Animals first, always.
Lake Erie Allegheny Partnership (LEAP), Reverse Position on White-Tailed Deer Management
Lake Erie Allegheny Partnership is the prime mover behind the deer-killing in the northern areas of the southern Great Lakes states, including the frenzied deer-killing now seen in Northeast Ohio. LEAP's Wildlife Conflict Committee ratified its "Position for White-Tailed Deer Management" at Cleveland's Office of Sustainability a couple of years ago, with very little public knowledge or input. Now, LEAP members, well-known, heavy hitters in environmental conservation -- Cleveland Museum of Natural History (Jim Bissell), Cleveland Metroparks (Chief of Natural Resources Terry Robison), Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Lisa Petit, Chief Natural Resources), and Ohio Division of Wildlife (Geoffrey Westerfield, assistant wildlife mgmt. supervisor) -- just four of LEAP's dozens of members who the public mistakenly looks to for sound, scientific, and humane solutions, claim disprovable, questionable reasons for recommending widespread, regional lethal measures to "control" deer populations in all our metro and national parks, and suburban/urban neighborhoods, a clear violation of the Public Trust. From LEAP's website and "Position" to kill deer: “At times it is necessary to use human intervention to manage deer population numbers at acceptable levels for desired healthy ecosystems, to reduce nuisance situations, and to increase humane safety.” (visit http://www.leapbio.org/members for a complete list.) But our very comprehensive, fine-tooth scouring of open pubic records revealed NO human fatalities resulted from deer-vehicle crashes in Cuyahoga County for over five years, no Lyme disease in the county, and no Chronic Wasting Disease or starving deer in all Ohio's herd. The claim that deer threaten ecosystems is blatantly hypocritical, considering that the human species is the true threat. Also, the park systems engaging in systematic removal of deer for "conservation" purposes is a joke; these parks are for profit, and have significantly paved over most of the habitats for which they claim to be stewards. LEAP has influenced all the big NE Ohio decision makers, including public park systems and most suburban/urban areas; one of LEAP's published "recommendations" includes encouraging "municipalities to work with the Ohio Division of Wildlife" to use lethal measures. It doesn't take much to connect the dots between LEAP's ratification/recommendations, and the exponential increase in deer killing now seen in numerous NE Ohio communities whose leaders bought into the "killing as conservation" paradigm. Metadata prove ALL lethal measures result in "compensatory rebound effect," whereby a sudden, lethal reduction in herd size results in increased herd fertility (does give birth to more multiples, and yearlings conceive earlier). Less competition for food + increased herd fertility = rebounding numbers. In other words, it doesn't work.
STOP KILLING DEER IN CLEVELAND METROPARKS WEST CREEK RESERVATION!
We want Metroparks (CMP) head of natural resources Terry Robison to stop killing deer. He claims it's for "conservation," while admitting that the reason there are so many deer in Ohio is because of hunting; this means he acknowledges killing results in rebounding numbers, but then, he condones killing. This is a blatant contradiction. We also want Robison to stop his radio collaring, telemetry study on deer, which results in deer mortality and stress, especially because he told this petitioner that the study results will make no difference in his decision to kill or not. Since CMPs annual deer killing has not "solved the problem," it actually results in the same or more deer. If that is the case, why not leave them alone? Now that CMP has added its new gem in the emerald necklace, West Creek Reservation in Parma, to its annual slaughterfest where sharpshooters have killed close to 80 deer the past two years, terrified deer egress the park and move southward; they are refuge-seeking. These animals have moved into suburban neighborhoods in Parma and Seven Hills, and now, residents incorrectly perceive there are more deer, and are looking to bow hunting to solve "the problem." This domino effect clearly caused by CMP deer killing has also resulted in an increase in deer-vehicle crashes on Broadview Road between Parma and Seven Hills. Because West Creek was once a lightly patronized marshy greenspace, safe for wildlife, but is now paved over, built on, and frequented on- and off-trail by exponentially more humans. The ripple effect extends to Broadview Heights, North Royalton, Strongsville, and other communities, now with bow hunting on the ballot March 2016. If the parks would just leave the deer alone, they would return to their homes, and balance would be somewhat restored.
Recommend Only NON-lethal (But NOT Sterilization) Deer Control to Cuyahoga County Mayors/City Managers Assn.
The Cuyahoga County Mayors and City Managers Association (the "Association") formed a subcommittee pressuring the Ohio Division of Wildlife (ODOW) to "fix" the deer "problem" it has caused. But its officers, as predicted, are calling for lethal measures. That's because the Assn. is corrupt and biased, with presiding officer/Independence Mayor Gregory Kurtz who is hunter-friendly, plus a hunter who also happens to be Broadview Heights Mayor Sam Alai, now fear-mongering about deer-vehicle accidents (numerous dispatch records for these communities consistently reveal NO human injuries and no threats to public safety) while attempting to re-engage his community in a bow hunting program that voters already repealed through a ballot measure. Sadly, now North Royalton Mayor Bob Stefanik, who formed the Association subcommittee to address the deer situation and who claimed a preference for non-lethal, is citing incorrect data about deer-vehicle crashes -- for which this writer just concluded an eight-year analysis and found DECREASES. Stefanik also claims there are "exploding" deer populations when he knows deer cannot biologically out-reproduce their habitats, and when he knows that it's the ODOW's fault for deliberately maintaining stable populations through Compensatory Rebound Effect for profit -- the very basis of his argument. This is fallacious reasoning. HUNTERS IN POLITICIANS' GUISE: While it is agreed the the ODOW deliberately keeps a high number of large targets (deer) for profit and to satisfy its hunting constituency, it is a fact that ALL lethal methods result in rebound, making this Assn's demand an obvious ploy to expand suburban hunting in this area, while duping the majority of Public Trust Stakeholders of wildlife. OPEN PUBLIC RECORDS SHOW NO SAFETY ISSUES: This writer conducted numerous deer-vehicle crash (DVC) reports over an eight-year span for the various communities covered by the Assn., and found NO human injuries or fatalities, very little or no damage to vehicles, and even erroneous dispatch calls. There has been an overall DECREASE in DVCs. LYNCH-MOB MENTALITY GARDENERS. Impatient suburban gardeners are collectively pressuring city officials to "do something" because of their hostas and roses, while intimidating the majority of stakeholders who know better, and who want more effective, non-lethal solutions. MORE EFFECTIVE, PREFERRED, AFFORDABLE METHODS (NOT sterilization, a barbaric measure that leaves death, high infection and stillbirth rates in its wake): The preferred method of "control" is allowing biological carrying capacity to prevail. Deer would continue to exist at the current herd size, right where it was prior to over-hunting, followed by near-extirpation in Ohio around 1950. Since 1950, when ODOW reintroduced deer for "sport" hunting, the herd has rebounded, and is deliberately kept stable through ODOW-issued hunting and nuisance permits. ODOW, as well as national and various metropark officials/biologists, no longer deny rebound or the profit machine. It's time for a 21st century approach to wildlife management. The second choice is PZP birth control -- not a hormone but a protein -- currently used in Michigan and New York. PZP boasts a 90% efficacy first year, 70% 2nd year, 50% third year and deer only live average 7 years. The ODOW refuses this highly effective and proven affordable birth control -- in urban, suburban, rural areas and national and metro parks, which is to say everywhere, claiming that "tainted" deer may cross boundaries and get "harvested" even though they know PZP is a protein and not a hormone -- because birth control would indeed cause a decrease in the populations. Depending on the number of deer permits issued per year, ODOW total revenue vacillates between 50 and 65% -- all from deer hunting and nuisance permits.
Stop the Spring Mist Traveling Farm NOW
While driving past Parma Lutheran Church on Broadview Road in Parma, OH, I saw Spring Mist Farms' truck and a bunch of caged, cramped farm animals with no water sitting in a hot churchyard. One goose was so stressed by small children squealing and poking at it while surly "workers" -- who clearly saw what was going on -- stood by and did nothing. Sheep were chewing on plastic fencing, again, while workers stood there and watched. When I tried to tell one of the workers the goose appeared stressed because it was calling out and acting threatened, he made a snarky, sarcastic remark to me about being an "expert." I guess these guys treat people, especially women, the way they treat animals: as "lesser beings." Is this what the church teaches children, that animals have no feelings? That it's okay to cramp and cage them and subject them to hoards of people, with no water or shelter from the sun? As they are transported, they are put at even more risk. I am asking these "farmers" who tout their USDA-certification (a real joke), to stop the traveling farm. USDA also employes "Wildlife Services," the same government agency that kills many millions of wild animals and birds every year, especially those interfering with crops/profits -- the same agency that kills thousands of deer with captive bolt or rocket net because stupid suburbanites and farmers don't want them chewing on their roses or crops. USDA means nothing, except cruelty. "Animal Welfare Act," also touted on Spring Mist Farms' website, is just as much of a joke because welfare is so far to one end of the spectrum that it literally does nothing to protect animals, and "welfare" -- incredibly subjective -- is not even in the same league with "rights." Just as elephants are being phased out by Ringling Bros., so should transporting and repeatedly subjecting these farm animals to such stressful and inhumane conditions.
Do Not Kill OUR Deer by Sharpshooting, Captive Bolt, or ANY Means!
Officials just admitted they'll use sliencers on sharpshooters to kill at least 350 every year until 2020, basically, all the deer there are in the CVNP! NPS Midwest Regional Acting Director PATTY TRAPP SIGNED THIS FEB. 13. They're now working with Cleveland Metroparks -- a ghoulish, shameful public display of "Groupthink" because every player at every level is guilty of thinking it must be okay because everybody else thinks it is -- which has been killing hundreds annually since 1998. This cannot be described in any terms other than a Holocaust, a war on wildlife. Just look at the image. There's no worse violation of the Public Trust Doctrine -- that wildlife belongs to everyone -- than this! There's a loophole in CVNP's deer kill plan to allow for Rocket Net, a horribly violent explosion that captures and kills the deer via captive bolt. (See video link below.) Head of natural resources Lisa Petit's own research and PowerPoint presentation in Fall 2013 proved that deer have DECLINED by over half over a 16 year period. This petitioner filibustered that meeting, demanding to know why they plan to kill when Petit's own research indicated a huge drop in deer populations over 16 years. Why wouldn't she push for a nonl-lethal solution? Because the NPS claims five criteria have to be met. PZP birth control, a humane method, is all but guaranteed to work, and has worked in many captive mammal settings for decades. There is no good reason not to use PZP, except park loopholes. Petit's research was predominantly based on an outdated, faulty, myopic study about flora damage in the park. A volunteer who proved nonnative earthworms compact the soils, a bigger cause of understory underdevelopment, NOT DEER BROWSING, has been supressed.. The real kicker, according to all cross-referenced data and widllife biology research, experts know that killing only results in the paradox of rebound. The final authority, Patty Trapp, who I pressed on this point did not deny it.
Seven Hills, Ohio: Mayor, Council, Law, Etc.: Drop Bow Hunting Discussion
Killing Deer Does NOT Manage Populations; Proof It Only Fulfills Division of Wild"Death" Coffers: "All of this helps explain why, even after decades of hunting, deer numbers remain high in much of the country. In fact, the basis for hunting regulations such as hunting seasons and bag limits (how many deer a hunter is permitted to kill), are premised on this compensatory theory. The goal is to allow the sport of killing to take place while at the same time, conserve enough deer for hunters to enjoy the following season. But how many deer exactly should each state allow to be killed and still have enough for next year? In other words, what is the "maximum sustained yield"? This is one of the persistently difficult and challenging questions facing state wildlife managers; and since these managers are compelled to satisfy their hunting constituency, the more deer in the field the better. If there aren't enough deer, the wildlife managers may end up without jobs(see prior blog post 9/25/09 "The Structure of our State Wildlife Agency System..)" AND "Hundreds of communities across the country are grappling with issues related to deer populations. After 10 years of culling, Princeton, New Jersey has recently decided to take a break. However new culling programs are being proposed almost daily. Controversial culls have been introduced throughout Westchester county and parts of upstate New York, as well as many towns in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan. Residents are told, often by representatives of their state wildlife agency, that killing is necessary because deer are very adaptable and their numbers can increase out of control. But given the number of species struggling today under the stress of environmental conditions such as global warming, under what biological theory could deer be overpopulating themselves? Being highly adaptable seems a bit unscientific and perhaps not the full explanation. AND "Basic biology dictates that animal populations, including deer, do not just grow exponentially out of control." --Katherine McGill, from http://www.examiner.com/article/realities-of-hunting-as-a-population-control-why-there-are-so-many-deer-today
Reform ODOW and Abolish Deer Hunting and "Culling" in Ohio parks, urban and suburban areas
Ohio Division of Natural Resources (DNR). DNR the DNR! Every year in late Sept., deer hunting season begins. It is my hope to reform our state-run hunters' club by bringing it into the 21st century. Let's reverse the trend of urban/suburban hunting and public parks slaughter -- under the guise of "nuisance control" -- perpetuated by profit-driven ODOW and the small minority who hunts. Let's usher in an Ohio Division of Wildlife that is by the people, for the people, and one that is: - NOT comprised of a board of directors of all hunters, but ELECTED officials who have been vetted, and are equal stakeholders sworn to uphold the spirit of The Public Trust Doctrine: that "wildlife belongs to everyone;" - NOT recruit biologists and game managers with hunting/trapping backgrounds, but 'best practice' non-lethal-minded ones who will not kill or recommend killing; - NOT profit by over 50 percent annually off "maximum sustained yield" through deliberately maintained large, stable deer populations (aka" compensatory rebound effect") or cater to the six percent who hunt but, instead, be held to a new financial structure based on small increases in Ohio tax filing fees, monies collected from real wildlife "consumers:" park-goers, wildlife watchers, hikers, bird watchers (book and binocular purchases in Ohio and "hotspot" trips to migratory corridors, etc.), and other broad-based sources; - NOT dispatch armed ODOW officers to constituents' homes or businesses to threaten, intimidate, or harass well-meaning, compassionate Ohioans to surrender rescue injured or orphaned deer, raccoons, etc. to be "euthanized" but, instead, work with Ohioans and others -- including legitimate, thoroughly vetted rehabbers -- who genuinely care about animals to find humane solutions to wildlife in dire need; - NOT spread propaganda that killing deer helps "manage" their populations but, instead, educate Ohioans with recommendations for only non-lethal solutions for "nuisance" problems like landscape browsing, based on wildlife biology (i.e., killing actually perpetuates stable deer populations, rather than reducing them; deer browsing, trampling and feces are critically important to ecosystems, as they have been for five to 10 million years on N. American continent where deer and plants have co-evolved; and human fatalities related to deer-vehicle accidents have held steady, nationally, despite robust herds). Ironically, Ohioans saw a spike in Deer-Vehicle Accidents (DVAs) concurrent with Ohio's most "successful" hunting season; they have correspondingly decreased with a decline in Ohio hunting. FIRST DAY OF HUNTING sees highest number of DVAs because frightened deer run away from hunters into roadways. Ohio Division of Wildlife already admits that, since deer were reintroduced in Ohio in 1950 as a game species -- expressly to satisfy hunters and for profit -- the steady increase in hunting has paradoxically caused more suffering, harm, stress, and loss to Ohioans and native deer. Unfortunately, their only recommendation is more killing. The time for reform is now.