March 04, 2014 - 11:28 AM
PENTICTON -- After what seemed like an endless debate on what to do with the city’s deer problem, city council decided to do nothing.
They voted to save $15,000 that was originally allocated to the project, and focus on bigger issues.
Mayor Garry Litke said staff and council have explored all options and found too many obstacles. It is now the responsibility of individuals to deal with deer on their land.
The B.C. Ministry of Environment were proving difficult to work with, tying the hands of Litke and council. Litke said he didn’t expect the ministry to drag out the process but they weren’t making it easy. In the end he decided it was easier and best to drop the initiative and put forth a motion to do so.
Human responsibility was the theme of Heather Caron, a local schoolteacher, who gave a presentation to council last night. “It’s not the city’s problem,” she said.
She offered several suggestions to help the deer problem, for example, informing home buyers that there are wild deer in the area that could be a problem. That way people can erect fences, trees as they see necessary. Or, like Councillors Judy Sentes and John Vassiliaki, people can let the deer roam their property.
Addressing the controversial neighborhood plan from last council meeting, Carron said there is wildlife in those northeastern hills, so there will be a deer problem in that area if it does become a residential area. “The deer are just trying to survive us,” Caron said.
Council had been focusing on a relocation plan for the deer, which would involve tagging, herding, and transporting the wild animals. Even with this effort, the deer are going to be an ongoing problem. Vassilaki said he’s lived in the Penticton area for 60 years and deer have always been an issue. If there is going to be an initiative to move them out of city limits then it needs to be a long-term plan.
The SPCA may be hired by the city to implement a 3-5 year plan they’ve created to deal with the deer. Councillor Helena Konanz, who raised this point, said this would be a way to help the problem without exhausting staff’s time and resources.
To contact the reporter for this story, e-mail Meaghan Archer at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 250-488-3065.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014