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This clean parks idea uses energetic pups to keep geese in the air

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By Bryan Levin, KBOI

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) — It’s a problem that we not only see, but also step on.

Geese have a knack for leaving behind some nasty evidence. But the city of Boise, Idaho is working on a creative way to keep geese out of its parks.

Dogs!

“The greatest impact we have found to affect the population and keep them moving out of the parks is using dogs,” said Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway.

Kyle Nelson runs Tree City Management, a company that helps the city with that problem. One of the reasons the city contracts Nelson is because he does it humanely.

“So when I looked it up, (PETA’s) recommended advice was to use a dog to simulate the goose’s natural predator - the wolf,” Nelson said. “It turns out it works really well.”

Nelson, and a couple other employees, and their dogs, are used at Esther Simplot Park, the cancer survivor plaza at Julia David Park, Molenaar Park and Morris Hill Cemetery. The city pays Tree City Management $20 to $25 dollars per visit.

“The hope is the geese will feel totally uncomfortable being here and instead of dealing with literally hundreds of geese in the course of the day, maybe we see a couple dozen here or there,” Holloway said.

Three City Management is also used by businesses and housing developments.

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Usually Nelson, and his dog Rusty, chase away geese but have to stick around.

“Usually they will send a team of two back over the area 10-15 minutes later,” he said. “If they see you they keep flying but it they don’t see you it’s like game on and the whole flock will come back.”

The goal is to get the geese flying.

“The more the geese are flying the more apt they are to stay away from the area because they are expending energy,” Nelson said.

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