City approves additional funding for deer translocation trial

The city has approved contributing $10,000 of additional funding to the East Kootenay Urban Mule Deer Translocation Trial.

With news that a deer translocation trial may take place in the fall

With news that a deer translocation trial may take place in the fall

The city has approved contributing $10,000 of additional funding to the East Kootenay Urban Mule Deer Translocation Trial. The funds will come out of the 2014 surplus.

The approval came at the Wednesday, March 4 budget meeting and was added as a late item to the agenda.

Cranbrook already contributed $1,000 in seed funding, along with four other East Kootenay municipalities, to secure Vast Resource Solutions to create a translocation trial proposal.

CAO Wayne Staudt said the trial may be carried out this fall or early spring.

“I think it’s contingent on a number of things,” Staudt said.  “Certainly the province would be involved, but it’s also contingent on finding funding. We’re now making our share. There’s other municipalities that are going to have to step up and make their funding contribution. The cost now is getting to around $40,000 – $50,000. It isn’t just, ‘we’d like to do this’ — we need to find the money.”

Mayor Lee Pratt noted that Elkford, and Kimberley have agreed to provide $10,000 each and Invermere will provide $5,000.

The Animal Alliance of Canada will also contribute $10,000 to the trial.

Pratt explained that Cranbrook and Elkford already contributed $1,000, while Kimberley contributed $200 for the inital seed funding to get Vast Resource Solutions, based in Cranbrook, started on the project.

On Feb. 20, 2015, Ian Adams, senior wildlife biologist with Vast Resource Solutions sent a letter to city staff advising that the BC BackCountry Hunters and Anglers Society had made a proposal to the Columbia Basin Trust for funding. The proposal was specifically to the CBT Community Initiatives/Affected Areas funding intake on Feb. 26, with Vast as the sponsor of the proposal. The proposal to CBT asked for $2,000 from each of the four communities involved in, which are Cranbrook, Kimberley, Sparwood and Elkford.

Then on Feb. 26, Adams sent another email indicating the translocation trial had been “conditionally approved” for $34,475 over two years from the Upper Kootenay Ecosystem Enhancement Plan.

The funds are from the CBT and managed with the cooperation of the Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program.

The approval comes with three conditions: Capture lead(s) require previous demonstrated ungulate  capture experience; Demonstrated First Nation support; and Confirmation of financial support from the District of Elkford, City of Cranbrook and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.