Re: Saanich aims bylaw at non-migratory geese (Saanich News, March 2)
How ironic that geese feature so foully in Pirjo Raits’ written form — yet so beautifully in the file photos of your March 2 article. To witness and learn solutions for managing geese on farms, I’d encourage both Raits and Saanich Coun. Fred Haynes to tour Madrona Farm and talk with farmers David and Nathalie Chambers.
Contrary to Haynes’ claim that when geese “defecate, the crops can’t be harvested,” the federal government states: “There is no direct evidence that goose droppings pose a danger to human health.”
Also, in Canada Geese as a Suburban Wildlife Issue, “Dr. Milton Friend, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Waterfowl Infectious Disease Specialist, says “Canada geese are not carriers of microorganisms (pathogens) that significantly threaten public health.
“In fact, in New York, the Department of Environmental Conservation … managed to confirm what was already known: Canada geese do not pose a health threat even remotely serious enough to justify their mass destruction.”
The Chambers have noted how much goose poop enriches the soil of organic farms.
We are too quick to blame and destroy nature, instead of learning from — and seeking ways to work with — our bird, animal, fish and plant friends. Native people have understood this for generations. Both Raits and Haynes could also gain lessons from reading Saving Farmland — The Fight for Real Food (which, in the spirit of transparency, I admit to having co-authored). Pages 109 to 111 discuss how to accommodate biodiverse “trespassers.” Page 107 provides lessons from the geese on sharing leadership and gaining community support. Additional inspiration can be freely read in Lessons from the Geese, by Dr. Robert McNeish and 7 Lessons We Can learn from Geese to Succeed at Work.
(Visit this letter online at Saanichnews.com for links to the aforementioned studies and publications.)
Robin Alys Roberts