The DCR has given us an extension to Wednesday October 7 for submitting comments against the plan to kill up to 480 deer in the Blue Hills Reservation this year and hundreds more in subsequent years. (They think that this will kill 80% of the deer in the reservation but their numbers are sketchy at best. If they kill that many deer, we and others believe they will collapse the deer population.) We should demand that they stop this massacre and push for contraceptives. You can find lots of info in the previous emails below.
To give you some idea of how important it is to send in your comments and to get anyone else you know to send in their comments, please read this quote that was in yesterday’s Patriot Ledger article about the issue:
“Some residents questioned the purpose of the meetings, saying it appeared as though DCR would go forward with the plan regardless of opposition. Peter Church, DCR’s director of forest stewardship, said the public feedback is important: ‘Based on the public comments we get, we’ll be assessing whether the hunting goes forward or it doesn’t,’ Church said.”
http://www.patriotledger.com/article/20151001/NEWS/151008790/0/SEARCH (This is not poor reporting on the part of the Patriot Ledger; numerous people who were at the meeting in Quincy confirm that he said this.)
If you are pressed for time, simply submit a comment with your name and address and clearly state that you oppose deer hunting in the Blue Hills, now and forever, and that you recommend contraceptives.
As Dane, a MARC member and Sunny Meadow volunteer, put it so well: “Your comment doesn’t have to be long, but the people responsible for this reckless atrocity need to know that not everyone is complicit in this massacre. It’s time to stop choosing the most convenient option over the more ethical, less destructive one. Human beings are the most intrusive species on Earth, but we can start to turn the tide, one action at a time.”
We suggest that those of you who submitted comments already, especially if your comments were based on the erroneous information we had received initially that this would be a bow hunt this year, send in new comments. We are afraid that they might disregard comments that are inaccurate, which would be very unfair, but it wouldn’t surprise us. We would just say that you are resubmitting it for technical reasons. We think it is also justified because DCR didn’t have a cohesive plan, didn’t give us enough time, wouldn’t let most of us speak at the meetings, and couldn’t answer most of our questions, and, therefore, we had to do tons of research that meant that our earlier comments were not complete due to DCR’s and DFW’s poor planning and arrogance.
Also, hats off to MARC member Cindy for speaking her mind and pushing contraceptives in that video in the newspaper article! And thanks to everyone who packed the room with deer supporters Wednesday.
Lastly, they have pulled the poll; to our knowledge the deer won but we aren’t sure what the final tally was.
For the animals,
Helen & Steve
Sent Friday October 2:
Please vote NO to killing for the Blue Hills Deer in this poll ASAP:
The poll is on the Home page of the Patriot Ledger online version; scroll down to the right to find it.)
Please forward this to anyone, anywhere, who will help. (FB, Twitter, Blogs, Email lists, etc..)
We are leaving the entire thread one this issue below for new members and as a reference.
For the animals,
Helen & Steve
Sent Wednesday, September 30:
REPORT ON BLUE HILLS MEETING IN MILTON YESTERDAY (TUESDAY):
Quite a few folks have reported in about their notes and recollections about yesterday’s meeting in Milton. We are going to summarize the main points:
1. Overwhelmingly, people say that the meetings have been very biased on the part of the DCR and F&W. The DCR and F&W talk took up the vast majority of the time. Only 35 minutes per meeting is allotted for public comment. Generally, in MA the public is given HOURS to comment at meetings. Two women who support the hunt and are from Friends of The Blue Hills were part of the official presentation both times and were given the chance to talk at length. This resulted in DCR and DFW are allowing non-scientists to present data that is completely anecdotal. At both meetings, many people were unable to make comments due to this. We agree with everyone that the
way to go now is to question the secret process, the extremely limited opportunity for public comment, and the rush to put this plan into effect before the public can organize to oppose it. People should state this and seek a delay. We would really like DCR and DFW to defend their study methodology and sample size, and also to be very specific about how they investigated alternatives, especially contraceptives (on which there are organizations looking to partner with them), who worked on the plan, etc.. Not one of these officials has explained or justified why this killing has to be done SO fast (80% deer reduction in four years). These are all reasons for delay.
2. Focus on the agony and terror the deer will face being hunted down, running for their lives, being wounded and in horrific pain, etc.
3. Be relentless about public safety. Be sure to mention that these bullets can travel over a mile. (Back up reference for this is below.) Last evening a very worried abbutter who had been in the Army said a controlled hunt is impossible b/c the command hierarchy will break down and communication will be all but impossible. He is concerned, like many abbutters about their houses, cars and families being shot. The DCR themselves said in regard to the policing issue that each agency has different communication systems and that it IS hard to coordinate communications between them. Try to get names and contact info for those cops, hunters and abutters who are either opposed or very worried.
4. We have it on good authority that The Patriot Ledger, the highest circulated local newspaper on the South Shore, will be covering the hearing tomorrow night, so again we need to emphasize the importance of showing up. They were at the first meeting in Canton.
5. Keep stressing that killing the deer will not stop ticks/Lymes Disease. Please note that NO public health or medical agencies were included in the process and the only medical professional who spoke was against the hunt and challenged the whole Lymes Disease argument. (See below for details and facts about Lymes Disease.)
6. If you are not allowed to speak, please consider standing up at the meeting and saying that you were denied the chance to speak; make it clear that public comment is being extremely limited.
7. A few people brought up, given the public safety concerns, whether there may be some legal action that could be taken that may at least put any action off for some time so that alternative solutions could be explored more fully. We don’t know know of any but if anyone does, please let us know.
9. We have it on good authority that The Patriot Ledger, the highest circulated local newspaper on the South Shore, will be covering the hearing tomorrow night, so again we need to emphasize the importance of showing up. They were at the first meeting in Canton.
Please send us feedback after the meeting.
For the animals,
Helen & Steve
We are still getting information in from the wonderful folks who attended last night’s meeting in Milton. We will send a report as soon as we can; it will be similar to the one we sent about the Canton meeting, below.
However, initial info suggests that there may be a growing awareness of the problems associated with this planned massacre of the poor, unsuspecting deer in the Blue Hill Reservation. One hunter, who, after establishing that he believed hunting could be a viable solution, argued that people on both sides of the aisle deserved more time to discuss the issue. Surprisingly, the hunter advised the DCR to “wait until next year.”
That would be a good thing to ask for in Quincy, which is where the last meeting will be held tomorrow evening. But to do that we desperately need folks to actually attend the Quincy meeting!
So if you have not attended one of the meetings yet, we beg you to attend this last one and please send us your notes and impressions of the meeting’s events and tone. And if you would please let us know you are going that would be great. We will have the report on last evening’s meeting as soon as we get more info in from the people who attended. (So please send in your reports as soon as you can, Milton attendees.)
For new members, we are in the middle of trying to stop state officials from killing most of the deer currently living in what for 100 years has been a protected, nonhunting reservation for animals and people. For more info, please see below, starting from the bottom.
Again, please please please stand up for these innocent deer by going to the Quincy meeting. (See below for meeting location and time.)
Those of you who have done so already and will do so tomorrow are our heroes. But more importantly, you are the deer’s heroes!
For the animals,
Helen & Steve
REPORT ON BLUE HILLS MEETING IN CANTON LAST WEDNESDAY:
The meeting about the plan to kill the poor, unsuspecting deer who have made Blue Hills Reservation their safe home for decades last Wednesday was incredibly biased. Which is why we hope and pray many of you will attend the next one tomorrow in Milton. (See our original notice, below, for details on tomorrow’s meeting.)
There were tons of hunters in Canton but all but one of them didn’t have the courage to get up and speak and he just wanted to bowhunt .There may be fewer hunters from now on because our hunter contact told us they were really pushing the first one.
Department of Fish and Wildlife (DPW) and the MA Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) have a real slick presentation which will take up a lot of time. But you will be allowed to speak.
Just to clarify, DCR manages the park and is the ultimate decision maker. DPW are the people who issue hunting and fishing licenses and their salaries are dependent on increasing hunting and fishing. DCR is almost as bad ideologically but they are at least not financially dependent on killing more animals. The two groups worked together on this plan and have in the past for horrible wildlife killing plans.
Numbered below are some things that were said by officials in Canton that we hope you will refute Tuesday.
1. Environmental Damage: Their biggest focus Tuesday was on the environmental damage that the deer have done in Blue Hills. So we think we should focus on contraception which they will say is expensive and takes too long to start working. DFW won’t pay for contraception and sterilization studies or trials. They make money by selling hunting licenses and if they funded alternatives, the hunters would scream bloody murder and DFW would risk losing money. Dr. Allan T. Rutberg at Tufts Vet School is one of the world’s leading experts in immunocontraception; the state should be working with him to create a non-violent solution to the problem.
Here are three cases of positive use of contraceptives:
a. The town of Hastings-on-Hudson, NY has initiated the use of immunocontraception with success to date.
c. Other contraceptives are being developed: “The most notable of these (contraceptives) is GonaConTM, which was developed by the USDA/APHIS National Wildlife Research Center in Fort Collins, Colo., and registered for use as a contraceptive on white-tailed deer by EPA in September 2009. GonaConTM is a vaccine that shuts down the reproductive processes of both males and females. It has been successfully tested on captive animals of many species, including deer, elk and pigs, and field testing on deer, wild horses, and other animals is proceeding”. HSUS website about immunocontraception.
But DFW always supports killing deer as the only option.
2. Public Safety:
A State Police Official at the meeting said that the bullets used for hunting deer can only travel 500 yards and therefore they have set up a 500 yard set back to protect people outside the reservation. Our hunter said and continues to say that is wrong; that shotgun slugs can go a mile or more and this source confirms that: http://www.ihea.com/_assets/documents/AFWA_Presentation_9-18-07.pdf
It is from Penn State professor Todd Bacastow in a study funded by the PA Game Commission. It shows clearly that a shotgun slug can travel a mile. Dr. Bacastow is a professor of geospatial intelligence.
Even the Field & Stream Firearms Safety Handbook admits that they can travel 800 yards which is further than the 500 yard set back DCR has set up:
We need to act now to save the deer in Blue Hills Reservation!
Located only minutes from downtown Boston, the Blue Hills Reservation stretches over 7,000 acres from Quincy to Dedham, Milton to Randolph. The state calls it a green oasis in an urban environment. Hunting there has been prohibited for more than 100 years.
But, horribly, now the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is holding hearings and taking public comments about whether or not to allow bow hunting to “cull the deer herd” (kill deer) in Blue Hills Reservation.
Please attend one of the 3 public hearings listed below OR submit comments at the link listed below to express your opposition. The deadline for comments is October 2nd so please take action ASAP!
Here are some key talking points:
Deer are not a “pest”; they are magnificent and beloved animals who are native to the state and do not deserve to be killed off as a quick fix to human problems.
Hunting deer does not guarantee control of their populations. Scientific studies have shown that, after hunting occurs, remaining deer have increased food supplies which means the rate of twins and triplets being born increases significantly. This can lead to actual increases in population as a result of hunting.
Deer hunting does not control Lyme’s Disease. Neither the American Lyme’s Foundation nor any major medical association supports deer hunting as a method of Lyme’s Disease control. Hunting does not control ticks, who can be found on all species of mammals and at least 29 species of birds. If deer are killed, ticks will simply find other hosts.
Deer hunting does not decrease car accidents. Car insurance company studies have shown that deer-car accidents INCREASE during hunting season because hunters chase frightened deer into roadways and kill adult deer, leaving young deer alive and alone with no adult guidance about how to avoid and navigate roads.
The overwhelming majority of state residents do not hunt and enjoy nature through hiking, photography, and other non-lethal activities. We do not want to spend our recreation hours worrying about being shot with arrows or about seeing dead and dying animals.
Other non-lethal methods exist to help control deer populations and manage or avoid human-deer conflicts. Contraception works when there is deer overpopulation so there is no excuse for this massacre. The state should embrace non-lethal methods so that deer can continue to thrive and humans can continue to enjoy their grace and beauty.
Please asap submit your public comment in opposition to this here:
Here is the hearing schedule:
- Sept. 24 at Ponkapoag Golf Course, 2167 Washington St., Canton
- Sept. 29 at the Blue Hills Trailside Museum, 1904 Canton Ave., Milton
- Oct. 1 in the auditorium of the Lincoln-Hancock Elementary School, 300 Granite St., Quincy
Each meeting will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The meetings are held by the state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation.