The Pennsylvania Game Commission's wildlife management bureau is recommending the bald eagle be removed from the state's threatened species list thanks to its “remarkable comeback,” with 266 nesting pairs documented in the commonwealth as of earlier this month.
That's up from 237 in 2012, and I'll say the trend is great for business here in the midstate.
Eagles are a big part of the attraction for waterway-related tourism enterprises up and down the Susquehanna River corridor.
For example, what was one of the things Ben Miller brought up to me about the first few outings of the year for his recently launched Cocoa Kayak Rentals of Hershey Inc.? Participants saw bald eagles.
Also, watch here as Chiques Rock Outfitters mentions a run-in with one of these symbols of our nation as part of describing what makes the river so attractive for paddlers.
Finally, just before I saw this development from the game commission, one of my editors and I were talking about a mutual connection to Shepherdstown, W.Va. What did she say about the locale on the Potomac River? It's great for seeing eagles.
Now, I say all of this while sitting in my office in York, a city that bills itself as the first capital of the United States because of its role in the history of the Articles of Confederation.
I walk or drive by the markers highlighting the history of this general time period almost every day. Which is to say, even someone as interested in history as much as me stops noticing. I'm human, and so is everyone else.
And that's why I worry, as a good capitalist, about taking away any title the bald eagle might have that carries a sense of rarity.
The reasoning behind a possible final decision to take away the "threatened" status sounds firm, I'm sure, but there is a certain marketing value I see in maintaining the term.
After all, who pays good money and takes time to travel for something perceived as common?