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Stop the Senseless Slaughter 

The slaughtering of geese continues and one Bend resident opposes it.

With a brand new goose kill permit in hand, Bend Park District [BPRD] may move sometime this week or next against the geese in Drake Park.

The community is invited to come to the park to peacefully and lawfully bear witness to yet another extermination. The Bend Police Department has graciously offered us the sidewalk on the east side of Riverside Drive as an assembly point.

If you can join us at Drake Park on the morning of the operation and would like to be alerted, please call 541-280-0802 or e-mail goosewatchalliance@yahoo.com. We will have daily updates on our website www.goosewatchalliance.com and Facebook - Uncle Goose.

There is no need for a repeat of last summer's Drake Park extermination. No emergency exists. Humane geese management has been working - and working remarkably well.

BPRD's own data indicate the resident goose population is now at manageable levels - between 80 and 140, according to a January 2011 BPRD update.

Recently asked for the maximum acceptable number, BPRD's own natural resources manager replied, "About 150."

The geese that will be targeted this month are visitors which seek out Drake Park for safety during the summer molt - when they are flightless and vulnerable - but then move on. According to the BPRD Natural Resources Manager, there exists only "nonscientific and anecdotal" evidence that these visitors pose any problems.

Clearly, with facts nonexistent, they are about to die in the service of specious reasoning.

By all accounts, the non-lethal methods now in use by BPRD are working! 2010 marked the first year of "aggressive" egg oiling. The results? An immediate reduction in the number of hatched goslings.

This year saw the introduction of accepted, state-of-the-art dog hazing - and community volunteers, resulting in a 2/3 reduction in the cost of dog handling. The cost of poop removal was cut in half - to $2,000 in the last annual budget cycle.

With all these successes in terms of population stabilization and savings, why does our Park District continue and - now - widen its war against urban wildlife? Hard to say; for the past year, the elected directors of this tax-supported entity have refused to hold public hearings.

- Foster Fell, Bend

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