The public is invited to comment on proposed changes to the hunting boundaries and season for Canada Geese within Chapman State Park, Warren County, the Bureau of State Parks announced today.
The proposal would open most areas of the lake and lake shore to Canada Geese hunting during regular season. Currently, the park allows hunting in these areas during the 'early' Canada Goose season after the Labor Day weekend.
The goal of the proposed changes is to reduce the negative impacts of resident Canada geese on the park's natural resources and day use areas.
"Geese are a constant problem throughout the summer season and into the fall at Chapman, we use many harassment techniques to try and manage populations at the park with some success, but geese still present conflicts with beach users and other park visitors," said Chapman State Park Manager James McCorkle.
Non-migratory Canada goose populations have increased drastically in recent years, causing crop damage and nuisance problems in residential neighborhoods. Park visitors often complain about goose excrement on state park beaches and other facilities, and water quality at some state parks has been adversely affected.
Resident Canada geese have been among the suspected cause of high fecal coliform counts at some Pennsylvania state park beaches, forcing swimming restrictions during peak use periods.
Many state parks, including Chapman, have taken measures, including anti-goose fencing and/or the use of loud noisemakers, in attempt to deter the waterfowl or scare them away.
McCorkle says, "The benefits of expanding the hunting season and areas for Canada Geese at Chapman will be two-fold. It should present a more enjoyable visit for everyday users and beach goers, while also presenting an opportunity for waterfowl hunters to utilize the park in a way not permitted in the past. It will be a win-win situation."
Hunters, park visitors and other interested individuals are invited to the park office from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, March 21, to examine a map of the proposed changes and comment on them.
During an ensuing 30-day comment period, March 21-April 19, written comments also can be mailed to: Chapman State Park, 4790 Chapman Dam Rd, Clarendon, PA 16313. Comments can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.