Letter to the Editor: “Westchester Airport Wildlife Mitigation”

There is a peaceful little hamlet in White Plains called Fisher Lane Park where people cycle on bicycles past people walking by and enjoying the glory of nature. In about three weeks, this tranquility will be shattered as NYSDEC’s Wildlife Services invade the quiet suburb, chasing terrified ducks, geese and goslings into the woods, grabbing the babies by their wings and killing, to the horror of onlookers… paid with your tax dollars – while Westchester County officials look the other way.
This is done through a contract with Westchester Airport for wildlife ‘mitigation’. However, the FAA is calling for such efforts to be made within five miles of the airport – and Fisher Lane Park is seven miles away; WS makes a unilateral decision to add Fisher Park because it is profitable. We found out 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We explored this issue when Captain Sullenberger, of ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ fame, urged airports to upgrade from outdated, flawed lethal controls to superior modern technology. In addition, as attorney Del Seligman found, TThe Memorandum of Understanding between the FAA and USDA Wildlife Services makes the wildlife management protocol abundantly clear and does not provide for the indiscriminate and erratic destruction of wildlife as the first alternative to wildlife management† Pleas to the county on the matter — even just for using non-lethal methods in the park — are being ignored as officials refuse to go against what has been mentioned Misnamed Agency of Agricultureas its ‘services’ amount to the slaughter of millions of animals every year, unsupervised.
Wildlife Services prefers animal slaughter to non-lethal alternatives — because that’s where the money is: about $300,000 per three-year contract in this case alone. Wildlife Services has had a stranglehold on the treatment of our wildlife since its inception; any destructive proposition of theirs is undisputed. Since WS is made up of hunters who make laws for hunters, those proposals are usually deadly — always urging them to hunt more and more. This is beyond dispute despite the fact that NYS parks are overwhelmingly used for non-consumer activities (such as camping, photography, etc.). Even the NYS Snowmobile Assn recently battled DEC’s attempt to extend the hunt into the Christmas season — and lost.
The latest outcry from the NYSDEC is a request to the NYS legislature to force counties to sign up to laws allowing 12-year-olds to stalk and slaughter animals — which was originally a choice; The NYSDEC panics over loss of hunting license revenue: Statistically, hunting is quickly falling out of favor here. But with our world getting more treacherous by the moment, is now really the time to enforce laws encouraging children to kill?

Whose NYS is it? All over the country, authorities for nature management are denounced. We appeal to the NYS legislature to deny this request to force counties to elect to expand the killing spree; we call on all NYS politicians to resist this monolith by demanding that it be more transparent and add a non-fighter to their advisory board – now banned by law; and by using much more humane methods of ‘mgmt’,
And as this country is rocked by violence and destruction, the horrific illegal massacre in Fisher Lane Park continues. We have contacted the county with no response. We urge representatives from Westchester to bring peace here – so that people who enter Fisher Lane Park in search of a haven of tranquility are not instead subjected to fear, carnage and grief.

Kiley Blackman, Founder, Animal Defenders of Westchester, Tuckahoe


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