One Redditor saw red when, according to them, they found three members of their homeowners association board on their property, harming the local wildlife.
“We live on a small man-made lake,” the Redditor explained. “We have geese that essentially live on our lake. They’ll occasionally come up into people’s backyards, which I honestly kind of like and most people do not mind.”
Besides being fun to watch, geese help the environment by distributing and fertilizing seeds through their droppings, and they’re key prey animals for larger predators.
However, one Saturday, the Redditor woke up to find three neighbors standing under the Redditor’s tree in an area where they’d frequently seen a goose sitting. “I walked out on my back deck … and asked them what they were doing,” said the Redditor. “They explained to me that they were removing and destroying the eggs as the geese are a nuisance to the neighborhood.”
According to the Redditor, the HOA members argued that the spot where the eggs were found was part of the HOA’s public property. However, according to the Redditor, the border between the HOA’s land and their private property was clearly marked, and the board members were on the wrong side of it.
As some commenters pointed out, it wouldn’t have mattered. “Here in Maine it is illegal to touch any waterfowl, never mind their eggs,” said one user. “You could get them in really big trouble.”
In an update, the original poster laid out the legal fallout from the encounter.
“Both DNR and Wildlife Services have been helpful,” they said. “It is a violation of the Migratory Bird Act. You all are right. This is likely to result in at least a considerable fine.”
The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 is a federal law in the U.S. With some exceptions, this law makes it illegal to kill birds, damage or move their nests and eggs, or possess bird parts, including feathers.
“I’m fairly sure they are going to get a considerable ticket/fine and possibly more,” said the original poster. “More importantly … there will not be any more geese eggs getting culled.”
Other HOA residents who disagree with their associations’ decisions can work with the association to change the rules.
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