The Block Island Times

DEM to present deer plan

Dec. 10 meeting
Dec 06, 2013
Photo by: K. Curtis

At a Town Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 10, the R.I. Department of Environmental Management (DEM) will announce its plan to reduce Block Island’s deer population. The DEM has been collaborating with the Deer Task Force to develop a “deer culling plan” for the past several months, said Deer Task Force (DTF) member Becky Ballard.

The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 10, in the cafeteria of the Block Island School. Public comment will be accepted at this meeting. At least three representatives from the DEM are expected to be present.

“If you are unable to attend the meeting, a brief email stating your position regarding the culling of deer on Block Island sent to would be extremely helpful,” said Ballard.

The DEM has proposed a non-recreational hunt that is scheduled to begin early next year. Under the emergency provisions the DEM proposed last month, the culling would employ professional hunters. The overall goal of the plan is not to eliminate the herd, but to reduce it substantially. Earlier, DTF Chair Ruth Perfido said she expects the goal of reducing the herd by as much as 90 percent would take up to five years to reach.

“We expect that there will be some good conversation, and that it [the plan] will be approved by the council,” said Ballard of the Dec. 10 meeting. “Then after that, we have to a lot of work to begin.” — Stephanie Turaj

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