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Should the Town of Conquest Enforce Local Noise Laws to Protect Howland Island from Excessive Noise

Author Topic: Have Wild Roosters Invaded the Town of Conquest & Howland Island?  (Read 115 times)

Doug K

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If you live around the Seneca River, near the canalized section of the Erie Canal in central NY State, you are probably well aware of the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge and the Howland Island Preserve, located in the Northern Montezuma State Wildlife Management Area.
Both areas, and their caretakers, are dedicated to the surrounding wildlife habitat, and cover about 60,000 acres of land in the Town of Conquest or just at its borders. It’s a NATIONAL & STATE refuge for wildlife, and key to the safety & health of many species of animal, both migratory and those living around the island.

And it used to be a very nice area to enjoy nature, until the wild roosters moved in to the Town of Conquest.

My wife & I moved into a home here in the Town of Conquest, right across from Howland Island for this peace and serenity in late November of 2022. It was a perfect retirement home for us… only 5 houses in the neighborhood, on a private drive we own, and all of our neighbors were seasonal tenants. In fact we were the very first people to live FULL TIME in the house we bought, surprising as it's 30 years old. Of course most houses here don't have basements either, and a two tire entrance lane when snow falls, is slick at best.

Seneca Riverside life can be challenging at times, as we are learning.
All homes in this neighborhood are ZONED as Non-Agricultural District Lots, according to the County of Cayuga Agricultural Map. And the surrounding area is also 95% Non-Agricultural District Zoned, so no Right to Farm laws apply that might affect a quiet and peaceful neighborhood. We are one of the very few “white” zoned lots on the map.

Learn about Cayuga Agriculture Districts Here:

Cayuga County Agriculture Map -

We loved our first winter here and have seen everything from Fishers, to Otters, and many Deer & Beaver here, since we moved in. We have also seen the Spring bird migration and marveled at the Bald Eagles, Osprey, and every sort of duck you can imagine fly or swim by. We have quite a few Bald Eagles that pass by, as there is a good sized nest at the north end of Howland Island.

And then late Spring arrived, and the wild roosters moved in. Now we don’t see deer, beavers only come out after dark, when wild roosters are quieter, and we rarely see those large raptor anymore. Summer has been worse, we went from one wild rooster to more than 6 almost overnight. One of them attacked my wife one day, she barely escaped without injury. We heard the same story from one neighbor, they too had to battle with the same wild rooster for about 500' just to get back inside her camp at the end of the lane.

Our many neighbors in the Howland Island area may have heard some “wild roosters” crows echoing around the trails and waterways. If you kayak or canoe, or live near the Seneca River near Stickles Lane you most likely have heard their bellowing.

And now sadly we have to report that it is actually ONE of those Howland Island neighbors causing all this disruption, her roosters are the cause of all this early morning noise and this person seems to be ignorant of the affects her “flock” is having on the Howland Island Neighborhood. Just listen to the two videos below.

And these roosters are crowing all throughout the day and especially near daybreak. Here’s another video from the same day, and shows Howland Island a little more clearly to the left side of the video. You can hear the sound echoing up & down the river for at least 1/2 mile.

Wild Roosters you said, are they wild or not?
Well they must be WILD, because the Town of Conquest has a Local Noise Ordinance in place and has been apprised of this situation for more than a month now. If there was a home owner with loud roosters, in a quiet scenic riverside neighborhood, they surely would have come to discuss that with the offending party… right?


Sadly the Town of Conquest, and it’s Town Supervisor Charlie Knapp, are not answering our concerns, they seem to be ignoring Local Law enforcement at all cost, and have tried to pawn us off on their Lawyer, Norm Chirco. Our repeated phone calls, and our emails, including plenty of video evidence of the rooster noise, have all been referred to Norm, who has remained silent on the subject for weeks. It appears that the Town Leadership doesn't want to enforce the Noise Ordinance with a Court appearance and possible $25 fine. Just avoid upholding the laws, and maybe the problem might go away... that seems to be the case here.

And if the roosters continue making noise before 7am, the Town can obtain an Injunction from the Court to move them away, at the owner's expense of course.

How do I know all of this you may be asking?

Because you see the wild rooster noise around Howland Island is coming right from my neighbor’s house, in the Hard Point Neighborhood, across from Howland Island. Owner's name is Tammy Balamut, and she must have 3 dozen fowl running around her property, and making all that noise. The birds are also running afoul of the Local Conquest Noise Laws Quiet Time, which is from 11pm to 7am.

We have tried talking with Ms. Balamut, but she refuses to discuss roosters, and she actually called the police to tell us not to talk to her. We are two retired people in our late 60s, which was a shocker. Is this how the younger generation handles issues, call the cops because you can’t defend your loud roosters to your neighbors?

We have tried making early morning noise, hoping she would “catch on” to the obvious facts here.

That was until recently when we found out from a Conquest Town Board meeting in late August that indeed there WAS a Noise Ordinance in the Town of Conquest. It took us a MONTH of complaining for the Town Supervisor to finally relent and share that Town Law with us. And now we have shared that Noise Ordinance with you.

In fact we've talked with a 2 NYS Troopers, 5 Cayuga Deputies, and a few of our neighbors (who are long time residents), not one of them ever heard or knew that the Town of Conquest had a "Noise Ordinance".

Go to the Town of Conquest website and try to find anything more than Building Permits, Junkyard & Dog Laws… you can’t. The Town has figured out that if the residents don’t see the laws they don’t actually have to enforce them I guess. Of course a smarter person might ask Why Right Them in the First Place?

And as a MATTER of FACT both the NYS Police and Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office have been called to investigate this public nuisance about a half dozen times since it started in late July. Every law enforcement officer has said the same thing when they assessed the situation.
“This is a matter for the Town of Conquest, they simply need to contact us to enforce the Local Noise Law and then the owner of the wild roosters can go to court and explain why she has these animals.”
I will be there when that happens, and my wife too. Maybe some of you as well.
It will be very interesting to watch when Ms. Balamut tries to explain to the Town of Conquest Court why she thinks it’s ok to wake up an entire neighborhood at 5am with her roosters, and also why it’s OK to disturb an entire National Wildlife Preserve at the same time, with her flock of noisy farm animals.

And I hope we will hear why she thinks it OK for her flock to “free-range” on her neighbor’s property, or why she herself thinks it’s OK to “free-range” on her neighbor’s properties. We recently checked our security system and found many videos showing Ms. Balamut and her guests free-ranging all along our property, our boat launch and our campsite.
And all of this ROOSTER NOISE in an area of the Town of Conquest that is NOT in an Ag-Friendly District Zoned lot, which if common sense is applied “should” be considered off-limits for any type of farm operation like this. Of course that only applies to anyone WITH common sense, or anyone who actually takes time to listen.


If you are at all concerned about the effect of wild roosters on the peace, tranquility & quietness of Howland Island maybe time to act. If you are concerned about how wild roosters might affect the migratory bird habits in the Montezuma NWR, maybe it’s time to get involved.
Call or EMAIL the Town of Conquest and ask that they ENFORCE Local Law #2 – Noise Ordinance Town of Conquest. Let them know that you hear the roosters, and where you live or heard them. Let them start to map the size of their issues, even though ONE neighbor has the right to “enjoy their property” so they should be doing something right now…

If you live in the Town of Conquest then make the Town of Conquest Supervisor & his Government do their jobs… call and demand they stop the wild rooster noise on Howland Island. If you don’t act now this noise may be coming to a neighborhood near you at four o’clock in the morning.

« Last Edit: August 27, 2023, 12:40:14 pm by Doug K »

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