People quick to respond with deer survey

Mona Mattei
By Mona Mattei
October 21st, 2010

Have you spent thousands of dollars on fencing your yard to keep out the pesky deer? Are you prepared to see taxpayers money spent on herd mitigation? Just how far are you willing to go to deal with the urban deer?   “We’re going to get some feeling from people about just how committed they are. It’s easy to say, yeah do something about it,” said Mayor Brian Taylor who chairs the Grand Forks deer committee. “We didn’t get into the details (in the survey) on how we’re going to reduce the herd because people are not in a position to know enough to comment rationally on some of those options.”   These are the questions that residents of the City of Grand Forks are being asked as part of the survey sent out by the small town last week. Mayor Brian Taylor said that in the first couple of days after the mail out the city’s deer committee had already received over 50 responses – most of them backing up what the city is trying to accomplish. After the final reading of the anti-feeding bylaw passed on Oct. 4, Taylor says that the people are listening.   “The trends that we’re seeing led us to do some strategizing on where we’re going,” said Taylor. “Reports that are coming are that people are stopping feeding. We’ve had lots of good reports on that. The hard-core are going to stay the hard-core.”   The urban deer topic was so hot it made it to a meeting with the Minister of Environment Barry Penner at the Union of B.C. Municipalities conference in September, along with being a forum topic and a resolution asking for the province to help take action.   “What we wanted to establish, and what we wanted to assure our own electorate, is that we share the problem with the province, its not ‘them and us,’” explained Taylor. “We were just reassuring him (the Minister) that what we were asking for were resources, but we are not afraid to kick in ourselves with costs.”   The survey was mailed to all local residents along with an educational brochure. The brochure, developed by the committee that includes Ministry of Environment staff and representatives from the Granby Wilderness Society, city politicians, and local residents, gives information about living with urban wildlife and discourages feeding of the ungulates.   Taylor said that he has been told some residents did not receive their survey. Copies are available at City Hall, or click on the attachment below. The survey closes on Nov. 4.  At the deer committee’s meeting of Oct. 12 they reviewed the session with the Minister at UBCM, the survey and the deer pamphlet that went out with the survey, and further explored options to purchase and post a digital sign cautioning drivers about the ungulates. The deer information brochure will be a regular feature at city hall in full glossy format. 

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