UPDATE: CANDLEWICK LAKE (WIFR) -- The Candlewick Lake Association has approved a controversial plan to round up geese in areas approved by the program and have them shipped off to be processed into food.
Leaders at Candlewick have been looking into the Canada Geese Charity Harvest program for over a year. The program works with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The geese are rounded up, killed, and then the meat is distributed to area food pantries for the needy.
The Candlewick Lake Association says they've exhausted every other method of controlling the goose population.
CANDLEWICK LAKE (WIFR) -- Leaders at Candlewick Lake in Boone County are considering a controversial plan to manage their goose population.
The Association has been talking to the US Department of Agriculture and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources about a program called the Canada Goose Charity Harvest Program.
Essentially the government agencies round up geese in areas approved by the program then transport them to be processed into food to be given to food pantries. That food is then given to the needy.
"We have too many geese out here," says biologist Joe Rush. He's been hired by the lake association to come up with ways to get rid of the pesky geese.
Candlewick leaders say they've spent thousands of dollars over the years maintaining and cleaning the areas geese constantly dirty up with feces. They also say the geese pose a treat to the health of the lake.
The harvest program has been used by the USDA in other states but according to the IL Dept. of Natural Resources, the program is relatively new to Illinois.
Vicki Donley is a home owner in Candlewick and is fighting the plan.
"It's inhumane and it is not going to solve the problem of the geese," said Donley. She's started an online petition against the plan and is hoping enough of her neighbors join her fight.
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville looked into the same program last summer to remedy their goose problem but backed off the plan after students and other community members spoke against protested.
Candlewick Lake Association General Manager Theresa Balk says home owners will have a chance to learn about the full plan and voice their concerns at a special meeting this Thursday.
Balk says if enough people don't like the plan, the board may not go ahead with the plan.
Also, the IDNR and USDA still have to research whether Candlewick Lake's goose problem is bad enough to be eligible for the program.