In 1962 Rachel Carson galvanized the nation with the publication of Silent Spring. In this work of scientific journalism, she opened with a story entitled “A Fable for Tomorrow” in which a small town in the heart of America undergoes a terrifying transformation. She writes, “There was a strange stillness. The birds, for example – where had they gone? Many people spoke of them, puzzled and disturbed. The feeding station in the backyards were deserted. The few birds seen anywhere were moribund; they trembled violently and could not fly. It was a spring without voices.”
The image of a silent spring could very easily have been set in Washington Park, City Park, Sloan’s Lake, and Garfield Lake Park in 2019. On June 27th, Denver citizens who frequent the parks for sport, relaxation, and watching the Canada geese parents raise their young questioned “where are they”? Where had the Canada geese gone? Rachel Carson writes that the birds had not been silenced of their own accord. “No witchcraft, no enemy action had silenced the rebirth of new life. […] The people had done it themselves.” In 2019, Denver Parks and Recs in contract with USDA-APHIS/Wildlife Services decided on the lethal forced removal of 1,662 Canada geese – adults, juveniles, and goslings – without any meaningful engagement with the public.
The 2019 Goose Management Program states on pg. 13 that “besides hazing and egg treatment, the next most important part of a Resident Canada Goose Management Plan is public outreach and support. The public’s understanding of the specific measures being performed, and their support of those strategies are necessary. […] Public acceptance of lethal control [of Canada geese] will also be sought.”
It is disturbing that a 2019 cornerstone of the plan’s success being “public support of DPR strategies” has been removed from the 2020 version. The removal of public engagement demonstrates lack of transparency and accountability to the public. On pg. 19, there is a one-sentence section on “Public Support through Education and Outreach.” It states that DPR staff participates in events “to engage and inform the public about wildlife issues.” The statement does not imply discussion.
Transparency should not be a mere buzzword, and should extend to Denver Parks and Recreations, especially on issues deemed as “complicated and controversial.” The mayor’s Transparent Denver initiative commits to being open, accessible, and visible to the city’s residents. The idea of public input is not necessary for minor day-to-day events, according to Denver Parks and Recreation Public Engagement, Communication and Notification Policy (PECAN). The public does not expect to be consulted on decisions regarding minor administrative actions. PECAN does not list the extermination of the park’s wildlife as the conclusive means of controlling population as an exception. Lethal removal of Canada geese warrants public notification and engagement. 
Fifty years ago it was Rachel Carson’s campaign against the use of DDT pesticide sprays. Eventually, public outcry led to the ban of DDT. Last year, there was public outcry against the lethal take of the Canada geese. DPR’s continuing lack of transparency and accountability is demonstrated again in the 2020 version. Not only are the Canada geese being silenced, but also the public’s voice is being silenced.
 Rachel Carson, Silent Spring (Boston and New York: A Mariner Book/Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002), 2.
 Ibid., 3.
 The official website for Transparent Denver provides the following definitions: transparency means “access to information about what is really happening,” and accountability means “ways to hold decision-makers accountable for the decisions we make.” Refer to, https://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/transparent-denver.html
 Carole Woodall, “Considering Transparency,” presented at “Geese and People: Protection and Policy” forum, sponsored by The Institute for Human-Animal Connection and The Center for Social Science Informed Animal Law, 29 January 2020.