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Urban deer coordinator program returns this year

The City was successful in obtaining matching funding through the province to continue the WildSafeBC Community Coordinator program.

The City of Cranbrook was successful in obtaining matching funding through the province to continue with the WildSafeBC Community Coordinator program in 2015.

The program has a specific focus on urban deer education and, similar to last year, the role will be split between Cranbrook and Kimberley.

“We’ve done this in the past,” said CAO Wayne Staudt at Monday’s council meeting. “It’s a wildlife issue coordinator that we team up with the BC Conservation Foundation, Kimberley and ourselves.

“We applied for some grant money and we’ve been successful, so it’s just a heads up for council that we will be continuing on with this program again in 2015. It was very successful in 2014 — there was a lot of good feedback from the community.”

The city’s Communications Office made the application to WildSafeBC back in January of 2015, expressing interest in participating in the 2015 program, pending the completion of the budget.

On March 25, 2015, the Communications Office received an email from Jen Bellhouse, project coordinator with the BC Conservation Foundation.

Council approved funding of $2,500 in the 2015 budget to be taken from the Wildlife Education line item for the WildSafeBC Community Coordinator position. The city noted the focus of the education program, similar to 2014, will be on urban deer/human conflict management and mitigation along with a comprehensive public education campaign through both local media and classrooms.

Sonja Seher, who was in the role last year, will return as the WildSafeBC coordinator in 2015. The program will begin May 1, 2015 and conclude on Nov. 30, 2015.