Southern California -- this just in

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Birds must take a back seat to planes, lawmakers decide

August 20, 2009 |  6:44 pm

Worried that geese and jets don’t mix, the state Senate passed a measure today that would give airports greater authority to kill birds that might interfere with airplanes -- without being cited by state wildlife wardens.

The legislation, previously approved by the Assembly, now goes to the governor’s desk.

It was introduced by Sen. Dave Cox (R-Fair-Oaks), months after a US Airways jetliner ditched in New York's Hudson River after striking some Canada geese.

State wildlife officials have threatened to cite California airport operators for shooting birds near flight paths.

``The Federal Aviation Administration requires airports to keep birds away from airplanes as much as possible,’’ Cox said. ``This bill gives airports the tool to do their job without interference from the state Department of Fish and Game,’’ Cox said.

--Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento