Geese Begone!

Here are some scenes from Waltham's Calvary Cemetery, and the Riverwalk waterfall at the bleachery, taken this morning:

Until now, if you called state or local officials and complained about the public health hazard and frustration caused by Canada Geese, you'd have gotten a shrug. They could have rightly said that their hands are tied, owing to federal rules which protect Canada Geese, and permit them to take over parks, waterways, lawns, and highway medians.

It was truly a ridiculous situation. If you protested that goose poop was preventing you from letting your kids play in the grass at the park, they would do nothing. Yet if you said dog poop was the problem, the city would issue tickets to dog owners, start partrols, and round up any strays contributing to the problem.

But it looks like things are about to change. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released a "full and final rule" that allows the destruction of "resident" (as opposed to migratory) nests and geese, by property owners and officials, under certain conditions:
The new regulatory program consists of three components. The first creates control and depredation orders for airports, landowners, agricultural producers and public health officials that are designed to address resident Canada goose depredation and damage while managing conflict. This component will allow take of resident Canada geese without a federal permit provided certain reporting and monitoring requirements are fulfilled.

The second component consists of expanded hunting methods and opportunities and is designed to increase the sport harvest of resident Canada geese. Under this component, States could choose to expand shooting hours and allow hunters the use of electronic calls and unplugged shotguns during a portion of early September resident Canada goose seasons.

The third component consists of a new regulation authorizing the Director to implement a resident Canada goose population control program, or "management take". Management take is defined as a special management action that is needed to reduce certain wildlife populations when traditional and otherwise authorized management measures are unsuccessful, not feasible, or not applicable in preventing injury to property, agricultural crops, public health, and other interests. Under Management Take, the take of resident Canada geese outside the existing sport hunting seasons (September 1 to March 10) would be authorized and would enable States to authorize a harvest of resident Canada geese between August 1 and August 31. Management take would be available to States in the Atlantic, Mississippi, and Central Flyways following the first full operational year of the other new regulations.
That's right, folks. The handcuffs are off. It's time to "harvest" a few thousand geese that are polluting our parks and public places in Newton and Waltham, especially near the river and ponds. Call your local municipality or representative to get them cracking.



Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home