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Parks Board Unanimously Approves Deer Sharpshooting Plan

Up to 100 deer will be killed in Griffy Lake Nature Preserve between November 2014 and February 2015.

The Board of Park Commissioners voted 4-0 in favor of a contract to allow a sharpshooting firm to kill up to 100 deer in Griffy Lake Nature Preserve at their meeting Tuesday night.

The $31,000 contract will allow Connecticut-based company White Buffalo to kill the deer over a nine-day period sometime between November 15 and February 28.

The divisive method to combat reported deer overpopulation at Griffy Lake was initially proposed by a deer task force led by city council members Dave Rollo and Andy Ruff.

The city council passed a resolution allowing for the sharpshooting plan back in April, but Mayor Mark Kruzan vetoed the resolution as “a matter of conscience.”

A week later, however, the city council overturned the mayor’s veto, sending the proposal to the Board of Park Commissioners for final approval.

Parks board member Joseph Hoffmann said he trusted the research done by the deer task force and the city council.

“At this point, as an untrained individual, for me to challenge or disagree with the report that we’ve been given by the best minds we have in this community, would seem to me like a not very appropriate thing for me to do,” Hoffmann said.

Several residents spoke during public comment, including Sandra Shapshay, who has been a vocal opponent of the sharpshoot. She and several other concerned citizens formed a group, Bloomington Advocates for Nonviolent Innovative Deer Stewardship (BANIDS) in opposition to the proposed plan.

“We are disappointed in the parks board decision,” Shapshay said.  “I feel in particular that a couple of points that were raised by various members of the community, the vast majority of whom spoke out against this contract, that those points weren’t fully considered.”

Shapshay says she and her fellow members of BANIDS will continue to fight the plan.

The contract will now be entered into, however the city can terminate it at any point, subject to paying White Buffalo for any work that’s already been done.

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