James ?Dr. Deer? Kroll releases preliminary deer report
It’s a whopping 184 pages and-as advertised-doesn’t offer any specific recommendations, but the Interim Report of the Wisconsin White-tailed Deer Trustee and Review Committee provides an interesting summary of issues and background on Wisconsin deer management.
The report was released Wednesday to the media. A link to the full report is found here.
Gov. Scott Walker created the position of Wisconsin white-tailed deer trustee last year to perform an “independent, science-based review” of the state’s deer management program.
James Kroll, a university professor from Nacogdoches, Texas was named deer trustee in October. He then added Gary Alt, former Pennsylvania deer manager, and David Guynn, retired professor from Clemson University and member of the board of directors of the Quality Deer Management Association, to the review panel.
The contract is being supervised by the Department of Administration. The $150,000 for the review is coming out of the Fish and Wildlife account of the Department of Natural Resources.
The report begins with several statements about the importance and challenge of deer management.
“In the history of North American wildlife management, few issues have been more contentious and challenging than the management of white-tailed deer,” the report begins.
It also says: “Managing deer is fundamentally different than managing most other species of game animals, leading to greater consequences both economically and ecologically. Aside from enormous economic impacts, both positive and negative, deer management has cascading long-term effects on forest ecosystems.”
Here is the summary: “Public confidence in the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in regard to deer management issues has seriously eroded over the last few decades. The reasons are complex and not easily solved, but revolve primarily around two key issues- the current use of the SAK Population Model and the ineffectiveness of the CWD eradication program. However, lack of public involvement, particularly by landowners, in goal setting and decision-making regarding deer management lie at the heart of the problem. As we noted above, these problems did not arise overnight and hence the solutions will also take time. The predation issue also should be addressed immediately as should the development of an overall plan for deer management in Wisconsin. The wolf issue will, in our opinion, become critical in the near future and demands a plan of action that assures conservation of both deer and wolves. The next step in this process will be to present our findings to the public through several media outlets, as well as at the Town Hall meetings, to solicit solutions and strategies to develop a citizen-based, team effort toward developing a White-tailed Deer Management Model for the 21st Century.”
As part of the review, six public meetings will be held in April to collect public input on deer management.
The final report, including recommendations, is due in June.
The complete preliminary report can be found at: www.dnr.wi.gov/topic/WildlifeHabitat/documents/krollreport.pdf.
Editor’s note: The nearest meeting for Foto News readers will be held from 7-10 p.m., Tues., Apr. 17, in the Rhinelander High School Auditorium.