Members and supporters of the Save Our Swallows group gathered in Hadley Saturday to protest the demolition of an important local stable.
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed demolishing an abandoned stable building at the Fort River Division of the Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge.
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The building has been the nesting habitat for the state’s largest known colony of Barn Swallows for decades. Scientists, students and others affiliated with the grassroots group expressed their concern for the demolition at Saturday’s protest.
The group of volunteers are working to save the stables and claim that the USFWS has already violated the National Environmental Policy Act several times. 22News spoke with one Save Our Swallows member who said the group will continue fighting for what they believe is right.
“We want to make sure that they know that we care and we do care,” Mara Silver told 22News. “This group, Save Our Swallows, has traction, has legal help and we’re not going to give up.”
Silver said the USFWS has proposed some alternatives to a complete demolition of the stables. A phased closure is one option, but Save Our Swallows is hoping to have the stables preserved instead.
22News reached out to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for comment but have yet to hear back.