An emergency search is underway in rural Teller County for “General Roy,” a Chinese domestic duck, who is regarded as the mini-ambassador for the town of Green Mountain Falls.
“General Roy” became a symbol of the Goose-gate fight in Green Mountain Falls, dealing with the age-old tradition of allowing kids and tourists to feed waterfowl at the lake area. For nearly two years, leaders/town officials and community residents argued over the best way to resolve the town’s ongoing goose quagmire.
Details are sketchy, but residents are up in arms. Unconfirmed reports indicate Roy, who can’t physically fly, may have been kidnapped, or may have gotten lost. Officials are denying that divisive politics played any role in the disappearance of Roy. In fact, some wonder if the scheduled city elections, slated for April 5, should be put on hold.
“All of our resources are being put into this case,” said Teller County Sheriff Mike Eminger. If this was a kidnapping, that person will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and even be forced to attend six consecutive staff meetings of The Mountain Jackpot (TMJ). That’s a punishment I wouldn’t inflict on anyone. That person better hope we don’t catch them.”
A coordinated search is being conducted between the sheriff’s office and Teller County Search and Rescue. Mike Smithey, a spokesman for the Teller Search and Rescue unit, says all political differences are being put aside for this special case.
“I may have had some differences with the sheriff over training budgets and other matters, but our focus is on finding Roy,” said Smithey.
The units have even assembled Charlie Chamers, a renowned outdoor expert, who specializes in tracking through the High Country in sandals. Chambers, who recently returned from a trip to the Alps, with renowned writer Jon Kraukauer, known for such outdoor adventure epics as “Into Thin Air” and “Into the Wild,” is optimistic about the group’s chances.
“Roy will be rescued,” said Chamers, who has ordered special drone devices to help with the pursuit.
A community-wide charity event has been organized to solicit extra funds for the search, organized by old foes GMF Mayor Lorrie Worthy and former trustee Macc Pirone. “Until we find Roy, I have agreed to not yell at a public meeting for two weeks and criticize the current board. Well, realistically, I will try for one week.”
Still, many in GMF are outraged.
“I have warned our city leaders that something like this was going to happen,” said Ann Pinneli, a caretaker of the geese and ducks at the lake in Green Mountain Falls. “There were too many delays in dealing with this goose situation at our lake. We submitted recommendations for months and they weren’t acted on.”
Pinneli was referring to new waterfowl feeding regulations, adopted by the board of trustees, that have forced wildlife experts to scratch their heads in interpreting their meaning.
“I guess we will experience another year of Goose-gage headlines in the Mountain Crackpot,” concluded a frustrated Dick Batton, a local trails guru and member of the GMF Parks advisory committee.