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SCOTIA: Geese, protectors flock to the park

With all this cool, wet weather, the kids may not be able to enjoy Collins Park, but the geese certainly still can, and will.

The Canada geese are beginning to increase their presence and Save the Geese volunteers are bracing themselves for another busy spring and summer season of hazing efforts. The group plans to meet the challenge of goose overpopulation through a combination of hard work and devotion.

This is the first year for us as a truly unified group. That said, we are strongly encouraging new volunteers to join us in our efforts, said group member and spokesman for Save the Geese, David Goldschmidt.

During the mayoral elections last fall, the group met with Mayor Kris Kastberg several times before endorsing him. Goldschmidt said Kastberg continues to work with the group by keeping the lines of communication open. Kastberg has said if all efforts fail in keeping the population under control, lethal methods will be used as a last resort. Goldschmidt said the group is aware of this "last resort."

"Kastberg has said that if the volunteer efforts do not work, they will consider other approaches, including lethal means. He certainly supports Save the Geese and the volunteer efforts," said Goldschmidt.

Goldschmidt said an acceptable number of geese in the park for the village is 30. The volunteers will work to partake in an egg addling process, which humanely stops goslings from forming within unhatched eggs. Hazing will then begin in mid-May, depending on the weather.

Village Parks Superintendent James Marx said the village would work on egg addling as well. Marx said the volunteers would work along the islands on the Mohawk River while the village plans to addle the eggs along Collins Lake. He said all efforts are under the guidance of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"Our volunteers do a really good job," said Marx.

Goldschmidt said Save the Geese is actively looking for help, and anyone interested should visit the group's Web site, www.savethegeese.com.

"In addition to saving the geese from being killed, volunteer efforts help to keep Collins Park clean and serve as an example to other surrounding communities facing wildlife conflicts," said Goldschmidt.

Neighboring towns like Clifton Park are also facing geese population problems. In Clifton Park, border collies are being used as a means to chase away resident geese.""

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