Victory! Foster City Geese Saved From Massacre

Victory! Foster City Geese Saved From Massacre

Our National Goose Protection Coalition is celebrating the City Council of Foster City’s decision to spare the lives of up to 100 Canada geese. A goose poop clean-up event arranged ahead of the decision turned into a celebration.

On Saturday, August 5, 2023, 14 eager goose advocates showed up to pick up after their feathered friends at Leo J Ryan Park in Foster City, California, at the invitation of Councilmember Stacy Jimenez.  Mayor Jon Froomin and goose advocates put their differences aside for community care and to beautify the area. Ironically, Foster City Parks and Recreation had power washed the entire park the previous day, so there was no poop to clean. Regardless, the community event demonstrated that activists are willing to volunteer in support of non-lethal methods to help humans and geese coexist in city parks. 

Jimenez was surprised to see such a great turnout and the mayor was happy to see the volunteer effort. Jimenez shook hands with National Goose Protection Coalition member Erik Allen in agreement to hold regular goose poop cleanups.  

It couldn’t have happened without your help. Thousands of In Defense of Animals supporters called on Foster City for compassion, not just once, but two years in a row, so we are delighted and relieved at the council’s decision to use only humane methods to steward geese in the city. 

The National Goose Protection Coalition was also delighted to present Foster City with a Happy Honk award as a result of its decision to coexist with our wild animal neighbors. Nonlethal goose management benefits everyone since it is much cheaper and considerably more effective than killing. 

Unbelievably, in Foster City’s July 18, 2022, Canada Goose Population Management Plan Update it was revealed that the city had planned to spend $86,240 to kill up to 100 geese, which amounts to $860 per goose! That’s a huge waste of money, especially when you consider that different geese will move in during the year to consume the resources that the killed geese are no longer able to use. We very much hope that other local bodies will be inspired to foster coexistence with geese as a result of this policy change.

Foster City is preventing animal cruelty, saving lives, and setting a great example by teaching children that killing for convenience is never the answer. Dozens of people regularly spoke up at city council meetings and went to protests for the geese, not just once, but twice, and were essential in sparing their lives.

Thanks especially go to Councilmember Patrick Sullivan and Mr. David Canepa from the Board of Supervisors for being massively influential voices for the geese, and to Shireef Elmakawi Esq. and Greenfire Law, P.C. for making sure the California Environmental Quality Act statute was upheld. Thanks are also due to Jimenez for her leadership in finding a solution to the “poop problem” that saves taxpayer money and brings the community together. This poop cleanup event was a day to celebrate, reunite, and have fun while beautifying the city together.

The new decree reads as:

WHEREAS, staff is recommending that the Plan include only non-lethal strategies to population and habitat management to allow adequate time to assess their combined effectiveness; and

WHEREAS, the First Amendment to the Professional Services Agreement with Wildlife Innovations, Inc. would, among other changes, modify the scope of work identified in Task 1b of Exhibit A of the Agreement to include the additional services, modify the Consultant Fee Schedule to reflect that services relating to Task 1b will be on a time and materials basis, and specifically that the plan include only non-lethal strategies to population and habitat management; and

WHEREAS, the expanded scope of work for Task 1b will be performed on a time and materials basis, ensuring compensation will be rendered only for the services provided. 

Schweigart, Derek and Fanara, Frank. (2023) Staff Report: A Resolution of the City Council of the City of Foster City Authorizing the Mayor to Execute a First Amendment to Professional Services Agreement with Wildlife Innovations Inc. (Agenda Item 9.1). 

Members of the public near and in Foster City are encouraged to attend future goose poop clean-up events and enjoy being around geese families. For details on the September 9 cleanup, visit Let The Geese Live Facebook group in late August.

If you live in an area with Canada geese, know that they are likely being lethally “managed” outside of public awareness. One day they’re there, the next day they’re not. We can help your efforts to learn what’s happening to Canada geese near you. Because the killing is done secretly at the crack of dawn, people don’t realize their community geese are being executed. Check out our resources to get started. We are eager to help you, please don’t let your local geese down by assuming they’re okay.

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