If there is one lesson the Invermere Deer Protection Society (IDPS) should learn from last week’s referendum, it’s that the majority of Invermere residents believe there is a deer overpopulation within district boundaries.
From the outset, the IDPS has insisted this is not the case, an argument that now falls on deaf ears. No matter what the personal belief, democracy rules. By giving mayor and council the green light to use a cull as a deer management tool when the time comes, the majority has spoken.
And let’s face it. This majority isn’t a sinister bunch out to destroy animals for the sheer fun of it. In this group, we have concerned parents, pet owners and, yes, even animal rights activists who don’t think wildlife belong in an urban setting. While gardeners fretting about their flowers may seem frivolous to some, there are at least several reasons in support of a cull that aren’t.
But District of Invermere mayor Gerry Taft has said there is no money in the 2014 budget for a deer cull, so this particular tool may not be applied until 2015. In the meantime, the problem — perceived or otherwise — won’t be going away. And the situation overall is the subject of some scrutiny.
In a CBC interview with Mayor Taft following the release of the unofficial referendum results, the radio host announced that many communities are closely watching developments in Invermere for clues on how to deal with their own urban deer populations.
Earlier this year, the district announced funding was available for a deer relocation program, or a study on alternative means of deer population control such as birth control or hazing — as long as the project or program had the permission of the provincial government. To date, there have been a few inquiries but no follow through and the offer still stands.
So while the course of action approved by the majority is temporarily on hold due to budgetary constrains, non-lethal opportunities still remain on the table. And just because a majority has approved a cull doesn’t mean these residents aren’t open to other methods and/or solutions. But the point has been made that there is a problem and something has to be done about it.
And just because a majority of voters has approved culling as a method of deer population control doesn’t mean these residents aren’t open to other methods and/or solutions.
It appears that, while the 75 per cent majority have ensured future action, the 25 per cent against a cull can still
In a CBC interview with Mayor Taft following the release of the unofficial referendum results, the radio host (who also referred to the unsuccessful IDPS lawsuit against the District of Invermere) announced that many communities are closely watching developments in Invermere for clues on how to deal with their own urban deer populations.