Dear Editor:

As a former Conservation Officer that had to deal with the aftermath of interactions between deer and humans, I applaud the efforts of councils to cull the deer population: its long overdue and needs to continue. Its a necessary part of wildlife population management. The attacks on people and pets are well documented in communities throughout B.C. and a cull is the only option that is viable. Deer do not belong on urban streets and in backyards. They have ample room to habituate outside of the communities.

All the rhetoric about they were here first is historically wrong. The early explorers of this area wrote of lean times trying to find wildlife to hunt. Its only been through proper management and continuing efforts of hunters and conservationists that deer have been allowed to thrive in the Kootenays.

Its been nearly three weeks since Mr. Kazakoff and Mr. Sikora were charged and released for their alleged part in tampering of deer traps in Kimberley. The BC Deer Protection Societys only response has been to ask for donations to fight the charges against their spokesperson.

The societies act is fairly clear that donations have to be used to further the goals of the organization. In my view, this is clearly outside of a not-for-profit society function. The directors of the BC Deer Protection Society should be the ones paying, not the general public. Are they condoning criminal actions while building a war chest for future actions?

Instead of a defense fund, the BC Deer Protection Society should pay for the damaged traps and the contractors lost wages. Its only fair considering all the financial damage they have inflicted on municipalities and individuals.

Paul Visentin