The Tompkins County village of Cayuga Heights is moving ahead with a controversial plan to control the deer population within the village limits. The board intends to hire a consultant to come up with a formal environmental impact statement for the plan
Officials figure there are about 200 deer living within the 1.8 square miles that comprise the village. The animals have damaged gardens and property. Some feel are a threat to public safety.
The plan calls for capturing and neutering 20 to 60 does and killing the rest. The venison would be donated to the Southern Tier Food Bank. Mayor Kate Supron said "We can't make everybody happy, that's a given. But we would like to bring the population down to a level we consider safe and healthful."
Opponents have formed a citizens group to fight the deer culling plan. They've launched a campaign that has stirred emotions in Cayuga Heights and surrounding communities.
James LaVeck is among the opponents. "Ultimately we have a small group of influential resident who don't want to put up fences to protect their gardens and instead they want to bring in out of town gunmen put out bait piles and shoot down human habituated deer in people's backyards." LaVeck told CNY Central.
For more information, Cayuga Heights has published its deer management plan on its website.
The opponents have their own website.