Ordinance could repeal Fargo’s Wildlife Management Program
"The number one concern that we have is public safety."
FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) — The Fargo Police Department is hearing public input on an ordinance to possibly remove the city’s Wildlife Management Program.
“The number one concern that we have is public safety. Obviously with the growth and population and development in this city especially on the south side. We have concerns that the increase in density is raising the likelihood of an accident that could happen with this program,” Fargo Police Department’s Interim Capt. Chris Helmick said.
Created in 2006, The wildlife management program was set up back to help control the deer population throughout the city.
15 years later, the program’s data reveals the numbers are doing more harm than good for safety.
“Over the course of the last 15 years we’ve harvested about 352 deer, We’ve only harvested about nine turkeys. We’ve had 45 deer that were hit and not recovered and of concern is that we’ve had 144 archery shots that were missed. What we don’t know is whether or not those arrows were recovered after the miss,” said Helmick.
With an ordinance to remove it, people who say the program is important voiced their opinions on why it should stay.
“You talk to people especially on the north side in the more established neighborhoods and you can’t have plant landscaping of any green variety. You can’t plant a new tree because a deer is going to eat it . They are pests, which is a terrible thing for wildlife to be. They’re a resource that needs to be managed just like any other resource or animal within the city,” Brent Mitchell of Fargo said.
There were also those who were against the program who say it needs to end.
“Killing deer does not control their populations. Their high reproductive rates will quickly compensate for any deer removed. Each year enough deer must be killed to significantly reduce the herd. Once the killing starts the deer move into areas off limits to hunters and once its over they move right back into their original territory then we’re back to square one,” Christopher Coen of Fargo said.
City commissioners will hear more public input during Monday’s meeting and will make a decision over plans for the program.