The Oregon Goose Control Task Force Bill

The Oregon Goose Control Task Force was created by Senate Bill 622 (passed by the 2009 Oregon State Legislature) to study ways to address agricultural crop losses created by current goose populations in the state. The Task Force will also look at aviation concerns as more geese use land by airports.

The number of geese wintering in Oregon has increased in the past few decades, as geese shifted from wintering in California to wintering in the Pacific Northwest, migrated out of California earlier in the year, or began using different parts of Oregon to stage before migrating. Geese can damage agricultural areas, particularly grass seed fields, and compete with livestock on pasture lands. The Willamette Valley and the Klamath Basin have the highest goose populations but growing numbers of geese are using Oregon coastal areas, too.

Two populations of Canada geese that winter in Oregon are of particular concern to wildlife managers. Cackling Canada geese are becoming very abundant in the Willamette Valley but remain an important food source for Native Alaskans’ subsistence harvest. Dusky Canada geese are also of concern because their numbers have been on a long-term decline. Goose hunting in northwest Oregon, which includes the Willamette Valley and northern coastal areas, is complex and restrictive in order to conserve dusky Canada geese.

Currently, wildlife managers use a variety of methods to reduce goose damage including sport hunting, encouraging geese to remain on federal wildlife refuges and state wildlife areas, hazing geese, and destroying the eggs of resident Canada geese.

Canada geese are migratory birds and protected by state, federal and international law. Management of migratory birds is a cooperative program through the Pacific Flyway Council, with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service the lead manager because of federal treaties with Russia, Japan, Canada and Mexico.

Those interested in the issues being discussed by the Goose Control Task Force should watch this website for updates on reports, research, meeting minutes and proposals.

Source:Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

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