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"If you want to ensure there isn't a health risk, you have to effectively manage the population," Donnelly said Wednesday.
"This is specifically designed to reduce the number of these resident geese that create nuisances," Heusmann said Wednesday.
"I think it's a pretty shocking idea," Mayor Dan H. Mylott said during his weekly press conference Wednesday at City Hall. "It's pretty radical that we would have any kind of hunting at all in Coggshall."
"Every year it's getting worse and worse up there," said Roy, who is also Fitchburg's fire chief. "The droppings smell foul and are all over the sidewalks, damaging vegetation in the area."
FITCHBURG Wildlife experts agree that in cases such as Coggshall Park, the geese must go.
Members of the Parks Commission will meet today with the mayor and City Solicitor Deborah Phillips to discuss the legality of hunting in a public park.
Some local residents didn't like the thought of killing the birds when interviewed Wednesday.
Ashburnham resident Mary Catherine Dennehy and her 19 Burberry Backpack Harrods
The type of Canada geese who live in Coggshall and other public areas are "resident" Canada geese, who generally stay year round and only migrate short distances, if at all, according to Heusmann.
Parks Commission member Kevin Roy said he would support the idea so long as it is legal.
Hunting resident Canada geese is actually encouraged by the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Heusmann said.
Dennehy said she would like to see the city enact a "Canada goose relocation program."
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The only other effective method is to tamper with their eggs, which requires a lengthy permitting process, he said.
Plan to kill geese shocks mayor
month old son, Seamus, spent Wednesday afternoon feeding the geese and climbing on the Coggshall playground.
Officials from the state Prada Cosmetic Bag Division of Fisheries and Wildlife said Wednesday that other than hunting Canada geese, little else that can be done to control their numbers.
"I don't think someone should just come out here and blast them away," he said while watching the geese Wednesday afternoon. "Maybe they could just distribute them to other places, instead of just disposing of them."
Hunting is needed because geese populations have seen huge growth throughout Massachusetts: Their numbers have gone from an estimated 26,000 in 1991 Burberry Vinyl Bag
Donnelly, a Conservation Commission member and wildlife enthusiast, says Canada geese can have between four and 10 offspring a year.
Their droppings often contain parasites, fungus and bacteria, Donnelly said, and could pose health problems in the future for both other birds and people.
Leominster resident Al Nutting agreed, saying he believes there must be a more humane way of reducing their numbers.
to around 38,500 today, a 48 percent increase, according to Heusmann.
The agency has established a legal hunting season from Sept. 5 to Sept. 25 for this purpose, he said.
The agency's assistant director for wildlife, Thomas O'Shea, said the nuisance problem mostly exists in locations where there is a lot of food available, and where hunting doesn't occur.
His solution is to kill some of the geese with a shotgun.
statewide measure of managing the goose population is the most effective tool long term," he said.
City officials will meet today to discuss Donnelly's plan.
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