The Michigan Botanical Club, a State Wide organization devoted to the study and conservation of native plants as well as educational programs about native plants, has an active Chapter, The Huron Valley Chapter, centered in the Ann Arbor area and meeting at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens.
Many of our members have lived in the Ann Arbor area long enough to have seen the dramatic declines in wildflowers in many of the treasured woodlots in the Ann Arbor area in recent decades. As deer exclosure experiments have repeatedly shown in Michigan and other areas, much of this loss, especially in sensitive plant
groups like native orchids and conspicuous species such as trilliums and lilies, is due to excessively high deer populations. The detrimental effects of high deer populations on tree reproduction are also well known, and deer are also implicated in disturbances promoting invasive species. This is all in addition to the considerable monetary impact that high deer populations have in destroying landscaping in resident’s yards and generating more numerous deer-car collisions, to say nothing of potentially entrenching Lyme disease in our area.
Deer will always be a part of our environment, but the Huron Valley Chapter of the Michigan Botanical Club strongly supports an effective deer management plan including culling in Ann Arbor. We owe it to future generations living in Ann Arbor to manage deer populations so they are at levels that our natural environments and parks can sustain without serious degradation.