In reflection of town council’s bylaw to fine town residents who feed deer, I wish to make the following comments:
1. Why council’s decision is wrong is it places absolutely no common sense or thought in their actions other than to say you feed deer, you’re a criminal, make them pay, problem solved.
Well, folks, the problem is not solved. The deer are still here, and will remain here for some time. Fining residents has not, nor will not, solve this problem.
2. No one looked at the cause of this problem, like the fact most of our wood lots in and around Fort Frances and district have been cut down. Just go out to our airport and it will provide an example of what I am telling you has happened.
Industry, home expansions, human development, and progress have infringed on the natural wildlife habitat. This severely affects ample shelter, from storms and predators, decimating vital food sources and forage.
This shift in land patterns, created by human development, caused deer and predator migration into Fort Frances and many other communities across Canada and the U.S.
3. No the deer and predatory animals are in and around Fort Frances. Why? Because shelter is more readily available and the food sources are abundant. Your garden, my garden, flowers, apple and plum trees, shrubs, etc., etc.
In simple terms, plenty of shelter and food for deer, and an easier ability to hide from their predators.
Now I ask you, is fining any one resident enough to convince these deer and other predatory animals to leave Fort Frances? I think not.
Thus, at this time, our town bylaw was enacted without foresight, by not understanding the problem, or finding a resolution that actually wold solve the issue at hand.
This bylaw, at this time, is both ineffectual and wrong.
What council should have done, and still can do, is set up a deer management committee, consisting of members of town council, the Ministry of Natural Resources, and game and health experts to create and review strategies to develop and implement a long-range plan, based on professional, scientific, and health information, which would meet the needs required to address this complex problem.
If part of that strategy includes fining people who feed deer, then that would be the time to enact a no feeding the deer bylaw.
I mentioned health experts be added to this committee and lime ticks are prevalent on deer. It takes three days for a lime tick to remove enough blood into its system before it lays thousands of eggs on the deer.
Everyone know Lime disease can be very serious, thus the need for a health expert on this panel.
In closing, I believe council ought to rescind its bylaw forthwith, enact a committee as suggested above, and tackle this complex problem in a professional manner.
Now let us look also at the related problems of skunks, raccoons, etc. Maybe they can be incorporated into this committee’s itinerary.
Fort Frances, Ont.