Rockford Park District representatives attend conference on geese

Rockford Park District representatives attend conference on geese


Representatives from Rockford Park District/GeesePeace of Rock River Valley have just returned from the GeesePeace in North America Conference held December 10-12, in Alexandria, Va.

As the first of its kind, the conference offered communities, park districts, golf courses and other recreational facilities and schools an opportunity to find out how to deal with nuisance Canada geese in humane ways. The conference was presented by GeesePeace of Virginia and sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture: Wildlife Services; The Humane Society of the United States; Doris Day Animal League; The Fund for Animals; United States Fish and Wildlife Service; and the Animal Protection Institute.

Discussed in the various seminars were: goose behavior; laws and regulations; harassment and nuisance abatement techniques; humane population stabilization techniques; publicity; public education and outreach; the use of automation to manage community projects; nest identification using geographic information systems (GIS); and mapping. The conference also included seminars on how to organize volunteers and training workshops for egg adling (egg oiling), a technique used to prevent development of the embryo and a protocol approved of by the Humane Society. Speakers offered valuable information on existing methods of control; new methods becoming available, as well as methods which are in the research phase.

Demonstration projects performed by GeesePeace of Virginia using a number of different techniques were highlighted during the conference, including: Lake Barcroft, the City of Alexandria, Hilton Hotel and Mark Center (all projects in the Virginia area) along with the six-day project in Rockford, Ill. using Border Collie dogs.

GeesePeace of Virginia is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to finding solutions to wildlife and human conflicts through humane wildlife management practices. This philosophy provides effective long-term solutions to wildlife conflicts while building communities through partnership and a commitment to solve wildlife conflicts humanely.

GeesePeace of Rock River Valley has embraced the philosophies of this organization in the development of a comprehensive plan to manage resident Canada geese. As a part of the plan, GeesePeace of Rock River Valley will be applying for the federal permits necessary to perform egg adling and will follow Humane Society protocol. Implementation of the comprehensive plan will begin in January 2001. With its long-range significant impact, it is expected the program will serve as an important role model to cities all over the United States. Interested parties are asked to watch for upcoming announcements.

Attending the conference were Ron Butler, senior manager, and Wayne Bakke, both of Rockford Park District and Jan Herbert, program manager of GeesePeace of Rock River Valley.

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