DENVER — A tense discussion continued Tuesday over controversial geese culling in Denver parks.
Community members came to Messiah Lutheran Church near City Park with questions for Scott Gilmore, the city’s deputy manager of Parks and Recreation.
Denver Parks and Recreation and the USDA were given permission to capture and kill about 2,200 geese in the last year as part of a goose management plan for the city’s parks.
Gilmore says he takes the heat for the decision and is open to discussing it, which is why he attended Tuesday’s meeting. However, he believes culling was a necessary action that the city will use again in the future if warranted.
Meat from the geese was donated to local shelters to provide food for those in need. Tuesday night, Gilmore faced questions about whether the meat was safe to eat.
“How do you feel personally knowing you fed these geese to the needy without testing them with all of the things in that park, Scott Gilmore?” one community member asked.
“I’m fine. It’s a wildlife species and, you know, people hunt every day,” Gilmore responded.
Gilmore said the city and USDA will test the geese moving forward if more culling is necessary.
“Saying they are going to continue to kill geese with all of the outcry we’ve had is unacceptable,” said Courtney Dewinter with Canada Geese Protection Colorado.
“Going to the USDA and expecting non-lethal techniques is like going to Taco Bell and expecting chow mien,” a community member said.
“Denver did not just come up with a magical plan to just do this,” Gilmore said, adding that the city is continuing to oil goose eggs, which prevents them from hatching.
Gilmore says the city will also continue hazing and trying to change landscape habitats at parks to attempt to non-lethally alleviate the overpopulation issue.
Jonathan Frantz and Nicole Fierro contributed to this report.