Contributed by Prince William County
Contact between humans and wildlife will only increase as both populations continue to grow. In some cases, human activities invite more and more wildlife, which can contribute to interaction that isn’t always beneficial to the wildlife or humans. This has become an area of concern with the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, particularly as it relates to the increased deer population.
On March 31, 2014, a public meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at Chinn Park Regional Library at 13065 Chinn Park Drive in Woodbridge, to discuss issues of wildlife and deer management in Prince William County. People from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF), the Prince William Conservation Alliance, along with Charles Smith, the former Natural Resource Management and Protection Branch Manager of the Fairfax County Park Authority, will give presentations and answer questions from county residents who attend.
“We’re seeing an overpopulation of deer throughout Virginia and certainly in the D.C. Metro area,” said Supervisor Mike May, Occoquan District Supervisor. “In the area I represent, we’re starting to hear from people who are seeing more and more deer in the community. They’re beautiful animals and part of our community, but we have to look and see if there are any concerns associated with overpopulation and what it means for local ecosystems and the public safety of our community, as well.”
In our area, wildlife, and deer in particular, can cause problems. They can carry diseases and often present threats to traffic safety. May said he hopes the meeting will show what wildlife and deer population growth means to the community and how state and local entities might help establish equilibrium between humans and wildlife.
Prince William County Chairman Corey A. Stewart said county officials will need to think about any number of solutions to control deer. “The deer in Prince William County are overpopulated and are becoming an increasing threat. They carry Lyme disease and other diseases and represent a traffic hazard to county residents when they dart onto area roads. We have to consider every reasonable option to keep the deer population under control.”
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