Central New York, Community, Health

State Grant To Deal With CNY Deer Overpopulation

By Jason Chen SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Residents in Syracuse East Side and the town of DeWitt said they are seeing more white-tailed deer in the neighborhoods recently.

“It’s such an urbanized area,” Jacob Dillon, a graduate student at State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry said. “When you have a competition for space, humans and any type of wildlife are going to have issues that pop up.”

He said that includes more car accidents and negative environmental impacts. And sometimes, the deer would damage yards and gardens.

“Sometimes people spend tens of thousands of dollars on their landscaping in their front yard and the deer come through and mow that down,” Dillon said.

Local residents, however, said the issue has been around for years. They said they are not only seeing more damage to their front yards but also seeing this sign more often on the streets.

“Doing nothing right now is not an option,” State Assemblymember Pamela Hunter said. “There is not anyone that I’ve talked to in the community who doesn’t said something needs to be done.”

Hunter has been advocating this issue when she was a Syracuse common councilor three years ago. As a current Assemblywoman, she has been able to get a $200,000 funding for ESF to develop a deer management plan. Dillon is the the lead researcher.

If local governments can not make the decision soon, the risk of Lyme disease the deer bring to humans will remain, Hunter said.

“I’ve had people sitting in my office who have claimed bankruptcy, who are debilitated by having Lyme disease and it’s like chickenpox,” she said. “Once you had it and it’s gone. You still have it in your body and it lingers and it could manifest itself.”

Hunter said she hopes that the city can implement it soon after a management plan is made.

She added that affected residents can visit her website to fill out a survey to help the ESF research team come up with a solution.