Deer in the Spotlight: Community Forum to Address Wildlife Impact, and How to Manage It

Wednesday, September 25, 2019, 7:35 am
By: 
Mark Meyer and Brad Minor

The successes and struggles of urban deer management will be the topic of conversation at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Hannah Center when City officials meet with community members for an informational session that includes a forum for anonymous feedback.

According to a news release from the City, a panel of experts from Michigan State University, the state Department of Natural Resources and USDA Wildlife Services will lead the discussion.

In her presentation to City Council at the June discussion-only meeting, Environmental Services Administrator Cathy DeShambo explained how the increase in the East Lansing deer population and their impact on daily life has affected certain neighborhoods.

DeShambo showed what the City has been doing over the last few years and what she called “the guiding principles” — educating residents, deer life ecology, and wildlife management and habitat modification.

“We look at how we can reduce damage by engaging and educating people,” DeShambo said.

Key components of the City’s deer management program are community input and education, partners, data collection, research and enforcement.

The City has a deer management website to help educate citizens and get feedback on things like deer sightings, the effects deer are having on landscaping, and if citizens support lethal deer management methods such as a cull.

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