This letter is concerning the article “Ann Arbor Deer Cull Causes Controversy” in the Jan. 18 edition of the Voice. I will preface with this disclaimer: I am an animal lover, not lacking in compassion, and believe that humans are generally destructive and harmful to all other creatures and nature.
However, I found this article to be alarmingly one-sided.
Many students and others who read the voice may not be aware of the legitimate reasons to cull animals, or even what it means from an ecological perspective. I have been at WCC for several years as a student and tutor, and despite what was written in this article, I can attest to the deer population being a problem in this immediate area.
Twice in my time here, I have seen deer hit by cars on Huron Road directly in front of the school. On the more horrific occasion of the two, the adolescent deer was injured and proceeded to run around frantically in stopped traffic, ultimately running into another car and collapsing.
The quotations given in the article seem bias, and in some cases lacking explanation. For example, Karen Patterson of the Huron Valley Humane Society, is quoted blatantly slamming the USDA Wildlife Services and citing confusing statistics. She mentions the “recommended deer densities of 15-20 deer per square mile” as per the Michigan Natural Features Inventory, a program of Michigan State University Extension.
I am curious whether that recommendation is affected by human population in the area in question. Also, what are the consequences of having or not having the “recommended deer density,” and why should we be concerned if the actual number is lower?
What little opposition is offered to what appears to be the author’s opinion is conveniently placed in the continuation of the article on an inside page and consists of only four short paragraphs. While I personally do not have a problem with the cull or the method by which it is being executed, my purpose here is not to debate whether it should or should not be happening.
My reason for responding to this article is that I believe if a topic is controversial, such as this one, your readers deserve to be presented with the facts in a reasonably impartial way. The National Geographic article titled “Killing Wildlife: The Pros and Cons of Culling Animals” published in March 2014 offers a brief, unbiased view of the debate surrounding culling in general. Many of the pros of culling presented there may be relevant to the situation in Ann Arbor as well.