The stories in Environmental controversies from WXYZ: Deer culling and oil drilling continue to develop. First, one story appears to be over, as WXYZ reported last week Drilling to cease in Shelby Township, no oil found at well.
That's good news for the residents and people who visit Stony Creek Metro Park, including my students.
Next, MLive describes an alternative to hiring a sharpshooter to cull Ann Arbor's deer herd in Humane Society to assess potential for deer fertility control in Ann Arbor.
The possibility of a city-funded deer cull in Ann Arbor has citizens on both sides of the issue adamantly arguing for and against shooting deer in the city.I have nothing against hunting, but if the residents and government officials of Ann Arbor can control their deer herd without it, I'm OK with that, too. I wish everyone in the town where I lived for a decade the wisdom to make the correct decision for them. When that happens, I promise to report it.
As a potential alternative to going the lethal route, the Humane Society of the United States is now being invited to travel to Ann Arbor to assess the feasibility for conducting a deer fertility control research project here.
If it's determined to be feasible, the Humane Society has indicated a willingness to work with the city to prepare and submit a proposal to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, seeking approval for a fertility control program.
The Humane Society is working with communities around the country to implement immunocontraception and surgical sterilization methods as an alternative to killing deer.
"Fertility control may be a viable option that could be used to stabilize and reduce deer populations over time in urban communities, especially in areas where culls may not be effective, logistically feasible or socially acceptable," [Stephanie Boyles Griffin, the Humane Society's senior director of wildlife response, innovations and services] wrote in a letter shared with city officials. "There are already ongoing projects in Hastings-On-Hudson, Cayuga Heights and East Hampton, New York, as well as in San Jose, California, Fairfax City, Virginia, and Baltimore County and Montgomery County, Maryland, to name a few."