The average of Invermere's November deer count over three weekends was 179.

The average of Invermere's November deer count over three weekends was 179.

District of Invermere approves funding for urban deer relocation

The District of Invermere (DOI) has set funding aside for the relocation of 100 urban deer and is looking for a group to get the job done.

The District of Invermere (DOI) has set funding aside for the relocation of 100 urban deer and is looking for a group to get the job done.

On January 8, DOI council voted to authorize funding for the development and implementation of a provincially-permitted relocation program to any group, local or otherwise, that meets the necessary criteria.

“I think this is a good move, reaching out to those who have been in disagreement with the DOI,” said Councillor Paul Denchuk.

Conditions of the newly-approved funding include a maximum of 100 deer to be removed from the community at a maximum cost of $300 per deer before the end of 2014. The successful group must secure a valid relocation permit from the Province of British Columbia  as well as provide liability insurance and a waiver to protect the district from all liability and claims. A final report to the district regarding the outcome of the relocation is also a requirement.

Relocation was originally agreed to by council in 2011 as part of the two-pronged strategy recommended by the DOI’s Urban Deer Committee that included the culling of up to 100 deer. For budget reasons, the district opted to proceed with the cull in 2012, stating that guidelines for relocation would be put in place in 2013. Community protests, tampering with traps, and a civil suit filed against the district by the Invermere Deer Protection Society (IDPS) ensued. An injunction obtained by the IDPS from the Supreme Court of

B.C. also temporarily halted the cull, which killed just 19 deer before the district’s provincial permit expired. As a result of the lawsuit, approximately $36,000 in legal costs have been incurred by the DOI to date. With tentative court dates set for late January and early February, Mayor Gerry Taft hopes a decision on the district’s culling bylaw will come sooner than later.

“I think the worst case situation is that this just gets delayed and delayed and delayed,” he said. “Obviously there are two sides that have their own positions and beliefs and each side believes they’re in the right but it would be great to have that information come before the court and to have everything dealt with and have some clarity and some decision made.”

Meanwhile, in attempting to follow through with part two of the original deer management recommendation, the district has discovered how difficult it is to secure a relocation permit.

“It was just found easier that if another group is that interested, that they should take that on,” said DOI chief administrative officer Chris Prosser.

Yet the IDPS does not support relocation as a solution either. In a report to district council, the IDPS included excerpts from a Ministry of Environment analysis to the effect that mortality following capture, transport and release can be “substantial”. A statement on urban deer by the BC SPCA also included in the report states that the stress of capture and transportation not only leads to high mortality and fatal injuries, but the inability to adapt to unfamiliar territory and naivety to new predators.

IDPS president Devin Kazakoff said his organization’s opposition to relocation is two-fold. First, the IDPS maintains there is not an overpopulation of deer in Invermere. Second, if overpopulation is in fact legitimately determined, then it should be done using non-lethal solutions. Relocation isn’t necessarily non-lethal, he said.

“You can take it that as you’re moving them, you’re not killing them but with the high percentage of mortality, it kind of is a lethal solution,” Kazakoff said.

The DOI has agreed to work with the IDPS and come up with positions on other options such as hazing, birth control and fencing.

“I don’t think relocation is a great option but maybe if it’s studied it can work, I’m not sure,” said Taft. “But I hope through the process that every single time an option is brought up it isn’t attacked each time because we need to still try to work together and find some options that might have a chance of success.”

“For me, I don’t think the cull is off the books at this point and it’s still one of the options that’s out there,” said Councillor Greg Anderson.

Three counts done by the DOI’s Urban Deer Advisory Committee on consecutive Saturdays in November recorded 185 initially, 205 a week later with 148 recorded for the final count. For each respective count, over 100 were does, roughly 50 were fawns and less than 30 were bucks. At a Committee of the Whole meeting on OCtober 2, council recommended that no referendum regarding deer take place in 2013 and that staff and Council should start the process of implementing an education program in 2013.

 

 

Just Posted

The end of an Echo
The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

Princeton wildfire phots courtesy of Debbie Lyon.
UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers
VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

Aerial view south of Williams Lake Friday afternoon shows dry lightning storm passing over, leaving fire starts behind. Lightning sparked more than 100 new fires Friday. (Black Press)
VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017
DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase
59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

(Flickr/Andreas Eldh)
Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage
Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds
UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Photo by: WeissPaarz.com
Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert
UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

A university study finds that about nine per cent of Canada’s Grade 11 and 12 students – roughly 66,000 teens – have driven within an hour of drinking and 9.4 per cent drove after using marijuana.                                 Photo: Now-
Leader file
One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records
Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read