Urban Deer Removal – Holladay Looking for a Decisive Plan
For the past several years, the City of Holladay has been receiving complaints from residents about damage done to their property by deer. In addition to property damage, there is a safety concern with the deer as well, specifically regarding auto-deer collisions.
“It is clear that Holladay has an urban deer population, meaning that these deer live in the city year round”, Councilmember Mark Stewart said.
Holladay is not unique in regards to having an urban deer problem, according to the Department of Wildlife Resources. Cities across the Wasatch Front are experiencing this same issue and like Holladay, have received requests from residents for help.
One way cities have actually dealt with the problem is by removing deer. There are two ways to remove the deer, either lethally or through non-lethal means, according to DWR. Last summer, the Holladay City Council passed an ordinance outlawing feeding the deer. Also, around the same time, they requested a certificate of registration from the Division of Wildlife Resources to get permission to start a mitigation plan.
Back in April, Stewart was asked by Mayor Dahle to be in charge of looking further into a deer mitigation plan for Holladay. Since then he has contacted several of the cities that have enacted both lethal and non-lethal mitigation plans. He has also spoken extensively with the DWR and the Mule Deer Foundation.
According to Stewart, there appears to be benefits to both plans.
“The council has decided that it is now time to hear from residents on how they want the city to move forward with a mitigation plan,” Stewart said. “Questions that will be proposed would be that removal be lethal? Meaning that the deer would be hunted by specially trained archers and harvested to feed the needy? Or should they be trapped and relocated?”
One of the issues that the council sees with enacting a plan is that it is going to cost money. One idea that the council has discussed is having the residents that want to see the deer removed raise the funds. Because a deer mitigation plan in general most likely will elicit many different ideas and opinions from the community, the city council is planning on holding an open house in the next month to hear from the residents regarding the issue.
Residents are advised to check back at cityofholladay.com for a date for public comment. Stewart will be leading the charge on resolving an appropriate plan for the community.