Green Guide

Oregon town seeks solutions to wild turkeys, their droppings

Posted September 7

— A small Oregon city is asking the state for advice on how to handle a flock of wild turkeys that are ruining gardens and leaving droppings just about everywhere.

Officials in Pilot Rock, a city of 1,500 people about 230 miles (370 kilometers) east of Portland, say there are dozens of turkeys roaming the area, the East Oregonian reported (http://bit.ly/2f7HLHp).

City Councilor Bob Deno complained he has 15 birds frequenting a tree on his property.

Resident Mary Ann Low told a city council meeting Tuesday that she once counted 68 turkeys in her mother's yard.

"I love wildlife, but this is getting to the point where it's just ridiculous," Low said. "They dust bathe in the soil. They eat whatever is there."

City officials considered several options, including a spay-and-neuter program, but they decided to ask the state for advice.

Greg Rimbach, a wildlife biologist with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, had six recommendations, ranging from a ban on feeding the birds to killing them and donating the meat to a food bank.

The whole community will need to work together on any effort, he said.

"No matter what we do, we're never going to get rid of all of them," Rimbach said. "We'll always have a few turkeys."

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This version corrects location of Pilot Rock.

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