City leaders say they have no interest in taking advantage of a new state law allowing communities to kill deer that have become a nuisance. Animal rights groups such as the Humane Society say it doesn't work, and many residents would oppose it.
The Oregon Legislature passed a bill in the final days of the 2017 session that calls on the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission to set up a 12-year pilot program for deer population control. The new law allows cities to petition the Department of Fish and Wildlife for permission to humanely kill deer and donate the meat to food banks.
Mayor John Stromberg says it's not something the community would support, and some experts say it doesn't work.
Rep. Pam Marsh agrees the idea would create an enormous discussion, and Ashland likely wouldn't decide to do it, but should "think about it and debate it," and make a decision as a community.
We agree. The deer population is out of control and deer do not belong in the city, where they cause problems from devouring landscaping to obstructing traffic. They can be aggressive and a danger to humans, especially when fawns are present or during rutting season.
The city of Cincinnati has successfully reduced the deer population in one of its parks by 70 percent by hunting them.
That's not likely be accepted in Ashland. But there is no other realistic solution, so residents will have to accept the resident deer herd as a fact of life.