Dear Editor:

We are again writing this letter to you today expressing our total disgust regarding the continuing inhumane practice of shooting the now almost non-existent Canadian Geese at The Phifers Ice Dams Park.

We had first written to you imploring you to try non-lethal methods on 4/4/12, regarding purchasing decoy Swans, as they are the Geese's natural enemies. You, in fact did purchase only a whooping ( @ $43.00 each ), 1 pair for 3 ponds!! You anchored one Swan in two of three ponds, ( on 4/13/12 ) with no leeway for them to even move in a natural manner to make them look as if they were 'swimming' around, instead, when the breeze blows, all they do is turn around in circles!

Even so, the Geese did not visit the park or ponds for almost three weeks, or even the ducks for that matter!! So, the Swans DO WORK!! We attended your last township meeting last month and implored you to at the very least, to buy another pair of Swans, as they are always in pairs in nature, ( Geese are not stupid, and eventually will know that these single, stationary Swans are not a threat ) give them more line so they can move, and even maybe buy another pair for the third pond. Needless to say, we did not see any more decoy Swans. On 5/2/12, I (Debra) called the Township Office to be informed that you did not have any intention on purchasing any more decoy Swans!! You were adapting a 'wait and see' attitude! Wait for what? The Geese to come back because of your token gesture to say you had tried non-lethal methods? On 5/3/12, ONE LONE PAIR of Geese were at the pond, in the water, when I (Debra) heard a shotgun blast. I ran down, horrified to see the Chief of Police and a Township worker that had just shot one of the pair!! The mate was on the bank, stunned that his/her mate was dead in the water. Because of my intervention, the other was spared as the township worker fished the body of the dead Goose out of the pond. That lone Goose was at the pond all day crying for its mate...it was completely heartbreaking!! Just today, 5/9/12, I (Debra) was down at the pond taking pictures of another lone pair of Geese, that had the nerve to come to our Park, when the Chief of Police pulled in, and behind him, the Township truck, undoubtedly there to shoot that pair also!! If not for my presence, those Geese would be dead in the back of a truck!

In our first letter, we expressed that you must expect a few Geese to still visit the ponds from time to time, yet apparently, now no Goose is even allowed in the park without being executed!! A few years ago, dozens upon dozens of Geese were taking over the Park, so we could understand wanting to control them, but now it is a completely different matter altogether!! Also, what about the resources that are being spent to keep a few Geese out of the Park? Paying the Chief of Police's salary, and a Township worker to stalk the ponds on almost a daily basis, looking for a few renegade Geese to shoot? We have nothing but the highest regard for our Chief of Police, and our Township Employees, but we believe that both have better things to do with the Taxpayers money!! This has gone way too far, and we feel you're abusing your special 'license' to control the Geese.

What's next, throwing dynamite in the ponds to kill all the fish also? What about the Ducks? Are they safe still, or will someone complain and have them killed off also? We have sent copies of both of our letters to Congressman Lou Barletta and Senator Patrick Toomey, which will take this to the Federal level. We have contacted PETA, and have lodged a formal complaint regarding this ridiculous abuse of not even allowing any Geese to visit the Park without being killed. We have also contacted Mr. John Evans, who is the Majority Chairman of the House & Game Committee. They will in turn, contact Rep. Doyle Heffley's office, as he also sits on that same committee. We are forwarding both of our letters to every named contact above. We are furious now that the Geese population is literally next to nothing, they are still being shot on sight. We are now making every effort to have your 'special' license revoked, as it is being abused. Unless more decoy Swans are purchased, and placed properly, and give them a fair chance to keep the now very few Geese out of the Park, and/or to stop shooting the ones that do come from time to time, you really leave us no choice but to try any and every method to stop this madness.

Respectively,

Debra and Terry Whiteman

Lehighton