February 15, 2011

Cayuga Heights Seeks to Limit Deer Population

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A proposal to control the deer population in Cayuga Heights is in its final stages before implementation, Village Mayor Kate Supron announced Monday.

The Village of Cayuga Height’s Deer Remediation Advisory Committee is preparing an environmental impact statement for Cayuga Height’s deer control proposal. Once the statement is finished, village trustees will meet and vote on the proposal’s implementation, Supron said.

This proposal is part of the three-year deer control efforts by the DRAC, which was created in response to a rising number of reported deer-related incidents in recent years.

Supron said she hopes Cayuga Heights will eventually have a stable population of deer and will only need limited deer population maintenance efforts in the future.

“It is expected that this program will, once implemented, result in a reduced and stable herd in approximately three years,” according to the published draft proposal on deer population control.

“The timeline [for this project] is ongoing. [We] have to continuously monitor what the population is doing,” Supron said.

The proposal is similar to the Integrated Deer Research and Management Program implemented at Cornell since 2007, which uses culling, sterilization and sharpshooting to control the local deer population.

The Cornell program was designed through a five-year research effort, which focused on reducing the large deer population and its associated impacts on the University campus, according to Jay Boulanger, Cornell’s deer program coordinator.

The program controls the population by capturing and sterilizing deer, as well as implementing a deer hunting program outside of the central campus.

According to Tom Boyce, chief of police for Cayuga Heights, the number of reported incidents involving deer in Cayuga Heights has significantly increased over the last three years.

“In 2005, there were 10 accidents and seven incidents reported,” while in 2010 the numbers had grown to 29 accidents and 30 incidents, Boyce said.

However, Boyce partially attributed the increase in reported incidents to growing awareness in the community.

“Statistically, I can show you that they have gone up, probably about three times, but a lot of the accidents I attribute to education” by the police department, Boyce said.

After receiving a recommendation from DRAC in August 2008, the village board conducted a State Environmental Quality Review to evaluate negative aspects of the deer control proposal for the community.

The review “had two declarations [which] might be negative impacts. One was that it’s controversial in the community. [The other was] that the impact on the deer would be negative, because they would be gone,” Supron said.

As a result of these declarations, an Environmental Impact Statement was conducted by Tim Miller and Associates, a contractor hired by the village, to prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Supron said.

Original Author: Cindy Huynh