3rd Deer Management Meeting, tonight, April 16 at Slausen Middle School

buck1The broad areas that we have allocated within the City and the County indicate that Ann Arbor loves native plants and natural landscapes. We gather seed, we nurture the seedlings through their fragile time, we rejoice as they send roots down to talk with the micorrhizal fungi and animate the wonderful world underground. We watch as the great variety of native bees emerge, from mere specks to the aptly named bumble bees. We anticipate the rich palette of butterflies. We watch our birds emerging from nesting boxes to search our plants for eggs and caterpillars to feed their young. (Nestlings require a diet of more than 90% protein.)

When we have too many deer. Spring ephemerals are only a part of memory—except for skunk cabbage which I love but it will not replace all the rest.

We can have only grassy prairies because the hungry deer eat all the forbs as they sprout. Lists of “deer resistant” native plants offer cruel hope. Sprays have limited effectiveness only if applied in budget busting quantities at frequent intervals and with a regular exchange of different brands.

Those of you who are skeptical of this have not yet experienced serious deer predation. I am happy for you. But, I warn you. Wards 1,2, and 5 of Ann Arbor are beginning to experience a Scio Township world—herds of twelve in your front/back yard? Wait until you have 35.

Today, Thursday, April 4/16 at 7pm. In the auditorium at Slauson Middle School located at 1019 West Washington in Ann Arbor. (See attached agenda.) Please come and register your opinion on what should be done. WC4EB has developed a Deer Management Plan that is science-based and pulls from the very expensive experiences of other communities around the country. Let’s learn from what has already been tried. We would appreciate reports of deer/vehicle collisions, attacks on pets, landscape destruction, yards unusual because of deer poop.

Public comment is confined to 3 minutes and begins about 8pm, no sign up required. Come with your stories.

Please take an hour from our evening and tell your story about trying to support native vegetation in Deerland. And bring your friends. They don’t have to give a 3 minute talk, just come up and register your opinion. The lethal alternative is the most humane and fastest was to reduce the population.

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