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4 Comments by facts maam

Deer-Culling Opponents File Suit Against East Hampton Town, Village Over Planned Cull

Dr. Tim Green. I know him well. He is a nice guy, but he has done some awful things as far as resource management is concerned. He has had his own agenda since 2008 (perhaps he is qualified as a government sniper). Tim wrote the natural resource evaluation aspect of the EIS for the massive BNL solar project. In it, he basically indicates that the 200 acres of old growth oak that would be sacrificed for the project equate as 'space' that could be replaced with native grasses, and therefore no net economic loss was assigned. This error was spectacularly negligent. Those of us who do this for a living know that these old oaks are are a critical food source in the spring and fall, and support more insect, bird and mammal species than any other plant. When preparing an EIS, an unbiased preparer should assign an economic value to each resource so that it can be realistically evaluated against the economic value of the proposed project. This was not done, and the solar project was pushed through under this and other false pretenses. Commercial solar power is not economically feasible in the North east. As a result of Tim's error, Suffolk County residents lost the last contiguous stand of its kind, and the solar farm will continue to cost ratepayers indefinitely into the future--BP did not build it for nothing--even with the free land, it was and will continue to be expensive. (The Solar Farm EIS is available to the public at the BNL website)

Dr. Green has pushed through a sniper cull of his own at BNL but that forest he took down could have provided the food and habitat needed for hundreds of species and the deer besides. Its almost evil.

RE: Finding dead deer with a full stomach. Unless a full necropsy was done in the case, one could be faulted for declaring starvation as the cause of death. For instance, we know that our Long Island deer suffer and die of Erlichiosis on a wide scale. Its easy to split a gut and make a guess, but not so easy to prepare tissue and blood samples to send out to a lab. So, without more data, I would need to question Dr. Green's conclusion.

The only common element in Tim's reports are errors of omission that conclude with a war on nature.
" Dec 27, 13 10:24 PM

Has anyone driven on the PA turnpike lately? Do it, and then say we on Long Island have an intolerable problem with deer accidents. PA has bear, wolf and coyote, and probably mountain lions, as well as a long unrestricted hunting season. Go figure why there is a dead deer every quarter mile on the whole stretch. Thousands of them. Its mind boggling. In my long life, I only remember two instances out here where personal acquaintances hit deer. Both cases involved speeding on back woods roads. Both were preventable.

A deer cull is a waste of taxpayer money. This is a case where people should assess and solve their own problem. If deer get into your garden--fence it. If you are worried about collisions, be aware and drive more carefully, if you don't want deer to eat your ornamentals, plant native species.
But I am a scientist, and I have a hard time with the trash that has been coming out of this discussion, especially from the pols. Consider the facts;
The deer/lyme disease connection is massively overstated. Deer play a minimal, if any role in the spread of Lyme disease. There are many many studies that have proven this. Local case in point: No deer on Plum Island, yet Lyme Disease and ticks are worse than anywhere else. I know, I worked there. The ticks crawl into the buildings and the birds are infested.
Deer/ vehicle collisions are most prevalent in the fall. There are studies that correlate this phenomena with hunting, for the first day of the season sees the highest number of accidents, and then continues throughout the fall. Deer will run without sense or reason when they perceive they are threatened. This hazard is not about to change, cull or not, as long as there is an opening day.
The deer immuno -contraception research project on Fire Island that ended in 2008 was undeniably successful in reducing the deer population. As with any project, the findings had positive and negative aspects. Companies are working to develop sterilants with effective long term dosing and are therefore more cost efficient. If successful, sterilization can be considered for a management tool in eligible communities that desire non-lethal methods. I see nothing wrong, stupid, or irrational about that. As a frequent visitor to the FINS, the deer in the treated areas are perfectly fine and there are very few fawns.
Prey animals do need predators or other mechanism to maintain balance. Some National Forests allow nature (no human hunting or culling) to take its course, and it works beautifully The Shenandoah National Park is a prime example.
Humans are terribly inefficient predators. Any culling or sport hunting that targets adult female deer results in the slow and agonizing starvation death of her fawn--collateral damage so to speak. Not very humane.
Studies show that the fertility of white tailed deer is self controlling ultimately. Deer in low density areas with rich nutrition sources frequently twin and triplet. Reproductive rates in deer living in high density are with low nutritional opportunities approach zero.
Years of hunting with an unrestricted doe take (along with the collateral damage), and years of nuisance permit shootings have not reduced deer density on the east end.
The point is that the proposed culls will not have the desired effects of getting rid of ticks and tick diseases, eliminating collisions, reducing herd numbers over the long term or keeping the deer out of farms and gardens (only fences do that).

The only rational argument for the support of a cull is that it might be successful in minimally reducing the deer population for a season. Culls would have to be done annually, and for a legitimate humane reason argument, the cull would need to target the fawns. With that, and with the knowledge that they will still have to live with the ticks, collisions, and farm damage, taxpayers should rationally decide if the annual cull cost is worth it.
Farmers are important to our east end economy, but they run profitable businesses and should not expect taxpayers to shoulder their operating costs--yes--they could be putting up fences which would be a better more permanent solution to their deer problem than a taxpayer sponsored cull. Fences are akin to anti-theft or security systems that all businesses have to take, and are tax deductible as are any losses.
Furthermore, eliminating access to farmland and the rich diet they provide would probably reduce deer fertility overall.
We need to incorporate seasonal driving hazard awareness into defensive driver training programs and government sponsored mailings. Folks should demand intelligent land management, including smart and low impact development, restricted build-out, and connected green corridors and renew efforts to preserve open space. Wildlife management should be the domain of the NYSDEC, but like any any agency, they need to be pressed to account for the effectiveness of their programs. If we re-landscape with native species (plants that have evolved to be deer resistant), gardens would still be lovely with the bonus of less irrigation and fertilization.
I live in deer country too, have had all the diseases but now take precautions, I drive very carefully and have never had an deer accident, have lollipop trees and shrubs, put a fence around my 1/4 acre vegetable garden and deal with it, and its not so bad.
This was simply a campaign issue and a freebie for the farmers. Nothing against them, but why do I have to pay something that does not benefit me that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt won’t work.
Stand up for good government and just say no to the cull!.

" Dec 27, 13 11:39 PM

I appreciate your passion.
However, as a product of the 60's, I learned to question authority. Having worked for government for 40 years, I can tell you absolutely to not trust them. Always doubt. This is important because we live in one of the few countries that allow this freedom (I think). If this freedom is not exercised. it will be lost.

On any issue. to find the truth, all you need to do is to follow the money. Who's gonna gain, and who's gonna lose. Investigate, Ask questions. Who's supporting the candidates. Find the facts and don't get scammed.

Regarding the solar project, you are incorrect about the 200 acres. Those trees were at least 100 yrs old (2-3 ft diameter) and the most beautiful area of the lab property. I insist that I am correct on the importance of old oaks --they far exceed grasses in ecological value. You will find over 200 species that rely on an single oak tree for food and shelter. Further, the solar farm is fenced off and access is restricted to only the smallest of small creatures. There was no offset that could have replaced that forest.
You are correct in that BP sponsored an experimental array within the area of the former hazardous waste management area, but the solar farm itself was built over land that was pristine. Yes, google earth will show lots of woodland, but there was none like this.
One of the biggest regrets of my life was not having commented on this DEIS. I commented on just about everything else that came out of the Lab, and I knew about this one, but when the time came, there was a death in my immediate family and work got nuts, and there was no time. I was initially excited about the project and was good with the concept. I finally read the DEIS and did additional research (followed the money) but by then it was too late. There is much more to the story, and it is worse that you can imagine.

Maybe you interned or worked for Dr. Green at some point in your young career, or you know him through the organization. He is basically a good guy and it was not my intention to knock him completely. He has accomplished much good while at BNL. He handles more interns than anyone else at the lab, has prepared numerous ecological studies, and is responsible for many acres of habitat enhancement, particularly grasses in allocating areas for non-mowing.
However, he blew it on the solar farm deis--it was just wrong. I also realize that the outcome could have been the same even if all the T's were crossed and the i's dotted.
Finally, Dr. Green is the one who is biased on the deer issue, not me. If you know him personally, you'll realize that.
I am a seeker of truth and facts.

" Dec 28, 13 6:23 PM

Southampton Town Trustees Served With Injunction; Bank Accounts Remain Frozen

As a SH waterfront owner for 40 years, I support waterfront access for all residents. I wish that other towns did the same beacuse I love to walk beaches. I never minded people walking and using the beach in front of my house as long as there is respect for my property (clean up after your dog, pick up your trash, etc).
Having been in a position to require a trustee permit to repair damage after Sandy and seeing first hand the broad yet inconsistent and irrational powers they give themselves, the trustees are a group that needs to revamp and modernize if they wish to remain relevant. The world has changed alot since authority was granted 300 years ago--SEa level rise, the damages caused by shoreline hardening, scouring and deposition, and damage caused by sedimentation and suspended solids in marine nurseries were not dreamed of even 100 years ago. Allowing the public unfettered access to sensitive estuarine eco systems has wrought much damage by their hands, yet, waterfront owners who seek to protect homes and property (which by the way we all have a right to do) are lambasted by the trustees and their adoring public.
If the trustees should disappear, their role would easily be absorbed by land management, DEC, Army Corps, etc. without changing the quality of life for any resident in the Town. What they do is duplicative, often contradictive to other existing regulations, and often less protective.s. " Mar 11, 14 1:51 PM