Oppose S.2377 USDA slaughter of Canada geese at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
  • Petitioned Dave Avrin

This petition was delivered to:

National Park Service
Dave Avrin
United States Dept. of Agriculture
Secretary Tom Vilsack
New York State Attorney General
Eric Schneiderman
New York Governor
President of the United States
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Senate
New York State Senate
New York State House
New York
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
New York
Sen. Charles Schumer

Oppose S.2377 USDA slaughter of Canada geese at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

    1. GooseWatch NYC
    2. Petition by

      GooseWatch NYC

      New York, NY

Since 2009, Mayor Bloomberg has authorized the killing of Canada geese in public parks across New York City. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has introduced a federal bill that would “cut the red tape between federal agencies" and allow the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to slaughter thousands more Canada geese, including those at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Preserve—a federally protected wildlife sanctuary and one of the most important urban wildlife refuges in the United States.

The killings that were authorized by Bloomberg and that are now endorsed by Gillibrand are part of a misguided attempt to persuade the public that the killings will improve commercial flight safety. It is disingenuous and dishonest for politicians to suggest that this taxpayer-funded slaughter is improving aviation safety.

Jamaica Bay is New York City’s ecological crown jewel–a wetlands and estuarine area of national importance. A Gateway National Recreation Area, Jamaica Bay remains the region's only refuge for migratory birds, such as Canada Geese, birds now targeted for slaughter because of the site's proximity to JFK airport. Whenever geese are removed from desirable habitats, others will move in to take their place. This would have the unintended effect of ensuring the killing will continue year after year.

Technological advances that could improve aviation safety are unlikely to be implemented as long as this duplicitous killing program is being carried out. Preventive techniques have not been applied to prevent potentially dangerous aircraft collisions with wildlife. If air travel is to be made safer, non-lethal techniques and technologies must be implemented in New York City; they have been employed successfully in other US cities that should serve as data-driven models. New York officials are far too eager to opt for a mass slaughter, which is based on junk science and considered by many to be an act of last resort.

USDA Wildlife Services is a for-profit agency. NYC's only wetlands and wildlife refuge should NOT be opened up to the USDA's hired killers to target geese and other protected wildlife. Even Allan Gosser, the New York State Director of Wildlife Services for the USDA, said recently: "Bird strikes will never be eliminated, as long as birds fly and people fly." This couldn't be more true. Protecting airplanes and wildlife are not mutually exclusive, both can and must be done, unless, Wildlife Services plans on eliminating all birds.

GooseWatch NYC is committed to documenting this year's roundups, although the USDA has advised that the roundups will not be open to the public. We were informed by USDA officials: "for several reasons, including minimizing stress to the wildlife, only those staff working on an activity or the partners requesting it, are included in proposed activities." Sen. Gillibrand states that "transparency and accountability have been a hallmark" for her office, and GooseWatch NYC shares her commitment. The NYC round-ups are conducted by a federal agency in public parks. The citizens whose taxpayer dollars support the extermination programs have a right to view and judge for themselves whether they support these policies.

Recent signatures

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    1. Reached 100 signatures

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    Reasons for signing

    • Mary Castrovilla YONKERS, NY
      • over 2 years ago

      I phoned Senator Gillibrand’s DC office on July 11, 2012, and asked about the status of Bill S 2377(“A bill to provide to the Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the Department of Agriculture expedited authority to remove geese that threaten aircraft.”)Answer: “nothing yet. Still with Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry”

      I can’t understand how Senator Gillibrand “arranged” for the USDA and the National Park Service to cull 711 Geese from the Jamaica Bay Wildlife REGUGE.

      I thought we lived in a democracy.

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    • jeffrey kramer BROOKLYN, NY
      • over 2 years ago

      The time has come for civil unrest for the extermination plan of the geese. We cannot sit back and passively watch genocide in front of our eyes.. Where as a society are we heading?

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    • Carol Tesoriero BROOKLYN, NY
      • over 2 years ago

      NYC already was slaughtering Canada geese by the hundreds for several years when Sen. Gillebrand brought this bill in..to invade a federally protected wildlife refuge for birds like Canada geese. Bird strikes are rare and Canada geese should be left alone.

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    • Mary Beth Artz BROOKLYN, NY
      • over 2 years ago

      The continued assault on these majestic birds has reached an all time low-that they will now be persecuted in a place usually saved for protection, the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.

      Bloomberg and now Gillibrand must listen to their consituents and their communities who will no longer stand by and watch their parks, greenspaces and now WILDLIFE REFUGES turned into killing fields.

      Listen to those who say that killing will not end birdstrikes. Birds and people share the air, yes that is true.

      But it is the bird who has the birthright.

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    • Edita Birnkrant FRESH MEADOWS, NY
      • over 2 years ago

      We cannot allow wildlife slaughter to occur in NYC's protected wildlife refuge, or anywhere else.

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