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🐥 Denver’s geese can sleep easy … for now

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BY PEYTON GARCIA | @CITYCASTDENVER


Are Denver’s geese safe for another season? 

City Cast Denver reader and listener Katie T. recently wrote in with some compelling questions:

“The Denver goose problem — Whatever happened to the goose culling from 2019 and 2020? Last year it didn’t happen, but will it happen again this year? Was there an impact on the goose population, and if so, how much? What good did it actually do? As geese are nesting and the eggs hatch, it’s something I often wonder about.”

So, I did some digging.

Credit: Lyn Alweis / The Denver Post / Getty Images

First, a refresher: Goose WHAT-ing?
Katie is referring to the infamous goose cullings of 2019 and 2020 in which the city killed 1,662 geese one year and 517 geese the next. The goose meat was then offered to local families facing food insecurity. Animal activists were up in arms, but the city argued our goose populations were reaching “critical capacity” with up to 5,000 geese in summer months. The city has been closely managing Denver’s goose population since 2002. Experts say population management is necessary because too many geese can lead to goose-human conflicts, like goose aggression during nesting season, overgrazing of landscape and vegetation, and safety hazards for drivers.

Will there be any culling this year?
No. My contact at the city’s parks and rec department said, “It was determined in 2021 that there remained a sustainable resident goose population and therefore culling would not be necessary in 2021 or 2022.”

So how many geese is a “sustainable” amount? It depends. Denver Parks and Rec says, “A sustainable goose population in Denver parks is determined by the population of resident Canada geese in a specific park and how the natural resources of that park positively or negatively respond to the presence of a large or small goose population.”

The number of geese culled
from Denver parks in 2020:

Sloan’s Lake: 227 
Harvey Park: 55 
Garfield Lake: 125
Garland Lake: 110 
City Park: No culling needed
Denver goose populations in April 2021
after the 2020 culling:

Sloan’s Lake: 68
Harvey Park: 26
Garfield Lake: 42
Garland Lake: 10
City Park: 50

As for next year? That’s still TBD. Because eggs are still hatching and the annual migration is still coming to a close, officials don’t yet have the latest numbers on this year’s geese.

Is there another way?
Yes … Typically, when the city doesn’t resort to culling, it uses other methods for managing geese, including “egg oiling,” or “egg addling” as it’s also known. This method is when you surreptitiously coat a goose’s eggs in corn oil. The oil blocks oxygen to the embryo, terminating the development. The benefit of this strategy is that the mother goose can’t sense the oil on the egg and doesn’t know there’s anything wrong with it. If you were to just destroy her egg, by nature she’d just go lay some more.

I know what some of you might be thinking (um, yikes!), but the U.S. Humane Society considers egg oiling the most humane way to deal with goose population management. Last year, Denver successfully oiled roughly 2,000 eggs across the city. But throughout the rest of the year, the city also uses hazing techniques (the use of bright lights, loud noises, dogs, and fake coyote decoys) to deter the birds.

Wanna know more?
Information about Denver’s goose management program can be found at DenverGov.org, including this super helpful Q+A.


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Sponsored by Denver Film

Film on the Rocks is back!

The summer series featuring live performances and beloved films under the stars returns to Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre. The season begins Monday, June 13, with “Thor: Ragnarok” and continues through Monday, August 15, with Academy Award-winner “Dune.” Other titles include “The Sandlot”; “The Greatest Showman”; and 2022 Academy Award-winner “Summer of Soul (… Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised).” Tickets are on sale at denverfilm.org.


More news you should know

🚩Trouble on the jam band scene: The city is looking to potentially revoke the liquor licenses of two sister jam band bars, Sancho’s Broken Arrow and So Many Roads Brewery. A 16-month investigation has resulted in allegations of staff members dealing illegal drugs and the sale of alcohol to underage individuals. [Westword]

  • 🤔 Worth noting: Both establishments were previously owned by former music promoter Jay Bianchi, who was at the center of a major sexual assault scandal last summer. Catch up with our episode on the situation: Denver’s Jam Band Scene Has an Ugly Open Secret 

🏀 Bidding goodbye to Tim Connelly: The Denver Nuggets president is leaving the Mile High after agreeing to a five-year, $40 million contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Connelly has been with the Nuggs since 2013, and we have him to thank for drafting MVP Nikola Jokić. [The Atlantic]

  • 💬 Unofficial City Cast Denver sports correspondent Willie Hanson (aka my husband) says: “He built a great team. But it’s already built, and his right-hand man (GM Calvin Booth) will probably get a nice promotion.”

🐶 IN CUTEST NEWS OF THE DAY: The Denver Sheriff’s Department got a new member recently … He’s a 1-year-old German Shorthaired Pointer, and he’s training to be the department’s most adorable explosives detection agent. 

  • 🐾 BUT he still needs a name! And that’s where you come in. You still have a little time to cast your vote on the names DSD is considering. The winning name will be announced at noon today on the department’s social media channels. 
  • 🦴 Bonus: If the name you vote for wins, you’ll be entered in a lottery to meet the pup in person! 

The most ‘Denver’ street in Denver 🏙️

“You get a little [bit of a] different view at three miles an hour by foot than you do at 30 miles an hour.” — Frank Locantore

See all the spots Bree and Frank highlighted in the episode. (City Cast Denver)

Colfax is Changing. And Maybe That’s Good?
If there’s anything constant about Denver, it’s change. Recently, Host Bree Davies was driving down Colfax and noticed that a lot of things about her favorite street in the city were in flux. So today on the show, Bree takes a stroll with Frank Locantore from the Colfax Ave Business Improvement District to see what the street has been up to and why we should be embracing the Colfax of the future.


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