Sent by GooseWatchNYC

New York City is currently exploring ways to manage deer on Staten Island and in the Bronx. The city has assembled an Interagency Deer Task Force, which is in the process of considering various management options to address complaints about a growing deer population on Staten Island. The city's management must be approved by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), and the DEC will not approve any management plan that isn't “tied to” a USDA environmental assessment (EA).

Earlier this month, the USDA put forward an EA that covers the entire state of New York, providing information about various lethal and non-lethal management options as well as guidance, which can be used by municipalities across the state in the development of local deer-management plans.

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The USDA's EA presents three potential courses for its future role in deer management in New York State: (While it’s too late for formal comments, this will give you an idea of the options being considered.)

Alternative 1: (USDA Wildlife Service's preferred alternative): Continue the Current White-tailed Deer Management Program. Under this alternative, Wildlife Services would continue to assist property owners and managers with lethal management, as permitted by the DEC. USDA favors lethal management as necessary to control deer and reduce their population.

Alternative 2: White-tailed deer Damage Management by Wildlife Services through Technical Assistance Only. Under this alternative, Wildlife Services would provide those requesting assistance with technical aid only. The implementation of methods and techniques to resolve or prevent damage would be the responsibility of the requester.

Alternative 3: No White-tailed deer Damage Management Conducted by Wildlife Services. Wildlife Services would have no involvement with any aspect of white-tailed deer damage management in New York. 

GoosewatchNYC supports Alternative 3: No White-tailed Deer Management Conducted by Wildlife Services, or if selected, Alternative 1 or Alternative 2 but with strict reliance on humane and non-lethal strategies over lethal management.

Although many assume that "culling" is necessary, deer populations have not exceeded their biological carrying capacity, and in some cases are peripatetic — the end result of deer slaughters will be more deer, more expense, a failure to address underlying problems, and a never-ending cycle of killing.


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