Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Goosed in the Garden State

By Alan Caruba

In December 2005, the headline in the Star-Ledger read “Jersey declares war on Canada Geese: Plan could slash flocks 60 percent.” New Jersey’s largest circulation newspaper reported on “a new federal proposal” intended to reduce the state’s Canada goose population by 57,000 birds over a decade.

“New Jersey has an extreme problem: more Canada geese per square kilometer than any state in the nation.” Back then “anti-geese actions required a difficult-to-obtain federal permit.”

The then-chief of the Bureau of Wildlife Management for the state Department of Environmental Protection worried that the proposals being made “lacked specifics” such as how the reporting was to be done and how the geese should be euthanized. He was concerned that the plan “appears to place administrative burdens on the state without providing the funding to accomplish those tasks.”

This is what happens when the federal government, via the Endangered Animals Act, one of the most idiotic laws ever passed, gets involved with the local problem of too many damned geese. Indeed, by protecting the Canada goose specie, the federal government guaranteed the problem would reach its present status. It guaranteed yet another level of government to address the problem slowly and poorly.

So, four years later, who can possibly be surprised that the Star-Ledger reported on June 16 that “Feds start ‘capture and removal’ of Canada geese in nine N.J. counties”?

“U.S. Department of agriculture spokeswoman, Carol Bannerman confirmed that the ‘capture and removal program’ is under way and will last about six weeks.”

Meanwhile since 2005 the Canada geese population in the Garden State has reportedly gone from an estimated 98,000 to 80,000. As a rule of thumb, one should always be suspicious of government statistics.

A similar program is under way in New York City. Yes, the City! It plans to “trap and gas as many as 2,000 Canada geese over the next few weeks in an attempt to avoid the type of collision that caused an airliner to ditch in the Hudson River in January.”

Ms. Bannerman noted that a single bird “excretes about a half-pound of feces daily.” That’s 40,000 pounds of goose crap every single day in the Garden State.

This is a governmental approach to wildlife that explains a great deal about New Jersey. In 2006, Lisa Jackson, the then-Commissioner of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection announced the addition of 8,000 acres to the state’s 121 separate wildlife management areas.

“As the nation’s most densely populated state and the fifth smallest, New Jersey now boasts more acreage for wildlife management areas than New York and even outpaces Vermont, Massachusetts and Rhode Island combined,” Ms. Jackson proudly announced.

Lisa Jackson is now the Director of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

New Jersey has 80,000 Canada geese! In 2006, with Ms. Jackson at the helm, New Jersey was also home to an estimated 180,000 deer!

This is what happens when the federal and state government combine in an effort to “protect” wildlife instead of permitting towns and cities to take care of the problem on a local basis. By the time all the permits are issued, reporting rules, and codes regarding ways to kill critters are written and approved, the population continues to explode.

There will be no end to this problem so long as we have the Environmental Protection Agency, the state Department of Environmental Protection, and probably a dozen other jurisdictions involved in what is essentially a local problem of too many damned Canada geese.

The only creatures not being protected are the human ones trying to live in a State that’s literally overrun with geese, deer, bears, coyotes, wild turkeys and the usual thousands of squirrels, raccoons, and opossums. If someone with a huge mortgage and huge property taxes tries to address the problem on their own, they risk fines and jail.

This is the definition of insanity.

1 comment:

Carolyn said...

I know this is a serious thing, but all I could think of is when I was growing up in Canada, and used to belong to a racing (canoe and kayak) club and for our workouts, we had to go on a 1/2 mile run. This was along a river- and through nesting sites for the geese. They are very brutal in defending their areas! I also remember driving home one day, and a flock of geese flew over. All I will add, is that you always want to make sure you have plenty of washer fluid at ALL times!!! YUCK!
Down here where we live, squirrels are the varmints that drive us nuts. It's against the law to trap them and take them to a secluded treed area- so we shoot them out of our corn crops with a BB gun. Works pretty well. God Bless you Mr. Caruba~