Brooklyn Park to consider wildlife management plan

  • Article by: SHANNON PRATHER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 21, 2014 - 8:40 PM
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Following the most recent spring snowstorm, whitetail deer browse on tree buds

Photo: DAVID JOLES/STARTRIBUNE,

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Sometimes life in the suburbs can get a little too wild.

Coyote sightings, packs of wild turkeys wreaking havoc, an overpopulation of deer stripping parks of foliage and causing accidents, feral cats and dogs, and aggressive geese guarding park paths can all cause problems.

On Monday, the Brooklyn Park City Council will consider passing a wildlife management policy, so they can better deal with some of these thorny man vs. animal issues.

The plan will allow the inner-ring suburb staff to use live trapping, fencing, harassment techniques including sprinklers and reflective objects and public education to address the problems.

“There have been complaints over the years of coyotes and wild turkeys. Instead of just dealing with these things on the fly, we wanted to be more proactive and guided,” said Recreation and Parks Director Jon Oyanagi.

Oyanagi said complaints from one townhouse association about a pack of nearly 40 wild turkeys spurred the discussion. The birds were lingering around the townhouses, defecating and creating a nuisance. City officials realized they didn’t have formal parameters in place to address the issue.

“The policy will help us deal with those types of situations,” Oyanagi said.

The policy is intended for public land only, but the city could obtain permission from private land owners. The wildlife management policy would help protect newly planted trees and foliage, reduce safety hazards and nuisance situations.

People feeding wildlife is the major cause for unwanted animal encounters, Oyanagi said. The city currently prohibits deer feeding.

The City Council already has a deer management plan and has allowed controlled archery hunts for several years to cull the herd. Those efforts have reduced deer-related car crashes by nearly one-third in the city, from 105 in 2011 to 66 in 2013

 

Shannon Prather • 612-673-4804

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