panel discussion on deer

Reducing the number of collisions with deer by one half over the next three years is a priority of Mt. Lebanon Commission. Deciding what sort of integrated deer management plan to implement—or not—is one of the Commission’s budget priorities for 2015.

The debate about whether or not to launch a municipal deer management program has continued for years, following culls that reduced the deer herd between 2005 and 2008. Rather than take an aggressive approach in 2014, the Commission decided to spend the year studying the options and educating residents about deer behavior and how how people might change their own behavior in an effort to reduce not only roadway crashes but damage to yards and gardens.

These are the topics experts on deer addressed in a panel that was videotaped in the Mt. Lebanon Commission Chamber June 10 and may be viewed  or on cable channels Comcast 17 and Verizon 34 or watch it here now:

Cost of the program was about $3,500.

Participants in the panel discussion, moderated by District Judge Blaise Larotonda were Anthony DeNicola, White Buffalo; Jeannine Fleegle, Pennsylvania Game Commission; Todd Kravits, PennDOT; Sandy Feather, Penn State Cooperative Extension; Laura Simon, Humane Society of the United States; Aaron Lauth, deputy police chief, and Tom Kelley, public works director.

Questions were based on what Mt. Lebanon commissioners and staff members have heard from residents. Topics ranged from how to avoid deer on the roads to how to deter deer from eating decorative plants to the pros and cons of various deer management strategies the Commission might consider in the next year. Deer management options range from a cull by sharpshooters or bow hunters to deer sterilization to deer birth control. Any deer management plan must be approved by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

If after viewing the videotape, you have questions or comments, you are welcome to talk with commissioners.