There is a peaceful little hamlet in White Plains called Fisher Lane Park, where folks on bicycles pedal past folks strolling by, enjoying nature’s glory. In approximately three weeks this calm will be shattered as NYSDEC’s Wildlife Services invades the quiet suburb, chasing terrified ducks, geese and goslings into the woods, grabbing the babies by their wings and killing them, to the horror of onlookers…paid for with your tax dollars – while Westchester County officials look the other way.
This is done via contract with Westchester airport for wildlife ‘mitigation.’ However, the FAA calls for such efforts to be conducted within five miles of the airport – and Fisher Lane Park is seven miles away; WS makes a unilateral decision to add Fisher Park since it is profitable. We discovered what WS was doing during meetings with the county, first covered by Lohud.https://www.lohud.com/story/news/transit/2014/08/21/westchester-eyes-new-methods-scare-birds-airport/14388997/
We investigated this issue when Capt. Sullenberger of ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ fame urged airports to upgrade from antiquated, deficient lethal controls to superior modern technology. Furthermore, as attorney Del Seligman discovered, The Memorandum of Understanding between the FAA and the USDA Wildlife Services makes the protocol for the management of wildlife abundantly clear and does not provide for the arbitrary and capricious destruction of wildlife as the first alternative in wildlife hazard management. Pleas to the county on this issue – even just for use of non-lethal methods at the park – are ignored as officials refuse to go up against what has been called Agriculture’s Misnamed Agencysince its’ ‘services’ amount to the slaughter of millions of animals each year, with no oversight.
Wildlife Services prefers slaughtering animals instead of non-lethal alternatives – because that’s where the money is: Appx $300,000 per three year contract in this case alone. Wildlife Services has had a stranglehold on treatment of our wildlife since its inception; every single destructive proposal by them is unchallenged. Because WS is composed of hunters making laws for hunters, those proposals are usually lethal – and always push for more and more hunting. This is unchallenged despite the fact that NYS parks are overwhelmingly used for non-consumptive activities (.e.camping, photography, etc).. Even the NYS Snowmobile Assn recently fought the DEC’s attempt to extend hunting into the Christmas season – and lost.
The NYSDEC’s newest outrage is a request to the NYS Legislature to force counties to opt-in to laws permitting 12 yr olds to stalk and massacre animals – which originally was a choice; The NYSDEC is panicking over loss of hunting license revenue: Statistically hunting here is rapidly falling out of favor. But as our world becomes more treacherous by the moment, is this really the time to force laws that encourage children to kill?
Whose NYS is it? Wildlife mgmt agencies are being denounced all over the country. We call upon the NYS legislature to deny this request to force counties to opt expand the killing spree; we call upon all NYS politicians to stand up to this monolith by demanding it be more transparent, adding a non-hunter to their advisory board – now prohibited by law; and by utilizing far more humane methods of ‘mgmt,’
And while this nation is rocked with violence and havoc, the pitiful illegal massacre in Fisher Lane Park continues. We have reached out to the County Executive with no response. We urge Westchester representatives to bring peace here – so that folks who enter Fisher Lane Park seeking a refuge of tranquility won’t instead be subjected to fear, carnage and sorrow.
Kiley Blackman, Founder, Animal Defenders of Westchester, Tuckahoe