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Letter of the Week: Stick To Non-Lethal Goose Control 

Letter to the Editor.

This week's letter comes from Foster Fell, local goose champion, who makes a good case for staving off the goose execution in Bend. Thanks for the letter, Foster. We appreciate your taking the time to put your thoughts down on paper - so much so that we're hooking you up with a bag of coffee from Strictly Organic, which we can assure you is goose-suffering free. You can pick up your winner's spoils at our office, 704 NW Georgia. - the editor.

Wildlife rescue work this month will not be limited to the Gulf of Mexico, but will require local efforts to prevent the unnecessary euthanization of many of Bend's Canada Geese by the Bend Metro Park and Recreation District.

Earlier this spring BMPRD announced its affiliation with the respected organization Geese Peace. Its national program director David Feld traveled to Bend to conduct further training in non-lethal population control methods.

Mr. Feld stated he was impressed with the leadership and effectiveness of the ongoing program, which had already resulted in fewer hatched goslings this year alone and in an overall stabilization of the goose population.

He had additional suggestions for enlisting more partners in the nest and egg depredation aspect of the program and, thus, for developing a more comprehensive, wide-ranging effort.

Rather than following these recommendations and building on the success already achieved, BMPRD now feels the sudden and baffling necessity to sidetrack the effective nonlethal work of its own employees and seek a permit to kill geese in the remaining few weeks of molting season this month.

Fortunately, this "emergency" kill permit may not so easily be gotten, as it requires permission from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. As of June 23, the Portland USFWS regional office reported that it had not yet received a request by BMPRD. David Williams of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Service stated in a phone conversation on June 24 that his agency does not have the authority to issue a kill permit on its own, contrary to the implication in The Bulletin article (page 1, June 23, 2010).

Many of us who have chosen to live in Central Oregon are here for the joys and peace and mysteries of the natural environment. We can walk this earth in harmony with wildlife. The dedicated goose control team of BMPRD is showing the way to a humane coexistence with wildlife. Let them do their work without resorting to unnecessary killing of the geese.

Visit my Facebook page: Uncle Goose.

- Foster Fell, Bend

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