Assemblymember Hunter and Senator Valesky’s Legislation Addressing Deer Overpopulation Passes
June 15, 2017
Assemblymember Pamela J. Hunter (D-Syracuse) and Senator David Valesky (D-Oneida) announced that joint legislation they authored to direct the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to report on deer management techniques has passed the Assembly and Senate (A.6818-A/S.5967-A). “From damaging private property to helping spread tick-borne illnesses, the hazards posed by deer overpopulation must be addressed,” said Hunter. “Combating the rapidly expanding deer population in the Syracuse area is absolutely vital to ensure that our community is safe and healthy.” The legislation requires the DEC to report on deer management techniques best suited for urban and suburban areas within the state. As a result, the report would help direct local and state governments in cities like Syracuse to better manage the overpopulation of deer and resulting issues. Across the state, overpopulation of wildlife in urban areas has caused traffic accidents, ravaged gardens and increased incidents of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. “The deer overpopulation in our communities is creating the potential for serious public health risks,” said Senator Valesky. “This is an issue that must be swiftly addressed so that we can protect neighborhoods in Central New York and throughout the state.” Hunter has been working to combat the deer problem throughout her time in the Assembly. She secured $150,000 in the 2016-17 state budget to fund and develop a detailed deer management plan with SUNY-ESF and $50,000 for remediation methods for the eastside of Syracuse and the town of Dewitt. Earlier this year, Hunter conducted a survey of nearly 12,000 constituents to receive feedback on the possible next steps for handling the burgeoning deer population.