Williams Lake creates urban deer brochure

Williams Lake resident Joan Erb is looking forward to receiving some helpful tips about deer-proofing her yard.

When Joan Erb compares tulips in her Western Avenue garden to last year’s crop there’s a difference.

That’s because the deer ate most of them this year, as shown in the photo above, compared the photo at the bottom of the story.

“I don’t want any harm to come to the deer, but I am asking what we can do,” Erb said Wednesday.

“How can the city help, is my question.”

Erb’s husband is thinking of putting in a large fence and a gate, but it is frustrating, she said, noting they have tried other things to deter the deer.

In addition to the tulips, the deer have also eaten away much of the cedar hedges lining her property.

Showing where the greenery is so thin the deer can get inside the yard more easily than they could before, Erb said they eat from the ground up as far as they can reach.

Erb isn’t alone with her deer concerns.

Last fall city council received a letter and petition from area residents concerned about the city’s increasing deer population and concerns about risk to pet and public safety and damage to trees, flowers and vegetable gardens.

Rather than pursuing a deer management strategy, staff suggested compiling information and developing an education program for residents on deer proofing their properties.

Council approved $3,000 be added to the 2017 operating budget for an education and communication plan with an additional $1,500 in subsequent years for advertising.

This week the brochure will be mailed out with the property taxes, said Gary Muraca, the city’s director of municipal services.

“We felt that it was wise to give those without internet etc. the ability to access the same information of those that were on social media,” Muraca said.

“The brochure includes relevant information to deer proof your yard, how to avoid pet/human conflict with deer and recommended species of foliage to avoid attracting deer.”

Williams Lake Tribune

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