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So Where are We Now with Ann Arbor’s Deer?

December 30, 2016

The last three years have been the Early Period for Ann Arbor’s deer debate.  Now there is a coherent plan for deer management and a page containing historical documents on the Ann Arbor City website – quite a long story.  We posted extensively about this issue through 2015. 2017 will be busy. In a special […]

Ann Arbor Deer: The Survey

April 10, 2016

The City of Ann Arbor is soliciting feedback from residents about the deer management program.  The questions are simple and direct.  (Apparently this year the City sought some expert advice.)  It doesn’t take long. The survey is important because it will provide data not only about attitudes but also the actual experience Ann Arborites have […]

Deer and the Population Problem

August 4, 2015

We have been posting about Ann Arbor’s deer herd and the issues it raises since last December.  There are many reasons to be concerned about the size of the herd. Deer-Vehicle crashes.  According to SEMCOG, there were 952 reported deer-vehicle crashes in Washtenaw County for 2014 (33 injuries), and 51 (1 injury) in Ann Arbor.  […]

Deer and the Flowers of the Earth

May 31, 2015

The land speaks in flowers.     — Shawn Severance Wildflowers are a major source of delight in a stroll through natural areas.  Indeed, a reason many of us choose to “take a stroll in the woods” is that a season of flowers has arrived. But flowers have a much more important role in nature than to […]

Deer and the Web of Life

March 26, 2015

“I now suspect that just as a deer herd lives in mortal fear of its wolves, so does a mountain live in mortal fear of its deer.” – Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac. As we said at the very beginning, much of the controversy surrounding the solution to Ann Arbor’s deer problem is based […]

Deer and the Vacuum Effect Fable

March 8, 2015

The City of Ann Arbor conducted a visual deer count by helicopter fly-over on February 10, 2015.  There are a couple of methods for assessing deer populations.  According to one recent study, use of a helicopter for visual counts while there is snow on the ground is as accurate as infrared, another frequently used, but […]

Deer and the Numbers Explosion

February 24, 2015

In the most recent article about Ann Arbor’s deer problem, the Ann Arbor News presented a number of photographs from an anonymous contributor of deer near her residence, apparently in a public natural area.  As Tanya Hilgendorf of the Humane Society of Huron Valley (who passed along the photos) said of the person who took […]

Deer and the Community Conversation

February 16, 2015

The City of Ann Arbor Deer Management Project continued with a second public meeting on February 5, 2015.   The slide presentation from the City’s consultant and a video of the meeting are now available on the City’s webpage. The agenda consisted of four parts: An introduction by Sumedh Bahl, Community Services Administrator, and Charlie Fleetham, […]

Oh, Deer – The Survey

January 31, 2015

The results of the City of Ann Arbor’s Deer Management Project survey and their implications. Surveys are tricky. There is, literally, a whole science to surveys to make them meaningful and useful.  In designing a survey, one should consider very carefully how the information is to be used. Is the expressed opinion of the public […]

Oh, Deer – Managing the Public

December 17, 2014

In our previous post, we suggested that a rational planning approach for the deer management project had been abandoned in the course of the public engagement process*. Why is public engagement so crucial in this particular case, though always important in any governmental plan?  Because the issue of deer and how to cope with them […]