Minden delays debate on waterfowl signs
Like the waterfowl wandering Jake’s Wetlands, concerns that signs asking people not to feed them don’t have teeth led to a delay of approval by Minden Town Board members.
Members of one of Winhaven’s homeowners associations asked the town board to set up signs as part of an information campaign to reduce the birds’ dependency on humans.
Bill Henderson presented the suggestion to the town board on Wednesday.
He said the ducks and geese were being fed by people which was increasing their dependency on humans and making residents out of birds that should be visitors.
While generally supportive, there was a contingent of Minden residents who pushed back against putting up signs.
Mike Chan said he brought out an orange bucket of feed for the birds in winter.
He was concerned discouraging people from feeding the birds would hurt them.
Lifelong Minden resident Bruce Jacobsen, after whose father the wetlands are named, said he’s occasionally brought his grandchildren out to feed the waterfowl, something he agrees might be a bad plan.
Town Board member Bill Driscoll was vehement that residents should not be feeding wild animals.
“If you want a pet duck, then buy a duck,” he said. “But don’t feed wild animals. You want to keep them wild.”
The real issue for the town board arose over John Stephans’ insistence that the town not be listed on the signs.
He said that if the town is on the signs, residents will call the town office to complain about people feeding the birds.
“The bite has no teeth,” he said. “We don’t have the authority to enforce this.”