Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Little Green Machine and a Glimmer of Hope

Its not often we get good news regarding planned goose roundups and killings that get canceled, but this appears to be one of those very rare instances:
I remember the Saranac Lake controversy well.
As so typical in instances where geese congregate around a lake or on grass, people complained about a few dozen geese grazing and pooping on school grounds.
The "plan" this past summer was to have USDA death squads come in, round up the geese in late June or early July (during molting) and gas them.
Fortunately, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) protested the planned slaughter and suggested non-lethal alternatives.  Fortunately too, the story hit the local papers, affording people (like myself and other goose defenders) the chance to comment and protest.
That the roundup was to occur on school grounds made this circumstance particularly egregious in terms of the "message" it would send to impressionable children.
While it might be self-congratulatory to say that the combined efforts of HSUS and fellow goose advocates succeeded in persuading the school board to cancel the planned goose slaughter, it seems the geese helped their own cause by leaving school grounds in June (presumably to molt someplace else) and thus, the lethal roundup was canceled.
Most likely, it was, however, a combination of all factors that ultimately succeeded in sparing the geese of Saranac Lake because, as we know, the USDA is able to conduct roundups at other times of the year (when geese can fly) through the use of rocket nets and/or sedatives. (Apparently, following the molting period, several dozen geese returned to Saranac Lake.)
But, the truly good news is that school district officials recently purchased the Nature Sweep machine, as suggested in comments and letters, to pick up goose droppings and other debris and so far, the results appear to be very promising.
Droppings are then gathered and composted and can later be sold or used as fertilizer. 
There is thus excellent possibility that ultimately the machine pays for itself.
(For further information on Nature Sweep:  YouTube - Nature Sweep )
This is a very positive development and hopefully can serve as  model to other communities struggling with "complaints about goose poop" and.or considering lethal goose culls.
There truly is no excuse in these days of humane, effective and proven means of managing goose populations and keeping lawns clean, to engage in barbaric, ruthless and irrational wildlife extermination campaigns.
That only the cheap, stubborn and apparently very callous and ignorant leadership of New York City would get this message. 
But, it is not too late to keep hounding them.
We simply cannot afford -- either morally, ascetically or financially -- further goose roundups and slaughters in New York City.
If small communities like Saranac Lake can ultimately do the right thing, what is wrong with New York City?
That is a question that needs to be constantly posed to local representatives, the city council, park officials and our billionaire Mayor who apparently equates goose gassings with "pleasant dreams" and ruthless, mindless slaughters as "charity."
A little green machine and a glimmer of hope;  there is indeed, a better way.  -- PCA

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