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For Release: Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Two Deer Task Forces Make Recommendations to DEC

Two local deer citizen task forces have recommend decreasing deer populations by 10 percent in Wildlife Management Units (WMU) 4J and 4B, which include portions of Albany and Schenectady counties, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Gene Kelly announced today.

Both task forces did an excellent job and are to be commended for their efforts,@ Kelly said. AMembers of the task forces were able to weigh a number of competing interests and come up with fair compromises, balancing the viability of the region's deer population, the legitimate interests of the hunting community, the long-term health of wildlife habitat, and the human use of the landscape."

WMU 4J is an archery-only unit which includes the city of Albany, the town of Colonie and portions of the towns of Guilderland, Bethlehem and New Scotland in Albany County. WMU 4B encompasses the town of Niskayuna, part of the town of Rotterdam and the city of Schenectady in Schenectady County, and portions of the Albany County towns of Guilderland, New Scotland, Bethlehem and Coeymans.

The WMU 4J task force concluded its work in April and the WMU 4B task force concluded its work last month.

DEC manages the deer population in specific WMUs primarily through the use of Deer Management Permits (DMP). The DMPs are distributed through an instant lottery system and are only valid for taking antlerless deer in a specific WMU. By controlling the number of permits issued, DEC can control the number of female deer that are removed from the population by hunting. This, in turn, influences the number of females that remain to produce young in the following year.

The two citizen task forces received input from numerous citizens with an interest in local deer populations. Representation on the task forces included hunters, farmers, forest property owners, professional ecologists, resource-based businesses, law enforcement and local highway departments.

Citizen task forces were first formed in 1990 to actively involve the public in DEC decision making regarding deer population levels in the various WMUs.

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