Echelon Lake geese round-up mentioned at committee meeting

Echelon Lake geese round-up mentioned at committee meeting

During a regularly scheduled Voorhees Township Committee meeting, the removal of the approximately 100 Canadian geese from the Echelon Lake was discussed, Monday, Aug. 13.

Although the topic was not presently on the agenda, Animal Rights Activists of New Jersey President David Sauder, stood up before the committee and mentioned his concern about the Township not taking action regarding the removal.

“I hope that Voorhees can ask Echelon to manage the geese inhumanly,” Saunders said.

Saunders presented the Committee with a packet of alternative methods to reduce the population of Canadian geese at the Echelon Mall facilities in a humane matter.

Along with the packet, Saunders gave a brief statement and had a typed letter on him, explaining his concerns about the Echelon Common Facilities Associations (ECFAs) actions to remove the geese.

Sauder recommended the possible, cost effective and humane alternatives to managing the geese on the property.

Such alternatives like the Nature-sweep — a towable device that uses a nylon brush system to pick up debris without damaging the grass.

Considering the steps in removing the geese was regulated by the New Jersey Department of Fish and Wildlife — an environmental agency dedicated to the protection, management and wise use of New Jersey’s fish and wildlife resources and a government regulated organization — the Voorhees Township Committee is unable to interfere with those specific procedures.

Voorhees Township Solicitor, Howard Long, advised the members to not take action on this matter due to the fact that it would go against State and Federal regulations under the NJDFW and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Mayor Michael Mignogna agreed with Long; however, Mignogna and Long agreed that the Committee will do it’s best to “spread the word” about the possible alternatives to removing geese and the issue that arose with the removal of geese from Echelon Mall Lake.

Voorhees Township Administrator Larry Spellman mentioned that the town couldn’t take action since the Echelon Common Facilities Association gathered the necessary permits to remove the geese.

MAMCO property management is the managing agency for the ECFA who applied for the depredation permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services’ Migratory Birds division.

Spellman said that the geese are protected and the Township can’t challenge the ECFA for taking that type of action.

Spellman is working on a cover letter to give to Alan Tate, manager for MAMCO and caretaker of the Echelon common properties.

“I hope that the Voorhees Township will give that manual to other business in Voorhees and in the Echelon Mall,” said Sauder. “The more people that know about these non-lethal ways are better. We do have to reduce population, but I recommend reducing it humanely.”

Also at the meeting:

The Committee approved the appointment of Jason Cramer to the Voorhees police department. Cramer was formally employed at the Rowan University police department.

The Committee approved three grants during the meeting. An ACME grant for $5000 will be used for improvements at the Sheppard Road basketball courts. The Community Development Block Grant