Save the Geese of Ballwin, Missouri

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Status: Current
Originally Posted: 21 March 2009

Save the Geese of Ballwin, Missouri

From Love Canada Geese

Contact the City Council of Ballwin Missouri because the geese of Ballwin are in grave danger. The city council has voted in favor of rounding them up and shooting them.

Please click here for more information and to learn how you can help the geese.

Please write to Mayor Young and the aldermen at the email addresses below to voice your opposition to the proposed roundup and slaughter:

Mayor Young (thank him for being opposed to the roundup)

Alderman James Terbrock (who voted for the roundup) 

Alderman Tim Pogue (who voted for the roundup)

Alderwoman Jane Suozzi (who opposed the roundup)

Alderman Kenneth Buermann (who did not vote)

Alderman James Robinson (who voted for the roundup)

Alderman Frank Fleming (who did not vote)

Alderman Richard Boerner (who voted for the roundup)

Alderman Ray Lembke (who opposed the roundup)

In addition, please write a Letter to the Editor of the Suburban Journal to stop the goose roundup.

INFORMATION

Ballwin geese, beware!

A roundup of the sometimes bothersome birds, with the cooperation of the Missouri Department of Conservation, will start sometime after April 1.

However, Ballwin Mayor Walt Young said he opposes the move, calling it a “shotgun approach” and contending the board “will regret this decision; it will be a big mistake if this happens.”

By a vote of 4-2, the Board of Aldermen March 9 approved a motion by Alderman Jim Robinson to proceed with the goose roundup, an action opposed by some residents four years ago. Aldermen Jane Suozzi and Ray Lembke were opposed. Aldermen Ken Buermann and Frank Fleming were absent.

Young said that meeting will be the only one in March — the March 23 meeting has been cancelled — so there won’t be an opportunity for public comment on the issue before April 1.

City Administrator Bob Kuntz told the board the $8,000 allocation for using trained dogs to chase away the geese has been eliminated from the budget, though egg oiling (to addle eggs) is still being done.

“The goose population problem is still here and will continue to be,” said Kuntz, who asked for direction before April 1 if an application for state conservation department assistance is to be pursued.

Geese captured in a roundup are killed.

In the last several years, the city has put $8,000 toward the dogs in an attempt to follow the program with the GeesePeace organization, which has worked with Ballwin in the past to resolve wildlife conflicts humanely, said Lembke, who asked for the discussion.

“GeesePeace assured us that if we worked in a certain direction with the dogs and addling, we would see changes over a number of years in the geese population and the mess that they create,” he said. “It’s time for this to be reviewed.”

Lembke suggested the city Parks and Recreation Department provide input, perhaps contacting GeesePeace and offering information about the results of the program so far.

“Has the geese population been reduced in our parks or have we created problems for other places in the Ballwin area where there are ponds?” Lembke asked. “Is the addling program sufficient?

“We or GeesePeace have not done an adequate job of contacting Ballwin businesses. There are geese on the roof at Target (at Holloway and Manchester roads) and chasing people on the ground. Target management said that the geese are aggressive, and there’s nothing that can be done because they are protected.”

Lembke reminded aldermen the city addles the eggs with Target’s permission.

“If GeesePeace is not helping as they promised to go to businesses and sites where the geese are nesting and try to work with the people, I don’t know what should be done,” he said. “I’m not suggesting a roundup at this time. But I don’t want to see our residents being chased off of parking lots and away from stores.”

Lembke asked Linda Bruer, the city’s director of parks and recreation, to check on the subject and bring back a report for the parks and recreation committee to discuss for appropriate action.

“Even if we can’t get a permit before April 1 for a roundup this year, since the $8,000 has been eliminated from the budget, a public hearing may be helpful,” Lembke said. “If people are adamant about wanting the geese (to not be rounded up), perhaps we can set up a program so that those people can collect money for the city to work with GeesePeace again, continue to hire the dog service and expand the program.

“This group of people could be the ones to explain to the businesses what can be done humanely to help reduce this challenge.”

Young insisted that when GeesePeace receives notices from John Hoffman, the city’s parks superintendent of facilities and grounds, the organization go to those locations and take care of the problems.

“The bottom line is that in 2005, our people asked for us to work with GeesePeace, and we did,” Young said. “I’ve seen improvements in the geese situation year after year. Others who say that’s not true can’t give proof. We’ll be wasting our money on a roundup because it’s only a one-time solution, and you’d have to continue that every year. As soon as you get rid of one batch, a new batch of geese will come in.”


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