Federal Way Mirror June 7th Article – Resident Canada Geese

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With input from the Association’s legal counsel, the Board of Directors and Homeowner Association staff have responded to individual homeowner questions regarding the geese removal issue over the last several months. However, there has never been a previous email or letter to the entire membership of the Association prior to this communication.
The Twin Lakes Homeowners Association Board of Directors would like to clarify and correct some statements that were made or misrepresented by a Federal Way Mirror reporter in a recent article about resident geese.  The article appeared in the Mirror last Friday, June 7th. A letter was not sent out to residents by the Association on June 1st as the article states. This post is our attempt to set the record straight and explain to our residents what the Board is doing to manage the geese population on our two lakes in 2019.

On April 25, 2019 we held a Goose Symposium at the Twin Lakes Golf and Country Club and invited the USDA Wildlife Services biologists’ Brook and Mike to present their 45 minute PowerPoint presentation on resident Canada geese in western Washington, followed by a Q&A session. When asked what the Association was going to do about geese in 2019, the Board responded that we would count the resident geese as they came off their nests and the number of goslings hatched. Then we would make our decision, and that is exactly what we did.  Our security staff and Hans F. monitored daily goose counts on all three lakes for the entire month of May.

At the May 15th Board meeting, the Board passed a motion to accept whatever the recommendation was issued by the Dept of Agriculture Biologist. The biologists are the professionals and experts on geese by their education and training whereas we as Board members are not.

At the end of May, we reviewed the daily goose and gosling count data for the entire month of May with the USDA Wildlife Services Biologist Brook Zscheile. Based on that data, Brook issued a four-part recommendation:

#1, He is recommending that the Association NOT do a lethal removal of resident Canada geese in June 2019, as the numbers appear to be trending down and hopefully approaching a permanently lower threshold.
#2, After the first of the New Year (January 2020), the Association will contact him at the USDA Wildlife Services and sign up for a corn “oiling” program on all three lakes starting as early as February 1st, 2020.  A special mailing will be sent out to all lakeside homeowners asking them to please participate, sign the required forms and tell us where the goose nests are on their property, so the eggs may successfully be “oiled” and prevent the hatching of any goslings.
#3, Brook recommends that we attempt alternative non-lethal methods to try and get the resident geese to move from our lakes and that we document the results as to whether any methods are successful, the duration of any temporary success, and what methods fail to work at all on our geese. 
#4, Finally, he is recommending that we keep doing our local goose counts on all 3 lakes for the entire year to establish a goose count data base.  All these steps he is recommending can be studied and reviewed by the Board and the Dept. of Agriculture biologists by the end of May 2020, and any corrections or redirections could be made at that time.

The Board intends to follow all four of his recommendations.
We also realized that several residents have concerns and questions about Canada geese droppings and the risks to human health.  Therefore, we contacted Dr. Beth Lipton, DVM from the Department of Public Health for Seattle-King County and asked her to address these concerns. Her response in its entirety can be viewed in the most recent edition of the Courier on page 5.
If there are any further questions or concerns, please contact the office at (253) 838-0464.