letter to the editor

Responds to ‘Swan Control Debate on Greenwood Lake’ 

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Editor,

  In response to an article entitled, “Swan Control Debate on Greenwood Lake,” which was published in the Sept. 30 issue of the Warwick Valley Dispatch. The Committee for Humane Geese Control would like to clarify the record. 

These are the undisputed facts: A family of swans on the NJ side of the lake was being harassed by jet skiers. The male swan began to chase jet skis to protect his family. Someone complained about the swan to the Greenwood Lake Commission, who called USDA Wildlife Services to “assess” the swans. 

  If deemed aggressive, the USDA would kill them on the spot. The USDA Wildlife Services is the agency that was paid $22,000 by the Greenwood Lake Commission to round up and kill 206 geese at Thomas Morahan Park in 2018. The paperwork signed by the Greenwood Lake Commission did not limit the “assessment” to one swan. The USDA has the authority to kill the whole family. 

Wildlife Services assessed the swan. He was not deemed aggressive that day. USDA Wildlife Services and the Greenwood Lake Commission have reserved the right to come back any time to reassess the swan(s) if anyone complains again; and we believe the paperwork signed gives them the continual right to do so. Our swans may still be in danger next year unless action is taken to protect them. 

The Dispatch article states the following: “Before the end of the Greenwood Lake Commission meeting on Wed., Sept. 23, former co-chair Paul Zarrillo read a statement in regard to multiple threats the Commission has received relating to their handling of a swan situation on the lake. Zarrillo called the threats ‘ridiculous’ and blamed the Committee for Humane Geese Control (CHGC) for the hysteria surrounding the situation regarding the swans, which led to an environment that brought the threats.”

  In fact, the Committee for Humane Geese Control played a minimal role in this debate. We put the facts out there. The community, which loves the swans, reached out to the Greenwood Lake Commission, and Congressman Gottheimer in the form of hundreds of emails and phone calls. The goal was to get the Commission to reverse the call to the USDA; as jet ski season is almost over and the cygnets will soon be old enough to fly away. 

The Committee for Humane Geese Control did nothing to encourage perceived threats to the Commission. Nor are we responsible for them, if they did happen. The mission of the Committee for Humane Geese Control is, and will continue to be, controlling the population of geese on Greenwood Lake in a humane way; and peaceful coexistence with the wildlife that we all love. We thank the community for all the support. 

MICHELE SHENKER & JOYCE DANNHEIM

THE COMMITTEE FOR HUMANE GEESE CONTROL

letter to the editor

1 thought on “Responds to ‘Swan Control Debate on Greenwood Lake’ 

  1. Thank you for stating the facts, sadly whenever animal events pop up newspapers locally attack activists try to discredit them.Really exhausting.Paul Zarillo you got activists from all over the world harassing you because you made a snap decision over a staged event.I have photos.That woman was on lake at 9 a.m and started with her friends to design a plan.I only left water for a bathroom break she used that time to harass the swan! I was out there every day for 2 weeks.I saw you and using a child is despicable. I saw jet skiers attack that family multiple times daily.Stop gas lighting and state truth Paul.Your commission was attacked for arbitrarily deciding to remove swans without any input of other side of story.Paul you resigned as co chair.Now resign completely you are not doing your job.To be fair impartial leader.You are biased against wildlife.You will no be happy till every animal is gone from lake.As it is now NewJersey side has least amount of birds in 20 years from home owners comments.You are a diabolical human.Retire and save us the energy of having you removed.

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