Deer control: Rye, Mamaroneck go back to drawing board
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Mamaroneck's mayor said he'll consider a non-lethal contraception program - if paid for through private fundraising

FROM Mark Lungariello,
October 9, 2015

Mamaroneck's mayor said he'll consider a non-lethal contraception program - if paid for through private fundraising

Westchester County snubbed Rye and Mamaroneck residents when it opted not to launch a hunting program at the county-owned Marshlands Conservancy in Rye, the city’s mayor says.

Last week, the county said before it stepped in on any program to control the deer population, it wanted a list of strategies the two municipalities were pursuing. In a letter, it requested an update by Oct. 15.

With “no thanks to the county,” Rye Mayor Joe Sack said the communities would find a way to help themselves.

“The county has some nerve to deny Rye help, then to impose deadlines on us to figure out how we will fill the void caused by their lack of leadership,” he said.

Sack set a soft deadline of his own, saying the county is welcome to change its mind by the same date.

Westchester has a limited hunting program in several county parks in the northern, less-populous part of the county.

Village and city officials were hoping the county would allow hunters into the Marshlands property near the Mamaroneck border — even though its location in a residential area raised safety concerns and made some wonder whether wounded or dying deer would make their way into backyards and well-trafficked streets.

Local officials say they’re limited in options for their own programs because the village and city don’t own large swaths of land where hunting can take place.

“To control deer, you need land and a program,” Sack said. “The county has both, but is refusing to use them to help Rye.”

Private landowners may have to be brought into the mix for any comprehensive program to be implemented. There are hundreds of acres encompassing golf courses in the region as well as other privately owned parcels near the Marshlands.

Deer will continue to be attracted to the area because of foliage and flowers that they eat in backyards, said Kevin Clarke of the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

“The reality is you guys have deer living in your neighborhoods,” he said. “They bed in your backyards, they breed in your backyards.”

The Mamaroneck village Board of Trustees plans to create an official deer-management committee Monday. The “official” committee will replace an advisory committee Mayor Norman Rosenblum put together on his own.

Rosenblum said he has discussed with some residents the possibility of implementing a sterilization program, similar to what Hastings-on-Hudson has tried. He said if that option is pursued, residents would have to raise money to finance it.

“The village certainly can’t afford to go into it,” he said. “I think that is the less emotional and less intrusive way of dealing with the problem.”

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