July 2, 2013
Good riddance to state park geese
The No. 1 problem that keeps people away from Lake Sammamish State Park has been the overpopulation of Canadian geese — and the toe-deep goose poop.
If you’ve been to the park in the last couple of weeks, you may have noticed the geese are gone. After a couple of days of pounding rains, so is the excrement that covered the beaches and lawns. Former goose poop is now just fertilizer.
Of course, a straggler goose may swim ashore and find that the grass is greener at the state park, but for a moment in time, the geese have been relocated. We sincerely hope the state park will continue its program in future years, especially with new pristine sand slated to refurbish Sunset Beach for swimmers.
Animals, people and parks are not always a good combination. Chipmunks and birds are one thing, but geese are similar to dogs — although the average goose can’t catch a Frisbee. Dog owners have learned to accept the responsibility of keeping their hounds on a leash in the park and to clean up the dog excrement. Which leaves only one troublemaker, geese.
Some of the geese —the Russian geese more so than the Canadians, according to Ranger Rich Benson — had been getting very aggressive with park visitors. No one wants to be near a 30-pound goose when it decides it doesn’t want you to share the path. “Scary” is how one morning runner puts it.
Lake Sammamish State Park is a treasure in our midst, but has suffered from neglect of facilities and overuse by geese. With a refurbished boat launch now open and the geese problem resolved, it’s finally safe to go back in the water.