Deer relocation stopped in its tracks

The Penticton council has decided not to move ahead with a recently proposed deer relocation program.

The council reached the decision after Anthony Haddad, the city's director of development services, read them a letter from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations at Monday's full house meeting.

"It stated an incredible amount of red tape," said Councillor Helena Konanz. "So we decided to drop the initiative because it would be too onerous and not right for the city."

The letter, regarding urban deer conflict management in BC, states, "The city of Penticton and Penticton Indian Band have entered into a unique discussion involving a short distance translocation of deer. The province has not participated or supported previous deer translocations.

Although the non-lethal approach to urban deer management may appeal to the public, as it appears to be an easy and humane solution, in reality the translocation process can be difficult, expensive, stressful to the deer and has resulted in high translocation mortality rates."

It goes on to say, "the province has several concerns with the translocation of deer before April 2014 and the city of Penticton's approach including a lack of a community resident survey, no recent assessment or urban deer numbers or community accepted targets and no qualified professionals available to independently conduct a translocation."

Other concerns with the city's approach were also listed.

The council previously elected to go with a pilot program that entailed moving the deer from the city to Penticton Indian Band lands.

The effort would have cost the city $15,000.

The proposed relocation also did not sit well with some residents. Heather Caron, a teacher, gave a presentation at Monday's  meeting citing her concerns regarding the issue.

Among them that such a relocation would be inhumane and not a permanent solution.

Penticton has been dealing with the urban deer management issue since the middle of 2011.

Haddad said there was no further plan associated with the issue at this time.




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