The West Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees has unanimously approved rescinding a resolution it previously adopted in support of removing mute swans, their nests and eggs from township lake sites.
The previously approved resolution was rescinded during the board’s Monday, July 16 meeting.
Township Clerk Cathy Shaughnessy said that the township will not be taking any more action regarding the controversial issue.
“We won’t have our swans killed,” she said.
The board received feedback from township residents at the meeting regarding the removal of mute swans, which would have been handled by the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
“We received a great deal of public outcry as well as more details of the DNR program,” Township Treasurer Teri Weingarden said of the board’s reversal on the issue. “Extermination of swans was not made clear to us at first. I thought it would be more like a goose roundup, which is more humane. We want to allow residents to remove swans in a humane way. The DNR can destroy the eggs and the nest before the swans.”
The DNR was expected to kill any swans rounded up and removed from the township, according to West Bloomfield officials.
The board originally approved a resolution at its June 18 meeting after a Middle Straits Lake Association board member and other residents expressed concerns — such as alleged mute swan attacks on small boats and people on the water — about allegedly aggressive swans in the area.
The resolution would have applied to the entire township, but lake associations would have had the option to opt out if they didn’t want the DNR to come in and remove swans.
Those in favor of the swan removal effort argued that mute swans are not a species native to the state and that their population growth has led to damage of the lakes’ natural habitats and ecosystems. Arguments were also made that ducks, herons, and other waterfowl species are being chased away by the mute swans.
Those accusations have been disputed by some in the community.