by Max Brantley
Don't cook the geese of Burns Park just yet.
I didn't see the full discussion, but I caught the tail end of the North Little Rock City Council meeting tonight at which the Council agreed with Mayor Pat Hays to postpone next week's planned controlled goose hunt in Burns Park to reduce the flock of 200 near-domesticated waterfowl by 150 or so.
Hays said he'd open the record to any suggestions for alternatives to reducing the problem caused by geese — both prolific defecation and unpleasant attitudes toward walkers, bikers and other park users. He said he wanted to move quickly — to get alternative suggestions in by Thursday and to hold a public hearing for an hour on that Thursday afternoon. Then they'd put some of the ideas in place to see if they might work. If not, the hunt might be rescheduled in January before the hunting season is over.
The outcry over the hunt apparently had an impact. Hays said he was open to dogs, as Little Rock has used, but noted that North Little Rock has a bigger park to control. The city will move to end feeding of the geese by park users. Opponents of the hunt complimented the mayor for being willing to consider alternatives in a structured fashion.
If a hunt ultimately does go forward, the mayor made comments that sounded as if the selection process would be redone, rather than use the list of hunters selected for the hunt that had been scheduled Dec. 20-22.I reported the list of hunters earlier.
UPDATE: The pro-hunt parks staff claims it would cost $3,000 to $6,000 PER MONTH for a dog to patrol the grounds. Hey, I gotta dog I'd rent for a lot less than that.