Saturday, June 11, 2011

"Build It and They Will Come......."

"Build it and they will come."
We are all familiar with this famous line from the movie, "Field of Dreams."
But, real life is not a movie.
In recent years, 27 million dollars has been spent to "restore wetlands" areas in New York City.
What do wetlands attract?
Waterfowl of course -- including, Canada geese.
Last year, among 19 New York City sites where Canada geese were rounded up and gassed by the USDA,  were 3 locations where "ecological restoration projects were being conducted costing, 6.2 million, 20 million and 1.3 million dollars respectively."
These were the Marine Park Golf Course, Alley Pond Park and Pennsylvania Landfill Complex.
A total of 454 geese were rounded up and gassed from these three locations alone.
It is hard to understand exactly how a golf course fits the definition of "wetlands" or even "ecological restoration project," but apparently it does.
But, for the misfortunate geese who dared to show up to these "restoration projects," or "wetlands," it was like someone being invited out for a date and then being shot when actually showing up for it.
"Build it and they will come -- and then we will round up and gas them."
The USDA "observed" 1,877 Canada geese last year at 26 different city locations.
Of those, 1,676 geese were later rounded up and gassed from 19 locations.
That is an 89% "reduction" rate. -- Or, what some of us might consider, an extermination campaign against the geese.
The FAA and the US Air Force, has in fact, declared a "Zero Tolerance" for any geese within seven miles of a airport.
This information is derived from The Goose Removal Report put out by the USDA, entitled, "Summary: New York City Canada Goose Removals in 2010:"
Other interesting tidbits of information are contained within this report.
For examples:
Eight geese were rounded up and gassed from Brookville Park.
Fourteen were rounded up from Fort Totten.
And nineteen from Flushing Meadows.
Apparently, low goose numbers are not enough to deter the USDA hit squads from invading public parks and killing geese.
However, 157 geese were rounded up and killed from Van Courtland Golf Course in the Bronx.
Obviously, those geese "loafing" (a word actually used in the report) around on golf courses are a huge threat to airliners.
The reports does not state how far any of these locations actually are from the airports.
But, we do know that Prospect Park which was the site of 368 geese rounded up and gassed in 2010 is more than 9 miles from the airports.  -- far outside the so-called "7 mile radius" indicated for cullings.
Oh well.  What's a few small details?
After all, "they are only geese."
Still, if it distressing reading actual stats of the goose massacres conducted last year around the city (as well as 2009), it is nothing compared to the "recommendations" for the future contained in this report.
They include:
"Utilize additional capture techniques to increase number of sites and geese that can be captured.
"This may have to be done other times of the year besides the molt."
In other words, the geese can be rounded up and killed aside from the June through July molting window and they can presumably be rounded up from any NYC location and in whatever fashion or "technique."
The geese quite literally have no place to go in New York City.
We have created the "wetlands" and other "restoration sites" and invited the geese in.
Only to put targets on their heads when they actually show up.
"Build it and they will come.
And we will waiting with our plastic crates and gas chambers."
Its like of like the old adage:
"The light at the end of the tunnel is really the headlight of an oncoming train." 
For the geese, it tragically is.   -- PCA

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