Syracuse Advisory Group is Working on Ways to Address the Growing Deer Problem

May 20, 2019

Credit WAER News

Syracuse residents dealing with deer in their neighborhoods have a chance to share their concerns and learn more about how the city might manage the problem at an information session on Tuesday evening.  Experts from the medical and research communities will be on hand to discuss the growing health and safety matter.  Councilor Joe Driscoll is leading the effort and says the deer population continues to grow in number and in range. 

“When we first started to study this, we were at threshold of what’s healthy for our environment. Then we studied it again three years later, we were at three times the threshold of one urban environment can handle. And now we imagine we are somewhere between five to ten times the healthy balance.”

Driscoll says the far east and west sides of the city have the highest deer populations, but are present in just about every neighborhood.  The problem goes beyond deer eating your landscaping.  Driscoll says the deer carry ticks which can spread Lyme disease, and they want to make sure residents know the risks and how to prevent it.  He says they’re looking at every option including culling the deer.

“It’s a much different conversation for those more sparsely populated suburban areas as it is with an urban environment. There are state laws that put restrictions on how far we can be from a street and how far we can be from a residence. That makes it quite challenging, but that’s where federal government comes in.”

Driscoll says the USDA is working hand-in-hand with the city, county, and state to identify areas for a cull operation.  Tuesday’s information session will be held from 6 to 8 pm at Corcoran High School.  Another one will be held on May 28th at Nottingham High.  Driscoll hopes to have a plan the mayor and council can approve soon, so they can take action later this fall.