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Bloomington Mayor Vetoes Deer Sharpshooter Ordinance


Photo: Chauncey Davis (Flickr)

Supporters of the ordinance to shoot deer in Griffy Nature Preserve say it will help preserve the balance of biodiversity.

Mayor Mark Kruzan, D-Bloomington, is vetoing an ordinance that would have allowed sharpshooters to hunt deer in Griffy Lake Nature Preserve.

Kruzan announced today he is returning the unsigned ordinance the city council sent to his desk last week.

The measure would allow sharpshooters contracted by the city to shoot and kill deer in an effort to reduce the deer population, which supporters say is ruining the biodiversity in the area.

“I’ve never felt the same about the state forests since hunting has been allowed, and I’m concerned that people will never feel the same about Griffy Nature Preserve after hunting is allowed there,” Kruzan said in a interview on Tuesday when asked about the council’s decision.

While the mayor says he cannot support a the measure as a matter of conscience, ordinance author Council Member Dave Rollo says he supports the legislation for the same reason.

“My conscience is telling me that Griffy is endangered and will soon be lost in terms of its rich biodiversity unless we give the tools to the land managers they need to reduce deer numbers,” Rollo says.

Rollo says he is hopeful the veto will be over-ridden at the next Common Council meeting on Monday.

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  • Bob Eckert

    Kruzan is on the wrong side on this one. Rollo and those who voted for the ordinance are right, BUT the culling should be limited by time and resources should be allocated to determine when to stop the cull.

  • Frank Rizzo

    Kruzan is such a wimp. He clearly knows nothing about how nature works. Nothing like a million deer starving to death while killing an ecosystem just to show you’re ‘pro animal’. Unless he’s planning on re-introducing mountain lions, his veto is irresponsible and pathetic.

  • VegAnn Hawks

    Thank you, Mayor Kruzan for being on the right side of this issue. You are not a wimp, as so implied by a juvenile comment posted earlier. Real men are kind to animals.

  • 2cc4

    Congratulations to Kruzan. Job well done on his steadfast commitment to protect the overall interests of the community and the sanctity of this nature preserve for better options. That’s what he was elected for and that’s exactly what he did. We need more politicians like that.

    Other, less principled politicians may have catered to the ambition to turn this vital preserve into a shooting gallery, essentially disguised as a means of environmental protection for biodiversity,” with “the tools for land managers.” (Guns and gun culture getting their way.)

    Sandra Shapshay, assistant professor in the IU Department of Psychology, wrote a letter to the council giving a number of reasons the ordinance should not pass — not only for humane purposes, but also for economic reasons. “If we don’t really know how many deer there are in Griffy, we don’t know how many deer need to be killed in order to have this program succeed,” Shapshay said. “And we don’t know how much it’s going to cost or how to measure success of the program.”

    In modern society, competent, responsible political decision-making needs to
    stand tall on crucial matters like this. One does not “protect the environment” of a nature preserve by turning it into the O.K. Corral, which as Kruzan rightly said, would “irreversibly change the nature of the community.” Would it ever. These “experts” hired for such sharpshooting, always end up being predominantly just hunters hungry for the kill thrill (not those the least bit concerned with plants or the alleged starving deer).

    Accidents can and have happened. Kruzan is absolutely sound in his judgment that the option was an inappropriate response by the Council. The end in no way
    justifies the means.

    Deer contraception was amongst the non-lethal methods recommended by the opposition, but challenged by the council. An immunocontraception specialist at Tufts University Center for Animals and Public Policy has been offered to Bloomington to assess the feasibility of using immunocontraception methods on deer in Griffy. The council has yet to respond to the offer, but it still stands.
    Perhaps regrouping to consider counter studies besides their own is in order.

    No one, certainly not Kruzan, misses that the natural predators are
    gone (these were “culled” previously) and thus deer populations can
    swell, nor was he oblivious to the “concerns” posed of the environmental effect.

    The studies the council relies upon are opposed by counter studies against any clear case for immediate action or any biodiversity emergency whatsoever. But for those mentalities still carrying primordial bloodlust wiring whom regard guns the answer to everything instead of true science, then sure, their opposition is always seen as wimpy, as knee-jerk as that is.

    The psychological lure of assassins shooting their way through problems, quasi justified, is too compelling to resist. They’d tell you they could balance the national deficit, regulate social security, reform welfare and cure world hunger all with guns as well. If their walls could talk, you’d hear exactly how, too.

    There are other options being weighed. The city has set aside a budget of $30,000 to address proper research into the matter.

  • Pingback: Bloomington Council Overrides Mayor’s Deer Sharpshooter Veto | Indiana News Feed

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