The Ann Arbor city council has voted to appropriate $20,000 from the general fund for development of a “community endorsed deer management plan” and to accept formally a deer management options report from city administrator Steve Powers. [.pdf of Aug. 14, 2014 deer management options report]
Action came in a unanimous vote at the council’s Aug. 18, 2104 meeting, after about 15 minutes of discussion. The council had directed the preparation of the report in a resolution approved at its May 5, 2014 meeting. The report, which presented various options to the council, was to have been delivered by July 31.
Fall 2015 is the earliest date identified in the report as a possible timeframe for a culling of the herd.
Before developing a specific plan – that could involve killing deer or not – input from Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation and the University of Michigan would be sought. And the Michigan Department of Natural Resources would need to approve any plan for deer management. The Aug. 14 report includes descriptions of deer management plans in other Michigan cities that range from ordinances prohibiting the feeding of deer to culling programs that shut down city parks and prescribe shooting lanes for archers.
City of Ann Arbor staff estimate that six months would be needed for public engagement. That public engagement could start within 45 days of city council approval to proceed.
Estimated staff time to develop the specific plan is 160 hours, according to the Aug. 14 report. Contractual public engagement and support to develop a management plan are estimated at $20,000.
Other facts included in the plan are the fact that neither city parks nor golf courses have had vegetation damage by deer. The cost to the city for disposing of deer carcasses in fiscal year 2014 was $5,850.
Estimated cost to kill 40-50 deer in the city of Ann Arbor is $25,000-$27,000 per year. That amount includes city staff administration cost in the amount of $14,000.
A Michigan DNR report indicates that in 2012 there were about 6,600 deer taken by hunters in Washtenaw County.
All deer-car accidents in Washtenaw County from 2004 through 2013 are plotted in the dynamic map below. Map is by The Chronicle with data from michigantrafficcrashfacts.org
The city of Ann Arbor has two deer crossing signs, one at Huron Parkway and Hubbard and the other on Dhu Varren Road.
This brief was filed from the city council’s chambers on the second floor of city hall, located at 301 E. Huron.