Craig Mayor, PETA exchange letters

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Letter from Mayor

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Letter from PETA

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How to comment to the Craig City Council:

• Residents can submit letters to the Craig City Council on what they would like the council to do regarding deer removal in the city by dropping them off at Craig City Hall, 300 W. Fourth St., or by e-mailing city manager Jim Ferree at jferree@ci.craig.co.us

Craig Mayor Don Jones needed just a few words to describe his response to a letter from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals regarding the city’s discussion on deer removal.

“Very politically correct,” he said with a laugh.

Jones said the city received a letter from PETA on Oct. 28, and he responded Tuesday.

PETA’s letter, which came in the form of an e-mail to Jones and city manager Jim Ferree, was written by a PETA senior cruelty caseworker.

The letter addressed the city council’s consideration of a Colorado Division of Wildlife three-tiered plan for removing a portion of the deer inside city limits. The plan was recently presented at a community workshop.

Those options include establishing an archery hunting area and season outside city limits, trapping and killing deer, and/or having a team of marksmen come in to the city to kill deer at night.

The DOW said they would prefer to employ all three options in Craig.

In the letter, PETA writes that bow hunting is “among the cruelest forms” of wildlife control.

“Bow-hunters often spend hours tracking the blood trails of animals before finding them,” PETA wrote. “Many are not found, and their deaths (are) slow and painful. It can take weeks for some to succumb to their injuries.”

PETA writes in the letter “the use of sharpshooters … would be far less cruel.”

“However, all lethal initiatives tear families apart and leave young and weak animals vulnerable to starvation, dehydration, and predators,” PETA writes. “Lethal methods also backfire. When animals are killed (or) removed from the area, a spike in the food supply results. This prompts accelerated breeding of those animals who inevitably fill the void.

“You’ll have an increase in deer population numbers.”

Jones described PETA’s letter as “just your typical, nice letter from PETA.”

The mayor said he understands why PETA wrote the letter, but doesn’t plan to put much stock in the organization’s opinion.

“They don’t live here,” he said.

In his response letter, Jones said he “appreciates” PETA’s interest in the matter, but the city is “focusing on those suggestions that have been researched by individuals and organizations familiar with the specifics of this community.”

“The burgeoning population of deer in our city is a serious issue that has generated a variety of opinions within our community,” Jones wrote in the letter. “The city of Craig will continue to devote its time and resources to attempt to reach a solution acceptable to all parties and to act on those solutions that will carefully, thoughtfully and appropriately address their legitimate concerns.”

Ferree said the city has received more than 35 letters, e-mails and phone calls from residents about the DOW’s proposed deer removal plan and how the city council should rule on the matter.

PETA’s letter, Ferree said, was handled in the same manner as other letters received by the city.

“(It has) probably no more or no less weight than all the other comments we have received,” he said.

Ferree said the city hasn’t had additional contact with PETA or other similar organizations.

The city council will discuss and make a decision about the DOW’s recommendations for removing urban deer at its Nov. 9 meeting, Ferree said.

“(The) DOW has more or less asked us to endorse their deer removal plan, and that will be on the agenda for the city council, to consider whether or not to endorse that plan,” Ferree said.

The city council will also introduce an ordinance at its next meeting addressing the fines for feeding deer and other big-game animals in city limits.

City attorney Kenny Wohl said the ordinance would make feeding deer punishable up to a $300 fine and/or a maximum of 90 days in jail, if approved. However, the council may change the proposed punishments, Wohl said.

Council member Jennifer Riley said she has received numerous e-mails and comments from residents about the DOW’s deer proposal.

Riley said she is advocating for the council to treat aggressive deer on a situational basis.

“I don’t think we should treat aggressive deer any differently than we treat aggressive dogs,” she said. “I think if there are aggressive situations with deer, those should be dealt with. But, like with the dogs, I don’t think there needs to be a blanket extermination of deer.”

Comments

GreyStone 3 years, 5 months ago

PETA’s letter, “However, all lethal initiatives tear families apart and leave young and weak animals vulnerable to starvation, dehydration, and predators,”

I did not know Deer were conscious of the concept of family life. Evidently the Deer in Moffat county have evolved into sentient beings, just like humans, which must be why they now want to live in town. Eventually they will be using indoor toilets.

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David Moore 3 years, 5 months ago

"I did not know Deer were conscious of the concept of family life." Wow....really????

I have this gut feeling that no matter what the citizens say, the City is going to go ahead with the plan suggested by DOW. I don't belive for one minute they want to come up with a reasonable plan, they just want to exterminate now and get it over with. Thankfully there is at least one Councilwoman who seems to have the right idea and deal with them on a case-by-case basis. Otherwise, from the rest of them, those against the proposed plan, and apparently PETA, are being given the ol' one fingered salute. I can agree on a certain degree of thinning the deer population as long as it is done in the right manner, not by shooting arrows at them or by trapping them. If sharpshooters are to be used then there MUST be very strict rules that need to be followed. If they are sick, they need to go. If they TRULY have injured someone, they need to go(staring down not counted). I feel that there has been some pretty tall tales told in some of the letters submitted lately, anything to get rid of them right? If it is done humanely, fine. No mass killing. Stay out of my yard, your bullets and arrows are not welcome here. Property owners must give permission to allow the hunt on their property. The fines need to be much larger for feeding them. I could go on for awhile but I think my point has been made. I truly hope their plan fails miserably and the wildlife continues to find the city as their home. Get out your pots & pans.............

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pgerini 3 years, 5 months ago

Don Jones, you and all those who think like you are living proof that the fable "Chicken Little" is not a work of fiction. To all of you beware of the killer squirrels. Philip Gerini

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bobniewoehner 3 years, 5 months ago

There is something wrong here......I have (off and on) lived here 40 plus years and don't see where the deer are a 'problem'. God know's they look both way's before they cross the highway and wait for the red lights. Seems there has to be a 'better' way than just killing the poor things. It's not there fault "CRAIG" is here - they were here first. But then, I'm one of them people who thinks we need Wolf's to maintain the "natural Order" of things. Oh well, in 50 years you will all be "chicks".....sad. I know, let the "nanny" government take care of the problem. PETA ain't all bad folks.......

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putpeta 3 years, 5 months ago

we are all for PETA (people eating tasty animals), but against DEOY (deer eating our yards) these deer were not here first, if so they are all well over a hundred years old. thirty years ago you could grow a garden in craig, now you have to fence the deer out. PUTPETA ( people for the unethical treatment of people for the ethical treatment of animals)

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als362 3 years, 5 months ago

to putpeta; When people like me and others say the deer were here before we were, they are refering to the species, not one peticular animal or herd.

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greenie52 3 years, 5 months ago

Forget the deer, we need to get rid of the mayor and city council first.

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unbelievable6060 3 years, 5 months ago

greenie52 - REALLY? You see the solution is replacing our major and city council members? Have you ever attempted to put yourself in their shoes? I know it isn't as easy you as believe it would be, I for one would not want to be up against the tough issues they have to face. Trying to make the correct decisions to please people can't be what it is about, they have to make those tough calls they feel is best based on facts and statistics for the entire City of Craig. Do I want to see the deer killed, no I don't, but I will also support the decision that is made because I know it won't be gone into lightly and all of the research will have been done. Most of the time this blog is used for people who choose to do a lot of complaining, what do you think would happen if the blog was used for solutions and something constructive?

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Rebelgirl 3 years, 5 months ago

I really can't belive this has become a major topic in this town. Though I have to agree with most of the people posting here just leave the deer alone. I have yet to hear of more than one person making a trip to the ER for an injury caused by deer unless it was hunting related. Further more there is a leash law for dogs in which I have observed only one out of fifteen people following. If your dog goes after a deer and is injured than so be it keep your dog in a run or inside. I have had dogs and have not once had them go after deer. If you plant a garden and dont expect it to be eaten by the deer then either dont plant or build a fence. It seems as of late that grasshoppers do more damage to a garden then a deer do. And as for penalities for feeding them is one of the most ridicuolus ideas I have ever heard. No one would be able to feed the birds or squirels. Last time I checked the birds are picky and will not eat all of the food but rather pick through it and throw what is not wanted on the ground. Then what is the home owner to do?? Be fined for deer eating what the birds do not, how much sense does that make first of all and second how would it be inforced? If we can't enforce the leash law why should inadvertently feeding deer be enforced? I guess the solution would be no planting of gardens or feeding the birds? As I said before I can't belive this has become such a huge issue due to a few people complaining about it. I would rather have deer roaming my neighborhood than loose dogs or feral cats which cause more problems than the deer.

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als362 3 years, 5 months ago

To Rebelgirl; I agree with almost all of your points except where you talk about the fines for feeding the deer. I believe that feeding the deer is one of the biggest causes of so many deer being in town. If people want to feed birds and squirrels then they should be required to keep this food away from the deer. For that reason I don't think it is out of line to fine someone for allowing deer to get to bird food. I agree with you about the dogs and cats, especially the cats.

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Rebelgirl 3 years, 5 months ago

So are we to fine everyone that has a garden including the city of Craig? Bird feed is not the only thing the deer eat? So are you suggesting that no one is allowed to plant a garden or that the City will not be allowed to use the planters or maintain the grass in the parks? The deer are not picky and will eat anything. So what do you suggest zeroscaping everything? How do you suggest keeping the deer away from the bird food? Again with the point in my first comment, the birds do not eat all of the food put out for them, they get what they want and throw the rest onto the ground, are you suggesting that the home owner go out and pick up all the seeds the birds throw out? If not then how do you solve that problem?

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GreyStone 3 years, 5 months ago

Wonder what comments the news media will have about the city of Craig when they learn how the City Fathers plan to slaughter Bambi and family.

The proposed slaughter will make TV headlines and provide lots of negative press about this little town.

City Fathers might take a closer look at this situation before they step in it.

PETA is a minor annoyance.

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als362 3 years, 5 months ago

No, you don't fine everyone that has a garden or feeds the birds. You fine those that don't take steps to keep the deer out of their garden or bird feeder. Those that take steps to keep the deer out will not be fined, even if the steps they take fail, which by the way this entire effort to remove the deer will ultimately fail. But if those people that choose to have a garden or feed the birds, then complain because an animal is doing what it's instincts tell it to do. Then these same people can pay to keep the deer out of their gardens or bird feeders and I won't have to pay to remove an animal that will leave on it's own when the food supply dwindles.

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