In 2011, Invermere council made the regrettable decision to kill deer. Since then, taxpayer costs are mounting as the district focuses on defence in spite of the mayor acknowledging culling and relocation are the least favourite options among Invermere residents.
Now the mayor suggests a referendum is needed to get a feel on whether or not people support the cull. How much more will they spend?
Council fails to reveal the true cost of assuming responsibility for wildlife management when it is not in their mandate or expertise. They dont seem to care about loss of public trust and domestic tranquility or that culling is unnecessary, expensive and unsustainable. They ignore the ethical prohibition against killing and do not question the humanity of eliminating another species. Council members, friends and family belong to the Facebook group, I Support the Culling of Invermere Deer. The intolerance displayed illustrates and motivates continuing negative attitudes toward wildlife. Who would put morality questions to municipal referendum?
Of the six recommended actions approved by council in 2011, they have attempted only two. The permanent deer advisory committee met secretly, reported to council twice and vanished. The district killed deer using an inhumane method and has yet to report on the experience. Public education and long term solutions have not been addressed.In Rudolph season, the district newsletter gave the illegal, prophetic advice that when a deer approaches, use any objects such as rocks or sticks.
This spring, during Cranbrooks ill-fated cull, a deer was trapped, injured and killed mid-day in a councillors yard by a contractor facing conflict of interest allegations. Shocked neighbours watched with horror. Topping off the disastrous experience, Councillor Gerry Warner published profuse apologies for their secretive process and, finally, BCSPCA wrote a scathing rebuke.
Dogs may trigger defensive behaviour so please heed the advice of the Conservation Officer Service that conflict situations can be prevented through improved management techniques or making adjustments to our daily behaviours.
The few deer in town now subsist in decreasing natural habitat while trying to survive life-threatening hazards created by humans. Last week, a doe was severely injured and likely died because of neglected agriculture fencing. Since the war on deer began, all that has been proven is that we harm, rather than cherish, wildlife.