Activists Say Demolition In Hadley Would Harm Colony Of Barn Swallows

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HADLEY, Mass. (AP) — Supporters of what is believed to be the largest colony of barn swallows in Massachusetts are protesting the proposed demolition of the colony’s decades-old nesting habitat.

Activists say they are gathering Saturday at the Bri-Mar stable at the Fort River Division of the Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge in Hadley.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed demolishing the building. Officials with the service said Saturday they are working to find a “course of action that is sustainable and compatible” with the purposes of the refuge and mission of the service.

The group Save Our Swallows, an organization that activists say includes scientists and community members, has opposed the move, saying the barn is home to a thriving colony of the swallows, including 37 pairs in 2018.

Managers of the refuge have said the barn is at risk of collapse.

Barn swallows are in steep decline in the Northeastern U.S. and in Canada.

CORRECTION: In an earlier version of this story The Associated Press erroneously reported the stated goal of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The service said it is working to find a course of action that is sustainable and compatible with the purposes of the wildlife refuge and the mission of the service, not one that is compatible for all parties.

(© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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