Geese Mostly Gone Since No-Feed Law

Morgantown Dominion Post
27 July 2013
By Brandy Brubaker

The geese population at Star City’s Edith B. Barill Riverfront Park has dropped significantly since a fine was put into effect for visitors caught feeding the waterfowl.

Police Chief Vic Propst said about 130 adult geese formerly called the park home. In late June, the city banned feeding them, and the geese population has fallen to 15-20 birds.

Parkgoers can net a fine of $25 or more for feeding waterfowl in Star City.

Propst said they haven’t yet handed out any fines but gave warnings to seven people.

“We’ve warned them verbally, and they complied,” he said. “One warning and that’s all.”

Susan Olcott, a wildlife biologist for the state Division of Natural Resources, wasn’t surprise to hear that the geese scattered so quickly after their bread scraps and other goodies were taken away.

“Animals are hard-wired to get their food using as little effort as possible,” she said.

Now that they aren’t being regularly fed, they’ll venture in search of another easy source of food, she said.

Violators can be fined $25 for a first offense, $50 for a second offense and $100 for a third or subsequent offense.

Three-time offenders will also be banned from all Star City recreational areas for one year, during which they can be cited for trespassing.