Kim's excellent response is pretty much a how-to for Erie Pier. Keep in mind that you are visiting property that is not dedicated to birding. It is a working waterfront that happens to support birds. Worlds collide here.
Respect the privilege of being able to visit/bird a special place in Duluth. I have had good experiences here, but I have also visited the Army Corps office and talked to the person in charge of the facility, explaining who I am, why I'm there, etc. They generally like birders (we're not vandals, and we're extra sets of eyes for those who are). Introduce yourself to workers in the area, ask if it's ok to be near where they're working, and respect their response. They have liability issues (lots of loose soil) so they may not want you in certain areas.
Bottom line: be respectful and diplomatic.
> Date: Fri, 9 Oct 2009 15:47:18 -0500
> From: lundyj@CPINTERNET.COM
> Subject: [mou-net] Erie Pier
> To: MOU-NET@LISTS.UMN.EDU
> Can someone enlighten me about the Erie Pier / 40th Avenue West area
> of West Duluth?
> Today was the second time I tried to follow up a lead there, and the
> second time I got tossed out.
> I apologize to fellow birders for that ... I don't want to give bird-
> watching a bad name by being a scofflaw. And indeed, when I bothered
> to check the signs on the way out as I should have on the way in, I
> saw that I had been an unauthorized visitor on U.S. Army Corps of
> Engineers property.
> But I know that highly respected, experienced birders are seeing
> birds in that area.
> So my question is: Is there a place in that area where you can go
> legitimately? Is there a place where you can park legitimately and
> then walk legitimately? (Except for a little bit of roadway,
> everything seems to be either private property or government property.)
> Or do birders who go there first obtain written permission from the
> U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and/or other property owners?
> I've read numerous references to birding at Erie Pier / 40th Avenue
> West over the years, but I don't recall anyone explaining what's OK
> and what's not OK.
> John Lundy
> West Duluth
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