Thursday, September 30, 2010

NEW JERSEY NEWS: Task Force Recommends Cull

Hopewell Township's Deer Task Force recommends a hunt to control its deer population.

The task force, created in 2009, summarized its report at Monday night’s Township Committee meeting. Former township Mayor Bill Cane, co-chairman of the task force with Denise Moser, said the report reflected the opinion of most of the task force members.

The report said increased hunting and other measures are needed to reduce Lyme disease, which is spread by deer ticks, motor vehicle accidents involving deer and damage to crops and landscaping.

The report pointed to impacts on the community.

The report says there has been an annual average of 170 reportable cases of Lyme disease in the township from 2007 to 2009 and an annual average of 567 deer-vehicle collisions during that same three-year period. Some township farmers have reported crop losses due to deer at more than $5,000 annually, the report said.

One person spoke about natural areas.

Tom Niederer, a township resident and past president of the New Jersey Forestry Association, said, “White-tailed deer are the greatest threats to our forest. Part of the stewardship of the forest is wildlife management, including deer control. Our forests will decline precipitously unless something is about the deer.”

The recommendation has been made, but a decision is still forthcoming.

Source: Hopewell Valley News

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