News

No clear solution to Victoria region's deer problem

The original version of this story stated a public input meeting would happen at the Sept. 19 meeting. CRD officials have since clarified that a public input meeting will take place later this fall.

Deer advocates and antagonists are being given one last chance to weigh in on how to deal with the frequently sighted animal in city limits.

The deer management citizens advisory group submitted its final report to the Capital Regional District last week, with recommendations ranging from sharpshooters on rural properties to subsidized fencing for farmers.

“The (advisory group) strongly believes there is clear and convincing evidence that deer in the CRD and that deer-human conflicts are on the rise,” the report states, adding the number of deer appears to have increased in recent years.

The report also calls on municipal and provincial governments to create stronger partnerships with First Nations groups to expand deer harvests, improve crop protection for regional farmers and establish a public education program for all accepted recommendations.

On Wednesday, the CRD’s planning, transportation and protective services committee will examine the report.

Directors will evaluate the general recommendations as well as those tailored to agricultural, rural and urban areas before creating an implementation plan.

Vic Derman, Saanich councillor and vice-chair of the committee overseeing deer management, cautioned that the recommendations are not set in stone and still need to undergo scrutiny in the coming weeks.

“We’re a steering committee for the board, and we’ll ultimately be making the recommendation to the board,” Derman told The News.

"There will be a full meeting dedicated to (public) input, and I expect it to be a long meeting,” he added.

The public input component of the process will take place in the coming months, said CRD spokesman Andy Orr.

Provincial numbers put the Vancouver Island deer population between 45,000 and 65,000, while there is no estimate for the Capital Region.

 

 

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