Meredith goes with take coyotes to scare geese

MEREDITH — Visitors to Hesky Park and Scenic Park should not be alarmed to find coyotes lurking amid the shrubbery and sculptures, for they are only manikins placed in hopes of dispersing the Canada Geese, who have dropped the curtain on "Barefoot in the Park." .

Town Manager Phil Warren told the selectmen yesterday that at $70 a head the faux coyotes offered the least expensive and most promising means of persuading the geese to take their business elsewhere. But, he emphasized that the coyotes must be moved about frequently in order to be effective.

Extermination, Warren said, is "out of the question." He explained that a three-year process, including a study and appeal to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, would be required with no assurance of success. Chemical sprays are available, but cannot be used within 150 feet of the water. Fences and hedges, about four feet in height, might deter the geese, but disfigure the park. Dogs, trained to harass the geese until they leave never to return, can be hired at significant cost. Devices that produce sound geese find unnerving cost $1,600 apiece.

Of all the options, Warren chose the coyote manikins. So Wiley and Smiley it is.