By Joshua Estabrooks

Special to the Pioneer

Coming back to help out the local newspapers as they await the arrival of their next great reporter, I have had the opportunity to revisit some issues that I thoroughly enjoyed covering when I was a full-time reporter at The Pioneer.

One such issue, the urban deer problem plaguing communities up and down the Columbia Valley, hasnt been resolved yet, and my first shock was to learn that the silly, pointless and costly law suit is still in the court system.

Now, the fault for delaying the District of Invermeres ability to deal with these deer-shaped rats (my term for these garbage-crunching, disease-and pest-infested creatures, as they have exited the regular natural cycle of the wild and become permanent fixtures on our streets and yards, just like rats) does not lie only with the lawsuit-loving anti-cull group, but also with the provincial governments reluctance to approve any options other than culling or relocating which is essentially a delayed cull.

The reasons for the provincial governments foot-dragging is anyones guess, but I bet it has something to do with a combination of the looming election, the fear that the province will have to foot the bill whenever a municipality deems their deer population too high, and general laziness regarding opening up old regulations that were established long before the giant rat-beasts moved into communities en masse to prey on dirty diapers and stomp on dogs and their owners.

So what is the solution to this mess that many communities find themselves in? Invermere is by no means alone in this struggle. Who really knows for sure, but I wager if the lawsuit was dropped and all the protectionist groups put their money in a bank account to cover the costs of solutions where and when they are allowed and the province got off their butts to truly engage the issues with local governments things might actually change.

Or maybe Ill still get to cover this issue in a year from now, which I suspect will be what really happens given the close-minded approach on both sides of this frustrating coin. Its just too bad that those who are truly trying to find a middle ground the local governments keep getting caught in the middle.