EDITORIAL: Deer problem unaddressed

Not much has been done to tackle issue of deer in urban areas.

It has been months since the city passed a bylaw forbidding residents to feed deer within city limits, a response that was to be just the start of dealing with urban ungulates deemed to be a problem.

But little has happened, or even been discussed since, and there is precious little conversation on the matter now, two years after it was accepted that deer are a problem and solutions needed to be considered.

Maybe they aren’t such a problem after all.

Or, maybe Nanaimo residents are willing to stomach the average of 174 deer-vehicle collisions a year on local roads, according to ICBC statistics.

Unlike other B.C. cities, Nanaimo hasn’t bothered to strike any kind of committee to pursue solutions as Kimberley, Cranbrook and Grand Forks all have.

Other cities have erected unique and functional signage along frequent-impact roads to warn drivers – both local and visiting – of potential collision risks. Other cities have decided the time and money is worth it to address the problem by launching education campaigns, while others still have authorized culls.

As summer arrives, deer will once again be crossing Nanaimo roads in high numbers, many with fawns in tow, and once again more will meet an untimely death.

With major developments around town, wildlife habitat within city boundaries is being diminished significantly, perhaps giving the illusion the deer population is rising as they are flushed into urban areas. It’s only going to get worse, yet nothing is being done.

Whether you care about the welfare of deer or not, or how the problem is managed, Nanaimo has yet to respond to a problem that needs to be addressed.

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