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"Ding" Darling Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, Fl

"Ding" Darling Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, Fl

Old Oct 3rd, 2013, 05:52 AM
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"Ding" Darling Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, Fl

Does anyone know if this national refuge has been closed due to the government shutdown? I assume it has been shut, but I didn't know if you could still do the wildlife drive on bikes instead of cars?
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Old Oct 3rd, 2013, 06:19 AM
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Just a guess, but it's fully gated, so can't imagine it would be open to bikes and not cars.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2013, 09:04 AM
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A two second visit to their website reveals it is completely shut.

Too bad, as it is wonderful.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2013, 09:20 AM
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We were planning a weekend there in November or December--we shall see if that will be possible.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2013, 10:11 AM
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Thanks for your input. I was hoping (wishful thinking) that there would be a place to gain bike access, even though the park was closed to car traffic. We will just have to hope for a resolution to the problem and the parks reopening before our trip.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2013, 01:31 PM
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When the Government says a place is closed it means to everyone and everything regardless of the means of conveyance I would assume.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2013, 01:40 PM
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I am not advocating breaking the law, but have lived near national lands that are always accessible on foot because they simply cannot be totally closed off. You can be sure that people in areas like that, who are used to their daily walk, are sticking to their routine despite the fact that what they are doing is technically illegal.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2013, 08:35 PM
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Actually, Newbe, you are indeed advocating breaking the law.
Ding Darling without rangers is not the haven it is meant to be for the animals and I would hope that nobody would feel entitled to decide otherwise.
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Old Oct 4th, 2013, 03:55 AM
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The wildlife doesn't know whether it is the Darling refuge or not.

Driving slowly, riding a bike quietly, or walking in any of the less inhabited areas of the island, particularly near dawn and dusk, will turn up the same critters. Some of these are dangerous, by the way, both on and out of managed areas.

The State of Florida has a number of similar wildlife management areas on the mainland which will not be affected by the Tea Party.
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Old Oct 4th, 2013, 04:06 AM
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I'm not sure what you are saying, NewbE. If the sanctuary is clearly closed with shut and locked gates, are you suggesting people climb over those gates? Walk around the major fences and wade through shallow (alligator infested) waters to get into the closed area? What about using a small boat to access it, since most of it is fully surrounded by water? And if one can do this -- even though the signs clearly say closed, would you also advocate doing that at somewhere like Liberty Island and climbing the Statue of Liberty at night?

This may seem extreme, but perhaps you just aren't familiar with Ding Darling. It's not a place you can simply ignore a sign and walk into anyway. When it is closed, it is CLEARLY closed!
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Old Oct 4th, 2013, 07:02 AM
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Ackslander, that is interesting. One of the reasons I don't care for Sanibel is that it seems so empty of wildlife other than at DD.
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Old Oct 5th, 2013, 01:17 AM
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Check out the Wikipedia article on Sanibel for birds, etc, and google "Sanibel Island Alligator" for the bad guys. Any of the less used canal areas will harbor alligators; most of these are on the west end of the island.

Birds of ourselves are mostly migratory, and what you see depends on when as much as where you look. When we wintered in Naples, we eagerly awaited the Royal Terms, who looked like 1950's juvenile delinquents with black jackets and buzz cut hair.
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Old Oct 5th, 2013, 07:54 AM
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"Birds of ourselves"? Was I drunk? No, just my blankety blank iPad deciding it knew what I really meant.
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Old Oct 6th, 2013, 09:45 AM
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Ding Darling was closed all summer to pave the road going through the area. It was scheduled to open October 1, 2013.

Here is the current announcement:
http://www.doi.gov/index.cfm
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Old Oct 6th, 2013, 09:48 AM
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You can see all the birds from almost any point on Sanibel. Low tide will provide more feeding birds like ibis, heron, roseate spoonbills. Several places off the main road offer opportunities to see alligators. I'm pretty sure you can take a kayak from Tarpon Bay and watch many birds in the rookery.

Most mornings, I can see more birds in the trees and lake behind my lanai than I see on Sanibel. Darling is lovely, but there are many alternatives.
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