Greenwood Lake Commission sets record straight

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In response to some miscommunication on social media after our January meeting, The Greenwood Lake Commission would like to inform those who did not attend the meeting, the facts as they were presented.

The Greenwood Lake Commission has never received $30,000 from Orange County in a given year as stated.

The $90,000 grant received by the Highlands Council is being used for an extensive study on Belcher Creek and two or three locations in the East Arm in New York.

To insinuate that the money is being spent elsewhere is disingenuous at best, as the commission is under contract to how and where the monies are spent, and they know that.

Also, to state that the Commission doesn’t have any oversight regarding funding is another disingenuous statement and a knock on the character of the Commissioners.

All funding and expenditures are accounted for at our monthly meetings and yearly statements are prepared and presented to the lakes three surrounding towns, two counties and the NJDEP and NYDEC.

Most of the Commissions projects get prior approval from either or both states and they are aware of all projects and proceedings of the Commission.

Being a bi-state commission, created from legislation in 2001/2002, we are highly regulated by all state laws.

Other than deciding to have a survey performed to count the number of geese on Greenwood Lake at any one time, no further action has been decided on at this time.

When the survey results are presented to the Greenwood Lake Commission, the commissioners will decide whether to move forward or not with addling.

Not until then, will any other decisions be made.

If a decision was to be made to authorize another round-up, most Commissioners would prefer another way to successfully control the geese on Greenwood Lake but on a 9-mile body of water, being over 1800 acres, a round-up is the most practical and efficient method of controlling a large goose population.

The Commission has researched most every way possible in its efforts to protect, restore, maintain and manage the water quality, health and safety issues presented by such a large goose population.

The commission has investigated dogs, noise harassment, strobe lights, chemicals, vegetation, decoys, cannon netting, bow nets and even hunting.

One of the most successful means of control is, not mowing your lawns, letting grass grow 14 - 16”.

Now most, if not all, of these methods work on ponds or 2/3-acre lakes, they would be virtually impossible to manage on a nine-mile lake.

The Commissioners understand the concerns and the passion some residents have conveyed at our monthly meetings regarding Geese management.

Realistically, we cannot expect to get hundreds and hundreds of home owners to get dogs or to not mow their lawns or any of the other methods being suggested day in and day out throughout the year to keep the geese off the lake.

There are hundreds of properties and docks surrounding Greenwood lake, and it is just not going to happen.

The amount of goose poop on public parks and businesses docks is a major health concern to the commission, as it should be to all residents and users of Greenwood Lake.

Beaches have been closed, children and pets have become ill from E. coli caused by geese poop.

The commission is mandated by law to protect the water and all the residents and users of Greenwood Lake as well as the entire 28-square-mile watershed. The commissioners take their responsibilities very seriously in what the best methods are regarding all aspects of managing the lake and watershed.

Commissioners welcomed the protesters offer to volunteer to find nest locations and report those locations to the Commission for the USDA to examine for addling the eggs, if it is decided to do addling.

We conclude by offering up a few scientific facts regarding the dangers of not adequately controlling a large Goose population.

This information has been obtained from studies by Cornell, Rutgers, NYDEC, USEPA and USDA.

• Serious health issues

• Increase in phosphorus

• Increase in nitrogen

• Decrease in oxygen

• Higher rate of fish deaths

• The average goose poops 28 times per day

• Average daily feces amount to 4/5 pounds per goose.

• An estimated 250-300 geese on the lake last year. At 250 geese and 4lbs. each/ 1000 lbs. daily/ 7,000 weekly and minimum of 364,000 pounds annually going into the water - not a healthy situation)

• Four geese produce the equal amount of phosphorous as 1 septic system

• Geese are one of the largest polluters of the lake

It is very important not to feed the geese or any water fowl, as its not healthy for them and it is against the law on the New Jersey area of the lake. Ordinances have been proposed by the commission to Warwick and the Village to also pass ordinances to make it illegal to feed water fowl.

Please contact your governing bodies to pass this very needed legislation.

For the sake of being accurate and general public information, this was in response to misinformation and distortion of the facts going around social media by a group of local protesters.

The commission would hope to see you at our monthly meetings to discuss and follow along on its work to preserve the natural, economic and recreational resources of Greenwood Lake.


The Greenwood Lake Commission

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Sophie Kepponen
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