To the Mayor and Council,
Thank you for establishing an evasive plant management program for our city. That Japanese knotweed and other invasive plants need to be controlled.
From what I can determine, the city does not have an invasive animal management program. I have several concerns about the deer living in our city.
Damage to gardens and hedges: To some extent gardens can be managed by putting in plants that deer are not fond of. Replacing a tree in a well established hedge so that it blends in with the other trees is almost impossible. I believe well-maintained hedges beautify our city. Chain-link fences do not.
Deer-Vehicle collisions: We have already had at least one incident of a vehicle colliding with a deer on the old Island Highway. Deer wandering on to Dogwood at a high traffic time could result in an accident involving many vehicles considering how closely they follow one another on that street. Traffic is bound to increase in our city considering how we are growing.
Aggressive deer behavior toward people: As an old recreational deer hunter, when I first heard stories of deer being aggressive toward people I didn’t believe them. What I didn’t realize at the time was that deer change their behavior once they lose their fear of people. There have been incidents of deer being aggressive toward people in B.C.including deer with antlers.
Deer attracting predatory animals to our city such as wolves and cougars: By far my greatest concern is that a cougar will eventually attack one of our children as has happened in other areas on Vancouver Island. Children are especially vulnerable not just because they are small but because of their tendency to run. From my reading, it appears that cougars are programed by nature to chase those that they see running. As a school psychologist, I was once called upon to assess a child who had been attacked by a cougar. The results were devastating both to the child and other family members. There have been cougar sightings in Campbell River.
Several other communities in B.C. have developed deer management plans both here on Vancouver Island and on the mainland. There are many models that could be considered. At one time, both funding and professional expertise were available to communities from the Province of British Columbia. It may still be available.
I do not like to think that it will take a tragic event in our city before we address this issue. I have two young granddaughters.
Thanking you in advance for considering my opinion.
Editor’s Note: The Mirror was cc’ed on this letter to the city. A reply was also cc’ed to us informing Goodrich that his letter had been recieved and would be included on a future city council agenda.