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Killing geese at state parks inhumane and not necessary
The situation at Lake Sammamish State Park is not a goose problem, but a park maintenance problem. The goose poop can easily be cleaned up manually and/or mechanically. Killing the geese is a cheap and expedient way to temporarily solve the problem. This creates an endless cycle of killing, as other geese will move in.
The state park’s claims are exaggerated. A goose may poop up to a pound a day, but goose poop is 80 percent water. Somehow, a dry 3.3 ounces does not sound quite so menacing.
In addition, the risk to public health is minimal. Few, if any, people have become seriously sick because of goose poop. Human waste and dog poop contain significantly more harmful bacteria.
Also, State Parks Resource Manager Andrew Fielding said that water quality test results at Lake Sammamish have been good.
Gassing geese is not humane. The babies and adults frantically struggle to escape from the pens and gas chambers. State Parks Manager Rich Benson said that he was told that “he did not want to be there” when it happened. If it is so humane, why do it in secret without any witnesses?
They may have sporadically tried a few humane alternatives in managing the geese, but a comprehensive integrated plan is needed. Seattle and other communities throughout the country have successfully implemented multifaceted humane programs that do work.
Killing is not the answer to every perceived wildlife problem. I expect a lot better from Washington State Parks.