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Goose-control program to take flight

Cheektowaga plans to start up its Canada goose population-control program next week, and all of its methods will be nonlethal.

This year's program will include addling, or oiling eggs in nests, pyrotechnics and dogs to discourage the birds from settling in Stiglmeier Park, said John J. Jaroszewski, director of parks.

Members of the U.S. Department of Agriculture are to come to the town next week to place oil on eggs in geese nests, which prevents the eggs from hatching. The town has permission to find and addle eggs in nests in the Dr. Victor Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve, Jaroszewski said. USDA workers will "go anywhere in Cheektowaga we can find the nests," he said, adding that government workers will not go on private property without permission.

The town is paying for this phase of the program with a $6,000 grant secured by Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y.

"That will cover the oiling and some of the pyrotechnics," the parks director said.

He said he also plans to apply for more grants to help pay for hiring dogs to chase the geese out of the park.

The town enacted the goose-control program last year to reduce the number of birds. It cost $11,179 last year to oil the eggs, harass the geese with pyrotechnics and round up 106 geese that were taken to a poultry processor. The town decided last year that it would not repeat the roundup this year.

Jaroszewski said the dogs have been out in the park this year, trying to discourage the geese from staying in the park. Parks crews also have removed the rocks around the pond near the Losson Road entrance and will install an 18-inch fence around the border of the water to keep the geese from frequenting the pond area.

The town's bait-and-shoot program to control the deer population has ended for the year, he said. He is compiling figures on the number of deer that were killed and will not make it public until he presents that report to the Town Board.

e-mail: bobrien@buffnews.com

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