- Special Sections
- Public Notices
ISSUE: Birds playing through on the fairway
OUR VIEW: Grant the hunting permits
The term “birdie” has a new interpretation at Heartland Golf Club.
Most people would assume “birdie” is a reference to scoring less than par on a golf hole. That’s true. But at this course on Elizabethtown’s north side, shooting a birdie also could refer to killing a goose.
The course is being held hostage by somewhere between 80 and 120 geese that are eating large amounts of grass and leaving excrement all over the course.
Unwelcome geese on a golf course can inflict physical and financial damage. Aside from the money needed to eliminate the problem, there also is a loss in green fees from golfers reluctant to play a course with goose-dropping concentrations along their popular fairways and most challenging holes.
This is a serious problem for the new owners of Heartland Golf Club as it could hinder turnaround plans for the facility.
After consulting with several agencies, it appears to the new owners their best solution is to remove the birds by shooting them. Almost every other option would prove to be temporary as geese likely are to return after a period of time.
In Elizabethtown, goose hunting with a shotgun is prohibited in city limits. The facility would be required to obtain a permit from the city to allow for discharge of a firearm, as well as a permit from U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife to eradicate the geese nuisance.
We commend the new owners and management for being responsible in their search for a solution. The problem presents a risk of financial loss for the club, a golfing experience issue for players on the course, and a health and environmental concern for all involved. While the necessity of using lethal force to eradicate the flock is saddening, it seems clear the management and owners of the club are left with no other logical alternative.
City government should grant the required permit to Heartland Golf Club and ask the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife to follow suit.
We encourage the club to use discretion in the implementation of their plan and not to drag the process out once permits have been issued. The obvious requirement would be to minimize any risk to local residents, patrons and the public.
This is an unfortunate and no-win situation for Heartland Golf Club. It also is a situation that must be dealt with quickly and with as much humane sensitivity as can be extended.
This editorial represents a concensus of The News-Enterprise's editiorial board.