July 2, 2013

By Staff

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.


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7 Responses to “Editorial”

  1. bryanw on July 3rd, 2013 10:31 am

    i feel that the entire goose population is being derided by a few aggressive geese. Not all geese are bad or malcontents, and while all animals on this planet poop, perhaps the new friends of lake sammamish could install some goose friendly toilets if the problem is really that bad. just a thought.

  2. Martyn Stewart on July 11th, 2013 6:36 pm

    I was saddened to read a letter in your paper dated July 2nd 2013 regarding the removal of Canada geese.
    The writer would like you to believe that geese are the problems in our state parks and that eradicating them solves all their problems.
    The very fact that these animals have had their habitat removed from them gives the geese very little choice of where to exist.
    I have frequented the park on many occasions and it’s the human species that litters with non-biodegradable items, plastic bags, cans and all kinds of trash.
    When are we going to take account for the treatment of our environment and coexist with mother nature instead of looking to destroy what is good?
    Geese do not saturate the air with loud music, they do not litter they are family orientated and we should embrace them all.

  3. evelyne on July 12th, 2013 3:02 pm

    Thank u Martyn for your wise words. Totally agree! I felt sad to read this and what it projects…

  4. Kirsten Massebeau on July 12th, 2013 4:58 pm

    This editorial gives me little home for saving the planet.The geese are just another species that must be wiped out to accommodate the ever growing population of humans. Sadly, by wiping out populations of geese and other wildlife that gets in the way of our anthropogenic activites we are throwing the planet out of balance.
    In addition, what about the suffering of these geese who were gassed and suffered terribly to make the park nicer for humans? Editorials like this truly reveal just how greedy and callous humans are. With this kind of attitude their will be nothing left after humankind is done with this planet.

  5. Sarah Hubbard on July 19th, 2013 9:21 am

    A few weeks ago Washington State Parks used USDA Wildlife Services to kill geese at Lake Sammamish State Park without giving notice to the public or any opportunity to comment. I am writing to ask you to end the practice of killing geese in Washington’s parks. USDA Wildlife Services cruelly rounds up geese when the adults start to molt and they cannot fly. They then herd the adults and babies into pens. If they are still doing what they did in the past when they were killing geese in the Seattle parks, the geese are shoved into gas chambers in the back of the USDA trucks. The gas chambers were not designed specifically for large birds like geese. The chambers are too small for the geese to stand upright prior to being gassed to death. Multiple geese are stuffed into the chamber at the same time while frantically struggling and trying to escape. Of course this is all done under a cloak of secrecy, so that people are unaware of what is being done or how. There are many humane alternatives which work well when used in conjunction with each other. Killing the geese only creates a temporary solution, as other geese will move in, which results in an endless cycle of killing. The killing of the geese at Lake Sammamish State Park leads me to believe that all of the geese at Washington State Parks are in danger. Please stop the endless cycle of killing and come up with a focused well thought out comprehensive plan, which uses humane alternatives. Killing is unacceptable and we must do a better job of sharing the earth with wildlife. Sincerely, Sarah M Hubbard

  6. Sarah Hubbard on July 19th, 2013 9:24 am
  7. Eileen Weintraub on July 25th, 2013 10:04 pm

    Sorry I don’t think geese are “similar to dogs”, they do not have teeth to bite, nor are their droppings the same as they are completely vegetarian. “Good riddance” to what is a miracle in our midst, the only problem with them was they were too numerous and an environmental success story. There are plenty of other comments about the alternatives to keeping their numbers down other than gassing which was recently done which the editorial does not mention that, just says they “are gone”. This editorial leaves a sour and mean taste in my mind for Issaquah.

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