Letters to the Editor: March 17

The old fire hall; The deer up here: Some perspective

The Old Fire Hall

I have high hopes that the old Cranbrook Fire Hall will be resurrected into an Art Gallery soon. It certainly is a perfect place for a gallery, being a heritage building right in the centre of town, near Rotary Park and City Hall. It would be such a shame for the City to lose this building and not have the foresight in the near future to re-evaluate this site.

Cranbrook has come so far over the years, to become the centre of the East Kootenay for so many things, including the cultural side of our life here.

I know that potholes are important too at the moment, but they will not be here forever and an Art Gallery in the heritage Fire Hall will be!

With high hopes, from

Sally Passey/Cranbrook

The Deer Up Here

A recent Kimberley City update in the Bulletin about Urban deer reads like the urban deer problem is under control. The deer population in the city is down to 100.

To quote, “Measures such as revised bylaws to allow greater backyard fence heights to discourage feeding appear to have reduced attractants and been effective at reducing the population from 240 deer to current levels.”

Wow, if that is all it takes to get the deer numbers down they should bottle that idea and sell it to every community in the province that has a deer problem.

As well, the City has introduced an education program in schools.  They have taken some positive steps to reduce human/deer conflicts, which is a primary objective. They are also looking at translocation of deer.

But let’s go back to the 100 deer.  The 100 deer represents the average total counted during the three deer counts in November, 2014. Not the total population.  When the first counts were done in (I believe) 2011, the average was 240 deer. An eastern company that does calculations on deer populations said Kimberley’s actual count was more like 400 deer.  With the number of does having twins and triplets each year the population could easily double to 800 in three or four years if nothing was done

It’s common knowledge that the overpopulation of wildlife leads to problems.  Kimberley’s previous escalating deer population count of 240 deer is a classic example.  It was the foresight of the late Jim Ogilvie, and council to initiate a deer cull to reduce the numbers to manageable levels.  Based on the fact that 100 deer were counted instead of 240 is testament to the fact that the city’s deer population is close to a manageable level.

If the present urban deer committee and City believe the deer population is reaching a manageable level in concert with new initiatives, then I agree, they are all positive steps to reducing the problem.  The initiatives however were not the solution to the problem.  The cull was.

With regards to higher backyard fences, they may keep the deer out but they do little for aesthetics, which most people could care less about if it keeps their kids safe, their dogs from being trampled and gardens intact. Some people have gone to great expense to protect their property. Others have, and continue to feed deer, which was a contributing factor to deer in the city in the first place. Not a single person has ever been fined for feeding deer in our city.  Meanwhile residents do what they can to protect their properties and are chastised by environmentalists when they support a cull.

I think it is important to keep things in perspective.

RC Kerr/Kimberley