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West Seneca 'Deer Task Force,' makes recommendation to address overpopulation

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Posted at 11:06 PM, Jun 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-15 23:38:58-04

WEST SENECA, NY (WKBW) — West Seneca residents are ready for action on the long-standing issue of deer over population.

"The over development in this town is ridiculous,” one resident said. “And that's why we're having this problem to begin with."

A ten person 'deer task force' that was created in May 2021 recommended a two-part plan to curb the issue Wednesday evening.

"Both areas of the plan focus on deer vehicle accidents, damage to yards, agricultural losses and damage to ecosystems,” task force facilitator Cynnie Gaasch said.

The plan has two phases, beginning data collection and education and ending with a review of data and establishing methods for a deer cull program in deer habitat zones.

If the phases begin in July 2022, specific actions will be decided in January 2024.

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"There's a variety of systems that need to be set up by the town in order to accomplish this,” Gaasch said. “And we don't underestimate the amount of work this will take."

"I don't want to wait 2.5 years to find that we come to a conclusion,” one town resident said. “I want the board to do something now."

As part of the deer task force's effort to understand the town's perspective, they had a live survey from November 7, 2021, to December 15, 2021, and 1,899 responses, something most town residents agreed is too little.

And some residents think this is a larger issue and should be addressed more broadly throughout the region.

"Deer don't care whether this is the property line for West Seneca,” a town resident said. “So, I think having a community effort might be a better approach."

The town board will take time to mull over the recommendation and public comment before deciding whether to implement the plan.