Public comments for: Prohibition on Feeding Wildlife in Parks

Comments

Comment:
I strongly oppose this rule change. Banning the feeding of birds in the parks will adversely affect their health, especially in the winter when food is scarce. Many bird species frequent the bird feeders and many New Yorkers frequent the feeders to watch them. The rat population can be controlled by the birds of prey that frequent the parks or through the introduction of other natural predators. I encourage the city to investigate alternate solutions to the rat population problem.
Agency: DPR
Comment:
Roxanne Delgado on Behalf of Friends of Pelham Parkway Some Facts are Friends of Pelham Parkway are - We are the City Parks Foundation 2017 It’s My Parks Bronx Award Recipients - With over 500 Votes, we won the It’s My Park Photo Contest for 2018 - We won the 2019 Bronx Daffodil Award which we will received at the 2019 Daffodil Breakfast on April 23rd - We were founded in July of 2017 and the main reason was because I saw a squirrel sitting on a pile of garbage dumped on the parkway. - Since 2018, we held National Squirrel Appreciation Day on Jan 21th. In response to the purpose of the proposed rule to Food Sources available for rats: Therefore we need to stop people from eating in parks property because they are the main source of food. They litter all over the parkway with their fast food containers. In the parkway, we have people who leave all their food and trash all over the grounds and benches. Also, to eliminate food sources we need to empty out the trash cans more. Due to lack of fund for parks operations and maintenance, we have lots of overflown trash cans which results in more trash blown over unto the grounds. Please read attachment for the rest of testimony
Supporting Document:
Agency: DPR
Comment:
First, stop permitting people to BBQ in the parks and parkways. IT brings rats and it brings too much garbage. and eliminate all the concession stands in the parks as well since they bring odor and garbage. You are literally Barking up the wrong trees. and since I mention trees, please stop removing all the trees in our parks and Turing our parks into concrete eating pavilions. What you are doing is CRUEL. there is no food source for the squirrels in the parkway. We don' t even have trees in the parkway. so the poor squirrels are eating trash on the food or from the overflown trash cans or from dunking donuts trash across the street. provide a natural habitat for our wildlife and then there would be NO need to feed them.
Agency: DPR
Comment:
I am writing as both a mental health practionioner and an animal lover and I need to say that as both I am STRONGLY OPPOSED to the current proposed rule to criminalize the feeding of wildlife in city parks. As a mental health practioner I would like to point out that there are many empirical studies that prove spending time in natural surroundings as well as performing acts of kindess help improve such conditions as depression, anxiety as well as alleviate isolation and promote a sense of well being and self esteem. As an animal lover I am appalled that such a rule is even being considered. Most of the folks who feed in the park are the elderly, the disabled or children. Why would we consider targeting the most vulnerable in our society when it would actually not address the problem of rat overpopulation as well. Those who feed in the park know what and how much to feed the wildlife and are not responsible for contributing the the “rat buffet.” These folks are often seen teaching others how and what to properly feed the wildlife there as well. I suggest that those who have private restaurants and concessions in the park be tasked with providing some private refuse removal and perhaps park personnel should be policing and fining those who by negligence leave litter behind when eating in the park. Not onece have I ever seen anyone ticketed for such an offense when spending time in Washington Square Park, my local and oasis in this concrete jungle. We as humans have already encorached upon the natural habitat of the wildlfe in this city and those that try to survivie in the ciry parks already live in deplorable conditions. In thinking of Washington Square Park in particular, when it was redesigned a few years ago no consideration was given to providing fruit and nut bearing trees for the wildlife who are trying to live there and those who live there have become dependent on the kindness of those who try to make up for that lack of consideration. Let us not forget that animals are sentient creatures who experience pain, hunger and thirst. I would like to add that a squirrel approaching a person eating on a park bench is a relatively tame and friendly animal who might be hoping for a handout and is not “aggressive.” Squirrels do not carriy rabies either I might add and are unlikely to spread any disease. What kind of message do we wish to impart to our children and what are we teaching them about compassion and kindness by instituting such inhumane rules? How are we teaching them to be stewards of the planet which they will inherit (hopefully that is)? Again I IMPlORE you to consider a more appropriately targteted and humane resolution to the problem at hand and say that I STRONGLY OPPOSE the proposed rule.
Agency: DPR
Comment:
I strongly oppose this rule change, especially if it is extended, intended or otherwise, to certified wildlife rehabilitators. Responsibly feeding the birds or squirrels is often the only interaction with nature available to urban youth and elderly. This connection creates a better humanity. In addition, the natural food resources in the park is not being managed correctly, if at all. Removing seeds, acorns and nuts into landfill rather than leaving them in situ removes their food sources. As a DSNY certified master composter, I know there are many ways to manage waste and rodent control better. I agree that garbage bags full of bread is dumping and should be enforced as such. Let's work together to educate the public and defend our wildlife using snow-fencing to create barriers for protected areas for our visiting and resident waterfowl. Please be aware that we are in the middle of scientifically confirmed Sixth Extinction and New York's fauna needs all the help and protection it can get. Please don't take this pleasure away from future generations, we can manage this.
Agency: DPR
Comment:
I am against the proposed rules to prohibit feeding wildlife in NYC parks. See attached commentary Arie Gilbert President - Queens County Bird Club Inc.
Supporting Document:
Agency: DPR
Comment:
I work at a wildlife rehabilitation center. We get in over 6,000 injured patients a year. Most of the patients we get come from the public seeing an injured animal and bringing them to us. One of the ways they are able to capture the injured wildlife is by baiting them with food. Without this, it is very difficult or nearly impossible to get close enough to the animal to save their life. As well as many people who bring us injured wildlife (in particular pigeons) feed their flocks daily or on a weekly basis) so they can get close enough to notice the injuring they have and can capture them t bring them to us. I am afraid that by making it illegal to feed wildlife, there would be a lot more injured wildlife in NYC. I agree that many people improperly feed the animals un-nutritious food, as well are creating wildlife to become unafraid of humans, but that is not always the case. Furthermore, as a rehabilitator, my goal is to re-release wildlife into nature, and to attract other animals to the region so that they are not alone, we will ocassionaly put down seed. this is a very important process for reintroduction since pigeons are flock animals, and some of the birds we are re-releasing back into the parks were orphaned or have not been outside in months so need to reacclimate with the help of others.
Agency: DPR
Comment:
SHAME on the New York Department of Parks & Recreation's for its proposed birds and squirrels STARVATION CAMPAIGN. Also shame on the department for giving the public SHORT SHRIFT in adequately publicizing the SINGLE 2-hour hearing anticipated for today. THIS MATTER DESERVES FURTHER public scrutiny and comment before any "final" decision is rendered, as well as the assessment of alternative better solutions to the problem of rats in the parks. For starters, those feeding bird and squirrels should be counseled to leave NO EXCESS FOOD not specifically eaten at the time they feed the animals. That remedy would go A LONG WAY toward resolving the problem altogether. Again, this matter deserves further study and more humanistic solutions and creative approaches. Thank you for considering my perspective in this IMPORTANT POLICY CHANGE, which, again, deserves much more public scrutiny and discussion before implementing any rules or regulations changes.
Agency: DPR
Comment:
Continuing my comment about children feeding wildlife in the zoo. Living near two parks and with a subway station at the same location underneath the two parks, is a rat nightmare. We dread the summer because we cannot enjoy either park or our own blocks because of the rat explosion that wildlife feeders are contributing to, significantly. I agree that there should be clear enforcement guidelines to accompany the new regulations.
Agency: DPR
Comment:
I strongly oppose this senseless ban. The NYC Department of Parks can barely enforce laws (littering, smoking, skateboarding, bike riding, dogs off leash etc.) that are far more injurious to the public then feeding wildlife. Why deprive citizens of the pleasure of interacting with what little nature we have in the city? Instead of handing out fines, I would suggest that the NYC Dept. of Parks would direct their energies to educating people to what type of foods would really help animals (seeds, nuts, berries, etc.) and to not feed wild animals poor quality human food (bread, rice, popcorn, etc.). The proposed law is basically unenforceable because so many people feed animals and will continue to do so. It is normal that many people want to help the animals that live so close in proximity to us. This compassion is deeply ingrained in humanity. This would not stop because of a new city law. Many animals, including pigeons and squirrels live tough lives, shortened by the harshness of city life and many people who have limited access to nature want to help them. In my observations of pigeon feeding in local parks, I notice that birds (pigeons, sparrows, morning doves and starlings) will eat all of the seed left for them- leaving nothing for rats. It is food garbage carelessly left behind and overflowing in garbage cans that lures rats. If there are overpopulations of animals including raccoons and deer, work on solutions that control reproduction humanely, don’t take away the simple pleasure of feeding birds and squirrels from people craving nature. Andrew Garn
Agency: DPR

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