Experts will discuss effect of deer on local parks

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White-tailed deer

White-tailed deer | U.S. Department of Agriculture

Here’s a press release on the local deer situation. This is coming from the “pro” side of the deer-cull fence. 

Are deer really doing harm to local parks? What is that harm, how is it measured and what are the consequences? Does removing deer restore plant and other animal species? Experts will discuss at 6:45 p.m., March 8 at Botanical Garden. 

• Jacqueline Courteau, a professional biologist whom the city and county have hired to assess the condition of parks, will speak about her research over the last two years in Washtenaw County and Ann Arbor’s parks. 

• Paul Muelle, recently retired as Manager of Natural Resources for the Huron-Clinton Metroparks, will describe the conditions that led the HCMA to decide to cull white tailed deer from some of its properties; how the culls were done; and the results and on-going management program. 

Both presenters bring practical, science-based knowledge and experience that provide positive examples of how environmental restoration supports healthy natural environments. The program will include time for audience questions.

The program is free, and no registration is required. Matthaei Botanical Gardens are at 1800 N. Dixboro Road, Ann Arbor. Parking is available for a fee.

Wild Ones, in partnership with Washtenaw Citizens for Ecological Balance, is providing the program as part of its educational outreach. Wild Ones is a national, nonprofit, educational organization that promotes environmentally sound landscaping practices to preserve biodiversity through the preservation, restoration and establishment of native plant communities. WC4EB came together over two years ago to review and discuss deer biology and management, aiming to bring vetted information to the public through a website. The group includes landscape architects, naturalists, information professionals, and long time volunteers interested in supporting ecological balance. It is neither affiliated with, nor accepts funding from, any other group or organization.

Jim McBee

Founding partner, creative director and ink-stained wretch with The Ann magazine.