Association has a plan to let geese and people co-exist at Lake Woodcross

(Columbia) August 16, 2006 - The Harbison Community Association has come up with a plan to let geese and people co-exist at Lake Woodcross.

In June, there was a public outcry after the association made the decision to catch and kill 70 geese.

The geese were then sent to a processing plant.

It was part of a government program that controls geese populations where the birds are considered a nuisance.

After WIS aired the story, the group Carolina Wildlife Care met with the association to come up with a non-lethal answer to controlling the geese in the future.

The plan includes:

    * Counting the geese on a regular basis.
    * Adopting a strict no feeding policy
    * Oiling down eggs - to keep them from hatching, and
    * Changing the landscape around the water to make it less attractive for geese.

These ideas will be presented to the association's board for consideration on August 22nd.

July 12, 2006

From WIS-TV news

Geese in Harbison area might be getting second chance

(Columbia)  July 12, 2006 - It's been more than a week since 70 geese were taken from Lake  Woodcross and killed. But already there are signs of a quick return.
"My  daughter and I both said 'yes, they're back!'" says Lila Atkinson, a resident  who misses the geese.
There's good news for the new flock. It looks like  they might get to hang around longer than the last group. 
"Our  intention was never to eliminate the population, just to begin to manage the  population ... I'm pleased to know there's some other ways to [rid the geese without using lethal force]," says Sid Crumpton with the Harbison Community  Association.
Crumpton has teamed up with Carolina Wildlife Care to look at  more humane ways of handling the overpopulation problem.
"We did a quick  tour and talked about some techniques used in other places that may work well  here at Harbison Lake," says Joanna Weitzel with Carolina Wildlife.
Weitzel  has found spoiling or oiling down eggs before they hatch have helped other  communities.
"You're really being proactive ... more or less with the  spay-neuter system, you're controlling a population before it gets to crisis  mode," Weitzel says.
Some places have strict no feeding policies. Crumpton  and Weitzel say its something they'll consider in certain areas, like the nearby  playground.
Lila Atkinson says it's all good, as long as there are geese.  "It's not a problem ... It' just a case of giving them a place to come."
"I  wanna stress that it's going to be done together, and this is something I'm committed to," says Crumpton. 
Crumpton says coming up with a plan will  take the community’s help. He is going to e-mail members to ask for input on the  issue. He hopes to have an action plan for geese control by the community’s next  meeting on August 22.
Reported by Angie Goff


Lake Woodcross geese slaughtered

Please CLICK HERE for the news video. You'll see the  and the link on the left side of the page.

(Columbia) June 29, 2006 - You can bring your bread to Lake Woodcross at Harbison, but don't expect the geese to bite.

Their absence is unusual, and Marty Yates notices it, "You look out there, there's nothing."

So where did the dozens of geese go? Sid Crumpton of the Harbison Community Association says, "They were sent to a processing plant."

Seventy geese were slaughtered, made into meat to be donated to local food banks.

It's legal. The executive director of the Harbison Community Association got help from the US Department of Agriculture, a group licensed to remove populations of geese when they're considered a nuisance in a the community.

Sid says they were a problem, "They were pooping on the trails and being very aggressive, especially this time of year when they felt threatened."

Marty is one of those who doesn't agree with the method, "I've been here 15 years, raised kids, the whole bit, never had a problem."

Yates wonders why residents had no input in the outcome, "I just think it's sad. It's not like you can go back and say, 'Oo, I'm sorry, let's put 'em back.' They're gone.'"

With exception of the few goose feathers on the side of the lake, you would've never known geese once walked there. The pathway is clean, with no evidence of anything the birds left behind.

David and Linda Hartsook often visit their mother, who lives at a nursing home by the lake. Linda worried about the geese in the area, "The fact that there's a playground on the other end. You don't want little people mucking around in the goose droppings."

Duncan Hornsby, 10, was there the day the geese were captured. He said the birds didn't go down without a fight, "He caught it with his hands like this. When it did, it bit the dude in the arm."

And chances are we haven't seen the end of them. Linda points out, "It isn't like they won't be back. They're wild animals and they'll find this pond here again."

It's hope some will hold on to as they continue to grasp what was a sudden goodbye.

Monique will miss the birds, "Yeah, it'll be very different because that's what we came to do. It was part of the experience here."     

Reported by Angie Goff


Expert suggests planning for future geese at Lake Woodcross

(Columbia) June 30, 2006 - The geese may be gone, but the concerns remain. Thursday night WIS' Angie Goff told you about dozens of geese that were captured, killed, and turned into processed meat in Richland County. Many will miss the geese and are outraged by their deaths, while others insist they were a serious problem in the area. Some people say removing and killing them is just a short term fix to what will be a continuing problem.  

The visits of Oscar Peeler and his dog Peanut to Lake Woodcross have been cut short since the geese were gathered and shipped off to a processing plant earlier this week, "We used to spend about 45 minutes to an hour feeding ducks and geese. Now we just walk, and come back."    

The Harbison Community Association had the US Agriculture Department round them up as part of a  program that removes geese from places they're considered a nuisance. Sid Crumpton says they have tried other methods in the past, "On occasion we have tried to collect them and relocate them, without any success."

The meat made will be donated to food banks.

Peeler still thinks the killing was too extreme, "They could've thinned them out, just take certain amount of them, leave a certain amount here."

Joanna Weitzel with Carolina Wildlife Care says since the WIS story aired she's been flooded with calls. "Just like everyone else, we were deeply concerned."

"Eradicating the whole population is very short-sided. It's a quick fix, much like a band-aid."     

Weitzel says many geese are non-migratory because people keep feeding them. And where there's food and grassy wetlands, count on the birds to keep coming back.  

Joanna wants a long-term solution for the geese in the area, "We would like to help to come up with a real plan to address situations like these so humans and wildlife can co exist peacefully."

The Department of Natural Resources says permanent removal of the birds on lakes is a last resort and that there are things land and homeowners can do to keep the geese under control.

Those ideas include modifying the shoreline because geese don't like tall grasses or shrubs, limiting feeding to one area in the park and oiling down eggs to keep them from hatching.

Joanna suggests, "I think what we do is we try to make the best of this horrible situation, learn from it, find out what others have done in similar situations and develop a plan of action."

They'll need the plan for this fall when the geese may make their return.

Peeler is looking forward to that, "I'll be happy to see them coming back, the ones that come back in the winter and  I hope they don't take these away." 

Reported by Angie Goff




1. Please write to SID CRUMPTON of the Harbison Community Association to express your outrage at his cruel and despicable actions. You may contact him at:

Mr. Sid Crumpton, Executive Director
Harbison Community Association
106 Hillpine Road
Columbia, SC  29212

2. CLICK HERE to write a letter to THE STATE.COM Editor, SOUTH CAROLINA'S HOME PAGE. Their letter policy is mentioned on that page.

3. Write a letter to Angie Goff at

4. Please post your comments about the goose slaughter at Harbison by CLICKING HERE.


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