (Fish and Wildlife) agencies, some U.S. Fish and Wildlife Law Enforcement personnel, and several individuals to get their reaction to and their comments about this concept of supplemental recordkeeping. Of those responding, a majority thought the concept of supplemental photographic recordkeeping would be an asset to individuals and organizations conducting bird management projects.

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