Newest goose measures are far from humane

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I attended the City Council meeting on June 5 to hear public comments that were not on the agenda, specifically addressing the geese waste issue at City Beach.

I know the various methods that the City Parks & Recreation Department has tried unsuccessfully to eliminate the waste of the City Beach geese: hazing with dogs, coyote decoys, “pooper scoopers.” These were mentioned at the meeting. There are apparently some other alternatives that have not been tried here, but have been tried in other municipalities with some success. AwayWithGeese.com and plantings of peppermint were mentioned this evening as alternatives.

Several business people got up and spoke about their business interests in having the geese gone due to their waste. Others spoke about the health dangers of the waste even calculating how much waste each goose is capable of producing. However I didn’t hear any hard evidence that the public has become sick via goose waste. I heard testimony from various travel sites like Trip Advisor that tourists thought City Beach was a disaster area and they would not be visiting. I didn’t hear, however, from any locals that live here year ‘round not wanting to visit City Beach because of the waste. We can all agree it is a problem however.

Beginning later this month City Parks and Recreation will be trying a more aggressive tact. As I understand it the first stage is capture, drugging for ease to band them and transporting them via horse trailer to Chain Lakes for release, separating the goslings from adults. If they return to City Beach and are banded they are euthanized. This process will continue year after year. In the meeting tonight I only heard from speakers about how humane this process is. They didn’t speak about how the goslings will be separated from their parents, banded, and if they return they will be killed. Does this really sound humane to you? Not to me.

This issue has just come on my radar. Myself and others I have spoken to, did not know the exact measures that the City Parks and Rec would be taking to rid City Beach of geese. If I have misrepresented their intended procedure, please correct me.

There appears to be untried alternatives that have been successful in other communities that don’t involve killing the geese. I want to get this issue back on the table for discussion as more of the public becomes aware of the issue to let others weigh in. The business owners said the issue has been on the table for a long time, that the public had an adequate time to comment. The business owners knew of the issue because of the personal stake they have in the matter. Let’s see how the community feels about the proposed process of “relocating”. It has not been a “community effort” as one businessman stated to buy into this process if possibly vast members of the community didn’t know about it. If you feel as I do that the matter deserves more research into alternatives, please contact the mayor and city council members to let them know how you feel.

CYNTHIA MASON

Hope

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