Wildlife Watch and the Carmel/Mahopac Coalition to Save the Geese brought a lawsuit to stop the killing of Canada geese at five lakes in Putnam County, NY. While there was a hearing, the judge didn’t recuse himself until ten days after the killings occurred. He recused himself because he lived at the lake community where the killing was to take place. He then sent the case to a Westchester court.

Photo: Peter Muller and Ann Fanizzi at the Supreme Court of Putnam County, NY. Please see “What we’ve been up to”  for more information.Photo by Anne Muller

Ann Fanizzi, who was instrumental in bringing the lawsuit, wrote the following Letter to the Editor after the geese were killed.

Unfortunately, your article trivializes the extermination of a part of our lakescape – Canada Geese – and it makes us the poorer, for it diminishes the diversity and beauty of nature so vital to our own physical and psychological health. Their death is a rebuke to us – demonstrating the bankruptcy of ideas and humanity. In Lake Casse and Mahopac only the fittest survived: the mallards (cute), a couple of swans (lovely) and maybe one or two geese (tolerable).

These lake associations had, in effect, created a zoo, arrogantly dominated and ultimately mismanaged by man. But then throughout history, other animals have been similarly trivialized into near extinction – the buffalo, the bald eagle, the coyote, the wolf, or used for man’s vanity – leopards, ostriches, mink and others made the object of ridicule – primates- apes, gorillas and orangutans. And even the Canada Geese not 40 years previous at the brink of extinction. All at the hands of man.

Further, goose flesh, laden with the products of man’s alchemy (chemicals), is now being fed to the most vulnerable of populations – the poor, the homeless and the elderly, a population in Sullivan and Ulster disproportionately represented by Blacks and Hispanics. It is, therefore, fundamentally racist. Why incur the cost of transportation when the Carmel Diner, 4 Brothers, Flanagan’s etc. are so accessible and goose flesh can be placed on the chalk board as the specialty of the day – absolutely fresh from lake to table. Will Baisley be the first to order?

Finally, some corrections of fact. Canada Geese have never been implicated in onset of human disease. Geese waste unlike that of our domesticated friends, the dogs and cats, and that of cattle and chickens, is not harmful to humans. And so after a survey of numerous research studies over the years, concludes the USF&WS – “no supportive evidence” and yet, Baisley continues to mouth the calumny and you report it without alternative comment.

Also, the 150 were the permitted number not the number of geese taken since there weren’t 150 in total to be had – 30 perhaps at Lake Casse and perhaps if all were taken 40+ in Lake Mahopac. It is unfortunate that you did not have in your possession Tom Maglaris’ whining that Lake Mahopac presented such a challenge that the association and he negotiated two prices: $2,500 for 25 and anything over $8,600. The Lake Casse Association, being less financially shrewd, got a flat rate no matter the number.

And so the people will have their sand and water, devoid of the Canada Geese perfect flight formations, the calls of mates and goslings and their silhouettes against the morning and evening sky. Death, for the time being, triumphant.

Ann Fanizzi


Contact Us

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting / C.A.S.H.
P.O. Box 562
New Paltz, NY 12561