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GLIN==> Meetings Will Address Resident Canada Goose Conflicts

--------------- cc:Mail Forwarded ---------------
From:     NEWS@fws.gov AT FWS
Date:     01/04/2000 08:39 AM
To:       fws-news@www.fws.gov AT FWS

January 4, 2000                      Chris Tollefson 202-208-5634


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that it will hold a
series of public meetings in February and March to
public comments on the scope of an Environmental Impact
(EIS) that will develop a nationwide management strategy for resident
Canada goose populations.

 In an effort to reduce human conflicts with locally-breeding (resident)
Canada goose populations in urban and suburban communities, the Service
will host nine separate scoping
at sites across the country.  The meetings will be held to discuss the
management options the Service proposes to evaluate in the EIS, and to
gather public comments on those options or other potential remedies
proposed by the public. A notice detailing the times and locations of these
meetings was
in the December 30, 1999 Federal Register.

"Resident Canada geese are having a growing impact on
across the country, and we need to hear from the people who are most
affected as we develop a long-term coordinated strategy
managing these birds," said Service 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
own solutions, whether they attend a meeting or not."

The EIS will be prepared with the goal of providing states with more
management flexibility and authority to deal with resident Canada goose
populations, while establishing criteria for population goals and
objectives, management planning and population monitoring.

Potential options include non-lethal methods such as managing habitat to
make it less attractive to geese; harassment,
and relocation of birds; and more direct population
and reduction programs. The final set of alternatives to be analyzed in the
EIS will be determined based on comments
during the public scoping process that began with the August
1999 publication of a Notice of Intent.

Most Canada goose populations are migratory, wintering in the southern
United States and migrating north to summer breeding grounds in the
Canadian arctic. But increasing urban and
development in the U.S. has resulted in the creation of ideal goose habitat
conditions-- park-like open areas with short
adjacent to small bodies of water. These habitat conditions
in turn enticed rapidly-growing numbers of locally-breeding
to live year round on golf courses, parks, airports and other public and
private property.

In recent years, biologists have documented tremendous
in populations of Canada geese that nest predominantly within
United States. Recent surveys suggest that the Nation's
breeding population now exceeds 1 million birds in both the Atlantic and
the Mississippi Flyways and is continuing to increase. In the Mississippi
Flyway alone, the 1998 spring
goose population estimate exceeded 1.1 million birds, an
of 21 percent from 1997.

Resident Canada goose populations are increasingly coming into conflict
with human activities in many parts of the country. In parks and other open
areas near water, large goose flocks
lawns of vegetation and create conflicts with their droppings
feather litter. Goose droppings in heavy concentrations can overfertilize
lawns, contribute to excessive algae growth in lakes that can result in
fish kills, and potentially
municipal water supplies. Geese have also been involved in a growing number
of aircraft strikes at airports across the country, resulting in dangerous
takeoff and landing conditions and costly repairs.

For decades, the Service attempted to address the problem by adjusting
hunting season frameworks and issuing control permits on a case-by-case
basis. But hunting restrictions in most urban and suburban communities have
limited efforts to increase the harvest of resident geese, and the Service
has been overwhelmed by requests for control permits.

On June 17, 1999 the Service 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 Service 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.

Nine public scoping meetings will be held in February and March of 2000 in
the following cities at the indicated dates,
and times:

          Nashville, Tennessee - February 8, at the Ellington Agricultural
     Center, Ed Jones Auditorium, 440 Hogan Road,

          Parsippany, New Jersey - February 9, at the Holiday
Inn, 707
     Route 46 East, 7 p.m.

          Danbury, Connecticut - February 10, at the Holiday
Inn, 80
     Newtown Road, 7 p.m.

          Palatine, Illinois - February 15, at the Holiday Inn Express,
     1550 E. Dundee Road, 7 p.m.

          Bellevue, Washington - February 17, at the DoubleTree
     300 - 112th Avenue S.E., 7 p.m.

          Bloomington, Minnesota - February 22, at the
     Valley National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center, 3815 East 80th
     Street, 7 p.m.

          Brookings, South Dakota - February 23, at South
Dakota State
     University, Northern Plains Biostress Laboratory, Room
     Junction of North Campus Drive and Rotunda Lane, 7 p.m.

          Richmond, Virginia - February 28, at the Virginia
     of Game and Inland Fisheries Headquarters, Board Room,
     West Broad Street, 7 p.m.

          Denver, Colorado - March 1, at the Colorado
Department of
     Wildlife, Northeast Region Service Center, Hunter
     Building, 6060 Broadway, 7 p.m.

At the scoping meetings, the public may choose to submit oral
written comments.  To facilitate planning, we request that
wanting to submit oral comments at meetings send us their name and the
meeting location they plan to attend. This is not required, however, and no
one will be restricted from
at any meeting.

Written comments and notifications of intent to speak at a particular
meeting should be addressed to the 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. Written comments on the
scope of the
should be submitted no later than March 30, 2000.

Comments may also be sent electronically to the following address:
canada_goose_eis@fws.gov.  All electronic comments should include a
complete mailing address, if a copy of the
EIS is desired. For further information contact the Office of Migratory
Bird Management, (703) 358-1714.

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