UPDATE: USDA, Ohio Wildlife Officials to Brief Safety Committee on Deer Issues
Officials from both agencies will be on hand Wednesday to talk deer management with Solon's safety committee
UPDATE 9:21 A.M. WEDS:
Solon Public Works Commissioner Jim Stanek said officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Ohio Division of Wildlife will be on hand Wednesday to talk deer management issues with the Safety and Public Properties Committee.
Stanek said he expects the state wildlife officer will review with the safety committee urban deer management issues across the state. The USDA offers its own comprehensive deer management solution, and Stanek expects officials from that agency to brief the committee on what they can offer Solon.
With another discussion on deer management scheduled for Wednesday's meeting of the Safety and Public Properties Committee, Solon officials are considering their options for counting deer.
Last month, the committee expressed interest in conducting an aerial survey of the deer population, a step the city had taken in 2004 and 2005 before initiating a culling program.
The city animal warden has been keeping annual counts of the deer herd, and officials have said an aerial survey would provide another piece of information to get a handle on the animal numbers before the city decides on a comprehensive deer management program.
In a memo to the safety committee, Public Works Commissioner Jim Stanek said he has been in discussion with the Ohio Division of Wildlife, which must give the go-ahead for deer management programs, on proper ways to conduct an aerial survey.
Stanek said his research shows that a thermal count, which the city used in 2004 and 2005, would cost an estimated $30,752.
A second method, called a "site-count aerial survey," would take more time before the city could conduct it and wouldn't be a viable option to do in the next few months.
Stanek has promised to present a recommended comprehensive deer management program by May 1. In the memo, he explains the level of research he has done.
"During the past month I have spent much time reviewing deer management issues including but not limited to habitat control, contraceptives, aerial surveys, and various hunting programs, as well as detailed, comprehensive programs that are being conducted by other communities in and outside the state of Ohio," Stanek wrote. "Throughout the next several months I will share this information with the committee as we move forward in developing the City's program."