(Sept. 14, 2018) “Passion. Passion. Passion. I have been getting it from all angles you could imagine,” Ocean Pines General Manager John Bailey said Saturday.

The passion Bailey was referring to was the June culling of about 300 resident Canada geese and the subsequent protests outside board meetings, the formation of at least one concerned citizen group, and dozens of letters to the editor in local newspapers.

General Manager John Bailey

Ocean Pines Association General Manager John Bailey

Passion was also the reason the association “has held off on trying the border collie approach,” Bailey added, referring to one proposed method of managing the local goose population.

During a July board meeting, Bailey said he met with Maryland Geese Control, an organization that uses border collies to deter invasive goose populations from settling in an area.

In a previous interview, Bailey described the service as using trained dogs to chase geese offsite without harming them.

Last Saturday, he said a contract for the service would be needed and the cost would be $625 per week.

“And at 52 weeks that would be $32,500 – a contract that I would definitely need to bring back to the board of directors,” Bailey said. “However, there was $15,000 approved in the budget for wildlife management [and] we’ve only spent a little less than $5,000 year to date, [with] USDA Wildlife Services and Assateague Coastkeeper.”

Bailey said he intended to try the border collies as a pilot program spread out over a six-week period, this fall, at a cost of about $4,000.

“We would have enough money to pursue other mitigation efforts in the spring, including continued use of border collies if that approach is considered successful,” he said. “And I’m looking for more input, as always, from everybody on what’s next.”

Josh Davis is an MDDC award-winning editor and reporter at the Bayside Gazette and Ocean City Today newspapers, covering Berlin and Ocean Pines, Maryland. He is the author of three novels, including 'Vanishing is the Last Art' (2012). He lives in Berlin.

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