...for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is back among us with their swan eradication agenda, except that now they are referring to it as "reducing the population of mute swans using 'non-lethal' techniques."
Part of the rationale for this state-sponsored assault on the swan community is given:
"The mute swans are also responsible for destroying the natural habitat of native geese and ducks. They pollute the water with their faeces and on many occasions they have also attacked humans."
Are those the same "native geese" who can overnight cover a football field or soccer pitch with a patina of excrement so revolting as to transform the hardiest player into a scrambling, wretching dervish?
Locally, the only swans I see are a pair who sometimes reside in Cranberry Marsh where the resident toropes (Chelydra serpentina) control the cygnet population very effectively.
(In truth, in this area I suspect that one could gather more signatures on a petition to reduce the torope population rather than that of swans.)
There is a decidely pro-swan sentiment in both chambers in Albany, but typically, Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. equivocated:
"I'm glad, number one, that they've changed the (DEC) report in response to the public outcry. I'm going to reserve my decision on the report as a whole, but I do think the DEC made a good-faith effort to address public concerns."
Let them do as they will in the Hudson Valley, but leave the Long Island swans alone!