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CRD recruiting for citizen deer committee

Mar 15 2012

The Capital Regional District is forming a citizen committee to provide it with direction on how to deal with deer.

A majority of the CRD board voted Wednesday in favour of a plan to form a public group to gather information on what is expected to be one of the most controversial issues the region will deal with this year.

The citizen committee will gather information from April until July, and then report to the regional district. It will be up to the CRD board to make a decision on how to deal with deer, which could range from leaving them as is to a cull.

For farmers, the rising number of deer are an economic hazard, destroying crops. But for many others, the animals are part of the local urban and agricultural world. At an earlier meeting, several farmers pleaded for action, while other speakers advocated for the deer to be left alone. The CRD has received more than 1,000 emails on the topic.

"The committee will have to come up with direction on a very complex, very controversial issue," said Metchosin Mayor John Ranns.

Eleven public representatives will be on the committee. There will also be a committee of experts, including biologists and wildlife experts, to provide information to the group.

The CRD is now looking for people to apply to the citizen advisory group, which will guide the development of the Regional Deer Management Strategy. They will be asked to prepare and recommend the management strategy and action plan to address "deer-human conflicts in the region," says the CRD.

It will have up to five hours of weekly meetings and materials review between April and July.

Those interested can submit an application through the CRD website at

www.crd.bc.ca/deermanagement. kwestad@timescolonist.com

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