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Mill Creek Park has become a death camp for beautiful geese

Published: Fri, July 4, 2014 @ 12:00 a.m.

Mill Creek Park has become a death camp for beautiful geese

I am writing with a heavy heart in regards to the massacre of the Canadian geese at Mill Creek Park. How can such a natural cathedral, where people and nature join together creating a sanctuary to rest from everyday pressures, now be forever remembered as a chamber of death for any animal that may be too numerous to now reside in Mill Creek Park?

When did overpopulation decree a death sentence?

I am outraged that all these beautiful geese and their babies (goslings) were slaughtered and dumped in a mass hole known as a landfill. These Canadian geese were being killed because they were a nuisance in regards to their droppings, which contained E coli bacteria. Every animal and human being has E coli in their waste.

These Canadian geese added to the natural beauty of Mill Creek Park. Their honking was like a hymn sung in an orchestra of praise with other animals in park. There are many unemployed people who would gladly work to clean droppings of these Canadian geese.

It was reported that these geese could not be used to feed so many hungry people in our area because these bodies of the geese contained a “possibility” of metals and other contaminants. The question I pose is, “Where did these metal contaminants come from and are these same metal contaminants found in the fish people are catching where these same geese resided?”

This is a terrible black mark for Mill Creek Park.

In conclusion, I hope in the future you find other means than slaughter, such as re-location. I will not support any levy of Mill Creek Death Camp for over population.

Sr. Mary Grace Rose Wilkins, Youngstown

Choose more humane methods to control geese overpopulation

The roundup and gassing to death of 238 Canada geese and goslings in Mill Creek MetroParks last week was inhumane and against the wishes of many Youngstown residents. It was also a waste of taxpayer money.

This time of year, Canada geese lose all of their flight feathers and cannot fly, which made them easy to round up and transport to their deaths. However, as soon as the molt season is over in a few weeks, Canada geese from nearby areas will discover the park’s lush grasses and will fill the parks once again.

Treating eggs with corn oil (addling) is an inexpensive, humane and easy way to control the growth rate of Canada geese populations. If the park’s staff had addled the eggs in their park and taken a humane and effective approach to this conflict, they would have reduced the number of geese in the park over time. They would have also been able to humanely harass geese away from the parks with methods such as lasers and specially trained dogs. Instead, they allowed goslings to hatch, only to kill them a few short weeks later.

Other important considerations in providing a long-term and sustainable solution would be to modify the park habitat to make it less attractive to geese and to curb the feeding of geese by the public. The Humane Society of the United States has helped communities across the country solve their goose conflicts using humane and effective solutions.

We would be happy to work with Mill Creek MetroParks moving forward to design a humane program that represents the wishes of the community and solves conflicts between people and geese.

Corey Roscoe, Washington, D.C.

Corey Roscoe is the Ohio state director for The Humane Society of the United States.

If geese aren’t allowed in park, where on Earth can they go?

I have loved Mill Creek Park since I was a child and have hiked every trail, gone to horticulture programs, children’s programs, etc. I believe Mill Creek Park is one of our greatest assets in the Mahoning Valley. But I am very angry that Canada geese were rounded up and killed there. And I would like to know who made this decision.

I realize this was done legally, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it was ethical. Canada geese are protected, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources is too ready to give exemptions. To say people feeding them the wrong food (though not a good practice) is the cause of the problem is merely looking for a scapegoat.

The Humane Society of the United States says this on its website: “If not slaughtered, geese are killed by lethal gas — often in small chambers on the back of trucks brought directly to the roundup site. Geese are loaded into the chamber one at a time until several are inside. Witnesses can hear the geese banging and thumping trying to escape. When the chamber is full, the geese are gassed and dumped in trash bags to make room for more birds.” What is more, we take advantage of the goslings and molting birds when they can’t fly.

Moreover, at best, this roundup is only a temporary fix. There are more humane ways to address this problem. The website GeesePeace (www.geesepeace.com) has suggestions. The park says it has tried other methods. If they didn’t solve the problem, then we have to live with it. Instead, our instinct is to kill the birds.

The park exists not only for us but for the wildlife in it. Just because we do not like their droppings and grazing does not mean we have the right to kill them. If they can’t exist in a park, where should they go?

Janet Formichelli, Canfield

Investment bankers could provide help ailing steel industry needs

The Vindicator’s recent editorial, “Demolition of steel mill dashes any hope of revival in Warren,” is complete as far as it goes. But there is much more to the story. For a moment, let us go back to the early 1950s. Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. printed a history book on its first 50 years in business in Youngstown. It details its accomplishments through those years replete with the modernization of equipment and steel-making methods.

After 1950 and the high profit years that followed, this activity stopped. There was hardly any competition, and money was to be made. All steel companies in the U. S. were in the same mode — no new steel mills, even with a booming economy.

It had been said that the U.S. Steel CEO Edgar B. Speer intended to build a new integrated steel mill in Conneaut at Lake Erie. Part of his plan included closing a number of U.S. Steel plants around the country. Mr. Speer died in 1979, and David A. Roderick became the new CEO and did indeed close a number steel manufacturing facilities. He also proclaimed widely that U.S. Steel was in business to make money and not steel. It certainly went a long way in 1979 to promote the demise of the U.S. steel industry and started the investment of manufacturing of all kinds in foreign countries.

In 1979 the Republic Steel Co. put in a continuous casting system — 20 years after most foreign companies did so. This made a significant reduction in the steel making process. It was a little too late. Republic Steel could not catch up.

As this was happening, Republic Steel in Warren was sending profits to other units that needed funds to stay in business, much to the detriment of the Warren plant. Bankruptcy became the only outlet, and so we had C.D. Betters. The end was inevitable. He would sell the mill as scrap, but can this be the end?

Investment bankers can put together the billions of dollars to build a new steel plant. It will be needed to supply the steel needed for at least the next 20 or 30 years. Where are the entrepreneurs who can work with the investment bankers who can find the money to do what is needed?

Leonard J. Sainato, Warren


1handymandave(564 comments)posted 12 months ago

Corey, all you need is about 12 of these "beautiful" birds in your back yard and you'd have a much better idea of what's going on. They defecate all over the place, chew up all the lush grasses, and generally take over the yard like they own it. Where on earth you ask can these Geese go if not in Mill Creek Park? I hear Canada is nice this time of year.

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2questionreality(490 comments)posted 12 months ago

We live in a world where freezers and grocery stores foster the illusion that life sustains itself without taking other life. Lives that even vegans indirectly take as the growing and harvesting of organic produce kills deer, birds, snakes, rodents, and insects.

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3Silence_Dogood(1470 comments)posted 12 months ago

I thought goose stepping Nazi's used zyclon b when gassing.

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4weloveourcanadageese(3 comments)posted 12 months ago

I live in Vancouver, BC, we have tons of permanent resident Canada geese. They did not stop Stanley Park from being named Worlds Best Park in 2013 and 2104 or stop National Geographic naming Vancouver as the world's 10th best beach city in the world.

I have no idea what Americans do to their Canada geese because they aren't leaving piles of poop here, don't attack children and the aged and infirm, and they are really more civil in our public spaces then many people, their kids, and their dogs and they don't leave non-biodegradeable crap lying around like I found in our park the other day after Canada Day.


Very sad that in the 21st century someone didn't notice geese having babies two or three years ago and do some research. Just shows how little someone values another innocent creature's little life and their suffering.

And did you know Canada geese are role models for humans?? They certainly have more character than the thugs that killed them.

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5weloveourcanadageese(3 comments)posted 12 months ago

Nobody is walking around in goose poop in my photos and if you saw that you need to wash your glasses.

And what 'native species' in your parks do geese crowd out? Bears, coyotes, wolves?? Dogs?

And as I pointed out...egg addling works to manage their population.

And fancy this...look where these Canada geese came from...they were planted there by humans.

"Prior to the 1960s, Canada geese were present in Ohio only during spring and fall migration, and they rarely nested.

A successful re-introduction of a generally non-migratory race has allowed for Canada geese to nest on many water bodies in all 88 Ohio counties."

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6Silence_Dogood(1470 comments)posted 12 months ago

Canuck you might want to clean your glasses for you seem to be having vision trouble. The boy in the blue shirt and yellow/green pants is not wearing anything on his feet. If you believe that his is not at risk of stepping into it you are a fool. Now check out the little girl in the blue bathing suit, you will notice her bare feet, and if you think her feet are clean of the geese business well then I would like to sell you a bridge in Brooklyn.

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7billdog1(3232 comments)posted 11 months, 4 weeks ago

The geese are beautiful but have over populated over the years. This is an experiment gone bad. As humans we need to control somethings that some find offensive. I do have a problem with the statement they "Could be contaminated with metals." Why didn't people check before they proceeded with gassing them. The were just as likely to not be contaminated. At that point they could have been used as a food source. Education has a way of getting in the way of common sense at times.

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8Donjulio1032(3 comments)posted 11 months, 3 weeks ago

The park board should be commended for their efforts to control the geese population over the last couple of years. They have tried several different methods of controlling the population including egg addling to no avail. The geese have caused a variety of problems including chasing people with young children out of the park. Geese may not be dangerous but they are certainly aggressive after laying eggs. Our park should be accessible to all particularly our children so they and their children continue to enjoy this treasure. The board are a group of unpaid people doing their best for our park. This decision was not made lightly and was made after other methods of control were tried. It was made at the suggestion of the DNR and the USDA. This could not have been an easy decision for the board and they have taken a lot of flak for it. Making decisions like this can be a lonely business I applaud The board for doing what was needed.

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9polhack(129 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago

The only thing the Park did wrong is fail to hire more police to warn, and ticket, people who treat the Park as a dumping ground for their stale bread in the name of feeding the geese. A fifty dollar ticket would help discourage this foolish behavior especially if coupled with a couple of days of poop scooping patrol for repeat offenders.

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