The City of Cranbrook is requesting a meeting with a provincial cabinet minister to talk about managing the urban deer population.
Last year, the city washed it’s hands of managing urban deer within Cranbrook, shifting the onus to the provincial government, which is responsible for managing B.C.’s wildlife.
Administration is following up with provincial authorities and is asking for a virtual meeting with Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.
The request is to have the province step in and manage the deer to reduce the urban population, both to minimize aggressive deer encounters while also reducing the potential transmission of Chronic Wasting Disease in high density urban populations.
A committee consisting of provincial staff from the BC Centre for Disease Control, wildlife health biologists and the provincial wildlife veterinarian sent a letter to the city last year recommending reducing the density of the urban deer population in response to Chronic Wasting Disease concerns.
The meeting request with Minister Conroy follows an inquiry from a council meeting earlier in January, as well as correspondence from a local resident who wrote that her dog was attacked in her yard by a deer that had jumped over the fence.
The City of Cranbrook has wrestled with managing the urban deer population over the last decade, conducting a number of culls that have stirred emotional community debates and protests.
In the past, clover traps used to capture the deer have been vandalized, and other equipment such as game cameras, have been stolen.
Members of council have repeatedly expressed that managing the deer is a provincial responsibility, and mayor and council passed a motion last fall requesting that the province step in and address the issue rather than putting the onus on the municipality.
Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.