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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 22, 2004
Schumer:$200,000 For "Geesepeace" Solution To Canada Geese Problem Passes Congress
Geese overpopulation is a major health hazard to local residents and the environment
Federal funds will go towards "Geesepeace" program for New York that uses humane methods to stop Canadian geese from ruining parks and fields
US Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that Congress has passed $200,000 in federal funds for the US Fish and Wildlife Service to implement a Geesepeace program that works to alleviate the Canada geese overpopulation problem that threatens the health of local residents and the environment. Geesepeace is a national non-profit organization that uses non-lethal methods to reduce the number of geese and redirect them to areas where they pose less of a threat to people. The funds come as part of the agricultural appropriations component of the Omnibus bill passed today by the Senate and have been earmarked to be used specifically for New York. The bill, previously passed by the House, now awaits the President's signature.
"Canada geese are overrunning our parks and open spaces and their droppings are polluting our water and our land," Schumer said. "When you talk to anyone who uses local parks, playgrounds, open spaces, athletic fields and golf courses, you hear the same complaint, time and time again. That's why we need a solution to this problem and that's what we have with the Geesepeace program. It will control the goose population and keep our parks and open spaces clean, green and beautiful."
Throughout the Hudson Valley, Canada geese droppings are both a major inconvenience and a hazard to local residents, as well as an environmental risk to the soil and water. Canada geese settle wherever they find grass and water, favoring cultivated areas such as parks and recreational facilities.
Geesepeace uses environmentally-safe and non-lethal methods to reduce the number of geese and redirect them away from public places. The process includes close coordination with residents, and recruitment and training of volunteers. "Addling" of geese eggs – a process akin to spaying or neutering a dog in which the eggs are coated with oil – is the first step in the solution developed by Geesepeace and used successfully in many areas of the country. Schumer visited the Hudson Valley last year to promote the program and at the time vowed to fight for these funds. The $200,000 for Geesepeace will be split evenly between the Hudson Valley and Long Island.
Geesepeace is a multi-faceted program that includes:
• "Addling" eggs. Reproduction rates can be decreased by interfering with the eggs' development.
• Goose "nuisance abatement" techniques. Dogs specially trained to carefully and safely herd geese can encourage them to move by chasing them on a regular basis. Bushes and other physical barriers are also effective in controlling the movement of geese.
• Public education program. Feeding geese only encourages them to linger in public areas so the Geesepeace initiative includes a public education component to help stop feeding of geese.
The funding for the program was included in the Omnibus conference report passed today by the Senate. The report now awaits the President's signature. For more information on the Geesepeace program, please visit www.geesepeace.org.