Magazine article Insight on the News

Federal Agency on Wild Goose Chase

Magazine article Insight on the News

Federal Agency on Wild Goose Chase

Article excerpt

Things at the Maryland headquarters of the National Institutes of Standards and Technology, or NIST, are all flocked up, sources tell waste & abuse, ever since its rolling 570-acre Maryland campus was besieged by an estimated 1,500 Canada geese. Rather than using the property as a way station during annual migrations, the geese instead have settled in for the duration, to the woe of the 2,700 humans who work there. The crisis prompted a "sources sought" posting for "herding services" in Commerce Business Daily, where government bids for work and contract awards are published, as NIST weighs whether to contract goose control out to a local herder or bring the work in-house by getting some Border collies and a trainer of their own.

It isn't NIST's first attempt to rein in the unruly gaggle, which is trampling the grass, killing off fish in the ponds (currently being dredged), clogging traffic, eating the azaleas and generally overfertilizing the facility. There also have been a number of unpleasant goose-human confrontations. An attempt several years ago to remove most of the geese to Maryland's Eastern Shore "failed miserably," according to NIST spokesman Michael Newman. …

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