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Deer Management 2017 Program

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2017 Deer Management Plan

A City Council Special Session was held on Nov. 14 for the purpose of holding public hearings on proposed ordinance amendments to Chapter 39 and Chapter 115 of the Ann Arbor City Code, which were approved as well as the award of a contract for services to White Buffalo, Inc. and NatureWrite, LLC and the appropriation of funds to the total deer management program budget for fiscal year 2017. This meeting is available to watch via CTN’s Video on Demand.  

The White Buffalo contract includes a combination of culling up to 100 deer in City of Ann Arbor parks and natural areas as well as the darting and surgical sterilization of approximately 60 deer in neighborhoods where sharpshooting cannot occur. White Buffalo’s proposal also included the use of a few vendor selected locations on larger private property with permission in Wards 1 and 2. In order for these activities to be implemented, the city must receive permit approval from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

As part of the city’s 2017 Deer Management Program planning efforts, city staff engaged with multiple citizen groups supporting lethal and nonlethal methods in order to explore management options that were viable for Ann Arbor. The resulting White Buffalo contract recommendation to City Council was a result of these collaborative efforts.

The 2017 Deer Management Program is being implemented as part of an initial four year effort. While each method (lethal and non-lethal) has measures of success, the overall program’s measures include:

  • Number of firearm related injuries associated with the deer management program: 0
  • Number of deer in Ann Arbor with chronic wasting disease: 0
  • Total number of deer/vehicle crashes and percent of vehicle crashes involving deer reported in the legal boundaries of the City of Ann Arbor does not increase. 
  • MDNR approval of a permit to the City for a non-lethal deer management program in 2017.
  • Establish a baseline for measuring the vegetative impact of deer in the City’s natural areas and establish ecological goal. 
  • Implement an education program that increases the community awareness of the role of deer in the local ecology and offers residents options to manage potential deer impacts on their private property.
  • Community acceptance of herd impact - when 75% of surveyed residents in a Ward respond that damage to their landscape or garden plants is at an acceptable level on private lands.  Recognizing there will be variability of this measure over time, a trend towards 75% is desired.  
  • Community acceptance of deer management program - when 75% of surveyed residents in a Ward respond that the City's strategy of managing the deer population is acceptable.  Recognizing there will be variability of this measure over time, a trend towards 75% is desired.
  • Investigate where deer signage is appropriate and implement where possible.

During the next 30 days, city staff will be developing a detailed lethal and sterilization implementation plans, which will be shared with the community in early January. The lethal plan will include a two-week closure of identified parks and natural areas, which is a significant closure reduction from last year. The exact two-week period has not yet been identified.

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Timeline

Nov. 16, 2016 -  University of Michigan Deer Management Participation Correspondence

Nov. 14, 2016 - A City Council Special Session was held for the purpose of holding public hearings on proposed ordinance amendments to Chapter 39 and Chapter 115 of the Ann Arbor City Code, which were approved as well the award of a contract for services to White Buffalo, Inc. and NatureWrite, LLC and the appropriation of funds to the total deer management program budget for fiscal year 2017. This meeting is available to watch via Video on Demand.  

Oct. 24, 2016 - A Council Work Session was held: Deer Management: Planning for Winter 2016-2017. The meeting is available to watch via Video on Demand.  

Introduction - Data Plan and 2017 Plan Objectives - Tom Crawford, City of Ann Arbor  

Preliminary Monitoring Report - Dr. Jacqueline Courteau, Consulting Biologist/Ecologist, NatureWrite LLC 

Oct. 14, 2016 - Winter 2017 Deer Management Planning Efforts Memo 

Program Establishment

On August 17, 2015, City Council approved the Resolution to Establish a Deer Management Program within the City of Ann Arbor for four years, including lethal culls on City of Ann Arbor property beginning in the winter of 2016.

In addition, City Council directed city staff to continue to explore the viability of a deer fertility control program. The non-lethal resolution stated in part:     

RESOLVED, that the City will work with local stakeholders, MDNR, willing institutions of higher education, and/or the Humane Society of the United States to design and, if practical and cost-effective, implement a doe sterilization and/or contraceptive program in areas where a deer cull is impermissible, unsafe, or ineffective, beginning in winter FY2017.  

Overall 2017 Lethal & Non-Lethal (Sterilization) Program

The overall programs are being implemented as part of an initial four year effort.  While each method (lethal and non-lethal) has measures of success, the overall program’s measures are below:

Measures of Success

  • Number of firearm related injuries associated with the deer management program: 0
  • Number of deer in Ann Arbor with chronic wasting disease: 0
  • Total number of deer/vehicle crashes and percent of vehicle crashes involving deer reported in the legal boundaries of the City of Ann Arbor does not increase. 
  • MDNR approval of a permit to the City for a non-lethal deer management program in 2017.
  • Establish a baseline for measuring the vegetative impact of deer in the City’s natural areas and establish ecological goal. 
  • Implement an education program that increases the community awareness of the role of deer in the local ecology and offers residents options to manage potential deer impacts on their private property.
  • Community acceptance of herd impact - when 75% of surveyed residents in a Ward respond that damage to their landscape or garden plants is at an acceptable level on private lands.  Recognizing there will be variability of this measure over time, a trend towards 75% is desired.  
  • Community acceptance of deer management program - when 75% of surveyed residents in a Ward respond that the City's strategy of managing the deer population is acceptable.  Recognizing there will be variability of this measure over time, a trend towards 75% is desired.
  • Investigate where deer signage is appropriate and implement where possible.

Nonlethal (Sterilization) Program

City staff is engaging with some citizen groups supporting nonlethal, including members of FAAWN, Ann Arbor Citizens for nonlethal deer management, and Ann Arbor Citizens for Public Safety to explore management options that may be viable for Ann Arbor. In an effort to be open and transparent in this process, staff will chronicle efforts to date as well as future activities below. If you are interested in participating in nonlethal discussions and efforts, please email deermanagement@a2gov.org or attend one of the public meetings later this year.  

Measures of Success

  • MDNR approval of a permit to the City for a non-lethal deer management program in 2017.
  • Number of firearm related injuries associated with non-lethal activities: 0
  • Number of deer sterilized is between 40 and 60. (Goal obtained after discussion with proposed vendor.)
  • Mortality rate associated with sterilization less than x%. (Rate based on discussion with vendor.)
  • Coordinate with University of Michigan to increase the number of available locations for the deer management program.

Stakeholder Meeting Summaries

City staff continue to meet with interested stakeholders and organizations in order to solicit feedback and shape community priorities in the development of the 2017 deer management program. In the interest of transparency, the below summaries are provided.      

Educational Program & Public Right-of-Way Improvements 

  • Review the city’s “Fencing” ordinance for areas that could be modified to assist residents with deer management efforts.
  • Develop an educational program for residents by March 15, 2017.
  • Publicize educational program by April 30, 2017.
  • Identify desired locations for deer signage in the right-of-way.

Lethal Program

The City of Ann Arbor conducted the first of a four-year cull during the winter of 2016 in designated City of Ann Arbor parks and nature areas. Ann Arbor's deer management program aims to decrease the deer population in Ann Arbor in order to reduce negative deer/human interactions and support biological diversity in natural areas.  City staff is engaging with citizens on the Washtenaw Citizens for Ecological Balance.  Below is a summary of the activities being done to prepare for a lethal cull this coming winter. 

Measures of Success

  • Number of firearm related injuries associated with cull activities: 0
  • Number of deer removed: 100 (Goal established from conversation with proposed vendor.)
  • Acceptable level of park closures – in survey (Citizen survey)
  • Coordinate with University of Michigan to increase the number of available locations for the deer management program.

Stakeholder Meeting Summaries

City staff continue to meet with interested stakeholders and organizations in order to solicit feedback and shape community priorities in the development of the 2017 deer management program. In the interest of transparency, the below summaries are provided.    

Resources


Deer Hotline: 734.794.6295
E-mail: DeerManagement@a2gov.org

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