Response to Greenwood Lake Commission

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I am just putting together a quick response to the Greenwood Lake Commission’s most recent statement.

First, to clarify, we are not “protesters.” We are the Committee for Humane Geese Control. Our mission has been to work with the Greenwood Lake Commission to humanely lessen the geese population on Greenwood Lake.

We have come to every meeting with presentations, research and suggestions. We have tried in every way we could to work with the Greenwood Lake Commission. And we have stopped many others from taking more extreme actions. We hoped our work would be respected.

Regarding funding, Bill A3804, if passed, it will provide the Greenwood Lake Commission with $500,000 per year, without any prior oversight of how that money is spent. A pair of outside eyes serves everybody well, even the most trusted commissioners.

But that is not what the Commission advocated for in this legislation.

In terms of decisions made at the last meeting, from what we remember, the decision to addle was made. Perhaps the Greenwood Lake Commission can clarify that by posting the actual electronic recordings of the meetings for the past six months. The minutes that you post, in our opinion, do not always reflect everything that happens, including the tone of the meetings. Since you have those recordings, why not be as transparent as possible?

The Greenwood Lake Commission states that “a round-up is the most practical and efficient method of controlling a large Goose population.”

However, the letter that USDA Wildlife Services sent you after your round up states: “Although reducing the local population can result in immediate relief or reduction of damage, it is important that you implement a variety of non-lethal management methods to prevent large numbers of geese from becoming established again.”

Regarding the statement that “children and pets have become ill from E. coli caused by geese poop,” please show us one local hospital record that has one single illness whose on-record cause is exposure to goose poop.

The geese are “pass through” agents. What they eat right there passes right through them. If there was something toxic in the grass, there will be something toxic in the poop. If not, there won’t be. Removing geese does not remove the original toxin.

USDA research has stated that geese prefer to poop on land. That is why there is so much on the lawns. The only way it gets into the water is via run-off.

All of the USDA studies the Greenwood Lake Commission cites regarding phosphorus and Nitrogen were performed on small ponds with stagnant water. A study done by the Iowa great lakes association (on a lake very similar to ours) shows that the annual contribution of phosphorus from Canada geese in their lakes was about 28kg compared to 7,719 kg from watershed sources.

For nitrogen the annul goose contribution was 91 kg compared to 104,092 kg from watershed sources. This equates to Canada geese contributing less than one half of 1 percent of the phosphorus and slightly more than 1 percent of the nitrogen.

Pretty negligible in the grand scheme of things.

Finally, The Greenwood Lake Commission states: “Geese are one of the largest polluters of the lake.”

Please show us the study you have done that specifically identifies the geese as one of the largest polluters on the lake.

Also, do you have any research that your round-up last year had any positive effect on lake water quality?

As good stewards of the government grants and appropriations you recieve, you would certainly want to measure the effectiveness of your $20,000 round up before you completed another round-up costing $18,000.

We will be presenting a more formal statement in the near future.

Barbara Aarons

Greenwood Lake

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