Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Back to the Future -- Bye Bye Blackbirds and Bye Bye Geese

I am taking a not-so-nostalgic trip back in time today.
Specifically past goose roundups in New York City and USDA's "Wildlife Services" spectacular record in wiping out animals.
First there is a revisit to an article from the New York Times following last year's USDA goose roundups and slaughters:
 Note the title:  "Fewer Canada Geese at NYC Parks, So Fewer Are Rounded Up and Killed."   The USDA in fact, struggled last year to make its prediction (or quota) of rounding up between "700 - 800" geese from New York City. They "only" got 575 geese -- and that required several revisits to parks -- in one case, rounding up as few as 7 geese.
But, the really strange thing about the above article is that originally it included the "2011 Goose Removal Report" prepared by the USDA as a sidebar and actually referenced it. But, the Removal  report is no longer included or "available" in the article even when clicking on the "report" link.
It was, of course, quite shameful to realize when reading the report that the USDA stretched its own protocols when rounding up less than ten geese in some areas.. That in addition to the fact the 575 geese only yielded "424 lbs of edible meat" (less than one pound per 10lb bird) after an arduous journey to a Pennsylvania slaughterhouse almost 4 hours away. 
One guesses the USDA doesn't really want that information on such a public site  as the New York Times. Some people actually read the reports. 
Nevertheless, the real question to ask when reading the Times piece from last year is, "What geese are they going to round up and kill this year?"
If the USDA was so successful "removing" and "reducing" NYC's Canada goose population to less than half of what it was and if they could not meet their own kill quotas last year, then how are they going to fulfill Senator Gillibrand's demand for a goose genocide in NYC this year? (Gilibrand targets geese near JFK, where they haven't hit a plane in nearly 2 y)
Well, there is always the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge which in the past actually acted like a "Refuge" by refusing to allow USDA access to come and kill all its geese.
But, that is supposed to change this year according to the demands of the ambitious and opportunistic Senator running for re-election.  Gillibrand is attempting to fast track a bill through Congress that calls for the "elimination" of all the geese at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge by this August..
This despite the fact that there are new families of geese at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge --including recently hatched goslings. (Obviously, no non-lethal methods of "goose control" --such as egg addling -- were implemented at the refuge. Killing seems to be the preferred method of government agencies and the USDA -- and they are experts at it.)
The goose and gosling roundups at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge should make a very pretty picture.  USDA low level workers invading a wildlife refuge, corralling entire families of terrified, defenseless geese and their babies, cramming them into turkey crates and trucking them to slaughter.
One wonders if the New York Times or ABC News will be invited to take photographs and shoot video of this important news event?  Such would go nicely on "Re-elect Senator Gillibrand!" posters and commercials. "She gets things done!"
Just don't ask what the "things" are.
Speaking of Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, there is this fascinating (or perhaps hilarious now) press release issued by the DEC last year:
The DEC announced project to clean up Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge from pollution from waste water plants and  restore critical wetlands and marshes.   It refers to Jamaica Bay as the "crown jewel" of wildlife preservation areas and a "major attraction for thousands of tourists and bird lovers."
One wonders how those "bird lovers" are going to enjoy watching  USDA goose and gosling roundups?  The photos should be something to post on Flickr sites.
But, perhaps photos of an empty "wildlife refuge" and "estuary" might be even better?
One has to wonder what birds are going to stick around when witnessing other birds rounded up and crammed into trucks?
One also has to wonder what the "wetlands and marshes" are actually being "restored" for?
An introduction of crocodiles perhaps?
One has to laugh or cry when realizing the absurdity and apparent disability of government agencies to read their own press releases and some Senators to read anything at all regarding an issue before running to the halls of Congress with insidious "bill" proposals.
Nevertheless, one need not go back to the past to realize where we are now.
Below are two recent articles about USDA "Wildlife Services:"
It appears that killing geese merely represents the tip of the USDA's spectacular extermination iceberg on animals -- especially birds.
"Bye bye, blackbirds" and bye bye geese.
We are essentially, "back to the future."  -- PCA

No comments: