The Province is providing grants totalling $36,000 to three communities to support urban deer management projects, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson announced last week.
The City of Elkford is receiving $26,000 to support a translocation research trial involving deer from that municipality, along with Invermere, Kimberley and Cranbrook. Translocation refers to the capture and relocation of urban deer to more remote areas. In separate projects, Invermere will receive $6,000 and Cranbrook will receive $4,000 to support ongoing culling efforts.
District of Elkford Mayor Dean McKerracher is pleased to have the province’s support.
“Urban deer are becoming a real threat to public safety. People and pets have been injured by deer, and deer related car accidents are on the rise. This funding will allow us to explore a non-lethal option for dealing with urban deer across the region.”
In December 2015, the Province invited local governments to submit project proposals that focused on urban deer research and mitigation. The funding follows up on the Province’s pledge – made at the Union of BC Municipalities annual convention in September 2015 – to set aside $100,000 a year for urban deer mitigation.
“The Province is committed to partnering with local governments to facilitate the development of urban deer management solutions. Every community is unique, and strategies for dealing with urban deer are informed by local conditions and community attitudes,” said Thomson.
The Province, in conjunction with the newly formed provincial urban deer advisory committee, will review the program with an eye to improving it.
The committee includes representatives from the Province, local government, Union of B.C. Municipalities and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The committee was created to provide consistent and authoritative support to local governments dealing with urban deer issues.