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Sep 24, 2013 11:23 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Deer Management Round Table Slated For East Hampton Village

Sep 24, 2013 12:31 PM

A round table on deer management will be held on Monday at 1 p.m. at the East Hampton Village Emergency Services Building on Cedar Street.

At a Village Board meeting on Friday, Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. said that deer have become such a problem that something needs to be done about it as soon as possible.

“The Board of Trustees is at the threshold and know we have to take action,” he said. “It’s a problem and a public health nuisance and there’s a whole host of issues. We hope those who will be in participation on the 30th [of September] will come to some rational way where we can move ahead.”

He added that he wants the community round table to be a way to discuss any and all viable options.

Kathy Cunningham of the East Hampton Village Preservation Society read a letter out loud on behalf of the VPS, suggesting that the village go forward with a combination of deer sterilization and culling, saying it would be a sensible and humane option.

“There is strong evidence that ticks are dependent upon the deer population to support their life cycle. With tick-borne illness on the rise and the Town Board management plan moving at a glacial pace, the Village Preservation Society strongly suggests the village take the lead by implementing a deer sterilization program,” she said. “The problem remains serious and unsolved. Not only is there no relief in sight, deer numbers continue to increase, as hunting alone cannot keep pace with the birth rate.”

In July, the village hosted a deer management forum where Joshua Stiller, an associate wildlife biologist with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and Dr. Anthony DeNicola, co-founder and president of the White Buffalo wildlife conservation management organization based in Connecticut, presented their findings about what methods work best. Among them was sterilization.

Now, village officials want to hear from the community.

“When you travel the village roads, you see cattle walks at the entrances to driveways, fencing that has been extended to 8 feet, taking away from ambiance and overall beauty of what our village is all about,” the mayor said. “There’s no doubt about it, we have to forge ahead.”

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