Saturday, January 17, 2009

Planet Gore looks to Geesepeace for answers in US Airways near tragedy

"Did an Earmark Bring Down the US Airways Flight [Greg Pollowitz]

Question for Senator Schumer: How's that non-lethal, environmentally friendly solution for controlling New York City's Canada Geese working out for you?



Geese overpopulation is a major health hazard to local residents and the environment

Federal funds will go towards "Geesepeace" program for New York that uses humane methods to stop Canadian geese from ruining parks and fields

US Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that Congress has passed $200,000 in federal funds for the US Fish and Wildlife Service to implement a Geesepeace program that works to alleviate the Canada geese overpopulation problem that threatens the health of local residents and the environment. Geesepeace is a national non-profit organization that uses non-lethal methods to reduce the number of geese and redirect them to areas where they pose less of a threat to people. The funds come as part of the agricultural appropriations component of the Omnibus bill passed today by the Senate and have been earmarked to be used specifically for New York. The bill, previously passed by the House, now awaits the President's signature.

"Canada geese are overrunning our parks and open spaces and their droppings are polluting our water and our land," Schumer said. "When you talk to anyone who uses local parks, playgrounds, open spaces, athletic fields and golf courses, you hear the same complaint, time and time again. That's why we need a solution to this problem and that's what we have with the Geesepeace program. It will control the goose population and keep our parks and open spaces clean, green and beautiful."

This issue came up in 2004 when Geesepeace was trying to save a flock of geese from Riker's Island (in the flight path of Laguardia) rather than have the geese killed:

In this time of trouble in faraway places, the man-versus-fowl struggle brewing on Rikers Island may seem trivial. But its implications are dire for a certain flock.

On one side are geese, slender-necked and given to relieving themselves liberally, who like where they are living, a stone's throw away from La Guardia Airport. On the other is a worried band of federal officials who believe the geese are too close to planes carrying millions of passengers in and out of one of the nation's busiest airports.

History teaches that these things hardly ever end well — for the birds at least. Indeed, by the end of the day today, barring a last minute reprieve, 495 Canada geese will be on their way to an upstate slaughterhouse, Port Authority and federal wildlife officials said yesterday.

There's nothing in the New York Times archives between the 2004 slaughter and the crash yesterday, but I think an investigation into what was or wasn't done over the years to control the geese is in order. If environmental concerns overrode passenger safety then that's something that needs to be debated in light of yesterday's miracle. " from Planet Gore,

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