Deer lady paid harsh price for her principled stand
Judge Ronald E. Kmiotek sentenced the "deer lady,"
Anita Depczynski, to 15 days in jail for the horrific
crime of feeding deer. The residents of Cheektowaga are safe now that this
menace has been removed from their midst.
In reality, Depczynski stood on principle and chose
civil disobedience to challenge the forces of rampant sprawl and Department
Conservation thuggery on behalf of the deer in
Stiglmeier Park who have become stranded by development.
The fact that anyone could face jail time for
scattering a bit of grain for the deer is shocking.
It demonstrates that the heavy hand of the DEC has
struck too hard. Wildlife Watch believes that Depczynski's appeal will lift
The DEC claims the rule is in place to prevent the
spread of Chronic Wasting Disease, but feeding deer in the park posed no
threat of spreading CWD. Conversely, venison farms,
game farms, canned hunt facilities and roadside zoos are all exempt from the
ban even though they pose a more considerable risk. The rule subverts the
best science on CWD, and its selective enforcement targets only those who
Depczynski has shone a light on the threat to wildlife
in our midst. Towns like Cheektowaga must begin to include the needs of
wildlife and concern for habitat in community planning.
Jim Van Alstine
Assistant Director, Wildlife Watch
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