Province announces funding for urban deer cost-share program
Responding to a series of recommendations made by the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM), the Province has committed to striking a Provincial Urban Deer Advisory Committee as well as the provision of up to $100,000 for future urban deer management operations.
The recommendations from the UBCM flowed from an initial meeting with the Province at an Urban Deer Workshop in January 2015.
“The creation of an urban deer advisory committee will help ensure greater collaboration between municipalities and the Government of B.C. and provide the resources necessary for communities to make informed choices about how to resolve urban deer issues,” Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations said.
That workshop laid the groundwork for an increased awareness and understanding of policy, legislation, regulation and best practices in urban deer management and the responses to the UBCM recommendations provide a clear road map toward greater co-operation between the two levels of government.
Participants at the workshop also agreed to create an advisory committee with both provincial and municipal representation to work together on urban deer management. The committee is currently being formed and more details will follow.
The workshop led to 22 recommendations presented by the UBCM to the Province, and today the Province has responded to each of them. Two of the recommendations call for the Province to provide funding to address urban deer management issues and tools. In support of this, up to $100,000 a year will be set aside for approved urban deer management and research projects.
Details on how the funding will be made available will be worked out in consultation with the Urban Deer Advisory Committee, once it is formed. Any project would require review and permitting by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, in accordance with the Wildlife Act.
The Province is committed to partnering with local governments to facilitate the development of socially acceptable urban deer management solutions. Ministry staff already assist communities in managing urban wildlife conflicts in a number of ways, including:
- Participation on community-based committees
- Provision of technical advice
- Development of hunting regulations and issue permits to manage deer populations within or near urban areas
- Loaning of available equipment to communities as required.
The Province will continue to work with communities to help them manage urban deer conflicts. The formation of an advisory committee will help inform these efforts and ensure communities have the support they need to make informed decisions on urban deer.
Story originated at The Nelson Daily.