Thursday, October 29, 2009

NEW YORK NEWS: Municipality Supports Deer Management

Cayuga Heights village residents spoke overwhelmingly Wednesday evening in favor of a plan to either sterilize or cull all the deer in the village.

The village trustees held a special public hearing at Cayuga Heights Elementary School as part of their environmental review process on a deer remediation plan that calls for sterilizing 20-60 does, then culling or killing the remainder of the deer. The meeting drew more than 100 people.

Among villagers who spoke, supporters of the plan outnumbered detractors 4 to 1. Supporters recounted stories of car-deer accidents and near-misses, neighbors and friends with Lyme disease, and deer unafraid of dogs or people.

Forty-year village resident Barbara Collier said she was annoyed by people telling her to plant a garden the deer won't like, because she doesn't like it either.

"I'm an animal lover, but I don't need my herd of 11 deer coming through my yard," she said.

Robert Harris, a 35-year resident, said he was jogging early in the morning and saw a small herd of deer. He continued on his path, assuming the deer would move but instead, "the deer hissed at me," he said, to appreciative laughter from some of the audience.

Villager Corinne Frantz said she spoke with her children around the dinner table about the deer problem and told them that it's possible to have strong, conflicting emotions about killing the deer, but that with no natural predators, humans have a responsibility to reduce the deer herd.

"We can cry. We can cry and we can cull," she said.

In two hours of comment from villagers, with each speaker limited to two minutes, roughly half a dozen villagers spoke against the plan to kill the deer.

Full story is available at: Ithaca Journal

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