Public input sought on CRD deer report

Local councils need to act before province takes action: staff report

Two months after a citizens advisory group put forward its recommendations for deer management in the Capital Region, the province has told affected municipalities to choose their own actions to take on overpopulation.

In September, the Capital Regional District’s planning, transportation and protective services committee asked for provincial, federal and First Nations input on options that required inter-jurisdictional approval, such as a controlled public hunt.

But at an Oct. 3 meeting, provincial staff said any decisions must first come from municipal councils.

“The sense we got from both the federal government and the province was, ‘Don’t come and ask us to look at doing anything until you’ve done what you need to do locally,'” said Andy Orr, CRD spokesman.

Federal government and First Nations representatives did not attend the meeting, the report states.

Committee members will vote on Wednesday (Nov. 28) to allow staff to present the deer management report to municipal councils. The CRD’s committee of the whole will also need to approve the recommendation.

The report breaks down the options into four categories: conflict reduction (such as fencing and anti-feeding bylaws), population reduction (such as capturing or culling), deer-vehicle collision mitigation (such as lowering speed limits) and public education. It is then up to each municipality to decide what measures to take to deal with the issue.

“The CRD could be instrumental in implementing the recommended management strategy, most notably as the information provider to municipalities on implementing deer management measures,” the report states.

“The region could also take on the monitoring, reporting and evaluation functions, including administering the recommended oversight committee.”

The CRD does not currently have a wildlife management service, and any staff work would require funding, the report states.

The committee meeting takes place Nov. 28 at 1:30 p.m. at the CRD building, 625 Fisgard St. There will be an opportunity for public input.

To register to speak at the meeting, visit crd.bc.ca and search “deer management.”

dpalmer@vicnews.com

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