Deer management group seeks public input

Online surveys posted on CRD website as committee discusses possible strategies

The Capital Regional District’s deer advisory committee is seeking public input as it continues to look at options towards a deer management strategy.

The 11-member citizen’s advisory group (CAG) has started assessing different techniques regarding conflict reduction, population reduction, fertility control, and administrative or bylaw options, and is inviting people to provide their input through online surveys.

Questions about possible strategies will be posted on the CRD website as they are discussed by the group. Each survey will be open to the public for about a week.

“With the feedback we get from this source, the CAG will then be able to refine the principles, goals, and objectives, as well as the evaluation criteria and management options,” Jocelyn Skrlac, chair of the CAG, said in an email.

“It’s a slow and complicated process. We’re all working very hard to find appropriate ways and means to address this challenging situation.”

Surveys will examine hazing and frightening; repellants; fencing; landscaping alternatives; capture and relocation; capture and euthanize; controlled public hunting; professional sharp shooting; and capture and sterilization.

The CAG is also looking at the study of deer-vehicle collisions, and public education and outreach to help lead the group toward its recommendations.

Each of the options will be discussed at the group’s regular public meetings, taking into consideration how each method would apply in agricultural, rural and urban areas, Skrlac said.

“Because the CRD covers a variety of geographies the options within the four categories need to be looked at in different ways,” she said.

The CAG will study the effectiveness, feasibility, capability, cost and economic impact, time factors, community support or enthusiasm, and community impacts, such as health, safety and environment, of each technique and form an evaluation matrix.

A report from the CAG is expected in late July.

For more information, or to participate in the survey, see crd.bc.ca/deermanagement.