Re: Deer Management Plan for Ann Arbor

From: Lumm, Jane
Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 5:01 PM
To: ‘[email protected]
Cc: Powers, Steve; Bahl, Sumedh; ‘Robert Tetens’; ‘Robert Grese’; ‘Robert Marans’; Kosteve, Jim; ‘[email protected]’; Hieftje, John; Kailasapathy, Sumi; Briere, Sabra; Petersen, Sally; Taylor, Christopher (Council); Kunselman, Stephen; Teall, Margie; Eaton, Jack; Warpehoski, Chuck; Anglin, Mike
Subject: RE: Washtenaw Citizens for Ecological Balance

Dear Washtenaw Citizens for Ecological Balance members,

Thank you for your thoughtful and timely outreach on the City’s pending deer management plan. I sincerely appreciate all the well-researched information, scientific data and knowledge that your organization brings to the deer overpopulation and management issue. Like so many in our community, I have learned a great deal about other communities’ best deer management practices from the WC4EB website, and would commend it as a great resource to anyone interested in this topic. You have certainly done your homework and are helping to educate us all on this important topic!

The issues and concerns you raise – the ecological damage and toll on landscaped and natural environments, and the related health and safety issues (e.g., vehicle/deer crashes, Lyme disease transmission) – are concerns that have been brought to my and city council’s attention by many of our residents. There now is not a day that goes by where I don’t receive a constituent call or request regarding the deer overpopulation problem. The shared observation is that the deer population is out-of-control, that our environment and safety demand a management solution, and that the failure to address the overabundance of deer in the city is not acceptable. As you so correctly note, and for the many good reasons you cite, our residents are eager for the City to provide them an actionable deer management plan. Expectations are high, and I am confident our City Administrator, in conjunction with the MDNR and other interested and relevant public organizations, will deliver a plan and options that will effectively lead to the reduction in the deer herds traversing our neighborhoods and streets. Other communities have and are successfully addressing the urban deer overpopulation problem, and I am confident Ann Arbor can as well. Your offer of assistance in this regard is greatly appreciated.

I am copying the Mayor and Council and our partners in this undertaking for their information and follow-up should anyone want to take you up on your generous offer to meet to discuss further. I am interested in meeting with you, and would invite anyone to join in the conversation.

With my respect and sincere thanks for your expertise, advocacy, and generous offer of assistance,

Jane Lumm

My Deer Story

Several years ago when we moved to Webster Township, we were delighted to find a deer path in our yard and see the local herd pass through, and see the newborn fawns take their first steps and then frolic in the yard in the spring. We also have spent many hours removing the invasive plants from our property, including mounds of garlic mustard. As invasives were removed, we started to see some of the native plants return, including a few trillium. Well, most the trillium are gone now, as well as a number of other natives, as these have turned into deer chow while the deer herd continues to expand.

22396547Seeing the significant reduction of the monarch population due to loss of habitat, we started a few milkweeds in the yard, knowing that monarchs are picky eaters and need milkweeds to survive. Milkweed has been known as somewhat deer resistant. We were rewarded with a Monarch egg, and then a Monarch caterpillar. But shortly after, the plant had been deer browsed, the caterpillar gone, and that was the end of this possible Monarch.

The plant layer of our woods is quite minimal and the plant life that supports other picky butterflies, the birds and other woodland critters has been greatly reduced due to the over-abundance of the deer population who graze on the food sources for these others.

We would like our woodland to support all native species and for them to have a habitat and thrive, and be in ecological balance.

Toni S.
Webster Township