Reader's view: DNR deer-feeding program is short-sighted
The Department of Natural Resources has some deeply entrenched ideas concerning a deer-feeding program, and to get the DNR to understand and appreciate the public consensus on this matter is like trying to push a logging chain ("Emergency deer fe...
The Department of Natural Resources has some deeply entrenched ideas concerning a deer-feeding program, and to get the DNR to understand and appreciate the public consensus on this matter is like trying to push a logging chain ("Emergency deer feeding could begin this week across Northland," March 2).
DNR officials say such a program is ineffective. Well, how
effective is doing nothing? They say it could cause disease. Well, an animal in a starving state would be more susceptible to disease. They don't want animals to congregate. But they are yarded up. Also, the feed for this program is well-formulated, nutritional pellets, and the program is short-term.
It's amazing how an agency that is supposed to not only regulate but protect our wildlife is willing to allow tens of thousands to starve and justify it by calling it "natural attrition." The DNR could assist but instead criticizes those trying to save deer. The consequence for anyone else who would neglect and allow their animals and pets to starve, for whatever reason, could be criminal charges.
By public approval, since 1996, a fee of 50 cents was added to deer licenses; its sole purpose was for adequate funding of future feeding programs. With an average yearly sale of more than 500,000 licenses, there should be about $5 million available. Since then, the DNR requested an additional use for the funds for research, etc., leaving a pocket-change amount of only $170,000 for a starvation-prevention program the department is against.
Why purchase fishing licenses for contaminated fish, pheasant stamps for birds that don't have habitat and deer licenses for a herd whose numbers are critically depleted? By contemplating this you would be sending a statement to and possibly causing the natural attrition of legislators and DNR administrators.