A group has formed on Facebook called "Squawk Back" in response to the Tri-Lakes proposal to slaughter 250 geese sometime in June. The purpose of this Squawk Back, as stated on the page, is "to encourage alternative, humane approaches" to the issue of geese at Tri-Lakes. As stated by Association President David Miller, this action is being pursued because of reported "health issues." This reason, alone, raises our concern to the county level, and open and fair discussion must be held before this atrocity can take place. There has been much debate about whether or not the Whitley County Commissioners may become involved, and, in their own words, they can weigh in on this only when health issues come into play.
In a post made a little after 12 am on Wednesday, June 9, Paula Romanowski writes: "I called and spoke with David Miller and the board has taken another vote and still agrees to continue. David told me that there have been numerous illnesses reported and the illnesses have been linked to the lake (ie geese). I asked if the water has ever been tested to prove or disprove the relationship of illness and the lake and he said the lake water has not been tested. (Then where is the proof for such a drastic action???) On July 10 at the TLPOA annual meeting there will be a vote to continue with the removal of geese in the year to come. I feel the more Squawk Back Tri Lake members in attendance the better the chance of stopping this action in the future. Also I feel that at the annual meeting the water testing issue should be brought up and voted upon."
Given this admission by Miller, there is NO question that the need for county-level involvement is immediate and unavoidable.
If you go to the page, http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/group.php?gid=105524522827577&v=wall
, you will see we exceed 600 members of the Facebook page at this point. This membership hails from around the world but is primarily comprised of folks from the Columbia City area. You will find a number of opinions and alternatives offered on this page that must inform the conversation, The primary mission of the page from the onset has been to offer alternative solutions to the issues on the table.
Here are a couple of useful links:
The last link includes an important section on why killing geese simply does not work - it is not only inhumane but also ineffective. The geese will simply return, and you will find yourselves in a costly and, yes, messy cycle.
Below is an excerpt:
"Frustration with Canada goose mess in public places can make people look for a quick fix and consider killing the geese to get rid of the mess. In a few communities, geese have been rounded up during the molt when they can't fly away and either gassed or shipped to slaughter. In others, hunters have been allowed to shoot geese in parks and on golf courses. Killing wild animals merely because they are inconvenient is not humane. It is also highly controversial , driving communities in opposing directions as those who advocate killing birds confront those who are equally committed to non-lethal conflict resolution. Federal law protects Canada geese, however, that only means people cannot harm birds without US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) permission. USFWS frequently gives permission to kill Canada geese in urban and suburban areas. Killing geese without changing attractive habitat and limiting flock growth will not solve conflicts with Canada geese
very long. Other geese will simply move into the vacated habitat. Killing is not a permanent fix but the public controversy may become a permanent fixture in the community. An integrated humane plan can resolve conflicts between people and geese and among the people too."
Our group implores you to review this material, to voice your support for one of the more effective, efficient, and humane methodologies, and to demand action from your local leadership.Signed,
"Squawk Back" Administrators:
Teresa Judd Bills