Dakota Country Magazine October 2016 Edition - Page 64

South Dakota T New Goose Management Plan The South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks has updated their management plan for giant Canada geese. The plan is currently still in draft phase but it should be finalized in October. The plan will then be on the SDGFP website, available to all hunters. Rocco Murano, head waterfowl biologist, believes the plan is a giant step in the right direction for geese management and the hunting community. Prior to updating the plan, a stakeholder group was formed consisting of different organizations interested in Canada geese. SDGFP also obtained ad- Page 64, Dakota Country, October 2016 ditional input on Canada goose management from citizens of South Dakota. The Canada Goose Stakeholder Group included representation from the general public, goose hunters, private landowners, agricultural interests, and conservation organizations. The group held three meetings to discuss any changes in the previous management plan. Key topics and issues discussed by the stakeholder group included the status of Canada geese, SDGFP Canada goose management, and hunting opportunities. SDGFP states they will “manage giant Canada goose populations breeding in South by Chuck Dieter Dakota for maximum recreational opportunity consistent with the welfare of the population, habitat constraints, and social tolerance”. Since the population is nowhere near carrying capacity, tolerance of landowners/farmers is usually the most important factor. Population Goals The first objective will be to manage the giant Canada goose population using the South Dakota population index based on a 3-year average. The desired range will be a statewide population objective of 115,000 to 165,000 geese. This range is more preferable and realistic than previous population www.dakotacountrymagazine.com