Dec 7, 2021 - News

Des Moines manages human-goose conflict resolution

Illustration of a Canadian goose with a word balloon coming out of its mouth, and punctuation symbols replacing a swear in the balloon.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

After "years of human-goose conflicts," Des Moines is acting to put the cranky critters in their place.

Driving the news: The Des Moines City Council approved a Canada goose management plan Monday night.

State of play: Thousands of geese have discovered our secret — that DSM is a pretty great place to live.

  • Well-manicured lawns near ponds, rivers or lakes make for an ideal setting for a family.
  • Plus: Iowa nice has resulted in lots of wholesome, free meals.

Yes, but: Overpopulation has turned geese into a nuisance in some areas.

What they did: DSM teamed up with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to help make the city a less hospitable place for geese to hang out.

  • It's now illegal to feed them under a city ordinance approved in October.
  • Tall plant buffers, rip-rap along banks and reducing winter water aeration to create more freezing are part of DSM's new plan.

The bottom line: Honk, honk. We're reclaiming our city.

What to watch: Site-specific recommendations will be unveiled in the spring.

A photo of geese at the Iowa Capitol.
Geese have even taken to the Iowa Capitol. Photo courtesy of the city of Des Moines
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