The town of North Hempstead, New York, located on Long Island, announced its hiring USDA "Wildlife Services" agents to annihilate hundreds of Canada geese and newly born goslings in town parks and likely plans to gas the geese to death in an intolerant, misguided assault. NY Newsday reports on the town's disastrous plan to spend $8,602.71 in tax dollars for the kill plan, in addition to $6 per goose to process the slaughtered geese who they absurdly claim will go to food banks.
North Hempstead Parks and Recreation officials complain that droppings from the geese are a nuisance-yet there is no mention of the town utilizing machines available for commercial use which quickly and effectively remove goose droppings from grassy areas and parks. How can the town leadership ignore such an obvious solution in favor of a mass slaughter?
Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman and Council Members who ordered the killing need a different mindset, and a plan to clean up goose droppings in fields and parks. Officials must make it a policy to clean up waste matter instead of saying all geese within town limits must die. Posting signs and enforcing no-feeding and littering rules are also sensible steps.
The town claims they've tried everything to "scare off" the geese, and that nothing worked." Friends of Animals could have predicted that. Harassing geese from areas won't work if flat, grassy areas remain unchanged. Geese will move in when others leave, occupying those areas for nesting, especially in the summer.
Habitat and landscape modifications are environmentally sound, long-term ways to deter geese from areas where they are seen as problematic -- clearly what's needed in North Hempstead. Co-existence with geese and other wildlife neighbors is required as a part of evolved suburban living. Are Supervisor Jon Kaimin and Town Council Members prepared to spend the residents' taxes each year to kill geese instead of implementing the effective strategies Friends of Animals endorses?
Geese are attracted to areas with short, mowed grass and open sight lines as safe nesting areas. Growing grass longer in areas, planting native shrubs and trees to block sight lines (geese like to watch for predators), will deter geese from ponds, shores and parkland -- reducing the time they spend in any one spot -- especially for the 6 week period in summer when they're molting.
Friends of Animals produces a Canada Goose Habitat Modification Manual detailing this process, and plans to meet with North Hempstead officials to present them with the manual. We'll urge them to implement the changes and spare the geese.
The towns of Mamaroneck and Scarsdale, in Westchester, NY recently cancelled their plans to kill Canada geese in park areas after feedback and meetings from Friends of Animals and from outraged residents opposed to the killing-North Hempstead can and should do the same.
Please call and email Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman and Town Council members and tell them to cancel the mean-spirited plan to slaughter Canada geese. Remind them that goose roundups are monstrous--USDA agents typically enter park areas during early morning, roughly separating goslings from parents, and then stuff the bound, panicked geese and babies into crates. Next, the geese are gassed or shot to death. Ask North Hempstead officials if they imagine such immorality is preferable to cleaning the grass and modifying some habitat and landscapes.Contact Information:
Hon. Jon Kaiman
Hon. Leslie Gross
Hon. Charles Berman
Councilperson District 1
Hon. Viviana L. Russell
Councilperson District 2
Hon. Thomas K. Dwyer
Councilperson District 3
Hon. Angelo P. Ferrara
Councilperson District 4
Hon. Anna M. Kaplan
Councilperson District 5
Hon. Lee Seeman
Councilperson District 6
Hon. Dina M. DeGiorgio
Please attend the Tuesday, May 14th North Hempstead Town Board Meeting to speak out against this plan during the public comment period of the meeting:
Tuesday 5/14/13 at 7:30 PMNorth Hempstead Town Hall
220 Plandome Road
Manhasset, NY 11030
Note: the NY Newsday article has a poll - please vote yes here that the town's plan is inhumane.
You can also post to the town's Facebook page.