What is CayugaDeer.org?
CayguaDeer.org is a group of concerned citizens from Ithaca neighborhoods including Cayuga Heights who support safe, ethical and rational approaches to reducing deer-human conflict. CayugaDeer.org has no formal membership as such. Instead, it functions as a central point of information and public communication for those in our community who are concerned that the current approach being taken to the deer situation in Cayuga Heights will lead to a multi-year, tax payer-funded deer killing program that is neither safe, nor ethical, nor rational. This web site was created to encourage more people to become informed, to get involved in spreading community awareness, to engage in critical thinking, and to help generate creative solutions that will offer the best outcome for all involved.
Why was CayugeDeer.org formed?
CayugaDeer.org was formed in response to the actions of the Cayuga Heights Deer Remediation Advisory Committee (DRAC). With the support of Mayor Gilmore, DRAC first met in private, and then made a public announcement to the Village Trustees on August 18, 2008. This announcement was featured on the Village of Cayuga Heights web site until shortly after CayugaDeer.org was launched (click here to see an archive of the statement). It introduced DRAC and its members to the trustees and to the public, and laid out a tentative proposal to implement a program in Cayuga Heights where large numbers of deer would be killed on an annual basis by the Village police.
Having received criticism for not allowing public observation or input, DRAC subsequently held public meetings, some of which allowed community input, beginning September 30th. They also added one member to the committee who was not a proponent of the bait and shoot approach. However, these meetings were poorly publicized, in some cases not even publicly announced until the day of the meeting.
Concerns about DRAC's process multiplied when it was observed that the arguments offered in support of a deer killing program exhibited a pattern of exaggeration, misinformation, contradiction and faulty reasoning, documented elsewhere on this web site. Further, both Mayor Gilmore and the Chairperson of DRAC have contended that this matter is only of concern to residents of Cayuga Heights, even though their intended program would involve the repeated annual discharge of firearms well within range of surrounding municipalities.
DRAC has devoted a great deal of time and effort to presenting their case that local deer pose a serious and growing threat to public safety. But after five public meetings, DRAC has so far completely failed to disclose the considerable public safety risks associated with discharging firearms in our densely populated suburban community. Members of DRAC have also failed to disclose the gruesome reality of what an annual bait and shoot program will entail, and have not offered the least details about where the killing would be carried out. They have offered no evidence that such a program will predictably and reliably reduce the impact of human-deer conflict without creating problems in the community worse than those it was intended to address. They have also not indicated how they would measure the success or failure of such a program, nor offered an explanation for why the methodical killing of human-habituated deer can be morally justified.
CayugaDeer.org was formed with the intent of bringing these issues to the attention of a larger number of people, and most important, to encourage an informed, respectful, and rational public discussion of the issues which potentially affect the lives of a large number of people and animals living not just in Cayuga Heights, but in the surrounding municipalities as well.
This web site is published by CayugaDeer.org - Ithacans for Safe, Ethical, and Rational Approaches to Reducing Deer-Human Conflict. We are a group of concerned citizens from Ithaca neighborhoods, including Cayuga Heights. If you would like to join our educational outreach effort and be informed of opportunities where your input can make a difference, contact us.