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Wildsafe, City of Grand Forks combine forces to deal with deer population

Shara JJ Cooper
By Shara JJ Cooper
August 12th, 2013

The City of Grand Forks has decided to hire a part-time employee to help deal with the deer in the city. 

The new employee will be part of the WildSafe (formerly BearAware) program and will help provide education on the deer population.

During their regular meeting on July 22, councillors debated whether they wanted to bring in this program, because it would cost $15,000. Councillors agreed that surplus deer populations are a provincial problem and the provincial government should be sharing in the cost. 

Coun. Cher Wyers stressed that the city had a solid plan for controlling the deer population and that council should keep trying to get funding from the province. She also said that added education won’t necessarily help. 

“People that are feeding the deer now, are going to keep feeding the deer,” she said. 

However, Coun. Michael Wirischagin feels that the provincial goverment is always “downloading” finances onto smaller communities and that funding the WildSafe program is the best way to get results. 

Mayor Brian Taylor also supports the program. He said that WildSafe is comprehensive, not strictly about education and that they may be able to help with things like signage and fencing. 

When it was time to vote, councillors Wyers, Kendel and Smith voted against the motion to fund a WildSafe program coordinator. 

The WildSafe employee will be hired from the area.

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