Geese are a menace

Canada geese are not native to this part of the country

nd Marc Lefebvre concerning support for a cull of the introduced invasive year round resident Canada geese before they completely destroy valuable ecosystem estuarine function.

We know from research that in the early 1970s, the British Columbia Fish and Wildlife Branch and partnering organizations embarked on a program to introduce a non-native, hybrid subspecies that have lead to at least 15,000 resident Canada Geese on the east coast of Vancouver Island.

We know that these geese do not migrate and that they are destroying the native plant species in the estuaries of the Englishman and Little Qualicum River, which is also destroying the habitat for all the other species, including salmon.

We know that there has been an egg-addling program for a number of years, with varying degrees of success in reducing the number of geese but not satisfactory for the estuary to restore itself.

In contrast, I do not agree with a cull of the Black tail Columbian deer on Vancouver Island as they are indigenous and the Ministry of Environment population trend statistics show that the deer population has drastically declined from 200,000 in the 1980s to approximately 55,000 currently.

I am a big supporter of conservation, in part because it is more economical in the long run to protect the environmental free services we get from nature, than to degrade them which then results in higher costs later to repair the environmental damage.

If we had dealt with the geese earlier, the rehabilitation would not be as extensive as it is going to be now and if we do not deal with culling the non-native introduced Canada geese now, it may result to a point where we cannot even repair the damage.

I support research and monitoring but considering what we already know from the monitoring and research that has already been done, I believe it makes good sense to spend tax dollars first on a cull, then start the rehabilitation process and continue monitoring perhaps even with help from volunteers.

Given that it was the provincial and federal governments who caused this environmental predicament, the funds for all monitoring and rehabilitation to fix this mistake should not be borne by the taxpayers of Parksville, the funds should be coming from the provincial and federal coffers.

Ronda Murdock

Parksville