Well, it's been an eventful few days!
Presentation to CRD
On Wednesday July 22, the UWSS presented to the CRD Planning, Transportation and Protection Services Committee, which has been responsible for the Regional Deer Management Strategy. We requested that the CRD consider committing $35,000 to the UWSS in order to fully complete their urban deer management pilot project.
We were delighted at the encouragement we received from the committee to submit an application for a grant of $35,000 to be considered by the Board.
Vic Derman said "if we are going to intelligently attempt to manage deer, we absolutely have to start out with being able to survey, identify and enumerate the population and then track what happens to that population over time.
Once you have identified the population and are able to track it, then you can evaluate the success of any attempts to manage that population."
Chair (and Mayor of North Saanich) Alice Finall commended the UWSS for our work. She commented that provincial support revolves around culls and that this humane and more effective management tool "deserves a much better chance", and that the work of our society could provide direction to the province.
Director Rands endorsed the position of scientists that fencing is the only thing that will fully keep deer out of gardens. As a farmer, he has tried other alternatives such as culling by shooting and fencing is the only thing that has worked.
He said: "I think, from my experience in living with deer on a day-to-day basis, that [our project] has the best chance of success of anything I've seen other than fencing".
Many of the directors said they would support the granting of $35,000 to the UWSS! We will begin the application process today.
The PTPS Committee also heard from Dr. Sara Dubois, Chief Scientific Officer of the BCSPCA, who spoke eloquently on the role of the BCSPCA in protecting wildlife.
Dr. Dubois also urged the CRD to support our work, saying "I suggest you support the Urban Wildlife Stewardship Society because they are doing great work in your community and these are your own community members". Thank you Sara!
Kelly Carson of DeerSafe, and Marion Cumming, a supporter and original steering committee member, also spoke persuasively to the need for support for non lethal alternatives to lethal culls and endorsed our work. Kelly submitted a petition of over 4000 local signatures against culling.
If you would like to see our 4 minute presentations and the discussion of the committee, please go to the podcast: http://crd.ca.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=1&clip_id=454
Presentation to Oak Bay Council
On Monday July 20, the UWSS presented to Oak Bay Council along with requesting a grant for our contraception and public education project. After a lengthy discussion and question/answer session, Council passed a motion to grant $5000 to the Urban Wildlife Stewardship Society - $2500 now and $2500 upon receipt of the federal and provincial permits.
The UWSS is very happy that Oak Bay sees value in the work the UWSS is undertaking and thanks the Council for their financial support.
Together, we're making a difference!