Thursday, March 31, 2011

Deer Resistant Landscaping

The Pepper Pike Learning Center 32000 Chagrin Blvd is offering a class "Munch-Free Deer Resistant Landscaping on Wed in April (6-27).  You will learn about deer resistant shrubs, trees, perennials, and annuals.  Fee is $59 for non-residents of Pepper Pike.  Call 216-831-8601 to register.

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An Unlikely Ally

Its no surprise that deer advocates are against hunting, what is more surprising is when a major proponent of deer culling with a PhD takes a stand against hunting. Not only did the founder of White Buffalo, the city's sharpshooter, take this stand, he communicated this to our public works commissioner in January this year before that same person proposed a bow hunting program.

WhiteBuffalo on Hunting

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Deer Hunting Accidents

Hunting isn't safe, never has been, never will be. From Vice President Cheney's famous hunting accident to the startling statistics -- According to the International Hunter Education Ass. approximately 1,000 people in the US and Canada are accidentally shot by hunters every year and just under a hundred of those accidents are fatalities.

Below is just a sampling of major headlines of serious hunting accidents. It makes no sense to do something unsafe in the name of safety. Using modern DVA deterrents addresses the real safety issue without endangering the public by use of lethal weapons.

Deer Accident Headlines A

Let's be safe, use DVA Deterrents, not deadly weapons.

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The Experts Speak

Despite the countless deer kills that have taken place in parks and neighborhoods the cry still goes up: "There are too many deer! We've got to do something about the deer!"

Yet government wildlife managers have understood for a century or more that killing a significant portion of a deer population helps ensure more deer will be present for hunting in the near future. Rather than solve problems, deer kills have become a big problem.

Dr. Allen Rutberg, head of Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine and renowned expert on nonlethal means of deer population management, states that:
"The most visible weakness in the assertion that hunting is necessary to control deer populations is that it has LARGELY FAILED TO DO SO over the last two decades. Just because deer are being killed doesn’t mean that deer populations are being controlled."
Ron Baker, The American Hunting Myth, Vantage Press NY
"As we have seen, wildlife biologists have been nurtured on the hunting philosophy and have been taught that ecosystems can be improved by manipulation."
"Hunting, whether in the presence or absence of large predators is no guaranteed annual 'check' on deer populations." Elimination of predators does not account for large deer populations. Urban sprawl and deer management for hunting do.
Thomas Eveland, Ph.D
"We often think predators control prey, but that is rarely the case. Prey controls predators; predators diminish as prey declines. It is not the case that removing wolves, cougars, and other predators causes deer to increase."

"A quick surge in a deer population can occur if hunting is implemented where it hasn't been before. In any event if hunting is started, it will have to continue."

"Archery has never been a valid control measure for animal populations. It's a recreational offshoot of gun hunting, and as such they can't really sell it as a control what's often done - and this is done that people will come in and they will often use what I call the 'D' words. Devastation - Destruction - talk about these particular animals. And what they do is they steer the public into thinking these animals need to be killed. And many times these people will say, We understand archery is not going to control the deer herd, but gosh, we gotta do something, these things are big rascals we gotta kill some of 'em, just stick a few of 'em, anything."
Gary Alt, former Chief Deer Biologist in PA said,
"Deer management has been the biggest mistake in the history of wildlife management." He refers to it as MALPRACTICE.

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Feeding Deer

Deer are beautiful, fascinating creatures that many people have learned to live with and appreciate.

However in Solon, its against the law to feed deer during the killing season.  This is done so the "sport" hunters are the only one providing food, so they can more easily kill them.

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Compensatory Rebound Effect

Compensatory Rebound Effect (CRE) or simply Rebound has been studied and when understood leads to the disturbing conclusion that deer culling propaganda serves only one purpose to manage the deer population to keep a consistent supply of animals to kill year after year.
“ By keeping the deer population below the carrying capacity of the available habitat, more forage (nutrition) is available per deer. Thus, does are healthier, reproductive success is higher and more does are able to carry two fawns. Ironically, this can result in a greater deer harvest each year. Depending on the relationship of the population and the carrying capacity, an „optimum sustained yield‟ can be achieved where a relatively high reproductive rate allows an abundant harvest each fall. "
See the full article here.  This article contains support reference material.

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DVA Deterrents Stress Tested

The Deer Deter Wild Life Crossing Guard is being tested in a very demanding stretch of the E470 toll road near Denver.

" Deer can wander over the road unmolested so long as there is no vehicle in sight. They are passive until a photosensor picks up the headlights of an approaching vehicle.
When they pick up headlight light they are triggered to emit a synthetic squeaking noise similar to a small animal in its death throes. At the same time a bluish white ultra violet light simulates reflection off the eyes of a predator. Facing out from the road the synthetic 'predator' scares deer and other wildlife away from the road. "

If this technology works there it will surely work in Solon, OH.

See the full article here.

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News: 2010

Solon Sun

Solon holding off on reinstating deer-culling program pending report on 2010 crashes with vehicles 10/20/10

“  I haven’t seen the level of deer in our community either now or in the last few years,” Kraus said at last week’s Safety Committee meeting. “And I don’t see the level of accidents that we had, along roadways like Cannon, SOM (Center) and (U.S.) 422.  ”

[No public mention was made that Cannon and SOM have Strieter Lites installed, a DVA deterrent, Kraus has made some public and private statements that state he believes they are effective]

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MetroParks Slaughter

Subject: Stop Metroparks Deer Slaughter PETITION
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2011 16:14:05 -0500

Dear Friends,

The Cleveland Metroparks is presently finishing their 14th year of deer massacres. They have lost the meaning of conservation, stewardship, morals and integrity. They continue to hold up their pseudo science , lie and deny, government spin to justify the ongoing killing spree which brings much scorn from legitimate scientists.

As Mark Twain said, “Get your facts first and then you can distort them as much as you please.”

At the inception (1998) of the park’s amoral, blood and guts, killing-frenzy plan, hundreds of citizens vowed to keep fighting. Sadly, since then people have given up and your tax dollars continue to be turned into blood money. We understand it takes courage and stamina to confront cruelty but it is our fervent hope that you will not turn your backs on their lies, locked gates and blood-soaked soil and help us stop this senseless, barbaric, cruelty in the form of public outcry. United we stand.

  • To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men. Abraham Lincoln
  • The evil of the world is made possible by the sanction you give it. Ayn Rand
  • It does not matter how slow you go so long as you do not stop. Confucius
  • Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little. Edmond Burke

We will not be silenced

Please sign this petition and tell the Metroparks officials to come into the 21st century in regard to this very solvable conflict and then forward to your family and friends.

Thank you for your kindness, compassion and commitment.

The Deer Defenders Team

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Lethal Laws

Contraception is a federally approved method, but Ohio prevents it in Ohio Administrative Code. Contraception prevents the herd from growing while lethal methods improve the strength of the surviving herd that will then be more successful in breeding.

Ohio Laws favor lethal methods of deer management, mainly because of the conflict of interest between ODOW and hunting interests.

Contraception has the advantage of stabilizing the size of the deer herd, without lethal methods and without rebound.  Despite this method being approved by the FDA, Ohio continues to ban this method to reduce the competition to hunting and the revenue it generates.

In the ORC see 1531.06 Sec K and OAC 1501:31-25-01 Sec K

ORC 1531.06 (K) The chief shall adopt rules establishing standards and guidelines for the administration of contraceptive chemicals to noncaptive wild animals. The rules may specify chemical delivery methods and devices and monitoring requirements.

OAC 1501:31-25-01 (K) It shall be unlawful to use or provide any contraceptive drugs, substances or chemicals to any free ranging wild animal. Provided further, persons may request permission from the chief of the division of wildlife to use contraceptives for scientific research. The chief may issue a conditional permit in writing after a person has submitted in writing the proposal which outlines the scientific research project.

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Culling Facts

There are many assumptions surrounding "deer culling", people assume that more deer results in increased deer vehicle accidents (DVAs) and therefore the "solution" is to have less deer.

It is a FACT that killing deer makes the surviving herd stronger, increases their breeding rate so that more killing needs to be done to maintain the herd size.  This becomes an ongoing maintenance burden.

It is a FACT that unless you kill all the deer that some will remain to run in front of cars, so killing is ineffective in addressing DVAs.

It is a FACT that in the quest to improve DVA safety, that culling raises its own safety issues by discharging deadly weapons in highly populated urban environments.

It is a FACT that areas with far larger deer herds who couldn't possibly afford continuing killing have successfully deployed DVA deterrents that are far more effective, target ALL deer and are much cheaper than culling.

It is a FACT that decision makers in Solon are hunters and have no interest in these cheaper more effective non-lethal alternatives.

It is a FACT that the people Solon consulted (USDA Wildlife Services and ODNR/ODOW) derive the majority of their funding from Hunting interests and therefore have a conflict of interest.

Let's stick with the FACTS.

Culling/Killing is an expensive experiment that has failed, it is time to try something different.

Educate yourself about DVA deterrents, click here for the Main Web Site page and click the sidebar labels for Lethal, Non-Lethal, and DVA for other Blog posts on those topics.

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Friday, March 11, 2011

Safety Ambiguity

We constantly hear about the "deer problem" is a safety issue.  Some people hear the word safety and give a nod without further thought, others ask a few questions and they are told about DVAs.  No one asks about the "solution" and its safety.   Well some people decided to videotape the "solution", White Buffalo culling and gave the video tape to a Cleveland SWAT member, someone with a very detailed understanding of using firearms in a confined urban environment.

His assessment --  He was disturbed and stated that the footage he saw was dangerous to local residents.
Bakos summation2

Reducing accidents is a worthy goal, but how are we going to explain that for the price of safety, someone was shot.

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Deer Management

At 52 min into the Safety Meeting we saw the city ready to spend $180K to repeat a failed "solution" to a problem they can't even articulate.

They killed deer for 5 years at over $ 3/4 million and the deer are still here, while they ignore cheaper more effective non-lethal methods. They talk about "doing it" and "deer problem" but they can't even say exactly what the problem is, but that doesn't stop them from having a solution. They want to spend $30K to count the deer they've already decided to kill, why? They also got only one qoute, shouldn't there be a competitive bid? They are counting deer in Glenwillow, but can't say why? Are we killing their deer for free, just like they got cheap fire protection, then refused to pay us a fair price?

Hunter Stanek asked US govt groups who are paid by how much killing they do and guess what they advised? Hunting. And what tactics did they use FUD, fear, uncertainty and doubt and outright lies. They mentioned Lyme disease which isn't an Ohio problem. They said deer get "aclaimated" to Streiter Lites, despite Kraus' observation, despite 10 year studies showing their effectiveness for the whole time with large herds of deer and elk in Montana. Does that mean Solon deer are smarter than Montana deer? Or more likely they think Solonites are to dumb not to question them.

For more information on this topic


While the city is busy "managing deer" who's managing them?

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Public Speech

Typically Solon has not placed limits on public comment although there is a provision in the charter that gives the chair discretion to limit comments to 5 minutes or not have public comments at all.  In practice these "gag" rules are only invoked for "hot" issues.

Last month's Safety Meeting on allowing Hunting in the city caused the usual few attendees to ballon to over 35 and also included print media as well as TV.

Russo, the chair of the Safety Committee responded to the large crowd by instituting a 2 min limit (down from the charter's 5 min) and a 30 min max (no such provision in the charter).  For this he was roundly criticized even by his political supporters.

This month's meeting, Public Works Commissioner Stanek brought in the ODOW and USDA to speak of a comprehensive plan for nearly 1 hr consisting of all maner of lethal methods while quickly dismissing non-lethal methods.  At no time did any city official address the huge costs of lethal methods compared to the lower costs and higher effectiveness of non-lethal methods.

After this very bias presentation, by people who get their funding by Hunting, Russo allowed the citizens to speak for 30 min.  After 20 min, he halted the discussion.  To his credit, and no doubt because of political pressure, he did allow each of the 4 people to speak for 5 minutes each.  He even allowed the citizens to ask questions, many weren't answered but at least they were asked on the record.

This in combination with Councilman Toni Richmond's lack of tolerance for questioning of her Bainbridge Rd Sidewalk Survey and her suggestion that Council limit public speech is a disturbing trend of intolerance to the citizens to whom they represent.  Both these councilman come up for re-election this year.  How ironic the city is holding it's first annual tolerance fair this Sunday, will city officials learn to be tolerant of their own constituents differing views?

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

March Meeting

Be sure to attend the March Safety Meeting, Wed at City Hall at 6pm.  The USDA Wildlife Services will be there tonight along with the ODOW (Ohio Dept of Wildlife), both whom support wildlife slaughter and hunting.  Why are we talking about solutions rather than the "problem"?  Starting with the problem will lead to non-lethal solutions that they are not interested in...

Solon Flyer March 2011

True to their reputation, ODOW presented lethal options and glossed over non-lethal options.

The meeting video is here, Councilman Kraus was late so the committee recessed and reconvened at 49 min, Jim Stanek spoke first.  At 52 min Scott Peters of ODOW made a powerpoint presentation.  At 1 hr 7 min Russo started a question period with Scott Peters. At 1 hr 22 min a speaker from USDA Wildlife Services spoke, he wasn't that prepared and  asked "What are your goals" and got no answers.  This Federal official said "He's here to help", which is a not so funny joke. He said he could help the city, for a fee.  Since he got no answers, he called Scott back up.  At 1 hr 42 min, Russo allowed public comment to "ask questions" for a max of 30 min, this was an unexpected surprise, we didn't know he'd let the public question them. At 2 hr 2 min, Russo brought the discussion back to deer counting, ranging from $5-30K, that the committee approved. At 2 hr 11 min the topic was complete and they moved on to other business.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What is the Deer "Problem"

This is the first question to ask.  If you don't know what problem you are trying to solve, then your actions won't lead to an effective solution.

If the "problem" is DVAs, the solution is a non-lethal DVA detterent, its cheaper, it targets all deer, only when cars are on the road.  Lethal methods, target some deer, the remaining deer are free to cross the road, resulting in a DVA, so its a game of odds and less effective.  Lethal options are expensive and because of rebound effect, must be continued indefinitely.  A DVA deterrent is installed once and continues to work year after year with modest maintenance.

If the "problem" is damage to gardens, it is far cheaper and more effective to use proven deer proofing gardening methods.  Once again, lethal methods are playing the odds.

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