Friday, October 14, 2011

How Many?

We hear there are "too many" deer, how many is too many?  The city pretends to know, but the truth is they do not know by their own admission!  They moved forward with the USDA contract to spend $128K to kill 400-500 deer (Aug 15 Council) and admitted on the record that they DID NOT have a deer count, just an estimated projection of about 1000 (they cancelled the aerial survey in March that the new Deer Mgt Plan requires).

The main justification for the killing is DVAs. Russo asked the police chief what the DVA count was, he admitted that he hadn't looked since May.  But that didn't stop the city from moving forward not only with the USDA contract but the Deer Mgt Plan that requires them to have annual deer counts and DVA counts.

The Deer Mgt Plan claims the city goal is 206-309 (final revision pg 11), so the city's goal is to kill 700-800 deer.  If the USDA killed 400, then bow hunting would need to kill as many as another 400.  If the USDA killed 500, bow hunters would have to kill at least 200.

The $128K only includes sharpshooting, it doesn't include support costs (considerable support issues, see USDA post), police overtime, and processing costs for sharpshooting.  And while the city won't be paying the bow hunters, it won't be free!  There will be costs to administer the program, to test the hunters, to insure compliance, record keeping, and of course more police overtime.

So maybe the real question isn't how many deer are too many, but how can the city commit this much money  when no numbers are really known?  You have a chance to decide by voting YES on Issue 94!

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