Thursday, May 29, 2014

When a Perceived Problem Could Be a Solution

On Wednesday night, at the Common Council Public Works Committee meeting, Alderman Bart Delaney (Fifth Ward), who was the first to raise objections to repealing the prohibition on dogs in Henry Hudson Riverfront Park, brought up the problem of geese in the cemetery. He wanted to know if Canada Geese were protected (they are under the Federal Migratory Bird Act of 1918), complained about goose poop fouling grave sites, and spoke of wanting to "humanely do away with them." It wasn't entirely clear what he had in mind.

There are definitely lots of geese in Cedar Park Cemetery. On a visit there this afternoon, Gossips counted seven goose-and-gander couples, five of whom had offspring.

Interestingly, for those opposed to dogs in the cemetery, one of the most effective ways to get rid of unwanted geese is border collies trained in harassing and hazing geese--in other words, chasing them away.

We're in luck! There are border collies trained to harass and haze our geese right here in Columbia County. Wild Goose Chase NE, a wild goose control service that provides a humane way to manage wild geese, is headquartered in New Lebanon. Although Gossips' firsthand knowledge of Wild Goose Chase is limited to watching the border collies put through their paces at the annual Sheep & Wool Showcase at Clermont, it is hoped that DPW superintendent Rob Perry will give Wild Goose Chase a call and request a consultation before taking any other action against the geese in the cemetery.


  1. The Department of the Interior has spent millions trying to figure out why a vast sub-population of Canada Geese has basically ceased migrating in the course of a few decades.

    Sometimes things change for no apparent reason. They can change all on their own, and they do. It's refreshing to know that every little change isn't always due to some human fault, which in turn renews our respect for nature's otherness.

    On the other hand maybe they're just lazy.

    Either way, bring on the border collies.

  2. Lets do this right ! All god's creatures poop. The only way to stop all the dogs, geese, turkeys, crow, deer, foxes, bears ( bears don't use toilet paper so I guess humans are present ) worms , mice, etc. from pooping would be to hermetically encase the whole cemetery. Hudsons new water reservoir ( The white dome on Google earth ) is a good model, just think much bigger. Just because the cemetery is the most beautiful place in Hudson doesn't mean we can't improve it.

  3. Sorry folks it won't work. I have a (ret) working Border Collie and he would be happy to chase geese for free. After 6 years as a pro he still stays sharp chasing my brother in laws chickens, but I wouldn't be able to trust him not to poop in the cemetery.

  4. No matter how "gentle" a pup is, it can be intimidating for others who visit the cemetery. And there are folks who don't leash their dogs because they are "so obedient and well behaved" And some do not clean up after them either.

    As far as the geese are concerned, there are numerous folks who go there just to see the geese and their families, to feed them, photograph them etc. There is a beautiful Blue Heron that frequents the pond as well.

    How can you possibly keep wild animals out. What's next, a police patrol at night to keep the deer, fox, the chickadees and raccoons away?

    A few days ago, my grand daughter was bitten in two places by a "gentle" bull mastiff (not in the cemetery), but this pooch was considered to be "well behaved, and wouldn't hurt a flea." The girl did nothing to provoke the dog and the owners are mortified. And rightly so...I love canines and actually have several "grand-dogs" but you cannot guarantee these kinds of things won't happen. A Doggie Park" is the answer in my opinion...Why won't the city find a place for it?

    Well I have had my say...And thank you Carole for keeping the public informed about current events.