Mayor Walsh and Common Council will review plan in June
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Syracuse Tick and Deer Management Advisory Group submitted its proposed Management Plan to Mayor Walsh and the Syracuse Common Council on Thursday, June 6. The Council and the Mayor will review the plan during the month of June. The Council will hold a committee meeting on the plan on Tuesday, June 11 at 12 noon. in the Syracuse Common Council Chambers, Syracuse City Hall, 233 E. Washington Street.
The group recommends that the City commit to a long-term management program to address what has become a significant public health and public safety issue in the City. The report cites concerns with increased cases of Lyme disease; the incidences of deer-vehicle accidents and the impact of deer on parks, gardens, and the ecosystem. The full plan is available online at http://bit.ly/syrgov-report0619.
“The tick and deer population present a serious public safety and public health issue for city residents, so we need to commit to a long-term approach to address the issue,” Mayor Walsh said. “I want to thank the Advisory Group for developing the plan and conducting a public input process, as well as the many residents and advocates who shared their views. Working together over time, we can address this community problem.”
The report calls for community education on personal safeguards from tick-borne disease; ongoing public engagement and involvement; and a cull of the deer herd beginning in the fall of 2019. Importantly, the group recommends the use of integrated management practices, which involve a variety of tools to achieve better control of the tick and deer populations. As the deer population is reduced, the group recommends the consideration of non-lethal methods, including sterilization, to lower the reproductive rate of deer and maintain a more stable population.
Mayor Walsh appointed the Advisory Group in April. He asked the group to develop a plan building on the past efforts of neighborhood groups that have studied tick-borne disease and deer overpopulation. 5th District Common Councilor Joe Driscoll, who represents a large part of the east side where the tick and deer impact is significant, represented the Common Council with the Advisory Group.
Between April and June, the group met eight times to confer with experts in wildlife biology and environmental management, to learn from municipalities that have implemented tick and deer management plans, and to study the reports of academics and governmental agencies. Additionally, subgroups met to explore suggestions and develop information for consideration by the Advisory Group.
Members of the Advisory Group attended TNT meetings during the months of April and May in an effort to engage other neighborhoods with tick and deer concerns. Two public meetings were held: a public education session on May 21, 2019 at Corcoran High School and a public input session to present the management plan on May 28, 2019 at Nottingham High School.
After approval by the Common Council and the Mayor, the management plan will be reviewed by the Onondaga County Department of the Environment and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.