The Ann Arbor city council has directed city administrator Steve Powers to partner with other organizations to develop strategies for deer management. Powers is supposed to report back to the city council by July 31, 2014 on the status of the partnership, including budget and timelines. The resolution, put forward by Jane Lumm (Ward 2), states that the desired outcome is a community-endorsed deer management plan.
The Ann Arbor city council took the action at its May 5, 2014 meeting.
Other organizations named in the resolution as potential partners include the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission, the University of Michigan, the Humane Society of Huron Valley, and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division. A recent meeting of the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission included a discussion of deer herd management.
Washtenaw County commissioner Andy LaBarre, who represents District 7 in Ann Arbor, had sent an email to the city council expressing his support for the resolution, and an indication that he will be putting forward a similar resolution for the county board of commissioners to consider. [.pdf of LaBarre's email]
During deliberations on May 5, several councilmembers expressed support for the resolution, thanked Lumm for doing the heavy lifting on this effort, and told personal stories about their experiences with deer. A report on the council’s discussion is included in The Chronicle’s live updates from the May 5 meeting.
One metric for deer as a nuisance is traffic accidents they cause. While the number of traffic crashes involving deer has shown a slight downward trend in Washtenaw County, the number of vehicle-deer crashes in the city of Ann Arbor has shown a slight upward trend.
This brief was filed from the city council’s chambers on the second floor of city hall, located at 301 E. Huron.