Feds OK Geese Removal Plan: General Manager reports | TheUnion.com

Feds OK Geese Removal Plan: General Manager reports

By  Bob Mariani

There are no records documenting when the first resident geese began to inhabit Lake Wildwood, but by 2004 the population had grown to the hundreds. The excrement became such a mess and potential health hazard that membership usage of the Beaches and Parks dropped dramatically.
Spring of 2005 brought a large hatching of goslings further increasing community concern. In late 2005 the Association formed a Lake Committee to assist with preserving the lake environment.
Goose control was included in the Lake Committee assignments.
One of our first committee members had previous experience with goose issues at a lake in Virginia and was familiar with an organization called Geesepeace.
The founder of Geesepeace was retained as a consultant to help guide development of a goose control program at Lake Wildwood.
In early 2006 a meeting was held in Lake Wildwood with two representatives from the Geesepeace organization, and invited representatives from the USDA Fish & Wildlife Service and California Department of Fish & Wildlife.
All attendees endorsed the proposed solutions, which centered on acquisition of a dedicated trained goose control dog, egg oiling, and community education.
The Association was committed to using non-lethal means to reduce the goose population and reclaim the use of our parks. In March 2006 a depredation permit was obtained for egg oiling, and in July 2006 a goose-trained Border collie was obtained.
The Association sent our lead person for the goose control program to a Geesepeace conference in New York in November 2006 where best practices based on the experience of attendees were reviewed and exchanged.
As a result, the use of laser lights at night was also adopted to help reduce roosting on the Lake.
It was also reported by attendees at that meeting that many other proposed solutions for goose control such as flashing lights and fake predator animals do not work in the long run.
This will be the 12thyear since we first ororganized our goose exclusion program. Over the years we have tried many additional techniques to encourage the geese to move on to a friendlier place.
Along the way, we have tried many passive techniques such as reflectors, strobe lights, decoys, beach lineropes, and a Bird-B-Gone machine with virtually no extended effect.
They simply don't work, as was reported by the attendees at the 2006 New York conference. The tried and true methods of goose dogs in the Parks, egg oiling in the spring, lasers at night, radio controlled boats,and coordinated boat and dog operations to harass the geese workbut they require an enormous effort of continuous volunteer participation and expense.
We have been able to reduce the resident goose population from the hundreds that were here in 2004 to the 70-80 bird level but can't seem to gain any ground from that number. Seventy to eighty geese can do a lot of damage.
Keeping the geese out of a 300-acre lake with five tempting parks and sixbeaches has proved a daunting task.
This year we had 13 goslings hatched somewhere in the Hideaway area even though we oiled well over 155 eggs. Those goslings now have an internal navigation system set to Lake Wildwood.
Without this program, the resident population would have grown geometrically and we would have been back to the hundreds of geese that were here in 2004. The E. coli O157:H7outbreak last year changed the dynamic. We have accumulated substantial circumstantial evidence that the high shoreline E. coli readings we sometimes measure link directly to the habits of the geese, and one of the scat samples last year indicated that a goose had somehow vectored the same O157:H7 strain of E. coli that made the children sick.
We feel that given the events of last July, we need to go to the next level to protect the health and well-being of our members and guests who use the Lake.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife personnel visited LWW and reviewed our program and the impact the geese have on our parks and beaches.
They agreed that removal of resident geese was an appropriate response at this time and have issued a permit to remove some of the geese from our lake.
We feel that this added ability, in concert with a stepped up internal program, will give us some needed relief.
The use of the permit has been authorized by the Board of Directors.
Federal Fish and Wildlife staff will be conducting removal operations during the course of the year to reduce our resident population as much as possible.
Specific times and dates will be chosen for optimum removal and different methods may be used.
Want Your Residence Beach Tested: Sierra Streams Institute (SSI) is now doing our beach line indicator E. coli testing on a turnkey, contract basis.
They test our beach shorelines every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.They have agreed to do private testing for concerned lakefront owners on a fee basis.The charge is $45 per test and it takes 24 hours for the results to come back.
To set up a test, please contact Justin Wood at justin@sierrastreams.orgor (530) 477-7132 x 204.

Quarterly Assessment Fee:
If you've been paying your assessments quarterly, you are aware that there has been and is a fee of $20 per quarter. However, it's come to our attention that a few Members have changed from paying annually to paying Assessments quarterly and didn't realize there is a fee. This is not a bank fee, it's an Association fee that's been in place for years. So, if youplan to change from an annual Assessment payment to a quarterly payment, please be aware that there is a fee of $20 per quarter. Also, since this fee is included in the Annual Disclosure Statement to the Members, and the Budget, it's not feasible to change it this year. However, discussion is taking place regarding the fee for the Assessment payments.
Any recommendations to change this fee will be brought to the Board during the next fiscal year budget process.

Parking Lot Rules Enforcement:
Beginning Friday, June 1st warnings for parking in Association lots without an access decal or parking permit on a vehicle ceased and vehicles will be subject to towing or citations. Please be sure that your vehicle is properly permitted when parking in an Association's parking lot so your vehicle does not get towed.

Share The Road:
If you are approaching a walker or biker, please share the road and pull over a little if you are able so that you may give that walker/biker safe space. It doesn't take much effort to move over a bit rather than drive by someone too closely and end up in anaccident.

Board Vacancies:
Please be reminded that only one Association Member submitted an application for the upcoming Board election, Conni Barker. As a result, the Board is seeking Members who are interested in an appointment to the Board. If you are interestedplease submit an application to the Association Office by or before 5 p.m. on June 22, 2018.
Applications are available on the website at https://www.lwwa.org/_filelib/FileCabinet/BOD_Documents/BOARD_APPLICATION_FOR_APPOINTMENT_JUNE_2018.pdf.
Please email application and statement to info@lwwa.org. Be prepared to submit a photo (headshot) for use in any publications, including the website. All Board applicants will participate in a meeting that will be held June 28 at 6 p.m. in the Clubhouse Cedar Room so that the Board and Membership may be better acquainted with the applicants