Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Saddle River Committee Proposes Spaying Deer

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Saddle River Committee Proposes Spaying Deer

Article excerpt

SADDLE RIVER -- A committee charged with creating a non-lethal plan to control the town's deer population has submitted a proposal that its chairman says would result in the sterilization of 95 percent of the town's female deer within a year.

The borough's Environmental Commission will review the plan, which calls for capturing and spaying the deer, along with lethal options to reduce the number of deer in the borough. The commission will then recommend a course of action to the Borough Council.

If the governing body adopts the recommended plan, it would then have to be approved by the state. However, the state Fish and Game Council, which authorizes community-based deer management plans, has never approved a plan that did not include a lethal component.

The committee's chairman, local veterinarian Dean Cerf, said members are scheduled to meet informally with state officials at the end of this month to discuss their plan, and would like the governing body's stamp of approval before then.

Mayor Al Kurpis said the council will consider endorsing the plan at its work session meeting on Thursday. However, he cautioned that the council's endorsement would not mean it is adopting the committee's plan.

Councilman Paul Schulstad said he doesn't have enough information to thoroughly evaluate the program. He said he wants to know more details, such as how long it will take to capture each deer and what percentage of residents would allow professionals on their property to effectively capture them.

"There are almost no details whatsoever that would allow us to assess the feasibility," Schulstad said. "I don't want to be voting on something that doesn't strike me as possible. When I read the report I was stunned by how difficult it sounds."

Kurpis said while Schulstad brings up some "very realistic challenges," if endorsing the plan helps move the process forward, it may be worth it. …

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