Activists upset with plan to remove mute swans in Genoa Township

Township officials advise residents to contact DNR on the issue

Activists upset with plan to remove mute swans in Genoa Township

GENOA TOWNSHIP, Mich. – One particular lake in Livingston County is experiencing an issue with mute swans.

Many people on Crooked Lake in Genoa Township want the swans removed. They are considered an invasive species by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

However, a group is protesting about how the swans will be removed. Several people showed up before the Genoa Township trustees meeting Monday to speak for the swans.

Karen Stamper said she and others believe it’s the people who are the problem.

When jet skis target swans on the lake, they have to expect them to become aggressive.

“They’re not really getting attacked, they’re just getting chased. I don’t think the swans ever attacked them and they’ve fallen off the jet ski. But the DNR doesn’t really investigate any of that,” Stamper said.

Genoa Township supervisor Bill Rogers said a July resolution has been blown out of proportion. Rogers said they did not permit the killing of swans -- only for residents to take it up with DNR.

“We’re not taking a stand. It’s not our opinion that all of this should happen, but if it truly is a problem, we have to help them to eliminate that problem,” he said.

DNR made it clear on what that means. Once caught, mute swans cannot be released back into the world. The only option is for them to be destroyed in one of six approved methods, including by gas, injection, or single shot to the head.

“If somebody doesn’t like something, let’s get rid of it. Why not live with them? Let’s deal with it and move on from there,” said Steve Wildman, who lives on the lake.

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