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(The following is from the US Fish and Wildlife Service)


January 27, 2000

For more information contact:
Office of Migratory Bird Management Chief at: 703-358-1714

In an effort to reduce human conflicts with locally-breeding Canada goose populations (also known as resident populations) in urban and suburban communities, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced it will host a series of public meetings this February and March at nine sites across the country. The meetings will be held to solicit public comments on the scope of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that will develop a nationwide management strategy for resident Canada goose populations. The USFWS will address the management options it proposes to evaluate in the EIS and hopes to gather public comments on those options or other potential remedies proposed by the public.

"Resident Canada geese are having a growing impact on communities across the country, and we need to hear from the people who are most affected as we develop a long-term coordinated strategy for managing these birds," said USFWS Director Jamie Rappaport Clark. "The scoping process offers the public a voice in the creation of this strategy, as well as the chance to propose their own solutions, whether they attend a meeting or not."

New Jersey, selected as one of the nine host sites, will be holding a scoping meeting on February 9 in Parsippany at the Holiday Inn, 707 Route 46 East, beginning at 7 p.m. At this meeting, the EIS will be prepared with the goal of providing New Jersey more management flexibility and authority to deal with its resident Canada goose populations, while establishing criteria for population goals and objectives, management planning and population monitoring.

Although Canada goose populations are migratory, wintering in the southern United States and migrating north to summer breeding grounds in the Canadian arctic, increasing urban and suburban development in the U.S. has resulted in the creation of ideal goose habitat conditions. These conditions, park-like open areas with short grass adjacent to small bodies of water, have in turn enticed rapidly-growing numbers of locally-breeding geese to live year round on golf courses, parks, airports and other public and private property. Conflicts with human activities in many parts of the country have resulted. For decades, the USFWS attempted to address the problem by adjusting hunting season frameworks and issuing control permits on a case-by-case basis. However, hunting restrictions in most urban and suburban communities have limited efforts to increase the harvest of resident geese and the USFWS has been overwhelmed by requests for control permits.

Last June, the USFWS created a new special Canada goose permit that gives state wildlife agencies the opportunity to design their own management programs and to take actions to control specific resident goose populations without having to seek a separate permit from the USFWS for each action. Designed to give states greater flexibility to respond to specific problems with resident geese, the new permit should satisfy the need for an efficient short-term management program until a comprehensive long-term management strategy can be developed and implemented.

Anyone wishing to express concerns and/or comments regarding resident goose populations may contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the address below. Public comments will be accepted in both oral and written format. To help facilitate planning during the public meeting, the USFWS encourages that those wishing to comment submit a Notification of Intent to Speak, including their name and meeting location.

Notifications of Intent to Speak and any written comments should be addressed to:

Chief, Office of Migratory Bird Management
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Department of the Interior
ms 634 ARLSQ
1849 C St., NW
Washington, D.C. 20240
Tel. 703-358-1714
(Written comments must be submitted no later than March 30, 2000.)