Menlo Park draws fire for quietly exterminating squirrel population
Submitted By: Shouta
News Source: Mercury News
Though he isn’t convinced Menlo Park made the right call when it ordered a hit on the teeming ground squirrel population at Bedwell Bayfront Park, Mayor Rich Cline is certain better outreach on the city’s part would have stemmed some of the public outrage that followed.
“There probably should have been a more thorough process,” Cline admitted.
The city recently came under fire from park users for killing the squirrels and keeping the details quiet. Officials said the rodents had to go because they posed a threat to an important layer of earth containing the landfill Bayfront sits on top of.
“This action was disguised for months,” Eileen McLaughlin of Citizens for Completing the Refuge, a Palo Alto-based nonprofit that works to protect wetlands, told the city council on Jan. 25. “We have to wonder why and how that decision was made. The park opened in 1984. … squirrels have always been there. What is the squirrels’ actual record of damage …?”
At the same council meeting, Menlo Park Deputy City Manager Kent Steffens called the extermination “unfortunate but necessary.” The squirrels’ burrows were reaching into the decaying garbage and the animals were bringing trash to the surface, he said.
Link for the full story here http://www.mercurynews.com/peninsula/ci_17347487?nclick_check=1