Lake of the Pines to remove 80 geese
Stacey Adams Apr 14, 2020 9:15 AM
Lake of the Pines has initiated a goose depredation program to ensure the health and safety of residents.
The Lake of the Pines Association has acquired a federal permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service authorizing the culling of up to 80 Canada geese by Dec. 31.
The association decided to utilize this method to control the resident geese population and the E. coli levels in Lake of the Pines. According to John Bowman, Lake of the Pines Association general manager, the association decided to take action before there was a cause for concern, as last year, E. coli levels got close to the point where Nevada County would require posted signs and limited bodily contact. To date, there have been no reported illnesses related to bacterial levels in the community.
“No one wanted to go out and shoot the geese, but it got to the point where we had to do something,” Bowman said.
When the permit was issued in February, the initial plan was to carry out efforts before summer and while children were in school, as the geese are relatively immobile and there is less activity on the lake.
However, because of COVID-19, residents have been home during the efforts and are concerned.
“Why did they pick now with all the other stressors that we have going on?” Lake of the Pines resident Owen Metreyeon said. “They could’ve done a better job than just going out with shotguns and killing animals.”
Other methods that previously were utilized to control the resident goose population include fake coyotes to scare the birds, laser beam harassment, pepper spraying the grass and egg oiling. According to Bowman, there has been a goose population problem in Lake of the Pines since the early 2000s, and it continues to grow, even using these methods.
According to Stephen Fettig, wildlife biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Lake of the Pines is an attractive habitat for nesting Canada geese due to the short grass and parks near the water.
The primary goal is the safety of the people within the community, Bowman said. Geese that are culled are determined upon the location and access to the birds in relation to the strict safety protocols for the depredation program. A team - a trained and licensed hunter and two support persons - is positioned in a single boat on the lake during daylight hours and when the lake is red-flagged, prohibiting other boats and swimmers. The team follows safety protocol of firing controls, aiming heights, distancing from residences and not going on private property. A contractor is then utilized to dispose of the geese.
“What is happening now with the permit is a short-term action to address the human health and safety issue,” Fettig said. “The long-term solution is to keep the geese from nesting in this human-created environment.”
According to Bowman, non-lethal methods continue to be used, as required by the permit. The association has used non-lethal methods since 2003, and this is the first time a lethal approach has been taken to control the goose population. Once completed, the association will review the results of the program to determine if this method will have to be utilized again to ensure the efforts are not minimizing the population more than intended.
“We hope to not have to do this again for a number of years,” Bowman said. “We’re not trying to eliminate the geese, we’re just trying to keep the population from getting out of control.”
Bowman said it's difficult to count the geese; however, there were roughly 142 before the start of the program, and around 60 have been culled.
NOTE FROM CANADA GOOSE HALL OF SHAME:
These are the details:
You would think with everything going on with covid-19, the goose killing would be on hold. But no, Lake of the Pines, a development in Auburn, California, just HAD to to use people's health fears (blaming the geese for e.coli, which does NOT come from geese, almost always a septic tank problem) to further terrorize them into supporting a goose kill. The HOA had shooters SHOOT tame, resident goose families. Went out in boats alongside harmless families of geese and shot them (and isn't that ridiculously dangerous and excessively cruel for tame resident geese???). Sprung it on the residents last minute so they never even had a chance to protest it. The 80 geese are already dead.
I spoke to someone who lives there who was against this and he said the HOA is horrible and corrupt (typical for these places). Told me the grass is well-manicured (meaning they do no landscape modification) and there are sewage issues in the general area. He agrees septic tanks are probably the real cause of the e.coli the HOA falsely blames on the geese. It wasn't even an excessive number of geese for the size of the lake (142 total before the killing). 50/50 split of people for and against it, but no one seemed to activate. Even the guy i spoke to didn't seem to want to do anything, just told me he hates the place, thought this was wrong and would just as soon move.
This is the main HOA contact info:
John C. Bowman, General Manager
Lake of the Pines
11665 Lakeshore North
Auburn, CA 95602
Phone: (530) 268-1141
Samen address and phone