Getting started in your town: Attend the next Alliance meeting on April 11th at 10.30am in Wilton Town Hall Annex. Read the Minutes of the Oct 20 2010 meeting: CT DEP explains how they can help our towns.
The Alliance's mission is to provide an efficient means for towns both within Fairfield County and those beyond to learn from each other, whether the lessons help an existing town deer committee or an effort to establish a deer, tick or forest management committee. The members also recognize that a unified voice of multiple communities will be stronger at both the state and local levels. Each town or city which participates in the Alliance has much to gain from the knowledge and experience of their colleagues. Further, it is more efficient for one member to be responsible for bringing current knowledge, research and legislative activities to the group’s attention rather than each member town conducting independent searches.
In order to facilitate these expectations, the Alliance has established subcommittees to address public education and communication, establish a “toolbox” of materials for municipalities contemplating their own deer control program, monitor legislative and pharmaceutical activities and create a collection of reports from towns and other entities that have studied the deer population problem and are attempting to correct it.
We are currently developing a list of accepted parameters to use as a guide in assessing your own town's deer population by direct and indirect means. These can be used to create a baseline before starting a deer control program and used as measures of progress towards the program's stated goals. We are lucky in that the Connecticut DEP completed an aerial deer survey specifically focussed on Fairfield County towns in January, 2009. The average deer density was found to have increased slightly from the DEP's 2006/7 winter survey to 62 deer per sq mile. This gives us a good baseline from which to calculate your town's total deer population. Read the description of the survey results and the map of the transects flown on the Deer Facts page of this web site. A new aerial deer survey was completed this winter 2010/11 and results are expected soon.
The Alliance will be happy to send representatives to make a presentation to a new town which will summarize the present state of our knowledge and activities. We have an "intermunicipal exchange" and "speaker bureau" subcommittee for this purpose. Please send an email through the "contact us" link on this web site for more details.
Examples of ways to begin getting information to the residents of your town are described under the town of Redding in the "What Your Town is Doing" section of this web site.
If your town is not in Fairfield County then the Connecticut Coalition to End Lyme Disease (www.EradicateLymeDisease.org) established in July 2007 is there to help you and accept members from anywhere in Connecticut.
For helpful publications and web sites to use when starting a town-wide dialogue see the "Resources" section in main menu and especially the following:
Reduced Abundance of Ixodes scapularis ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) with Reduction of White-Tailed Deer
Kirby C. Stafford; Anthony J. Denicola; Howard J. Kilpatrick 2003.
Journal of Medical Entomology, Vol. 40, No. 5, September 2003 pp.642-652
Managing Urban Deer in Connecticut: 2nd Edition July 2007 CT Dept of Environmental Protection, Deer Management Program Contact: Howard Kilpatrick: phone 860 642 7239; email: email@example.com to request copies. Includes graphs of studies showing dramatic reductions of tick populations and of Lyme cases in communities where deer numbers were effectively reduced. Online pdf avialable at http://www.ct.gov/dep/lib/dep/wildlife/pdf_files/game/urbandeer07.pdf
Community based deer management: A Practitioners' Guide www.cce.cornell.edu/store
which gives 10 case study examples of different communities in the Northeast and how they chose to resolve their deer population problems and discusses involving key "stakeholders" from the outset in deer management discussions and committees.