Controversy Over How to Control Lake Vista's Goose Population

Bedford Co., VA - Hundreds of geese have made Lake Vista in Bedford County their home. And that has led to many problems, leaving neighbors looking for solutions.

The Property Owners Association says they want to make it clear they would not be getting rid of all the geese, just some, according to USDA recommendations. The idea of killing them has some people really upset.

It is hard not to notice the geese at Lake Vista. Midway through our interview with homeowner Mauranna Sherman, we had to stop.

"You can hear some of them talking. They hear us talking," said Sherman.

Sherman and her husband Bob have lived on the lake for 12 years. They say they were appalled when they heard the news.

"I think it's very unfair," said Sherman. "This is inhumane and a horrible process."

The Lake Vista Property Owners Association says most of the birds have to go. The question is how. They will wait for the USDA to recommend a method. But gassing or injecting them are likely solutions.

"They'll round up during the mulching season when they can't fly. You round up whatever number they recommend and then you haul them away and they will euthanize them," said President of the Lake Vista Property Owners Association Claude Mays.

Mays invited us to his home.

"This is probably a couple weeks up to just few weeks to a month there," said Mays.

His yard is peppered with droppings.

"The driveways around here. You can't walk to get the paper in the morning without stepping in something," said Mays.

He says the feces are not only unsightly, they can have real health concerns for residents; something that will not go away without action.

"Once the geese settle in an area, they'll stay there. These don't migrate. This becomes their home," said Mays.

We are told the USDA will be at Lake Vista some time between June and July. Lake Vista will pay just under $2,000 for the visit and $6 per goose that is euthanized. Some homeowners want more options considered.