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STOP THE KILLING OF MUTE SWANS IN MICHIGAN
  • Petitioning Rick Snyder

This petition will be delivered to:

Governor of Michigan
Rick Snyder
DNR Director
Keith Creag
Governor of Michigan
Governor Rick Snyder
Wildlife Division Chief, DNR
Russ Mason
Waterfowl and Wetlands Specialist, DNR
Barbara Avers
Natural Resources Committee

STOP THE KILLING OF MUTE SWANS IN MICHIGAN

    1. Karen  Stamper
    2. Petition by

      Karen Stamper

      Walled Lake, MI

 

 

 

 

On January 13, 2011, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources presented a proposal for Mute Swan Management to the Natural Resource Commission.  Their proposal not just denies the waterfowl rehabilitator to take in any injured mute swans, but it also will force them to render any mute swans they have in their possession. These swans will be killed.

Most waterfowl rehabilitators take care of these animals on their own time and money. They choose to take care of them because they feel it’s not the animals fault when they get injured due to careless fishermen that leave their lures, bobbers, hooks , empty worm cans and fishing line behind, or when an animal gets hit by a boat, car, or jet ski. That’s not “survival of the fittest” or “let nature take its course”. It’s called human error, and they should be able to care for these animals.

 

On February 10, 2011, The NRC voted 3 to 2, that even though the average number of mute swans that the rehabilitators take in in one year is only about 40 swans, they did not feel that the rehabilitators should care for what The DNR calls "a non-native,  invasive species" that they are  working on removing from all state land and eventually public and private lakes.

 

Also proposed in their management plan was the reduction of the mute swan population from 15,000 to 2,000 swans. "The Mute Swan Management and Control Program Policy and Procedures contains a goal to reduce the mute swan population to zero on DNRE lands. We will continue management activities to reach that goal." -Barbara Avers, DNR Waterfowl and Wetlands Specialist.

During the presentation, they neglected to say how they expect to do this. When asked, the "DNR specialist" admitted that they would be lethally shooting them through permits on public and private land. This would begin before the end of 2011. According to the August Mute Swan Forum Minutes, the swans will be tossed in landfills. Please e-mail us if you would like a copy of these extremely interesting minutes that lay out how they plan to carry out this inhuman management plan.

PLEASE HELP STOP THE KILLING OF MUTE SWANS IN MICHIGAN! Sign this petition and spread the word. 

 

 

 

Background information:

The DNR claims that Michigan has the largest mute swan population in all states, but they have not provided any information in regards to population counts and the process resulting in 15,000 mute swans. Additionally, according to the 'Michigan's Natural Resources and Environment: A Citizen's Guide', Michigan has over 35,000 inland lakes and ponds. No comment was made by the NRC when this figure was brought to their attention and why this much water was not enough for all the waterfowl in our state.

The DNR claims that the mute swan is a "non-native", invasive species that is very aggressive towards the trumpeter swan (native swan), ducks, loons (http://michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10370_12145_12202-32587--,00.html, does not mention mute swans as cause), and the Canada goose. If the mute swans were aggressive towards the Canada goose, chasing and eliminating them from the same lakes, why is the DNR permitting goose round-ups every single year?  The DNR has not given any GOOD reason to the unnecessary goose round-ups where mute swans are present. Also, the DNR has failed to prove that mute swans are indeed non-native.  In fact, there is evidence that shows the complete opposite. Just because the DNR says there is no evidence that supports this, does not mean it does not exist.

The DNR claims that the "non-native”, invasive mute swan is destroying the natural sub aquatic vegetation (sav) in our lakes. The DNR, to this day, has not produced or provided the public with any Michigan studies showing these findings.  According to the Mute Swan Forum minutes, the data the DNR is using to support their claims are from the East Coast, Maryland mostly. Maryland has not one natural lake.(http://www.funtrivia.com/askft/Question65579.html). According to the DNR website Michigan has 26,857 inland lakes.  There are a number of other factors which DNR has failed to reference.  Since mute swans eat algae, they can be valuable in shallow bay areas, in rivers and ponds.  They are also insectivores and will eat small insects.  The trumpeter swans, species they are trying to replace the mute swans with, are about the same size as mute swans and can also consume significant amouts of vegetation. Also, when asked if the use of fertilizers, pesticides, motorized boats, jet skis, etc. played a more important role in the destruction of our lakes, no answer was provided.

 The trumpeter swan was almost hunted into extinction by the 1900's. According to Trumpeter Swan Society 2006, the trumpeter swans have been "placed" by wildlife management agencies, often in areas in which they never bred historically, to create a "trophy" species for sportsmen. Once the mute swans are exterminated, they will go after the trumpeters like they did in Wisconsin: http://blog.greenconsciousness.org/2008/11/first-mute-swans-were-shot-to-save.html, Utah , Montana and Nevada, http://bijou36.tripod.com/Trumpeter_Swans.htm (scroll to end of page).

As for human - swan conflict, The DNR claims that the mute swan is aggressive towards humans. The DNR does not have accurate and complete records regarding human-swan conflicts according to the Mute Swan Forum Minutes. The mute swan will not attack a human unless at some point in his life someone has come too close to his nest with a jet ski, boat, etc., or has tormented it on purpose. They, like us, won’t forget if they have been bullied or hurt by someone. They will protect their young. It’s an instinct that all normal and GOOD parents have. The waterfowl are going to protect themselves if they feel threatened, as we would if we feel threatened. It’s a natural reaction and it’s common sense. 

 Please sign our petition to stop the Michigan Department of Natural Resources from killing the mute swans! 

Recent signatures

    News

    1. NEW YORK LEGISLATORS PASS BILL TO SAVE MUTE SWANS

      Karen  Stamper
      Petition Organizer

      Hi Everyone,

      The New York Senate has passed a bill that is now on New York Governor Cuomo's desk. Please urge Governor Cuomo to sign the bill that will place a 2 year moratorium on the killing of mute swans in New York and will make the DEC show proof of their claims against the swans. The bill is S.6589. If Governor Cuomo passes this bill, it will hopefully give us in other states, such as Michigan, some leverage to fight with. The New York plan to kill swans is basically the same as Michigan and all other states. It is so important now that you contact Governor Cuomo and ask him to please sign the Mute Swan bill into law. Please click on the link to send Governor Cuomo your plea.

      http://www.governor.ny.gov/contact/GovernorContactForm.php

      Thank You So Much For Helping To Give Mute Swans A Voice!!!

      Sincerely,
      Karen Stamper

      http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/tech/science/environment/2014/06/18/mute-swan-bill-passes/10811595/

      Bill to save mute swans in Cuomo's hands

      Measure would place a two-year moratorium on DEC plans to wipe out wild mute swans by 2025. A bill that would freeze state plans to wipe out a species of swan is before Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

    2. NEW YORK SENATE BILL PASSES

      Karen  Stamper
      Petition Organizer

      Yesterday, June 18, 2014, Senate Bill A8790A-2013 passed in the Senate. This bill was supported by Senator Avella and puts a two year moratorium on the slaughter of mute swans in New York State. It also will make the DEC prove their claims that the mute swans are a menace in their state. Please, everyone who receives this and lives in Michigan, thousands and thousands of mute swans have been and are being killed everyday. We tried in 2011 to get Senator Kowall to do what Senator Avella has done. He made promises then bailed on us. Needless to say he won't be getting my vote. Anyway, please reach out to your state representative or state senator and ask them to do what Senator Avella has done. Tell them our DNR has no Michigan studies that prove their claims about the SAV, Human conflicts, and disrupting native waterfowl, like geese, which the DNR round up in June and take to game areas to be hunted. The DNR needs to show Michigan proof of their claims. Find your state rep by clicking

    3. HEALTH AND SAFETY NEW REASON TO KILL MUTE SWANS

      Karen  Stamper
      Petition Organizer

      We learned today, 04/14/14, after we appealed a Freedom of Information Act denial for information, that the DNR is using "health and safety" as a reason to kill mute swans to get around petitions and resolutions. We questioned the slaughter of a mute swan on Middle Straits Lake in West Bloomfield, because we knew that the swan was tormented by a jet skier and that no petition was filed with West Bloomfield Township to have the swan removed, nor was a resolution passed by the Township to kill swans. When we requested the permit and the agents name that approved it, the DNR stated that they had no info in their files. The USDA was also contacted. They were the ones that said the reason the swan was shot to death was for health and safety reasons and that a petition or a resolution was not required. These agencies seem to be making up there own rules as they go. States such as New York, please keep watching because these false reasons will be coming your way as well.

    4. NY MUTE SWAN Plan Put on Hold Due to Public Outcry

      Karen  Stamper
      Petition Organizer

      Because of the public outcry and lack of science, NY officials have put a hold on their mute swan plan. Their mute swan plan is almost the same as the Michigan DNR's plan that is already responsible for slaughtering over 6000 mute swans in our state. Please contact Governor Snyder. He appoints the DNR and NRC officials who make the decisions to kill our wildlife. Tell him NY is rethinking their plan and that he should make our DNR stop the slaughter and re-think theirs. Tell him we want to see the Michigan facts and Michigan studies proving the mute swans are non-native and are destroying our lakes. The DNR refuses to show the proof to the public. WHY? Because they don't have it. Please anyone who cares about these swans, please call or e-mail the Governor. In state or out of state, it does not matter. Something needs to be done about this Government killing agency.
      PHONE: (517) 373-3400
      PHONE: (517) 335-7858 - Constituent Services
      FAX:(517) 335-6863
      governorsoffice@michigan.gov

    5. Reached 8,000 signatures
    6. MORE STATES KILLING SWANS

      Karen  Stamper
      Petition Organizer

      We have been asked by a group in Ohio to help with efforts there to stop their DNR from killing mute swans on their lake. We have also been approached by David from Goose Watch NYC to help with their campaign to stop the killing.
      Please sign these petitions to help the mute swans from being eradicated in Ohio and NYC:

      https://www.change.org/petitions/new-york-state-department-of-environmental-conservation-stop-new-york-state-s-swan-killing-plan

      http://www.change.org/petitions/save-our-swans-on-portage-lakes-ohio-stop-the-slaughter-of-mute-swans-on-our-local-lakes

    7. BARRY COUNTY VOTES TO RESCIND RESOLUTION TO KILL SWANS

      Karen  Stamper
      Petition Organizer

      Great news today. Barry County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to rescind their resolutions to kill all the mute swans on their lakes. You can watch the podcast here. If you scroll midway through, you can bypass the rest of the meeting.

      Thanks to Julie and Mary and their group for their hard work getting the other side of the story out there to the Townships. We in Oakland County wrote the commissioners and called some of the Townships, but as most of you know, if you don't live there, they don't really care. This was a huge victory, but I'm sure there will be residents going to their Townships to get their swans removed. We must still keep our guard up and continue to spread the word >>> that our Michigan DNR does not have the best interest of our wildlife at heart and they do not care what the general public has to say about our wildlie or our natural resources, unless of course, we come with a bag of dough.

    8. Reached 4,000 signatures
    9. 142 MORE MUTE SWANS SLAUGHTERED

      Karen  Stamper
      Petition Organizer

      On October 19th, 2012, 142 more mute swans were slaughtered in Muskegon, Michigan, on White Lake, a 2571 acre contaminated lake that the Muskegon Conservation District Director, Jeff Auch, claims has 1200 mute swans on it. We visited the lake last Sunday, November 11, 2012. We counted 27 mute swans. We drove around the entire lake. We were on land with a 500 mm zoom lens. There was no way we missed 1000+ swans. They are lying to the public.We are planning a trip to Lansing on November 27, 2012. Please e-mail letters addressed to the Governor demanding a moratorium on the killing of these birds and e-mail them to helpourwaterfowl@gmail.com. We will hand deliver them to the Governor's Office. Please visit www.helpourwaterfowl.org for more information. Thank You for Your Support.

    10. DNR BROCHURE PICTURES ARE NOT FROM MICHIGAN

      Karen  Stamper
      Petition Organizer

      DNR brochure that contains the "blue wing teal" picture that has now been retracted because the photographer, who lives in California found out they were using her picture without permission to promote killing swans. This was not her intent and the swan was not from Michigan.

      The pictures of the boy by the swans and the canoe are also not Michigan mute swans and neither are the photographers. They are from Sweden and the UK. The story behind the canoe photo is that the it was a teacher and students that went by the swan's nest one too many times and the swan finally went after them. The kid photo is a stock photo and they probably paid about $176 for it. They claim we have so many swans in Michigan, yet they can't even get pictures from photographers in Michigan. Perhaps they don't want to be accused of promoting the killing of mute swans either?

      The DNR should be made to do a retraction

    11. WEST BLOOMFIELD RESCINDS THEIR MUTE SWAN RESOLUTION

      Karen  Stamper
      Petition Organizer

      Hi Everyone,

      West Bloomfield Township rescinded their resolution Monday night, June 16. This now means if people want to kill the swans, they have to get a petition signed with 70% lakefront owners signatures. We spoke and said why do lakefront homeowners get to make the decision what lives and dies on the lake? We received a huge round of applause. We will have to get that part of the policy revoked some how.

      The Board said they had letters from all over the world. How cool is that. The internet is a powerful thing.

      Some board members were still concerned about some aggressive swans on their lakes and how to handle those problems without killing them. We will be in contact with the Township to follow up with them.

      Thanks for everyone's support.

      Karen

    12. West Bloomfield Beacon

      Karen  Stamper
      Petition Organizer

      Please try to attend this very important meeting to save the swans. Thanks

    13. TIME TO SPEAKOUT ABOUT THE MUTE SWANS DURING GOVERNOR SNYDER STAFF TOURS

      Karen  Stamper
      Petition Organizer

      http://reinventingmichigan.blogspot.com/p/map-week-july-9.html
      http://reinventingmichigan.blogspot.com/p/map-july-9-13.html

      Governor Snyder has his staff on the road for the public to come to them and voice their concerns. Unfortunately, we have missed most of the dates. However, if you can attend one of the dates listed on the links above, please do. We spoke to Ania at the Brighton outing. If you can talk to her, that might be a good thing. If you can not attend any of these, or have missed your date, please write to Governor Snyder and voice your concerns about the DNR and also about the mute swans killings. E-mail your letter to: bieciuka@michigan.gov Stress that the DNR does not care what the general public has to say because most of us do not pay for hunting and fishing licenses. They are not being held accountable for anything they do. Swans are being killed and they refuse to prove their case. Speculation is not a science. THANKS!

      Please see link below for new article

    14. WEST BLOOMFIELD PASSES RESOLUTION TO KILL SWANS - NOW PLANS TO RESCIND IT

      Karen  Stamper
      Petition Organizer

      On June 18th, West Bloomfield Township in Oakland County, Michigan voted on a resolution to kill mute swans on all their area lakes. Do to public outcry and the DNR not being truthful to the Township, they are suppose to rescind their resolution at their next board meeting on July 16, 2012. Please try to attend this meeting if you can, and if you can't, please write a letter asking them to rescind their resolution, just incase they need some convincing. Senator Kowall is expected to attend this meeting for another matter, but he is aware of this issue and will hopefully present our resolution for a moratorium to the legislator if he sees alot of his constituants at this meeting. Please e-mail him too. Ask him to please support the resolution that would place a moratorium on all mute swans killings.

      Charter Township of
      West Bloomfield
      4550 Walnut Lake Road
      P.O. Box 250130
      West Bloomfield, MI 48325-0130
      askwestbloomfield@wbtwp.com

      SenMKowall@senate.michigan.gov

    15. Reached 3,000 signatures
    16. HSUS JOINS IN FIGHT TO SAVE MICHIGAN MUTE SWANS

      Karen  Stamper
      Petition Organizer

      GREAT news! Dr. John Grandy and Pat Ragan from the DC office of the Humane Society of the United States, along with Jill Fritz, our HSUS Michigan representative, want to meet individually with our group, the DNR, and local senators and state representatives next week regarding the mute swan issue here in Michigan.
      Our meeting with HSUS will be Tuesday, June 12, 2012, in Lansing. The information is as follows:
      Meeting about Michigan mute swan resolution
      Tuesday, June 12, 2012
      7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
      Capital Area District Library
      Gallery C (basement meeting room)
      401 South Capitol Avenue
      Lansing, MI 48933
      http://www.cadl.org/news/locations/dlansing
      We are trying to set up meetings with our local senators, can you please write a letter to your local senator and state representative requesting their help in stopping the mute swan slaughter. www.humanesociety.org/stateleglookup We will give them these letters when we meet with them. Please e-mail a copy to disnydolly@sbcglobal.net

    17. 44 MUTE SWANS SHOT AND KILLED ON WHITE LAKE IN MUSKEGON MAY 11, 2012.

      Karen  Stamper
      Petition Organizer

      Despite efforts by local residents, Jeff Auch and the Muskegon Conservation District and the USDA slaughtered "some 44 swans" on the 2571 acre lake on May 11, 2012. They left the mama swans and their babies on their nests to fend for themselves, as they shot and killed their mates on this admittedly chemical contaminated lake.

    18. Reached 2,500 signatures
    19. Swan nest destructions done on two Michigan lakes. New article - take pole

      Karen  Stamper
      Petition Organizer

      Wolverine Lake had the USDA do their nest destruction Friday, April 20. They removed all the eggs from the nest instead of leaving them at least one, and now a couple swan pairs appear to be re-nesting. They left three pairs eggs because someone had a camera and they thought they were being videotaped. Because they did not leave at least one egg in the nest, the swans may start over. We hope now that the Council next year won't say they attempted to do the nest destruction, but it didn't work. We have to kill swans. Lake Sherwood in Commerce Twp did their swan and goose egg and nest destruction Sunday. We are sure that babies were killed during both destructions. There are many geese whose babies had already hatched. An article was just written and it has a polling question. Please vote to not kill the swans. We will also have a booth at VegFest , Sunday, April 29. Please stop by and see us. Thank You for Helping to save the swans.

    20. Village of Wolverine Lake Approves Mute Swan Nest Destruction - No Killing

      Karen  Stamper
      Petition Organizer

      Hi,
      The Village of Wolverine Lake passed a resolution tonight, March 14, 2012, to allow the DNR to do nest destructions on their lake this spring. The way their agenda was designed, they have two separate times for the public to speak. The problem was that the mute swan issue didn't come up until after the second public comment section, so we were not sure what was going to happen. Sue asked during the first public comment section, if they would be discussing nest destruction or killling the swans. She was told just nest destruction. It wasn't until they began to speak about the issue, did they say that they were not going to hire a company to do the nests and that the DNR would be doing them. We are worried that once they are there, that the DNR may say the swans were aggressive and kill them. So this result is a little bittersweet. The one council person, Pam, said she read 90% of the packet that was dropped off to her. She said she had doubts that even the nest destruction may not

    21. THE DNR IS RECRUITING RESIDENTS AND LOCAL GOV'T TO DO THEIR DIRTY WORK

      Karen  Stamper
      Petition Organizer

      The DNR Mute Swan Brochures are being circulated to lake associations and local government offices. In Muskegon, the Conservation District plans to hold meetings to inform residents of the reason why they will be killing 1000 mute swans on the 2,571 acre lake known as White Lake. This lake is huge and empties into Lake Michigan. Last week, Waterford Twp DENIED a resolution that would allow residents to go to their TWP board for approval to kill the swans. Now, residents must get 70% of the lakefront residents to sign a petition to do so. On March 7, 2012, the Village af Wolverine Lake's lake board will meet to discuss how they will handle the swan issue. They will present their recommendation to the Village Council on Wednesday, March 14, 2012. Lake Sherwood in Commerce Township and Lake Oakland Lake Association in Waterford / Independence Twp will be meeting in April. Some associations are not being upfront with some of their residents regarding their meetings and their plans.

    22. MUTE SWAN RESOLUTION ON AGENDA FOR CHARTER TWP OF WATERFORD 02/27/12 6PM

      Karen  Stamper
      Petition Organizer

      WATERFORD TOWNSHIP HAS A MUTE SWAN RESOLUTION ON THEIR AGENDA MONDAY AT 6:PM. I DO NOT KNOW WHAT THE RESOLUTION IS, BUT I'M SURE IT'S NOT ABOUT HOW BEAUTIFUL THE SWANS ARE AND WE SHOULD KEEP EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM. THEY WILL MOSTLY BE CONCERNED ABOUT WATERFORD RESIDENTS, SO PLEASE GET THE WORD OUT TO ANYONE YOU KNOW IN WATERFORD AND PLEASE KEEP CHECKING FOR YOUR OWN COMMUNITY MEETINGS. EVEN IF YOU DON'T LIVE IN WATERFORD, PLEASE WRITE SO THEY KNOW PEOPLE ARE PAYING ATTENTION TO WHAT THEY ARE DOING.
      THANKS

      elesnau@twp.waterford.mi.us : Carl W. Solden, Township Supervisor
      (248) 674-6201

      kvlaemin@twp.waterford.mi.us :Kari Vlaeminck, Clerk
      ... (248) 674-6266

      mbirch@twp.waterford.mi.us : Margaret Birch
      (248) 674-6220

      Anthony M. Bartolotta, Trustee (248) 980-4677 Home
      David J. Kramer, Trustee (248) 933-2733 Home
      David J. Maloney, Trustee (248) 623-7933 Home
      Bette O'Shea, Trustee (248) 877-7342 Home

      http://www.twp.waterford.mi.us/Reference-Desk/Comments-Suggestions.aspx

      http://ww

    23. LETTER SENT TO STATE OF MICHIGAN REPRESENTATIVES GETS NO RESPONSE

      Karen  Stamper
      Petition Organizer

      WE RECENTLY SENT A LETTER TO ALL THE STATE OF MICHIGAN REPRESENTATIVES. NOT ONE RESPONDED TO THE LETTER. WE SHOULD SERIOUSLY BEGIN TO QUESTION WHO WE ARE VOTING FOR BEFORE WE VOTE NEXT TIME. THESE REPRESENTATIVES APPARENTLY DO NOT CARE ABOUT OUR WILDLIFE OR WHAT THE DNR, USDA, AND US FISH & WILDLIFE ARE DOING TO MANIPULATE IT. WE DID MEET WITH REPRESENTATIVE BROWN AND SHE SAID SHE WOULD CHECK INTO THE FOIA REQUEST WE ARE BEING CHARGED ALMOST $1200 FOR.

    24. receiving info from the Michigan DNR on the swan count comes with a price

      Karen  Stamper
      Petition Organizer

      Recently, we requested information from the Michigan DNR regarding the mute swan count through The Freedom of Information Act. We have requsted many FOIA's on many occassions and have never been charged. When we asked for information regarding the mute swan count, however, we must have hit a nerve. They sent us a cost sheet: 10 hours Administrative Support labor @ 26.73 hours = $267.30
      30.5 hours of Non-Administrative Support labor @ 31.39 = 957.40
      Photocopies: 250 copies @ $.10/copy = 25.00
      Shipping and Handing = 19.95
      TOTAL $1269.65
      This is quite a bit of money for information that seems like it should be public information. We have to wonder if the DNR is trying to deter us from pursuing the information we have requested about the count. Are they hiding something? Is it possible that they do not have proof of the 15,500 count? We will continue to pursue this.
      Thank You Again for Your Support. PLEASE KEEP THIS PETITION CIRCULATING!

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Marilyn Ashbaugh EDWARDSBURG, MI
      • about 21 hours ago

      Mute Swans are gentle and intelligent. Stop the slaughter

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Tracy Lambert FENTON, MI, MI
      • 1 day ago

      I Have not seen any evidence of problems with the swans. If anything they keep the flocks of geese away. As long as you are respectful of their space when they have babies they are fine. Leave nature be!!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Ann Lawrence LITTLETON, MA
      • 16 days ago

      I saw a bumper sticker today--said it all--"At least we are winning the war on the environment". Sad. On a re-run of Hiway to Heaven--the old rancher says "When all the mustangs are gone, a piece of God's plan will be missing." Put in any wild animal --bison ,wolves ,herons ,swans, Monarchs....

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Wendy Beyda MARLBORO, NJ
      • 16 days ago

      Stop the killings!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Ian Lusky WILDOMAR, CA
      • 16 days ago

      Cygnus Olor are beautiful miracles of nature!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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