Denver’s Canada geese advocates vow to continue their fight

DENVER – A group of activists in Denver is vowing to save Canada geese from future killings. Protesters at the Denver City Council meeting on Monday said they will continue fighting to stop officials from rounding up more geese next year.

Denver recently contracted the USDA to kill 2,200 geese due to an overpopulation in Denver parks. The meat went to feed needy people in Denver.

In the Denver area, the city’s partnership with the USDA eliminated 2,200 Canada geese this year. Of the 2,200, the vast majority -- 1,662 geese -- were rounded up from four Denver parks during early-morning hours, according to Denver Parks and Recreation.

“They just killed the geese in the middle of the night and said what’s done is done,” said Canada geese advocate Courtney DeWinter

Those against the round-ups were among other environmental activists at Denver’s City Council meeting Monday.

“We’re not going away,” DeWinter said. “We’re going to work on this until it stops.”

DeWinter is with Canada Geese Protection Colorado. It’s a group that formed in the wake of the recent killings. The group says the city failed residents by being secretive about plans to kill geese.

“The failure to address the general public attests to the lack of accountability and transparency by Denver Parks and Rec. to the public at large,” a group member told council members.

Denver Parks and Recreation says a public announcement was not made out of concern for employee safety and to ensure the round-ups would not be compromised. The city says hazing and other non-lethal options have not worked, and geese poop in parks is creating health concerns.

Next year, more Canada geese could be killed in Denver. Parks and Recreation says it must first evaluate the population in the spring. Meanwhile, activists say they are gearing up to create more public pressure on Denver’s elected leaders.

Part of what will determine if more geese are killed next year is a USDA report about this year’s round-ups. Denver expects to receive that report in a couple of months.

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