The City of Fernie is joining forces with a number of other communities to address urban wildlife challenges.
Penticton, Grand Forks, Cranbrook, Kimberley, Invermere, and the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen are all dealing with deer management problems within their municipalities. After receiving correspondence from the City of Penticton, Fernie will be joining the team of communities to ask Terry Lake, the Minister of Environment, for further assistance with the issue.
The communities are collectively asking that the province consider three actions; provide more consistent and accountable advice to municipalities dealing with urban deer management issues, provide communities with additional funding to assist local governments in dealing with wildlife, and conduct more scientific evidence and report on causes and solutions to the problem.
“I thought the things that they asked for and stated are things that are of concern to us, and I think we should support it by sending a letter to Mr. Lake saying that we support what these people are saying, and that we have the same concerns and we expect them to take a more proactive approach,” said Fernie Mayor Mary Giuliano at a council meeting held on October 22. “I just feel that the government needs to do more to help communities manage their wildlife.”
Fernie councilors discussed the topic of urban wildlife in the city at a previous council meeting and decided to hold off on a deer cull, or any other preventative measures for the time being. With Invermere currently facing court action to defend their public involvement process following a cull, Fernie Mayor Mary Giuliano felt it was important for the community to address their deer situation with caution.
Within Grandforks, Cranbrook, Kimberley, Invermere, and Penticton, around $190,000 has already been spent or budgeted to deal with urban deer management. The municipalities involved are hopeful that Minister Lake will support them in asking the province to take responsibility of the issue.