Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh announced deer management conducted by qualified wildlife managers from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin in the City of Syracuse during the week of February 8. Syracuse is one of five municipalities in Onondaga County completing deer damage management with the USDA this winter. The work is made possible with funding provided by Onondaga County.
The City is undertaking targeted removal of deer in response to public health and safety concerns. The purpose of the program is to address the impact of deer overpopulation on: deer-vehicle accidents; parks, gardens, and the ecosystem; and public health risks, such as Lyme Disease.
“The deer population in the City of Syracuse poses serious public safety and health risks,” said Mayor Walsh. “Through partnership at the local state and federal levels, we implemented a safe and effective program last winter. Continuing this work over multiple years in coordination with other municipalities will be critical to successfully addressing the problem.”
The City issued a frequently asked question sheet, “What Syracuse residents should know about Deer Damage Management.” The sheet is available at https://ourcity.syrgov.net/deer-damage-management-fact-sheet-2021/ or by calling the Syracuse Parks Department at (315) 473-4330. A report on the results of the first year of the program is available at https://ourcity.syrgov.net/2020/05/city-of-syracuse-reports-deer-management-results/.
Sites meeting strict New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) criteria have been identified on the east, west and south sides of the City.
- All of the locations are on large private and city-owned properties.
- Only DEC permitted sites where explicit written permission from the property owners have been provided will be accessed.
- The sites are required to be at least 500 feet from any occupied dwelling.
- All sites are either private or closed to public access when work is conducted.
Specially-trained USDA wildlife managers will conduct the work only at night, between the hours of dusk to dawn. All sites are closed to public access when work is conducted. No wildlife management officer should be accessing private property without permission. Residents should call 911 if you see suspicious activity on public or private property. Work will be conducted in the months of February and March.
The integrated plan also includes community education on personal safeguards from tick-borne disease. The City Department of Parks, Recreation & Youth Programs will conduct education programs consistent with COVID-19 restrictions this spring and summer.
Funding for implementation of the Tick and Deer Management Plan in the City has been provided by Onondaga County with support from County Executive J. Ryan McMahon, II and the Onondaga County Legislature.