City issued citation for geese deaths
By Diane Pottorff
Thursday, May 22, 2008 4:28 PM CDT
POINT PLEASANT - The City of Point Pleasant likely will pay a fine and court costs after it was issued a citation last week by the state for the alleged killing of a family of geese at Krodel Park.

Cpl. Jeff Sweeney, law enforcement officer with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, said he issued Mayor Leonard “Buster” Riffle a summons to appear in magistrate court to answer the citation after city employees were accused of killing the birds.

For years, city employees have scared geese from the park by firing guns with “scare shells” as ammunition. But on May 5, while visitors were at the park, employees allegedly used live rounds and killed a family of geese - two adults and six goslings.

Visitors and residents called officials with the city, Point Pleasant Police Department and DNR.

At the time of the incident, Police Chief Ernie Watterson turned the investigation over to Sweeney because wildlife was involved and because he wanted an unbiased investigation since city employees allegedly were involved.

Also at that time, Riffle said he implemented a policy restricting the firing of weapons inside Krodel Park.

Because there were employees of a corporation or government entity involved, Sweeney said he had to issue a citation to the person in charge. In this case, it was the mayor of Point Pleasant.

Sweeney added that the penalty for this type of offense is a fine of $20 to $300, which is at the discretion of the magistrate who hears the case.


The Migratory Bird Treaty Act states that: " 
Unless permitted by regulations, the Act provides that it is unlawful to pursue, hunt, take, capture or kill; attempt to take, capture or kill; possess, offer to or sell, barter, purchase, deliver or cause to be shipped, exported, imported, transported, carried or received any migratory bird, part, nest, egg or product, manufactured or not."