Lou Cornicelli on five accomplishments of the DNR deer program he led the past 10 years:
Collaborative decision-making process
We really took seriously the notion of incorporating social science into decision-making. That was done through random surveys of hunters and public input meetings.
This was a public process where DNR staff were advisers, not decision- makers.
Nationally recognized wildlife health program
Our surveillance and disease response methods are modeled by other states.
Deer season/license simplification
We streamlined license types, deer harvest and hunting patterns to better manage deer.
Using the internet and phone to register deer.
In some places we have too few deer and in others, too many.
Permit areas in the farmland
We took a quantitative look at forest permit areas and consolidated those. The same should be considered for farmlands.
Our new deer research biologist will spend a significant portion of time on this issue.
Deer are managed at a social as well as biological level. Integrating the competing interests will be a challenge for all natural resources agencies.