CRD to ask province to rein in South Island deer population
The Capital Regional District is planning to ask the province to help rein in the South Island's growing deer population.
At a CRD meeting scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, the parks and environment committee will recommend the board chair "write to the province urging them to assume responsibility for deer management in the region, including possible population control mechanisms."
The move comes on the heels of a Sept. 4 CRD staff report that indicates urban deer populations associated conflicts have been on the rise over the past decade.
Since 2015, the province has operated the Urban Deer Cost Share Program with municipalities.
The program relies on local governments to provide matching funds in order to access the provincial funding. CRD staff say the program puts an undue burden on municipal staff and taxpayers to deal with an issue that's under the jurisdiction of the province.
Oak Bay is one municipality where the local deer population has been top of mind for many residents. A 2018 count estimated there were between 70 and 130 deer in the municipality.
Oak Bay and other CRD municipalities have experimented with euthanization and contraceptive programs but the CRD's environment committee says the deer population across the region continues to rise.
CRD board members were expected to recommend that the board formally ask the province for help with deer management at the board's 1 p.m. board meeting.