The Tuxedo Park goose population was the focus of a public hearing last Wednesday at the Village Board of Trustees meeting. Before the public hearing, the Board of Trustees had hired Goose Control Technologies, based in New Jersey but not licensed to perform goose control activities in New York. Their recommendation was a culling program. As the Board of Trustees learned, though, culling may not be a viable or lasting solution. Also, a public speaker posed the question, is there a goose problem in Tuxedo Park—or does wildlife around the lakes need different management?
Of the six speakers, only two were residents of Tuxedo Park-- Chiuyin Hempel and Mark Citrin. One, Michele Shenker, was from Greenwood Lake. All attended via Zoom.
Speaking first was Doreen Frega, with the Animal Protection League of New Jersey. Her organization works with different homeowner associations in New Jersey, and she offered to visit Tuxedo Park with their landscape architect to provide non-culling solutions. These solutions include riparian buffers, meadows, flight turf, and sonic devices. They are also vehemently against egg addling as, if done incorrectly, it could leave the goose embryo alive in the egg but severely deformed. Egg addling can also cause stress in the highly protective goose parents.
After Frega spoke, Michele Shenker provided feedback and historical context. She witnessed a USDA goose roundup in 2018 on Greenwood Lake. This experience inspired her to research non-culling methods, especially when she learned that goose culling is only a short-term fix. She recommended reaching out to a volunteer group called Geese Peace. More information on habitat modifications is found at https://bit.ly/GooseHabMod.
The next two speakers, Arlene Steinberg and Dawn Moore were from Pennsylvania. Steinberg identified herself as a Waterfowl Community Liaison. Her research on Tuxedo Park, in her opinion, shows that the Village is experiencing a wildlife management issue, not a goose overpopulation problem. Moore pointed out that geese don’t typically create a water quality issue in the waters they migrate to or reside in.
When Mayor David McFadden asked how the attendees from New Jersey and Pennsylvania heard about the goose problem in Tuxedo Park, he was met with silence or a poor connection. No one spoke up to answer this straightforward question.
Hempel and Citrin also asked the board to consider options other than culling geese. Additionally, they asked the Mayor to communicate these options to Tuxedo Park residents. Hempel noted that residents in three lakefront homes have already installed fences and riparian buffers, and the geese no longer bother these residents. The Mayor responded with the observation that they moved to other properties. Citrin referred to the culling of any wildlife, geese included, as “morally reprehensible.” He echoed Hempel’s suggestion that the Board research more humane options and present them to the residents.
Steinberg identified herself as a Waterfowl Community Liaison. Her research on Tuxedo Park, in her opinion, shows that the Village is experiencing a wildlife management issue, not a goose overpopulation problem.